There are three options available on the Pro models: switch off the screen completely, show widgets without a screen background or show widgets with a (darkened) screen background. But many users are wondering: How much battery life does this function cost?
Lighting conditions affect test
The always-on display adapts to the ambient lighting – if this is low, the iPhone also automatically reduces the brightness. Phonebuff carried out some measurements in different lighting conditions – and activated the flight mode in order to measure only the power consumption of the display as far as possible:
If the room is very dark at 150 lux, the battery charge level hardly drops: After 8 hours, the iPhone with the always-on display deactivated still shows 100 percent charge level, with activated widgets this drops to 98 percent after 8 hours – just like with a visible desktop -Background. Under these circumstances, the always-on display has little impact on battery life.
More ambient light = higher power consumption
In a very bright room with 1000 lux ambient lighting, the iPhone increases the brightness of the always-on display significantly. But after 8 hours, the values are similar to the test at 150 lux – only when the background image is activated does the battery charge level now drop from 98 to 97 percent.
But there could be a reason for this: iPhones usually show a charge level of 100 percent for a fairly long period of time – and that’s why Phonebuff carried out these tests again with a runtime of 24 hours. There are clearer differences here: The iPhone with a deactivated always-on display still shows 100 percent charge after 24 hours. Without a background image, but with widgets, the charge level drops to 84 percent within 24 hours – with the background image activated even to 80 percent.
If you often reach the limits of the charging capacity even with an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, you should deactivate the always-on display to increase battery life. The always-on screen doesn’t consume a lot of power, but when it’s always tight in the evening, every percent counts.
You should also keep in mind that the always-on display is only active in some situations. For example, it turns off when the iPhone is on the display or carried in your pocket or purse. It is also turned off when CarPlay or the sleep focus is active. The Apple Watch can also cause the always-on display to be switched off – namely if the wearer moves too far away from the iPhone.
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