Apple's new iPhone finally sacrifices thinness for the life of the battery

The new iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max from Apple are in a way peculiar to the technology company: they are bigger, heavier and thicker than last year's models, and clash with the usual trend where Apple is constantly trying out thinner and lighter phones to bring. It is no coincidence that the new heavier iPhones also promise a considerably better battery life than the iPhone XS and XS Max: four hours better on the smaller phone and five hours better on the larger.

For years, people have been asking why companies not only make phones a bit bigger and heavier to improve battery life. And with the iPhone 11 Pro setup, it seems that Apple is finally taking notice.

To put the leap in battery in perspective, the last few upgrades for Apple were the iPhone 7 (two hours better battery life than the 6S), the iPhone X (two hours better than the iPhone 7), and the XS and the XS Max (30 minutes and an hour and 30 minutes longer than the X, respectively, due to software and hardware improvements in energy efficiency). Instead of making another pathetic attempt to extend battery life, such as the XS, Apple offers twice the best battery life update in a form factor that is nearly as large as the XS line.

It's a move we've seen before: last year's XS phones paled in comparison to the iPhone XR, perhaps the longest phone Apple has ever made. How? Because Apple made the decision to sell a larger and heavier phone – with a larger battery – that combined the same efficiency improvements that Apple had made on the XS phones.


Improved efficiency plus a larger battery is apparently a winning formula for a long battery life, and with the iPhone 11 Pro models it seems that Apple is applying that lesson in reverse. The new 11 Pro phones are almost as thick and heavy as the standard 11 – the smaller iPhone 11 Pro is almost a quarter inch thicker and almost half a gram heavier than the XS – probably because Apple has added heavier batteries in the new models .

We will probably not know for sure how large the batteries in the new iPhones will be until someone tears one apart, and it is likely that the numbers will still not be comparable to something like Samsung & # 39; s Galaxy S10 and Note phones, those tops on 4,500 mAh batteries that are almost guaranteed enormously larger than what Apple also offers. And that does not mean anything about the (unfortunately not funded) sample of 18,000 mAh that Energizer wanted to make. But any improvement is a welcome improvement, especially if the battery claims it stops.

Apple says that improving the batteries themselves is only part of the story: the company also emphasizes that the new screens in the 11 Pro are "up to 15 percent more energy efficient" and that iOS 13 itself is designed to work more efficiently on the new ones Phones. There is also a new, custom-designed power management unit (PMU) that, according to Apple, is the key to offering improved battery life. But as we saw with the XS phones last year, such an & # 39; n upgrade can only work so far. At some point it comes down to how large the battery is.

In the past decade, Apple has pursued thinness in the past with aggressive thinking. The phones have become slimmer at the expense of battery life and excellent camera modules, and the laptops are thinner for the price of ports and a problematic keyboard. With the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, it seems that the trend is finally reversing by putting the function above form.