Early iPhone 12 and 12 Pro battery tests suggest 5G comes at a cost

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Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Photo: Apple

The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro bring 5G to Apple’s smartphones for the first time. But it comes at a cost to your battery.

In the first published battery tests, Tom’s Guide tested the new iPhones on both 4G and 5G, running both on the same screen brightness and loading up new sites every 30 seconds until they ran out of battery. Their conclusion? That 5G usage has a pretty major impact on battery life.

They report:

“The regular iPhone 12 lasted just 8 hours and 25 minutes over AT&T’s 5G network. Last year’s iPhone 11 lasted a whopping 11 hours and 16 minutes over 4G. To compare, we switched the iPhone 12 to 4G-only, and it endured for 10 hours and 23 minutes.

The iPhone 12 Pro fared a bit better, lasting 9 hours and 6 minutes minutes over T-Mobile’s 5G network. That runtime jumped to 11:24 over 4G. The iPhone 11 Pro lasted 10:24 over 4G.”

Of course, a web surfing test is just one way to measure battery life. However, it does suggest that there’s a noticeable difference between 5G and 4G. Tom’s Guide concludes that users wanting to save battery may want to manually switch to 4G.

The current state of 5G in the United States

It awaits to be seen how much value 5G will materially mean when it comes to the new iPhones. 5G will clearly be a major step when it comes to connectivity with mobile and smart devices. But it’s still early days.

In the early iPhone 12 reviews, most reviewers said they weren’t able to properly test out the next-gen networking, which Apple heavily promoted during the recent iPhone 12 launch event. Given the current state of 5G in the United States, that’s not too much of a surprise.

How much of a selling point is 5G to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Tom’s Guide