Watch this: Dark mode can add 30% to your OLED phone's battery life

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The experiment was carried out by PhoneBuff over the weekend. Using two iPhone XS devices—one in light mode and one in dark mode—and some robotic arms, the test involved running identical tasks, including watching a YouTube video, navigating Google maps, using the Messages app, and scrolling through Twitter.

The results showed that iOS 13’s dark mode really does help extend the battery life of the iPhone XS. When the device in light mode died, the dark mode iPhone still had 30 percent battery. Check out the chart below to see a comparison between the phones.

The handsets were running at a fairly bright 200 nits so results will vary depending on your brightness settings, and the test only used apps that supported dark mode. But it still shows the difference dark mode can make.

It’s also important to note that with OLEDs, pixels are essentially switched off when showing the color black, whereas LCDs keep their pixels lit up no matter what is being shown on the screen. That means OELDs are always going to benefit more from dark mode.

Last year, Google showed off similar dark mode test results at its Android Dev Summit. They showed the difference in power usage between the original Pixel, which uses an OLED screen, and the LCD-sporting iPhone 7 in both normal and night modes. Google’s device draws 250mA while at maximum brightness in normal mode, while Apple’s phone was at 230mA. In Night Mode at max brightness, however, the Pixel’s draw drops 63 percent to 92mA, while the iPhone stays the same.

Permalink to story.

 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
I do quite like dark mode, even with an LCD... but I wish there was an option to have it automatically switch to light mode when the screen brightness auto adjusts to 100% because this often means I'm outside in sunlight and dark mode even at 100% screen brightness is quite difficult to read.

Now if only Apple would make a iPhone SE with OLED...
 

axiomatic13

TS Maniac
I must be weird because even on a PC I use plug-in's to make pretty much everything white text with a black background.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
The only time I use dark mode, is AT NIGHT. If you want better battery life, get a phone with a LARGER battery.
 

netman

TS Evangelist
I have been using Dark Mode for a few years now and my eyes are adapted to it...I am so used to it that now light mode gives me eyeach...!