iPhone 12 leak just revealed a shocking downgrade

iPhone 12 5.4-inch
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

On paper, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 handsets could have rather disappointing battery life with only the iPhone 12 Pro Max pushing above 3,500 mAh. In fact, the leaked battery sizes are smaller across the board for the iPhone 12 versus the iPhone 11. But battery capacity is just one part of the equation.

MySmartPrice managed to get a look at the battery pack sizes the iPhone 12 models will reportedly come with from the 3C and related certification bodes, which detail the batteries of all four iPhone handsets. And given these next-generation Apple phones are expected to have 5G connectivity, the rather constrained battery pack sizes are somewhat surprising. 

The iPhone 12 Pro Max will have the largest battery pack measuring in at 3,687 mAh. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Max will reportedly use a 2,775 mAh battery, while the smallest 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will have a 2,227 mAh pack. 

iPhone 12 battery sizes vs iPhone 11 (leaked)

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iPhone 12 seriesiPhone 11 series
iPhone 12 (5.4 inch): 2227mAhiPhone 11 (6.1 inch): 3110 mAh
iPhone 12 Max (6.1 inch): 2775mAhiPhone 11 Pro (5.8 inch): 3046 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro (6.1 inch): 2775mAhiPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5 inch): 3969 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7 inch): 3687mAhRow 4 - Cell 1

Compared to other flagship phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and its 4,000 mAh battery, and the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 4,510 mAh battery pack, even the iPhone 12 Pro Max looks rather lackluster on the battery front. Battery size and battery life are particularly pertinent in 5G phones, as connectivity to the next generation of cellular broadband can cause phones to suck down juice at at a brisk pace. 

So the iPhone 12 range’s battery specifications could end up being a bit disappointing. From earlier leaks that hinted at higher-powered chargers for the iPhone 12, we’d have expected to hear that the phones have notably bigger batteries that compete with those of flagship Android phones. 

iPhone 12: battery size isn't everything

However, there’s the issue of efficiency and optimization to consider here. The phones with the best battery life last 11 to 12 hours in our custom web surfing battery test, where devices repeatedly load web pages over cellular networks until they run out of battery.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra with its huge 5000 mAh battery managed to make out list, and the OnePlus 8 Pro lasted a very good 11:05 with its display on 60Hz mode.  But the Galaxy S20 (4000 mAh) and Galaxy S20 Plus (4500) lasted only 9:31 and 10:31, respectively.

However, both the iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11made our list. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 3,969 mAh battery, which is large but not exactly massive by today’s flagships. And the iPhone 11 has a relatively small 3110 mAh battery.

This is a testament to Apple’s software optimization and the efficient performance it seems to get out of its chips. With this in mind, the seemingly small battery sizes of the upcoming iPhone 12 handsets might not matter a great deal, especially since the new 5nm A14 Bionic chip should be even more efficient.

There are new factors at play here, of course, such as the addition of 5G and the possible inclusion of 120Hz displays on the iPhone 12 Pro models, but for now we would not be too concerned about these leaked battery capacities for the iPhone 12. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.