iPhone 12 Pro Max battery size revealed — and it's disappointing news

iPhone 12 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple may have revealed the top-of-the-range iPhone 12 Pro Max last week, but there are still a few things we don’t know about the phone. Now, though, regulatory filings have revealed some of the internal specs, and it’s not great news.

For those that are wondering, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will come with 6GB of RAM and a 3,687 mAh battery. That’s 282 mAh, or 7%, smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

The information comes from regulatory filings published by TENAA (via MacRumors), the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. It reveals that like the iPhone 12, the 12 Pro Max comes with a noticeably smaller battery than its 2019 counterpart, which isn’t going to please the people hoping for major battery life improvements.

It’s not all bad news, since Apple claims the iPhone 12 Pro Max will have the same battery life as last year’s model, apparently in spite of the smaller batter. That would work out at 20 hours of video playback and 80 hours of audio by Apple’s calculations. Our own testing found the iPhone 11 Pro Max lasted an impressive 11 hours and 54 minutes in total, landing it on our best phone battery life list.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max does come with the A14 bionic chipset, which is more energy efficient thanks to its 5nm manufacturing process, which could offset the difference in battery capacity. That said you would have assumed as much from the iPhone 12, and our recent battery testing showed it lasted 53 minutes less than the iPhone 11 (10 hours, 23 minutes vs 11 hours, 16 minutes), which isn't bad given the iPhone 12's boost in power. 

That was with 5G switched off as well, and once switched on the iPhone 12 lost an extra two hours of battery life and died after 8 hours and 25 minutes. While the iPhone 12 Pro Max may surprise us, it doesn’t bode well. Unfortunately we can’t know for sure until we test the phone for ourselves.

At least the 12 Pro Max has added an extra 2GB of RAM this year. It’s less than pretty much all Android flagships pack in, but since iOS isn’t nearly as resource heavy as Google’s mobile operating system, it doesn’t need quite so much memory. 

The iPhone 12 Pro Max will be released on November 13, with pre-orders opening a week earlier on November 6.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.