iPhone 13 battery life could take a big leap forward — here’s why

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

It’s no secret that the otherwise excellent iPhone 12 family has a prominent weak spot: battery life. In our iPhone 12 battery tests, we found that the current generation of Apple handsets had markedly less staying power than the previous, and this is even more pronounced when gaming.

It seems that Apple is well aware of this Achilles Heel and looks set to address the problem with the upcoming iPhone 13. According to figures seen by ZDNet, the iPhone 13 family will see capacity increases across the board, with the iPhone 13 mini going from 2,227 mAh to 2,406 mAh, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max model jumping from 3,687 mAh to 4,352 mAh. The 6.1-inch regular and Pro models, which share the same cell, will both go from 2,815 mAh to 3,095 mAh.

iPhone 13: Rumored battery sizes vs iPhone 12

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Battery size (mAh) iPhone 12 equivalent
iPhone 13 mini2,406mAh2,227 mAh
iPhone 133,095mAh2,815 mAh
iPhone 13 Pro 3,095mAh2,815 mAh
iPhone 13 Pro Max4,352mAh3,687 mAh

If those numbers sound familiar, it might be because they’re exactly the same figures that we first heard back in June from the reliable leaker @L0vetodream. And while the difference between iPhone minis is only around half the capacity of your average smartwatch, the 665 mAh jump for the iPhone 13 Pro Max should be significant — especially when paired with the power efficiency improvements Apple has reportedly engineered with the A15 chip.  

If the battery capacities are correct — and we should stress that they are just rumors for now — it will be an impressive testament to Apple’s design skills, as dummy units suggest that the iPhone 13 will feel virtually the same size as the current generation

That’s likely possible thanks to two rumored improvements. Firstly, Apple has reportedly increased its use of integrated passive devices (IPDs) for peripheral iPhone chips. These are slimmer, taking up a little less room and creating a bit more space for other components. 

Secondly, it was reported last year that the iPhone 13 would be the first Apple handset to use soft board batteries which have fewer layers, allowing a larger capacity with the same physical footprint.

While Apple could have used these advantages to make the iPhone 13 even slimmer while keeping battery capacity static, for most buyers phone stamina is far more important. Hopefully this rumored commitment to battery life will continue with the iPhone 14, which will likely benefit from the introduction of 4nm chips for even greater efficiency gains.

And overall, the iPhone 13 looks set to be a decent upgrade over its predecessor, with 120Hz displays and new camera hardware tipped for the Pro models, and improved camera capabilities, a slimmer notch and boosted 5G is expected across all models. We're predicting we'll see the iPhone 13 range make its debut in September. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.