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iPhone 13 battery life tested: All four models compared

iPhone 13 battery life test results
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 13 series is chock-full with improvements, from the faster new A15 Bionic processor and brighter displays to new camera features like Cinematic mode for video. But the one thing we were really hoping for was longer battery life, and the iPhone 13 delivers. 

In fact, two out of the four new iPhones are good enough to make our best phone battery life list. Apple doesn't list the capacity of its iPhone batteries, but it says that the batteries for all four new iPhones are larger this time around, and it has made other efficiency gains through its chip, display and software.

Add it all up, and we have very good news. 

We run every phone we review through the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G cellular at 150 nits of screen brightness. And these are the results compared to the iPhone 12 series. 

iPhone 13 battery life results 

iModeliBattery life (hours:mins)
iPhone 13 Pro Max12:16
iPhone 12 Pro Max 10:53
iPhone 13 Pro11:42
iPhone 12 Pro9:06
iPhone 13 10:33
iPhone 128:25
iPhone 13 mini8:41
iPhone 12 mini7:28
Samsung Galaxy S219:53
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus9:50
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra11:25
OnePlus 9 Pro12:48

The regular iPhone 13 saw a fairly big jump in battery life to 10 hours and 33 minutes, compared to just 8:25 for the iPhone 12. The Samsung Galaxy S21 was slightly behind at 9:53. 

The iPhone 13 mini fared better but not by as big a margin. The new mini lasted for 8 hours and 41 minutes, while last year's iPhone 12 mini notched 7:28. Still, we'll take the increase as battery life has been one of the mini's biggest flaws.

Things look even better for the iPhone 13 Pro, which has the same 6.1-inch display as the iPhone 13. The Pro endured for a very impressive 11:41, which is over a 2.5-hour increase over the iPhone 12 Pro. This is one of the longest lasting 5G phones we've tested in the last year. The Galaxy S21 Plus endured for just 9:50.

But the new battery life champ among the new iPhones is the 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. That flagship lasted an epic 12 hours and 13 minutes. The iPhone 12 Pro Max last year turned in a runtime of 10:53. So if you want the iPhone with the best battery life, this is it. 

By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra lasted 11:25, which is great, and the OnePlus 9 Pro took even longer to drain its battery at 12:48. Of course, battery capacity plays a role in all of this, and we will be updating our results once iPhone 13 teardowns have revealed this info. 

Overall, the iPhone 13 series represents a big step up in battery life, even if the charging is stuck at a relatively modest 20W. 

Impressed? All four iPhone 13 models are now available to buy and we've rounded up the best iPhone 13 deals to help you get the best savings on your new phone.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.