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iPhone 13 leak just revealed the battery upgrade we've been waiting for

iphone 13 render
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

It looks like the iPhone 13 will address one of the few complaints we have about the iPhone 12: relatively short battery life.

According to a new investor note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will be able to give the iPhone 13 "larger battery capacity than the iPhone 12 series." This is especially welcome news, as we've found that 5G takes a serious toll on the iPhone 12's endurance. 

As reported by MacRumors, Apple will be able to squeeze in larger batteries because the iPhone 13 will have a "space-saving design of many components." These design tweaks include integrating the SIM card slot with the motherboard and reducing the thickness of the TrueDepth camera array that's required for Face ID. 

In our iPhone 12 battery tests, Apple's lineup did not fare that well when surfing the web over 5G. The iPhone 12 mini was the worst of the bunch with its puny 2,227 mAh battery, lasting only 7 hours and 28 minutes. The devices on our best phone battery life list last more than 11 hours, though we consider anything longer than 10 hours good.

The regular iPhone 12 and its 2,815 mAh battery endured for 8:25, and the iPhone 12 Pro with the same size battery lasted a bit longer at 2,815. The only model to crack 10 hours was the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which packs a 3,687 mAh battery and lasted 10:53.

By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S21 lasted 9:53 with its 4,000 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra reached 11:25 with its huge 5,000 mAh pack. However, those times dipped to 6:31 and 10:07, respectively, with the screens' adaptive modes turned on. 

Assuming Apple can add some battery capacity to the iPhone 13, it should be able to close the battery life gap with Samsung and other phones. But there is a catch.

According to Kuo's note, the iPhone 13 models will likely be "slightly heavier than the iPhone 12." That's a bummer, but I'm guessing shoppers will be willing to deal with a little bit of extra heft in exchange for being able to plug in less often.

In addition to beefier batteries, other iPhone 13 rumors point to 120Hz ProMotion displays for the iPhone 13 Pro models, a faster and more efficient A15 processor and an improved ultra-wide camera. You can also expect a smaller notch and possibly the addition of Touch ID. 

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.