It may not be up there with headline-grabbing iPhone 14 rumors like new processors, camera improvements or the fate of the notch, but Apple's battery plans for its upcoming phones figure to be a key detail.
Everything from display refresh rates to 5G connectivity places demands on a smartphone's battery, putting pressure on phone makers to find ways to get their devices to last longer.
Given how important battery life is to smartphone shoppers — and you could make the case that only a phone's cameras play a bigger role in deciding which handset to buy — a long-lasting power pack can be the difference between an outstanding new model and a so-so upgrade.
Look at last year's iPhone 13 update. After years of middling battery life, Apple got more serious about how long its smartphones could last between charges. All four iPhone 13 models came equipped with bigger cells than their iPhone 12 counterparts. Not coincidentally, those four iPhone 13 models improved on the battery life of their predecessors, with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max landing on our best phone battery life list.
Can Apple repeat the feat with the iPhone 14 lineup? After all, there's only so many times you can increase the size of a battery without also expanding the size of your smartphone. And with three of this year's models expected to retain the size of their predecessors — the exception is the iPhone 13 mini, which will reportedly make way for the much larger iPhone 14 Max — Apple will have to find other ways to bolster battery life.
Here's a round-up of the iPhone 14 battery rumors we've heard so far, along with leaks about another key power management feature — how fast the new phones will charge.
iPhone 14 battery sizes: What we've heard
Before we dive into the iPhone 14 rumors out there, here's a look back at iPhone 13 battery sizes and what that meant in terms of times on our battery test. In that test, we set the brightness of each phone's display to 150 nits and then have them surf the web over cellular until they run out of power, timing the results. (Since Apple is reportedly dropping a mini-sized model from this year's lineup, we'll exclude the iPhone 13 mini.)
|Model||Battery size||Battery life (Hrs:Mins)||Improvement from iPhone 12 (Hrs:Mins)|
|iPhone 13||3,227 mAh||10:33||+2:08|
|iPhone 13 Pro||3,095 mAh||11:42||+2:36|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||4,352 mAh||12:16||+1:23|
Keep in mind those battery sizes are based on teardowns, as Apple doesn't officially list the size of its power packs. But all three of the listed models not only improved upon the results of their predecessor but also beat the average smartphone, which lasts a little less than 10 hours on our test.
iPhone 14 battery rumors aren't in abundance, but the most reliable one we've heard predicts more of the same for the iPhone 14 lineup. Earlier this summer, Twitter leakers DuanRui and ShrimpApplePro posted the following reported battery capacities for the iPhone 14 models:
- iPhone 14: 3,279 mAh
- iPhone 14 Max: 4,325 mAh
- iPhone 14 Pro: 3,200 mAh
- iPhone 14 Pro Max: 4,323 mAh
We'd caution against accepting these listed capacities as stone-cold facts. For starters, it's a little weird that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro — both 6.1-inch phones — would feature different battery capacities, although that was case with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. Still, these are good ballpark figures that give us an idea of how Apple is likely to approach iPhone 14 battery sizes.
In that case, then, both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro would see a small increase over their iPhone 13 counterparts — 3% for the iPhone 14 Pro and 1% for the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 Pro Max would see a modest 1% decrease from the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 Max has no predecessor, but since it figures to sport the same 6.7-inch screen as the Pro Max model, it makes sense that the battery sizes would be roughly the same.
How long a phone lasts depends on more than just the size of its battery. Power management features also play a big role, and on that front, the iPhone 14 Pro models are expected to feature new Apple silicon in the form of the A16 Bionic processor. You'd imagine that the new chipset will feature an improved power efficiency, though we'll have to wait for the iPhone 14 launch at the Apple September 7 event to find out by how much.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max are rumored to be sticking with the A15 chipset that powered this year's iPhones. We wouldn't expect any change in power draw for the iPhone 14, then; that's less of a concern for the iPhone 14 Max, since it's a new model with a Max-sized battery.
Given the rumored changes to batteries and chipsets, then, you'd expect the iPhone 14 Pro models to be well-positioned to improve upon the iPhone 13 Pro's impressive battery life. The iPhone 14 Max figures to last a long time on a charge, too, if its rumored specs are accurate. Things are up in the air for the iPhone 14, which is tipped to have a slightly bigger battery but the same silicon as before.
iPhone 14 charging speed: What we know
Rumors are also sparse about how fast the new iPhones will charge, though we have some good news if you're considering an iPhone 14 Pro purchase. After reports earlier this year that Apple was developing a 30W charger, a leaker has subsequently tipped Apple to boost the charging speed on the iPhone 14 Pro from 20W to 30W.
With 20W speeds, the iPhone 13 Pro models can get a drained battery to just over 50% charged in half-an-hour. You'd expect a 30W iPhone to hit that 50% mark faster.
Keep in mind, that 30W charging rumor only applies to the iPhone 14 Pro models. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max are expected to stick with the 20W speeds Apple currently supports.
You'll also be plugging in your charging cable into the same kind of port as before. Despite rumors early on in the iPhone 14 development process that Apple might finally move to a USB-C port, the latest leaks suggest that's off the table, as Apple will stick with a proprietary Lightning port, at least for one more year.
iPhone 14 battery outlook
The iPhone 13 models re-established the reputation of Apple phones for lasting a long time on a charge. Given what we've heard so far about the iPhone 14, we hope this year's models will at least be able to match that performance — and maybe even top it in some cases.