iPhone 12 leak reveals battery sizes for every model — and it's a big step backwards

iPhone 12 dummy units
(Image credit: MacRumors/YouTube)

You might have missed it amid the chatter over iPhone 12 prices this week, but the same leaker who suggested that the new iPhone 12 Pro models will cost more than their iPhone 11 counterparts also offers a look at potential battery sizes for the new phones. Spoiler alert: expect less battery for your buck.

Specifically, Twitter leaker @komiya_kj lists battery sizes for all four iPhone 12 models. Not only are all four battery capacities less than their predecessors, they also fall well below the leaked batteries for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

As you might expect, the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will have the smallest battery at 2,227 mAh. The iPhone 12 Max's battery will be 2,815 mAh, according to the tipster, while the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max should feature 2,775 mAH and 3,687 mAh power packs, respectively.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 12 battery capacities (rumored)
iPhone 12 (5.4 inches)2,227 mAh
iPhone 12 Max (6.1 inches)2,815 mAh
iPhone 11 (6.1 inches)3,110 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro (6.1 inches)2,775 mAh
iPhone 11 Pro (5.8 inches)3,046 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7 inches)3,687 mAh
iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5 inches)3,969 mAh

There's some curiosities contained in those numbers starting with the fact that the iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro have different-sized batteries even though both phones are expected to feature 6.1-inch screens. Even more shocking, if this leak is correct, the more expensive Pro model would have a smaller battery than the iPhone 12 Max.

It's not out of the ordinary for Apple to fit one of its Pro iPhones with a small battery. The iPhone 11 Pro has the smallest battery of the trio of phones Apple released last fall, but then again, it's also the most compact of those models with a 5.8-inch screen.

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation of the difference in iPhone 12 Max iPhone 12 Pro batteries, @komiya_kj says in a follow-up tweet. The camera module on the Pro module will be bigger, since it's likely to include a third lens and possible a LiDAR sensor. That, in theory, leaves less room for a battery.

iPhone 12 batteries vs Galaxy Note 20

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 should have an advantage over the iPhone 12 when it comes to battery size. Leaks point to the regular 6.4-inch Galaxy Note 20 featuring a 4,000 mAh battery, while the larger 6.9-inch Galaxy Note 20 Ultra could pack a 4,500 mAh battery.

This is a big difference in size between the iPhone 12 battery and Galaxy Note 20. But battery capacity is just one aspect of power usage. For example, the A14 Bionic processor (based on a 5nm) process is said to be 30% more efficient than the A13 Bionic chip.

We will put the Note 20 and iPhone 12 lineup through our web surfing battery test to declare a true winner.

iPhone 12 batteries vs iPhone 11

The other thing you'll notice is that the batteries in the iPhone 12 are generally smaller than the ones in Apple's current iPhone lineup. While Apple never formally announces battery size, teardowns of the iPhone 11 models have revealed that the iPhone 11 has a 3,110 mAh power pack while the iPhone 11 Pro has the smaller 3,046 mAh battery. The iPhone 11 Pro Max tops the battery scale at 3,969 mAh.

If @komiya_kj's tweet is accurate, only the iPhone 12 Pro Max's battery will top 3,000 mAh.

There's more to power management than battery size, of course, and Apple is expected to use the 5-nanometer A14 Bionic chip to power this fall's phones. That's likely to be more power efficient than the 7-nanometer A13 in the iPhone 11 lineup, so it's possible Apple felt free to go with smaller batteries to free up space inside the upcoming handsets.

This isn't the first time we've heard rumblings about Apple downsizing the batteries in its iPhone 12 models. Earlier this month, a similar rumor emerged that suggested smaller batteries for the iPhone 12. Of course, that rumor from MySmartPrice had the iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro with identical 2,775 mAh power packs.

It'll be some time before we see which battery rumor is more accurate — or even if the iPhone 12 batteries are getting smaller. The most recent reports have the iPhone 12 launching at a September 8 event, but the phones may not be released until October.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.