iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Battery Life: How Long They Last

We saw how the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus compared to the Samsung Galaxy S5 in terms of performance, but how well do Apple's new smartphones stack up to the competition when it comes to battery life? We ran our battery test over the weekend to find out.

One of the chief issues that many had with the iPhone 5s was its comparatively short battery life. Indeed, on our test, it lasted just 5 hours and 46 minutes. According to Apple, the iPhone 6 should provide up to 10 hours of Internet use on LTE, and up to 11 hours of video playback. The iPhone 6 Plus promises up to 12 hours of LTE browsing, and up to 14 hours of video playback.

We used our standard battery test on the iPhones as well as the Android devices. For both platforms, we created an app that opens the native Web browser on the phone, and then visits 50 popular web sites in a loop, pausing for 60 seconds on each until the battery is drained. Before running the test, we set the display brightness to 150 nits, ensure that the battery is fully charged, and turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, notifications, and GPS. Here's more detail on our battery test, as well as others we run on smartphones, tablets and laptops. 

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

For the purposes of this story, we used only smartphones on AT&T and Verizon, to ensure the fairest comparisons. However, we've seen consistently better battery life from phones on T-Mobile's network, and will provide updates once we've had a chance to test the iPhone 6 on T-Mobile.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S5

Apple's biggest competitor in the smartphone space is Samsung, whose Galaxy S5 packs a 2,800 mAh battery. By comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus has a 2,915 mAh battery and the iPhone 6 a 1,810 mAh battery, according to iFixIt.

Not surprisingly, the iPhone 6's battery life of 7 hours and 27 minutes was less than the S5, both on Verizon and AT&T. However, the 6 Plus' runtime of 10 hours beat out the S5s.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

How did the iPhone 6 compare to the even larger Galaxy Note 3? Although it's not apples-to-apples--the Note 3 was tested using our old standard of 40 percent brightness, rather than 150 nits--its 3,200 mAh battery lasted nearly as long as the iPhone 6 Plus, at 9 hours and 57 minutes. The Note 4 is coming in October and promises even longer endurance than its predecessor.

It's also important to note--ahem--that Samsung's smartphone all have removable batteries, so you can swap out a dead battery for a fresh spare.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus vs. HTC One M8

The HTC One M8 has a slightly smaller battery than the Galaxy S5, but it performed similar to Samsung's smartphone. On AT&T, the One M8 lasted 8:42, and on Verizon, it lasted 9:52--almost as good as the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus vs. LG G3

Initially, when we heard that the LG G3 had a 3,000 mAh battery, we had high hopes for its endurance. Sadly, it didn't live up to its billing, as the Verizon G3 lasted just 6 hours and 10 minutes, and the AT&T LG G3 lasted 7:12. Both were below both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus vs. OnePlus One

The phone with the biggest battery--a massive 3,100 mAh--the OnePlus One ran circles around both iPhones, lasting an epic 13 hours and 16 minutes on AT&T's network.

So that's how the new iPhones compare to the leading smartphones from other manufacturers. Stay tuned for our full review of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.