Skip to main content

Dark Mode in iOS 13 proven to extend battery life of OLED iPhones

The launch of iOS 13 last month finally enabled Dark Mode for Apple’s mobile operating system, and a battery test proved that activating the feature extends the life of iPhones with OLED Displays.

Activating Dark Mode switches out the iPhone’s background for a darker version, with darker highlights for the display. iPhone owners are allowed to set the feature to activate at specific times of the day, but they can also choose to have it turned on permanently.

A test carried out by YouTube channel PhoneBuff, however, gives iPhone owners on iOS 13 a reason to always have Dark Mode activated on their devices.

Dark Mode vs. Light Mode Battery Test

The test used a fully-charged iPhone XS and a robotic arm, which was programmed to do various things on the display while the device was in Light Mode and in Dark Mode. The tasks included typing text on the Messages app, scrolling through Twitter, playing videos on YouTube, and accessing Google Maps.

By the time that the battery of the iPhone XS in Light Mode was depleted, the iPhone XS in Dark Mode still had 30% of its charge remaining. The test was conducted with both screens at a brightness of 200 nits, and iPhones on different brightness levels may lead to different outcomes in terms of percentage — though a longer battery life for an iPhone in Dark Mode should stay true.

Black on an OLED screen means that the pixel is powered off. With more pixels deactivated in Dark Mode compared to Light Mode, this results in improved battery efficiency. In comparison, iPhones with LCD screens, such as the iPhone 11, still have their pixels turned on when showing black, so they are not able to enjoy longer battery life when on Dark Mode.

To activate Dark Mode on iPhones that have been upgraded to iOS 13, users will simply have to access the Settings app and enter the Display & Brightness menu. The option to permanently switch to Dark Mode is under the Appearance header, but for users who would like to only activate the feature at certain times of the day, the Automatic toggle will set it up. There are also some iOS 13 wallpapers that react when Dark Mode is activated.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Can my iPhone get iOS 17? Here’s every supported model
Someone holding an iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro next to each other.

The latest version of iOS, iOS 17, comes with a host of new features, including phone call customizations, Live Voicemail, updated iMessage features, and many more. While the update is compatible with many iPhone models, it is not supported by all.

Apple's iOS 17 was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2023) alongside iPadOS, macOS, and more updates. It's an exciting update, but is it one you can get on your iPhone?
Which iPhone models can download iOS 17?
Apple iPhone 8 Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Read more
10 colors I wish Apple made for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro in a red color.

Apple finally revealed the iPhone 15 at its “Wonderlust” event on September 12. This lineup includes the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. There were other products announced during the event as well, but the iPhone 15 series is the biggest of the bunch.

However, Apple’s really been dropping the ball lately in terms of device colors. This year is especially bad with the very pastel and muted colors of the iPhone 15 models, not to mention the various shades of gray for the iPhone 15 Pro variants.

Read more
The iPhone 15 Pro isn’t the iPhone upgrade I hoped it would be
Apple iPhone 15 Pro with titanium frame.

When Apple introduced the first “Pro” iPhone in 2019, it stood with an additional telephoto camera at the back. To this day, the third lens serves as a proud marker of the Pro moniker. The camera chops are what predominantly separated these pricey trims from the non-Pro variants.

As Apple’s fall launch event unfolded last week, I was hoping to see some big camera upgrades fitting for the new Pro models. Yet, the only meaningful camera upgrade we got was kept exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Instead of the iPhone 14 Pro’s 3x zoom camera, the iPhone 15 Pro Max makes the jump to a 5x telephoto camera.

Read more