We’ve just gotten our first look at the iPhone 13s’ battery sizes, thanks to a product information sheet posted on Apple’s behalf to hazardous material information and response company Chemtrec’s website (via 9to5Mac). The document shows that the batteries in iPhones have gotten significantly bigger since last year — 13 percent larger, on average — and the 13 Pro Max’s battery is getting comparable to devices like the Nintendo Switch.
In the document, battery sizes are reported in watt-hours instead of the more traditional milliamp hours. Even though most phone manufacturers give battery sizes in milliamp hours, they’re often less accurate and harder to compare devices, so we prefer watt-hours. Here are the battery sizes of Apple’s new phones and the previous-gen models, according to the document:
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12 Battery Sizes
|iPhone 13 Mini||9.34Wh||8.57Wh||0.77Wh||9.0 percent|
|iPhone 13||12.41Wh||10.78Wh||1.63Wh||15.1 percent|
|iPhone 13 Pro||11.97Wh||10.78Wh||1.19Wh||11.0 percent|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||16.75Wh||14.13Wh||2.62Wh||18.5 percent|
Apple says it provides this information to Chemtrec to help carriers comply, so this information comes directly from the source.
A few things jump out in the chart. The sizes have obviously gotten significantly bigger across the board, and there’s one weird year-over-year change: the 12 and 12 Pro used to have the same size battery, but now the 13 Pro’s battery is actually smaller than the 13’s. The phones are the same physical size, and the Pro is packing a higher refresh rate screen, an extra GPU core, and more cameras, so it makes sense if there’s less room for the battery.
Apple also made each model slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor. With this iPhone 13 lineup, the company seemingly makes the same tradeoff as it did with the 11: bigger phones with a better battery (a move that garnered a good amount of praise).
As a few points of comparison, here are the rated capacities we were able to find for other phones and devices by consulting iFixit’s teardowns:
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: 18.84Wh
- Google Pixel 5: 15.48Wh
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: 16.96Wh
- Nintendo Switch: 16Wh
- 2020 iPad Air: 28.93Wh (the same capacity noted in the Chemtrec document)
According to the numbers found in the document, the 13 Pro Max’s 16.75Wh battery represents a healthy fraction of what you’ll find in some laptop batteries. It’s got 71 percent of the capacity of my ThinkPad T480’s main battery (rated for 23.48Wh), and it’s a bit more than 33 percent of the MacBook Air’s all-day 49.9 watt-hour battery. Plus, it’s bigger than the Switch’s battery, and that thing can run Breath of the Wild for a few hours.
Given that the phones’ processor is changing and displays are getting brighter, it’s hard to say how much real-world battery life these battery size increases can give you. In its presentation, Apple said that the new batteries would last 1.5 hours “longer in your day” for the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 Pro and 2.5 hours later for the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Max. By Apple’s measure, if your iPhone 12 tapped out at 9:30PM, it expects the iPhone 13 will make it to midnight.
It’s not a particularly meaningful metric without context (though according to Apple, the iPhone 13 will get 4 more hours of streamed video playback than its predecessor, and the 13 Pro Max will get 13 more hours), so we’ll have to wait to see how the phones hold up to real-life usage and how they fare in the side-by-side rundown tests. However, Apple has made the battery a selling point for these phones, so it’s in the company’s best interest to back that up with some impressive numbers.
Correction September 9th: A previous version of this article incorrectly had a caption indicating that the iPhone 12 Pro Max would last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It meant to refer to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. We regret the error.