Why the iPhone XR Has the Best Battery Life of Any iPhone to Date

Iphone Xr Credit: AFP Photo / Noah Berger
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Earlier this month, we covered that the upcoming iPhone XR will have the best battery life of any Apple handset — ever.

That’s despite the fact that the iPhone XR actually has a smaller battery than the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone XS Max, according to recent regulatory filings in China. For reference, the iPhone XR has a 2,942 mAh battery capacity, while the iPhone XS Max has a 3,174 mAh battery capacity.

It’s also despite the fact that an OLED panel is typically a much more efficient power-user than similar LCD screens, which are notorious for being fairly power hungry.

But, as we covered previously, it largely comes down to the fact that the iPhone XR has a relatively low display resolution compared to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

  • The iPhone XS Max sports a resolution of 2688×1242, with 458 pixels-per-inch.
  • The iPhone XR has a significantly lower resolution of 1792×828 with 326 pixels-per-inch.

Couple that with the fact that the XR (2,942 mAh) features a much larger battery than the iPhone 8 that it replaces (1,821 mAh).

That’s an objectively lower-resolution display, and it comes with a couple tradeoffs (the iPhone XR cannot stream 1080p videos on YouTube and other platforms). But it does result in a battery life that’s not just better than other iPhones, it’s the best any Apple iPhone lineup to date.

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It’s also worth noting that 326 ppi is the same display resolution seen in the iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. This is a detail missed by many that have covered the iPhone XR’s display.

So if you were used to those devices, you’ll likely find the iPhone XR to have a similar resolution — though Apple’s Liquid Retina technology undoubtedly bumps up display quality.

And if you’re worried about the lower resolution, just consider that you might not even notice a difference.

Most research suggests that the human eye can’t discern individual pixels at a certain resolution or pixel density. Basically, anything beyond 300 pixels per inch is going to appear relatively similar at a normal viewing distance.

With its price point, features and battery capacity, the iPhone XR is likely to sell like hot cakes. And it might just be a good alternative to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max if you’re upgrading from an older device.

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