iPhone 12 (OLED) vs. iPhone 11 (LCD) Dark Mode Battery Test…

At least according to Apple, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 have very similar battery life.

However, unlike the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 is the first sub-$1000 iPhone that has an OLED display.

Therefore, we decided to test both phones to see how much of a difference using Dark Mode would make given Dark Mode’s battery boosting effects on OLED screens.

Also, we included the iPhone 12 using Light Mode (aka regular mode) so you can see how much of a difference dark mode vs light mode makes on the iPhone 12.


We’ve found that the iPhone 11 series offers better standby performance than the iPhone 12 series across the board.

Hopefully this will be resolved in a future software update.

– Not all of the apps / uses in this test take advantage of dark mode, and this was by design to help provide a more realistic idea of how much dark mode can help battery life.

– Dark mode is going to have a bigger impact on phones with larger screens (since the battery savings come directly from saving on screen power consumption).

– Dark mode may also have a bigger impact on older OLED screens as the newer ones are generally more power efficient (for example, Apple claimed a 15% boost in efficiency from the iPhone XS to the iPhone 11).


Screens were calibrated to 200 nits with auto-brightness turned off.

– Speakers calibrated to the same decibel count.

– Tested within equal distance of a mini cell tower.

– Tested in a temperature controlled environment.


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