Switching your phone to dark mode could be a game-changer for your battery life, especially if you have one of 3 iPhones

Dark mode in iOS 13.

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Dark mode in iOS 13.
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Apple

  • Dark Mode, which inverts a smartphone’s display to a predominantly black background, was a highly anticipated addition to Apple’s iOS 13 release in September.
  • Beyond being pleasing to the eye, dark mode can offer significant improvements to battery life.
  • Phones with OLED screens, including the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone XS, and iPhone X will see the greatest battery savings.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dark Mode, which makes your iPhone’s operating system predominantly black instead of white, was one of the most-anticipated additions when Apple released iOS 13 in September.

Many apps have had a dark version built in for years, and it’s popular among users – many people find that it’s pleasing to the eyes, and also less harsh in low-light environments.

But there might be a bonus to using dark mode, beyond aesthetics: before it was released, experts predicted that dark mode could have huge battery-saving potential. Now we know that it does, especially for OLED screens.

Here’s how dark mode can make your phone last longer.


YouTube channel PhoneBuff posted a video that compares how an iPhone XS Max’s battery life performs in both regular and dark mode at the same brightness level.


After hours of use, the dark mode iPhone was at 43% battery, significantly higher than the light mode iPhone, which was at 20%.

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PhoneBuff

The video highlights the major difference in battery life: at the time the iPhone in light mode died, the dark mode iPhone still had 30% battery left.

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PhoneBuff

The iPhone XS, iPhone X, and iPhone 11 Pro are where the major battery savings come in, because they all have OLED screens.

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Crystal Cox/Business Insider

OLED screens produce true black displays by turning off the corresponding pixels. This means that in Dark Mode, any black areas of the screen will be shut off completely, saving battery power.

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YouTube/Techscinium

This doesn’t mean you won’t save any battery life with an LCD screen – like on the iPhone 11, iPhone XR, or iPhone 8 – just that the difference might not be as notable.

Source: Business Insider


To turn on dark mode on your iPhone, open up Settings, then go to Display & Brightness. You’ll see light and dark mode, plus the option to change the mode depending on the time of day.

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Mary Meisenzahl

Watch the full video from PhoneBuff, which does a thorough battery life test, right here.