Report: Apple and HTC might be over-estimating their phone battery stats

  • In its tests, Which? found that Apple and HTC over-estimated their claims of talk time for their phones.
  • Compared to Apple’s claims, Which? found results to be between 18 and 51 percent lower.
  • Which? didn’t share much of its testing methodology.

With battery life arguably one of the most important features in a smartphone, we hope that manufacturers tell the truth when it comes to their battery claims. However, Consumers’ Association brand name Which? found that Apple and HTC may have overestimated their battery claims.

Starting with Apple, Which? reportedly tested nine iPhone models and found that all nine models fell short of Apple’s publicized battery estimates. For example, Which? found that the iPhone XR lasted for 16 hours and 52 minutes of talk time. Apple claims that the iPhone XR lasts “up to 25 hours” of talk time.

As for HTC, the company claims an average talk time of 20.5 hours for its smartphones. However, Which? found the average to be 19.6 hours in its tests.

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It wasn’t all bad, as Which? found that Nokia, Samsung, and Sony actually under-estimated their phones’ talk time. Which? specifically mentioned the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, which reportedly delivered 25 hours and 52 minutes of talk time. That’s a nine-hour difference from the 17 hours of talk time that Sony claims for the phone.

That said, Which? didn’t share how it achieved these results. The brand claims that it fully charged independently-purchased phones and then made continuous calls. Which? didn’t provide other testing parameters, such as whether the calls were made on Wi-Fi or cellular, whether the phones only had stock apps or also had other installed apps, whether software versions changed anything, and how many tests it conducted per device.

It’s also a bit strange to see the Xperia Z5 Compact tested since Sony launched the phone in 2015. Also, Which? didn’t provide a full list of tested phones in its press release.

When Which? reached out to Apple for comment, the latter had the following to say:

We rigorously test our products and stand behind our battery life claims. With tight integration between hardware and software, iPhone is engineered to intelligently manager power usage to maximize battery life. Our testing methodology reflects that intelligence.

Which? haven’t shared their methodology with us so we can’t compare their results to ours. We share our methodology for testing which we publish in detail here https://www.apple.com/iphone/battery.html.

HTC also responded and issued the following statement:

At HTC we diligently test all aspects of product performances. Differences in setup and testing environments may result in some variation to stated talk time figures.

Android Authority reached out to Apple for comment and received the same response as Which? received, as posted above. You can go here to learn how Android Authority tests a phone’s battery life.

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