When Apple launched the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max last month, both devices were introduced with larger batteries, as well as a new A12 Bionic chip, which Apple claimed would bring about improvements in battery life, among other benefits. However, a recent comparison test against the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 suggests that Apple’s larger flagship, the iPhone XS Max, still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of battery longevity, despite the aforementioned improvements.
A report from 9to5Mac recapped a recent battery test conducted by YouTuber David Rahimi, aka PhoneBuff, who used the same robotic arm system that he debuted last month in a speed test that also pitted the iPhone XS Max and Galaxy Note 9 against each other. While the XS Max defeated the Note 9 in the speed test, 9to5Mac wrote that Apple’s newly released 6.5-inch smartphone still fell short when PhoneBuff tested the battery life of both devices.
The iPhone XS Max got off to a strong start in the first test, as the device lost only 3 percent of its battery life during an hour-long phone call, putting it slightly ahead of the Galaxy Note 9, which lost 5 percent. The second test used the robotic arm to send text messages, as a chatbot was also utilized to send identical replies to both devices to simulate an actual hour-long text conversation. Following this test, Samsung’s flagship phablet edged ahead of the XS Max, as the Note 9’s battery was at 86 percent, compared to 84 percent for Apple’s device.
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As both the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS Max were put through other tests that gauged the devices’ battery performance during tasks such as email browsing, web browsing, navigating through Instagram feeds, YouTube “binge-watching,” and gaming. According to 9to5Mac, the gap between the Note 9 and XS Max grew progressively larger after each test, and when the XS Max’s battery died out in the early stages of the Google Maps navigation test, the Note 9’s battery life was still at 37 percent.
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s battery capacity of 4,000 mAh is close to 25 percent larger than that of the iPhone XS Max, which has a 3,174 mAh battery. However, a report from Gizmodo explained earlier this month that the A12 Bionic processor found under the hood of Apple’s newest iPhone models was advertised by the company as being “much faster, better for battery life, and more equipped for machine learning.”
With that in mind, Gizmodo ran its own battery tests, which revealed that the XS Max lasted over three hours longer than last year’s A11-powered iPhone X, but also showed that the Note 9 still had the longer-lasting battery, as the device stayed on for slightly more than an hour longer than the iPhone XS Max did.