The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will be the first iPhones to ship with support for 5G cellular data and the team at Tom’s Guide have done the work to answer the question on everyone’s lips – just how badly does that 5G impact battery life?

We know that 5G connectivity will drain more power than 4G and for that reason Apple has added a feature called Smart Data.

The feature simply falls back to 4G when the device doesn’t think 5G is needed. That’s possibly a sign that Apple knows battery life is impacted and that’s matched by Tom’s Guide’s testing.

According to their numbers, a 5G-connected iPhone 12 lasted eight hours and 25 minutes, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro lasted nine hours and six minutes. Those numbers increase to ten hours and 23 minutes and 11 hours and 24 minutes, respectively, when connected to a 4G signal.

Importantly, Tom’s Guide says this puts the 5G battery drain in a worse spot than typical 5G Android devices.

Compared to the Android competition, Apple’s new phones are a step behind those devices on our best phone battery life list, especially over 5G networks.

Given the fact Apple is thought to have ditched the idea of a 120Hz display due to power concerns, this is difficult to hear. 5G is still slowly being rolled out and surely more people would have benefited from a better screen.

Still, there’s always next year!

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