December 14, 2016
The Ultimate Guide iPhone 6/6s Battery Capacity
When looking to buy a new phone or troubleshooting issues with your current phone, the most common question is, “How long will the battery last?” Whether you are on on-the the-go all day or heading off on a your next big trip, solid battery life is a must. When designing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, Apple made some adjustments to their battery size and capacity that requires a deeper look to fully understand ‘iPhone 6' battery capacity.
Understanding the iPhone 6 and 6s Battery Capacity
When Apple introduced iPhone 6s, there was one noticeable difference; battery capacity. The iPhone 6 is equipped with a 1810mAH battery, while iPhone 6s has 1715mAH. The reason for this adjustment is the inclusion of new features in iPhone 6s, such as the Taptic Engine and 3D touch. Despite making the battery smaller, according to Apple the battery life estimates are the same. Below are the specifications from Apple:
Talk Time: Up to 14 hours on 3G
Standby: Up to 10 days
Internet Use: Up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 10 hours on 3G
Video Playback: Up to 11 hours
Audio Playback: Up to 50 hours
Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
Given that these two phones have the same technical specifications despite their battery size, the question becomes, how can a smaller battery put out the same amount of charge? Apple adjusted the component structure within the battery to make it more efficient and less wasteful, thereby reducing the amount of power being used by the phone. Because of these changes in specifications, Apple was able to replicate the battery life in the 6 with less space by utilizing a more advanced, compact design. With this new battery, Apple estimates a phone can be fully charged in as little as two hours. To understand iPhone 6 battery capacity, it is necessary to understand the composition, advantages, and disadvantages of the lithium-ion battery inside of iPhone 6.
Tip: If you’re blowing through battery from usage, check out our helpful article “extend your iphone battery”.
How Lithium-Ion Batteries Work
Similar to traditional batteries, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is comprised of one or more cells, which are power-generating compartments. Lithium-ion battery cells are typically composed of three main elements: a negative electrode (which should be connected to the – terminal), a positive electrode (which should be connected to the + terminal), and an electrolyte (a type of chemical) between the positive and negative electrodes. For most lithium-ion batteries, the negative electrode is made out of carbon, which is also known as graphite. For the positive electrode, most lithium-ion batteries use a chemical compound called lithium-cobalt oxide or lithium-ion phosphate. The electrolyte placed between these two oppositely charges electrodes varies.
In general, most lithium-ion batteries follow the same general process. As the battery charges, the positive electrode, which is either lithium-cobalt oxide or lithium-ion phosphate, releases some of its lithium ions. Once the positive electrode has given up some of its ions, the ions will pass through the electrolyte into the negative electrode, which is composed of graphite.
During this process, the battery absorbs and retains energy. As the energy is used and discharged, the lithium ions move back through the electrolyte to the positive electrode. This journey from the negative electrode to the positive electrode generates the energy that powers the battery. In both stages of this process, electrons flow in the opposite direction of the ions in the outer circuit. However, it is important to note that electrons will never pass through the electrolyte during this process. The electrolyte acts as a division that the electron cannot pass.
When power is lost on an iPhone 6, it is because the ions have stopped moving through the electrolyte as the battery has become completely discharged. This lack of movement causes the electrons to cease their movement as well, leading to a loss of power. This also occurs when iPhone 6 is manually shut down. One major difference between lithium-ion batteries and its less sophisticated predecessors is the electronic controller built into the battery to regulate how the battery charges and discharges. The inclusion of the electronic controller unit prevents the battery from overcharging and overheating, thereby avoiding any possibility of fire or degradation of the battery due to overheating.
Advantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are the common choice for most modern electronics, and that is due to the number of remarkable advantages they offer users. Some of those advantages are:
Lithium-ion batteries charge quickly and efficiently. According to Apple’s website, the “Apple lithium-ion battery uses fast charging to quickly reach 80% of its capacity, then switches to slow trickle charging.” This process of high velocity charging and then a transition to slow, gradual charging helps extend the lifespan of the battery and helps iPhone 6 carriers return to using their phone sooner.
Lithium-ion has a much higher energy density than nickel-cadmium. This higher energy density makes the lithium-ion battery better suited to higher capabilities. Additionally, they are typically quite low-maintenance, which gives them a significant advantage over other chemical combinations. Lithium-ion batteries do not require scheduled cycling or memory in order to lengthen battery life. In addition to this, the rate of self-discharge is half that of nickel-cadmium batteries. Plus, lithium-ion batteries are comparatively lightweight, which makes them a great choice for iPhone 6.
Myths About iPhone 6 Battery Capacity
There are a number of common misconceptions about iPhone 6 battery capacity that are recurrent in popular culture. Below are some of these myths and explanations for why they are not valid:
Charging your battery overnight will destroy your long-term battery life. In older batteries, it was possible to overcharge the battery, which would reduce the life of the battery significantly. However, modern lithium-ion batteries, like those in iPhone 6, do not have this problem because of the switch to the trickle charge method described above (charge quickly to 80% capacity, and then trickle the rest of the charge in slowly). This method of charging prevents the destruction of the battery life from being left on the charger. That being said, your phone should not sit plugged into a charger for extremely long periods of time.
Closing apps improves battery life.
Unfortunately, this is in fact not true. It is extremely fulfilling to show all of the open apps and quickly swipe upwards and close them, but it does not actually improve the battery life of your phone. When the apps sit in the background on iPhone 6, which uses iOS technology, the apps are not actually running in the background and using energy (unless you have your Background App Refresh on). In a sense, they are suspended or frozen, merely awaiting their next use. Some studies have shown that continually closing apps actually reduces battery life by forcing your iPhone to continually reload all of the data for the app.
You should let your phone become extremely low, or completely discharged, prior to plugging it in for charging.
This myth stems from an ever-widening gap between the ways in which old batteries functioned and the ways in which newer, more advanced models function. Older battery models needed to be fully discharged in order to become fully charged again. This is because the battery needed the memory of how much it could charge in order to achieve a full charge. Older battery models would not fully charge again unless they were fully discharged to 0%. However, this is not true for modern lithium-ion batteries, like those in iPhone 6s. Lithium-ion batteries do not use this same model to charge, particularly those produced by Apple. As mentioned previously, Apple lithium-ion batteries utilize charge cycles to prevent this.
Now that a few popular myths about iPhone 6 battery capacity have been dispelled, it is important to consider a few ways to prolong battery life in iPhone 6.
Battery Extending Tips for iPhone 6
In order to prolong the battery life of iPhone 6, follow a few of these easy tips to make your charge last longer.
Turn down the brightness of the screen by going into the control center at the bottom of the screen and using the slider to turn the brightness down. You can access the control center by swiping up with your finger at the bottom of the display. To prevent your phone from using the Auto Brightness feature, go to Settings > Display and Brightness > Turn off Auto Brightness.
Disable Location Services, which are one of the biggest drains on battery life. Location Services will need to remain on for GPS applications to function correctly, but many apps load into your phone with Location Services enabled despite there being no necessary function for them. To manage which apps can use Location Services, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Once in Location Services, you will be able to turn off Location Services for those apps that don’t need it to function correctly.
Monitor email updating frequency by switching any accounts that do not need to be updated every minute from “Push” to “Fetch”. Once you have selected “Fetch,” you can determine the frequency with which you would like new mail to be retrieved from email servers. To do this, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. From there, disable “Push” and select “Fetch New Data” and adjust the time intervals from there.
Limit Background App Refresh to conserve battery life. Background App Refresh is when apps are running in the background of the phone and are constantly refreshing data. As mentioned in the myths above, this is not something that needs to be occurring in iPhone 6. To disable Background App Refresh, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. From there, deselect any apps from the list that do not need to be refreshing when they are not being used.
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