Apple is refuting a new study which alleges that the company exaggerated the battery life claims of its newest smartphones by up to 51 percent.
The study, conducted by UK-based consumer advocacy group Which?, tested the battery life on a variety of different smartphone models from various manufacturers — including nine iPhone models. In those tests, all nine iPhones allegedly fell short of Apple’s promised battery life by between 18 and 51 percent.
According to its results, the iPhone XR fared the worst when it came to estimated and actual battery life. Which? claims that the iPhone XR lasted for 16 hours and 32 minutes of talk time in its testing, compared to Apple’s estimated 25 hours of talk time.
But, in a statement to Business Insider, Apple disputed the claims of the study. “We rigorously test our products and stand behind our battery life claims,” Apple said. “With tight integration between hardware and software, iPhone is engineered to intelligently manage power usage to maximize battery life.”
Apple also pointed out that it can’t reproduce the results of the study, since Which? has yet to share its testing methodology with the company.
Apple’s own battery life testing methodology is available in detail on its website.
In addition to Apple, Which? examined devices from four other popular smartphone manufacturers. Which? claims that HTC also exaggerated the battery life on its devices, while Samsung, Nokia and Sony underestimated battery life.
HTC, for its part, pointed out that “differences in setup and testing environment may result in some variation to stated talk time figures.”
Which? said it purchased each device at full battery strength and charged each device to its maximum capacity. Then, the watchdog group timed how long the battery lasted when making continuous, back-to-back phone calls. The group also said it carried out other testing on the devices, such as comparing internet browsing battery life against manufacturer claims.
It’s worth noting that Which?’s results are contradicted by most other review sites, including CNET and Tom’s Guide. Those outlets all praised the iPhone XR’s battery life after real life and battery benchmark testing. Almost across the board, those tests showed that the iPhone XR frequently outlasted Apple’s other iPhone models.
In fact, by Apple’s estimates, the iPhone XR has the best battery life of any iPhone to date. That’s likely because the iPhone XR sports a larger battery than older models and has a lower-resolution display than its 2018 stablemates.
Of course, battery life can vary wildly depending on a device’s specific settings, a user’s location, and a variety of other factors. For example, using a smartphone in an area with poor cellular reception can reduce battery life.
It isn’t clear whether Which? accounted for these factors in its own testing.