One of the main new features of the iPhone 12 series is 5G, making them the first iPhones to include support for 5G. If you're planning on utilizing that new feature, though, you might see your battery life take a hit.
A new report says that the iPhone 12 battery drains around 20% faster when using 5G compared to 4G. Tom's Guide ran a battery test on the iPhone 12 that set the screen at 150 nits of brightness and launched a new site in the browser every 30 seconds until the battery drained.
In this test, the iPhone 12 battery lasted 8 hours and 25 minutes on 5G and 10 hours and 23 minutes while on 4G. There was about a 2-hour difference between 5G and 4G battery life for the iPhone 12 Pro, too, with its battery lasting 9 hours and 6 minutes on a 5G connection while running for 11 hours and 24 minutes on 4G.
This same battery test was also run on several Android phones, and the report says that compared to these 5G Android devices, "Apple's new phones are a step behind".
The Galaxy S20 put up 9 hours and 31 minutes of battery life on 5G while the Galaxy S20+ lasted for 10 hours and 31 minutes. Those stats fell when enabling the 120Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy S20 models — a feature that Apple's iPhones don't have — to 8 hours 4 minutes and 8 hours 55 minutes, respectively.
The OnePlus 8T was included in the test, too, and its battery lasted for 10 hours and 49 minutes on 5G, with that number dropping to 9 hours and 58 minutes with 120Hz mode enabled. And Google's Pixel 5 lasted for 9 hours and 56 minutes on a 5G connection, dropping to 9 hours and 29 minutes with its 90Hz refresh rate activated.
We've seen on Android devices that 5G will be more taxing on a phone's battery life compared to 4G, but these stats are worth noting for people buying an iPhone 12 and experiencing 5G for the first time. Apple has included a Smart Data Mode with the iPhone 12 that will switch between 5G and 4G to help conserve battery life, but it's said that this mode only turns on in certain scenarios, like when you're streaming music with the screen off.
You can also choose to manually force your iPhone 12 to stay on 4G. That may be something to consider if you're concerned about making your iPhone 12's battery last all day.