iPhone 8 Battery life – How long does it last?
When Trusted Reviews reviewed the iPhone 7, Evan Kypreos found the poor battery life to be the single biggest reason to avoid the device. He claimed it had ‘the shortest battery life he’d experienced on any mainstream phone over the past couple of years’ – and that he was often reaching for a Lightning cable before the end of the day.
Considering the iPhone 8 has a smaller battery than the iPhone 7, and the fact that Apple made no claims about stamina during its unveiling, I was hugely sceptical about the iPhone 8’s battery life.
But it’s absolutely fine, and pretty much what I’d expect from a device of this size. This isn’t a phone that will see you through a day of constant, heavy use, but Apple’s strong standby times mean it barely drops juice at all when you’re not actively using it, and I wasn’t left reaching for the Lightning cable by 6pm.
The iPhone 8 manages to last the day, although I say that with some caveats. I’ve felt as though I’ve had to ‘babysit’ the battery to a greater extent than I have with the iPhone 8 Plus. I switch off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when I’m not using it and I lower the brightness far more; my eyes are constantly drawn to the dropping percentage indicator. It isn’t the battery life that will impress folk, but it also isn’t quite as frustrating as last year.
I ran a few basic side-by-sides tests with an iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S, and the iPhone 8 came out on top in all them. An hour of Netflix (Wi-Fi, 60% brightness, sound 50%) consumed 11% on the 8, 14% on the 7 and 13% on the 6S. Thirty minutes of Real Racing 3 ate through 12% on the 8, 16% on the 7 and 15% on the 6S. Obviously, batteries get worse over time and the 6S used here has been constantly worn down over more than 12 months, so that will affect its score.
The iPhone 8 still charges via a Lightning cable and you get the same 5W plug in the box. Unlike pretty much every Android out there, there’s no out-of-the-box fast-charging here. Apple claims the iPhone 8 supports faster charging, but it’s still one of slower phones to charge.
The included wall plug will get you from 0-80% in about 60 minutes, and you can shave 10 minutes off that by using an iPad charger. I also tried charging it with the USB-C plug that comes with the MacBook Pro plus a USB-C-to-Lightning cable – this got me from 0-80% in 45 minutes. It then took a further 35 minutes to reach 100%.
If you want to ditch the Lightning cable completely, the iPhone 8 supports Qi wireless charging through the Qi standard. This is the same method that Android phones have used to charge wirelessly for years. Wireless charging is about as slow as using the included wall plug, but there will be an update later in the year that will unlock slightly faster 7.5W wireless charging in supported pads.
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Should I buy the iPhone 8?
The iPhone 8 is a good phone – very good in certain respects – but it also feels like it was the forgotten child.
At the new £479/$479 it stands as the cheapest iPhone and might be a good pick for kids or if you simply want the smallest phone possible. For anything else it might be worth going for the iPhone XR instead.
Score in detail
Battery Life 6
Calls & Sound 8
Screen Quality 8
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