Battery Life

Our battery life tests have also been upgraded for 2016. Our web browsing test was previously shown in the first part of the Galaxy S7 review, and since that time it has been tweaked to the point that we're happy with the workload it puts on devices. We've also migrated to GFXBench's Manhattan test for examining battery life with a heavy GPU workload.

Web Browsing Battery Battery Life 2016 (WiFi)

In our WiFi web browsing test the iPhone SE does quite well. When Apple originally advertised that the SE has better web browsing battery life than the 6s and 6s Plus I saw some confusion from many people, but it's actually not a surprising outcome. The SE is using a much smaller and lower resolution LCD display than the other iPhones, which significantly reduces the total platform power. The boost in battery capacity from the iPhone 5s helps as well. Apple advertises that the SE can last two hours longer on WiFi than the 6s, and in our test it almost meets that target. 

Due to a recent move, I'm still trying to find a place with sufficient signal strength that I can use for LTE battery life testing. Until such a time, I'm unable to post LTE battery life results for the SE. In general you can expect LTE battery life to be a couple hours shorter than on WiFi, and Apple advertises that the SE can last three hours longer on LTE than the 6s, so if they get anywhere close to that then LTE battery life should be quite good.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 / Metal Battery Life

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 / Metal Final Frame Rate

The 4-inch iPhones have never lasted long in GFXBench's battery test. With the new Manhattan test the GPU is doing a lot more work than it was with T-Rex HD, and there aren't any periods of idle. The iPhone SE achieves the lowest battery lifetime of just 1.46 hours. However, the on screen frame rate during the test is hitting Vsync, which is actually concerning because we moved to Manhattan to avoid the problem of devices hitting that cap and then idling in the middle of the test. As I've said in the past, you need to consider both performance and battery life in this test. The iPhone SE is obviously an improvement over the 5s even though it dies half an hour earlier, because by the end of the test the iPhone SE is giving you 6x the performance of the 5s due to the A7 SoC's greater degree of thermal throttling.

Charge Time

Like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the iPhone SE ships with Apple's 5W charging block. While this can be quite problematic on a large phone like the iPhone 6s Plus, on a small phone it won't pose as much of an issue as the phone's battery capacity is much lower. Ideally we'd like to see a time to charge that is under three hours, and coming in under two hours is even better.

Charge Time

The iPhone SE charges quite quickly. We've seen improvements to charge time on the iPhone since the era of the iPhone 5s, and with the SE having a smaller battery than the iPhone 6s it makes sense that the charge time would be shorter. I do wonder how long it would take to get to full charge if Apple bundled a 10-15W charger with the phone, although with the current time being under two hours you also need to consider if the potential reduction in battery longevity from quicker charging is worth it.

System Performance Display Analysis


View All Comments

  • SourAPL16 - Sunday, May 22, 2016 - link

    On Monday, 23rd, I will be going after my FOURTH I Phone model, since turning my 6PLUS in
    but one month ago. I have had, now three SE's in rapid succession. My service is VERIZON. I have not had a dropped call in memory. In the last two weeks I have had several everyday. THE SE Sucks, in my humble opinion. Even switching Sim cards, no change in the lack of performance. I had my 5C for almost 3 years; great service. I jumped at the 6Plus because of
    Verizon's newer acquisition program. No more big downstrokes. I wanted to be Mr. Cool among the fam and I was for a couple months. My arthritic hands became increasingly stressed as I
    attempted to heft and use the Monster. Hip but terribly frustrated. Opted to downsize to the SE
    for my damaged hands ease of handling and for SE's new goodies. The goodies have not come
    close to offsetting the misery of telephonus interruptus! Any other sufferers want to start a
    SUPPORT GROUP??? Considering moving to a straight 6; my wife's is easy to handle. Stay tuned!!!
  • kimi33 - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Highly recommend this SELECTEC 8600mAh White Ultra-Thin Pocket Size Power Bank to you, only $15.99 after coupon code M6TBH358, Reply
  • GB123 - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - link

    Here in Taiwan -

    LG G4 32G = USD$340 without contract
    iphone se 16GB = USD$483 without contract

    iPHone SE is definitely not the one with best camera at USD$4xx, not to mention the expansion capability.
  • mike_IC97 - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    This phone is super fast and has an excellent camera but if you are a headphone junkie like me and like to blast your tunes all the time the 5s has a much cleaner and more dynamic sounding headphone output. Just my 2 cents Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - link

    Hey Brandon, here's a proposal for an experiment: You should get acclimated to the iPhone 6s Plus and then switch over to the HP Veer. I'd like to research the behaviors and symptoms that may arise from such a traumatic experience ;-) Reply
  • skrafi151 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    This iPhone has nice features and for service/repair go to # Reply
  • thomas94k - Sunday, October 2, 2016 - link

    I was waiting for this type of topic. Thank you very much for the place. Reply
  • Drkovcim - Sunday, January 1, 2017 - link

    Display iPhone SE under the microscope: Reply
  • Maccustomerservice - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    This is the best review I have ever read on any site.i use this phone, but i have some problem with this device.This device is a little bit slow and I can fix it from mac customer service, you can also visit if you have a problem with your device <a href=" customer support</a>. Reply

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