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iPhone 14 Pro battery draining? Turning off 'always-on' display won't help. Here's what will

Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
June Wan/ZDNET

Everyone wants their iPhone's battery to last longer, even if they've just bought a new iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max.

Apple claims that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max get "up to" 20 and 25 hours of video stream, respectively, but even that's not enough for some new owners.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max features an always-on display, and it seems that people believe that this puts a significant dent in battery life. That, or they've been reading one of the many "battery saving tips" posts on the internet that highlight this new feature as a big battery drain.

Well, is it?

Also: Apple's worst product has now become one of its best

There's only one way to find out, and that's to do some real-world testing.

There are a few different ways to do real-world testing, but here I decided to make things simple.

For this test I put the iPhone into Airplane Mode and then left it with the display on (and doing nothing) for a couple of hours, made a note of the drop in battery level, and then repeated the test with the display off.

It's quick and simple, and if there was going to be any significant improvement in battery life, it would show up in a couple of hours.

Bottom line, the always-on display makes little difference.

Just to be sure, I repeated the experiment, but this time I ran it for four hours, and again, the difference was negligible.

Also: How to take great macro photos with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

The always-on display is clearly a feature that's been optimized for the OLED ProMotion display, and turning it off buys you very little extra battery life.

That said, if you put your iPhone into Low Power Mode (tap on Settings > Battery and toggle Low Power Mode), the always-on display is one of the features disabled.

You can tell if the iPhone is in Low Power Mode because the battery icon turns yellow

You can tell if the iPhone is in Low Power Mode because the battery icon turns yellow

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

So, if you're trying to get more battery life (maybe you're running out, or need to get through an especially long day), turning off the display is not going to help you.

What should you do?

Here are a couple of suggestions that will get you hours of extra battery life:

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