iPhone X review

The rebooted iPhone we'd been waiting for

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  • Wireless charging is a nice feature
  • Another average battery performance from an iPhone
  • Charges from dead to 100% in 2hr 15m

The battery on the iPhone X is, according to the same Chinese regulatory filing as we mentioned earlier, is 2,716mAh, which makes it a touch larger than the iPhone 8 Plus.

That's quite a large power cell from Apple, but given the larger screen with more pixels to power, it makes sense.

While the iPhone X battery life isn't mind-blowing, it's certainly better than some iPhones of old - it's more than acceptable.

Battery life is as good, if not better, than on the Plus models

Battery life is as good, if not better, than on the Plus models

Some real world use: in heavy testing, we managed to run the iPhone down in just a shade over 12 hours. 

But that included 30 minutes of Netflix trying HDR mode, walking to work and listening to Bluetooth music on Spotify, using a portable hotspot on the train, taking sample images with the camera and testing Face ID over and over, and playing some games.

The next day, it got closer to 9PM with a slightly lighter load, but still spending a lot of time testing - both of these were expected. It was also impressive how long the iPhone X held on while watching a movie with only 5% battery left and power-saving mode turned on... we got a good 35 minutes of watching before it finally gave up.

But when put into lighter use - just pulling the iPhone X out once in a while to send a message, take a few pictures at a wedding and navigate on GPS for around 30 minutes, we were at 25% by midnight.

And overnight it only lost 5% battery life before the morning - again, a good result. It's not the absolute best we've seen from a phone, but if you're someone that suffers with an iPhone that drains quickly you'll be pleased with what's on offer here, and most days you'll get home with plenty of power to spare.

Based on the data that we've pulled from using the iPhone X in a variety of scenarios, we've found that it'll last a good 18 hours per day with some heavier usage - that includes a tonne of Bluetooth streaming, WhatsApp, Facebook and browsing the internet, all things that are pretty tough on the battery.

The reason it seems to do better than some might expect is the screen - the OLED technology has proven to be very effective at sucking less battery.

That's shown in our testing: we ran the same 90 minute, Full HD video at full brightness from 100% charge - and the iPhone X set a record-breaking score for an Apple handset.

Where most (including the iPhone 8 Plus) lost around 25% battery, the iPhone X managed an incredible 10% drop - that's unheard of in our tests, and given the X has more pixels to drive from the same A11 Bionic chipset on the 8 Plus, it's only the OLED technology that's the differentiator.

Watching movies doesn't take as much power as expected

Watching movies doesn't take as much power as expected

This isn't the first iPhone that can support wireless charging - that title goes to the iPhone 8 - but it's a really convenient feature and we'd suggest investing in a decent pad for home and work, so you'll never have to worry about running low on juice while being able to easily pick it up and put it down.

The good news is that Apple has since enabled even faster charging through the wireless pads - nothing major, but should mean you get more boost from a few minutes of being plopped down on the charger.

In terms of time to charge, the iPhone X took 2 hours and 15 minutes to charge fully from dead (with Airplane mode turned on), which is about average, although we used a larger iPad charging block for faster juicing.

You'll get 20% battery life with 15 minutes of charge, and that should get you home in a pinch.

You can also buy a USB-C Lightning cable and block to get fast charging capabilities - reported to be 50% battery from 30 minutes of power - but that costs $75 / £75 / AU$100 to buy the cable and block... which is pretty pricey for the privilege of faster powering up.

The battery is crammed into a phone with very little space for all the components

The battery is crammed into a phone with very little space for all the components

The A11 Fusion chip inside this phone is one of the probably reasons for the improvement in battery life - with more efficient cores and a 10nm manufacturing process (which means things are closer together, and more efficient) Apple has worked hard on bringing both power and efficiency to the iPhone X.

This phone is more of a phablet than a standard phone in terms of screen and battery size, and that shows in the fact it's similar to the iPhone 8 Plus in terms of time between charges.

Does the iPhone X have good battery life? It's pretty good - nothing to write home about but if you've had another Apple handset for a few years you'll be very pleased with how well it lasts during the day.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.