A dark theme in iOS saves battery power: on which iPhone models will it work?

Dark theme – one of the main noteworthy features of iOS 13. She was so comfortable, that it began to implement third-party applications and websites.

PhoneBuff Conducts Curious Research on YouTube Channel, which was intended to find out, how much work with an active dark theme is better for the device’s battery, than in traditional light.

As a test device used iPhone XS. On this smartphone, robotic hands performed various tasks in iOS in light and dark mode. Used app «Messages», Google Maps Navigation, watching YouTube videos and other tasks.

The final result really surprised. Phonebuff tests revealed, that using the dark mode iPhone XS discharged the battery much more slowly, than the same device with a light theme. On both smartphones, the brightness was set at 70% or 200 nit. After two hours of work in «Posts» iPhone XS with a dark theme has 88 left% battery power, and a smartphone with a light theme – 83%. As a result, the first discharged iPhone XS with a light theme, at this time his brother had another 30% charge.


Graphs show, what is the strongest iPhone with a light theme discharged when using Twitter and YouTube. There are some differences in consumption scenarios with greater or lesser brightness, but always the dark mode was more economical.

On which iPhone models does the dark theme save battery power?

An important detail is, that the effect of the dark mode on the battery life of the iPhone battery extends only to devices with OLED displays. Among them: iPhone X, XS, XS Max, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, but not iPhone XR or iPhone 11.

Other older models with an IPS screen will not have a significant difference in consumption between dark and light mode – backlight always works, regardless of the theme of the system.