The iPhone 15, Apple’s latest flagship, has introduced a range of features to enhance user experience. One of the most notable additions is a new battery health setting that aims to prolong the lifespan of the device’s battery. Here’s what you need to know about this new feature and its implications.
The 80% Charging Hard Limit
Apple’s iPhone 15 now allows users to set a charging limit, capping the battery charge at 80%. This is in response to concerns from users who believe maintaining their battery’s charge between 40% and 80% can extend its lifespan. Unlike the existing Optimized Battery Charging setting, which pauses charging at 80% and resumes to achieve a full charge just before the user’s usual wake-up time, this new feature ensures the iPhone never charges beyond the 80% threshold.
This approach is grounded in the understanding that charging a battery from 0% to 80% is relatively more efficient and produces less heat compared to the final 20% charge. The latter often requires more energy, potentially reducing the battery’s longevity over time.
Comparison with Previous Features
Before the introduction of the 80% hard limit, Apple had implemented the Optimized Battery Charging feature. This intelligent system learns a user’s daily charging routine and delays charging beyond 80% until a more optimal time, typically just before the user’s regular waking hours. The new 80% limit, however, stops the charge altogether once this level is reached.
Users can navigate to Settings → Battery → Battery Health & Charging → Charging Optimization on their iPhone 15 to find three options:
- Optimized Battery Charging
- 80% Limit
Pros and Cons of the 80% Limit
While the 80% hard limit can indeed help in prolonging battery health by reducing the time it remains fully charged, some experts, including those at AppleInsider, advise caution. They suggest there’s little to gain from restricting an iPhone from charging past 80%. The potential downside is that users might not have access to the full capacity of their battery, possibly impacting their device usage throughout the day. For a marginal increase in battery lifespan, users could be compromising on daily battery performance.
Broader Context: The iPhone 15 Series
The iPhone 15 series, set to launch soon, promises the same battery life as its predecessor, the iPhone 14. Beyond the battery features, the iPhone 15 series brings several enhancements, including USB-3 connections, the A17 Pro chip, a larger screen, an improved 5G modem, and the Action Button, among others. While Apple unveiled many of these features during its Wonderlust event, some, like the 80% charging limit, were discovered later, offering users additional value.
Apple continues to innovate with its devices, introducing features that prioritize user experience and device longevity. The 80% charging limit on the iPhone 15 is a testament to this commitment, even if its actual benefits remain a topic of debate. Ultimately, users should weigh the pros and cons and decide which charging method aligns best with their daily needs and long-term goals.