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Despite sharing the same battery, the new iPhone SE lasts a lot longer than the iPhone 8

Iphone Se 2020 Hero
Iphone Se 2020 Hero (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A YouTube battery test of the iPhone SE is out now.
  • It pits Apple's latest phone against the iPhone 11, XR, 8, 7, 6S, and SE of old.
  • Despite having the same battery, the iPhone SE lasts much longer than the previous model.

A new battery test of Apple's brand new iPhone SE has surfaced on YouTube, with some surprising results!

Brandon Butch created a video testing the battery life drain of Apple's latest iPhone SE, and compared it with the iPhone XR, 8, 7, 6s and the old iPhone SE. His video description states:

2020 iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone 11 vs XR vs 8 vs 7 vs 6S vs SE Battery Life DRAIN TESTToday we're putting the brand new iPhone SE 2 (2020) up against the iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S and the first generation iPhone SE in a battery draining test!The 2020 iPhone SE has the same battery as the iPhone 8, but could its battery last longer than an iPhone 8 with 100% battery capacity?You may find the iPhone SE 2 battery life results rather interesting. Enjoy!

Brandon is totally right, in that the results are certainly surprising, but in many respects, the iPhone SE performs as expected.

Apple's oldest phones in the test, the iPhone SE, 6s, and 7 were all first to capitulate after a series of tests. Essentially, Brandon ran videos, games, and the iPhones' cameras simultaneously, timing how long the battery lasted.

Shortly after launch, a report suggested that the iPhone SE carried the same 1821 mAH battery from the iPhone 8. Apple's website accordingly notes that the battery should last about the same as the iPhone 8. During this test, however, the new iPhone SE actually lasted a whole hour longer than the iPhone 8, and yes, both batteries had registered 100% health prior to testing.

Of course, the iPhone SE couldn't compete with the vastly larger batteries in the iPhone XR and 11 Pro, but of course, it isn't supposed to. What this test does reveal, however, is that the iPhone SE may well be eeking out significantly more performance in battery life compared to the iPhone 8, despite Apple's claims that performance should be similar.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

4 Comments
  • How about a test between the 8 and new se using new sealed phones. It's showing 100 percent performance on the 8 but wear does occur in batteries over time. So it's not surprising the se is doing better. Would show the true numbers on how much better the se does vs 8.
  • I expected this would be the case. In one of the other articles there was a comment with a guy saying how Apple should've put a bigger battery in, but I responded to him saying that the SE would most likely use less power, and I was proved correct :)
  • NOt really. yet. Open a brand new 8 and brand new se and see what happens. These were not all brand new devices, therefore its not an "apples to apples" comparison. Its like comparing the power of two engines in the same vehicle one with 150,000 kms on it and one thats fresh from the factory.
  • That's true, I would've thought Brandon Butch would've known to test with a device that doesn't have any battery wear, otherwise you're right it's not a very good test