Dark Mode on OLED is the Next Step in Boosting Smartphone Battery Life

By Bill Toulas / October 21, 2019

Lithium polymer and lithium-ion batteries are still the dominant market players when it comes to powering portable electronics, and there are no signs of this changing soon. With all the limitations that come with these batteries, every way that we have to help us make the most out of the available power is more than welcome. Apparently, the OLED panels and Dark Modes on all applications are key in managing to squeeze up to 30% of service time from our smartphones, which is a huge step towards a greater power autonomy.

First, according to a report by 9to5Mac, the Dark Mode in iOS 13 is showing auspicious results in the battery life of iPhone devices that use OLED screens. This is because OLEDs (organic light-emitting diode) don’t use a backlight, and in order to display black, the pixels that correspond to that area are turned off. That is why black on OLEDs look so satisfyingly dark, and also why Dark Mode has tangible and measurable energy-saving effects on these devices. By using two iPhone XS devices and a robotic arm, the YouTuber “PhoneBuff” has compared Light Mode and Dark Mode, with the former dying while the latter still had 30% of juice left in the tank.

Dark Mode has considerable effects in reducing eye strain after the sunset hours, and some people prefer it for aesthetic reasons too, but as we see now, it has significant effects on battery life too. Thankfully, both Android and iOS have introduced global dark modes in their latest versions, so having it is no longer a question of what app you’re using. The question is, does your phone have an OLED panel, or is it still using a cheaper IPS LCD?

According to Japan Display Inc., Apple’s mobile screen supplier, the cost of OLED panels is going to get to the same level as that of inferior technologies by 2021. This practically means that all phones, even the cheapest low-budget models will be coming with an OLED panel by then. Chinese screen makers like BOE and Tianma are also joining in the mass production of OLED panels, so their cost may drop even sooner. What all this means is that by 2021, your device will boast about 30% more battery life even if nothing changes in battery technology over the next couple of years.

Are you already using an OLED device? What can you report on battery life when using Dark Mode? Share your experience with us in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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