With the unveiling of iOS 9 at WWDC this year, one of the most significant features that came to the fore was the launch of a new Low-power mode to optimize battery performance. While this feature has been dispensing out better battery backup for Android users ever since, Apple finally took it to iOS 9 to take covers off it. Bundled with this “Low-power mode”, what came along was a promised extended battery-life of upto 1 hour mainly due to the under-the-hood performance upgrades and tweaks Apple has made in iOS 9. If need be, you can then turn on this iOS 9 low-power mode to extend your battery for upto 3 additional hours of backup.
So then, you need not fret about the low battery left on your phone and make a rush to preserve battery life by constantly toggling WiFi & Cellular, adjusting your screen’s brightness to minimal and what not with the new ‘Low-Power’ mode coming to your rescue. But all of this does come at a price! As and when the Low-power mode is enabled, turning your battery icon in the Status bar yellow, Mail fetch turns manual, Background App refresh and download get disabled along with reduced motion effects, brightness and networking speed.
What also comes along is a degradation in the performance of the device. In order to estimate how much does the performance of the device hits back when running on this low-power mode, GeekBench, a tool used to measure the performance of a device’ processor, was used. What came along as a huge surprise was the fact that the performance of the iPhone running on ‘low-power’ mode degraded upto 40%. Once tested with this mode disabled, iPhone 6 Plus scored 1606 & 2891 on Single-core processor & Multi-core processor tests respectively. While with the low-power mode flipped on, the same iPhone under the same test produced 1019 & 1751 for Single-core processor & Multi-core processor tests respectively.
When similar tests were conducted on an iPhone 5s, scores turned out to be 1386 & 2511 on Single-core processor & Multi-core processor tests respectively with low-power mode deactivated. When the mode was activated, scores dropped to be 801 & 1405 on Single-core processor & Multi-core processor tests respectively.
This implies a decrease of about 40% in overall performance. Well, its apt to say, the extra battery backup does translate into a performance-battery trade-off wherein you need to decide how and when you want to optimize which aspect of your phone, thus making your iPhone 6 Plus work more like an iPhone 5s under the ‘low-power mode’. While this may not be promising on the performance front, it does let you extract some extra juice out of your phone’s battery. You can also let your iPhone/iPad running iOS 8 have the same luxury and a lot more of iOS 9 features right on your iOS 8 device with some simple tweaks explained here.
Not impressed with this performance-battery trade-off? Share your opinions and reactions. We’d love to hear it from you.!