Next year’s iPhone 16 rivals might feature huge batteries

The iPhone 16 series is supposed to have larger batteries than the iPhone 15 models. That’s usually the case with every new iPhone generation, though it doesn’t always translate into better battery life estimates from Apple. The iPhone 15 is an example of that.

Leaks say all of the iPhone 16 models except the Plus are getting larger battery packs. The iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature the largest battery, at a rumored 4,676 mAh capacity. Combined with the more efficient A18 chips, the 2024 iPhones should feature better battery life. Some iPhone 16 leaks claim that’s going to be the case.

Meanwhile, Android vendors working on the flagship phones competing against the iPhone 16 next year might feature massive battery packs that will dwarf the iPhone 16 models. Rumors say some vendors are already testing 5,500 mAh batteries for these devices. But it’s not all good news. The same unconfirmed reports say the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip will consume more battery life, hence these requirements.

Purported benchmark leaks showed the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 outperforming the A18 Pro chip that will power the iPhone 16 Pro. I said at the time such a feat might be possible thanks to Qualcomm’s switch to Oryon cores, which also power the Snapdragon X Elite desktop platform. As a reminder, reports also say Microsoft might soon say the Snapdragon X Elite can beat new M3 MacBooks.

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These developments are exciting for the industry, just as we’re entering the era of AI and witnessing the increased need for on-device AI processing. It’s great to see Qualcomm challenge Apple for dominance in the chip industry. This will put pressure on Apple to come back on top.

It’s not a two-player race. Others are just as interested as Qualcomm in beating Apple when it comes to custom chips for mobile devices and desktops.

But neither smartphone nor laptop chips can be too power-hungry. These devices need to feature great battery life while sustaining great performance. That’s why the M1 MacBook Air is so incredibly useful nearly four years after its introduction.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipThe Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip powers many 2024 Android flagships. Image source: Qualcomm

If a new report from Asia is correct, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 might not be as efficient as you’d expect from a 3nm chip built by TSMC. Android Central reports that at least three smartphone vendors working on iPhone 16 rivals for next year are testing batteries between 5,500 mAh and 6,000 mAh capacities.

The detail comes from Weibo, a Chinese social network, so it’s hardly official. But plenty of such rumors turn out to be accurate. This leaker says smartphone vendors seek high-density batteries made for phones that will feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip. The implication here is that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 might draw more power than expected.

The 8-core chip might lack efficiency cores, according to rumors. This might lead to issues like higher energy draw and overheating. But all of this is speculation.

As Android Central points out, similar speculation occurred before MediaTek launched the Dimensity 9300 chip. Rumors said the processor used too much power and overheated. MediaTek denied those reports. We could be witnessing a similar case with Qualcomm’s unannounced flagship.

There could be other reasons Android vendors are looking for higher capacity batteries that have nothing to do with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s performance. They might be looking to push new technologies that allow them to outshine Apple and the iPhone 16.

As a reminder, Honor did something similar last year with the Magic 5 Pro, which featured a silicon-carbon battery that was initially available only in China. This year’s Honor phones have similar battery tech in international markets. These batteries can offer higher capacities and faster charging speeds.

Older rumors also claimed that Apple is looking to potentially revolutionize iPhone battery tech by adopting stacked batteries and other innovations.

As soon as the iPhone 16 series launches in September, we’ll see battery life tests everywhere. Users will compare the new phones to the iPhone 15 series and all the 2024 Android flagships that will be released by then.

Qualcomm will unveil the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip in the fall, well after the iPhone 16 launch event. The first phones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chips will be released in late 2024 and early 2025. The Galaxy S25 series will probably be part of that wave.

Once we get there, we’ll get more rumors about these devices, battery capacities included. And we’ll know exactly how much power the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 draws and whether it beats the iPhone 16’s A18 Pro.


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