Is iPhone SE Battery Really Bad? Battery Times Inside!


Whether it’s for playing games or scrolling through your favorite social media applications, a phone’s battery is one of the most important things to consider before buying a phone.

The iPhone SE was released in April 2020, was an affordable smartphone still packed with power, but its lower price and small size caused drawbacks in battery, something the iPhone SE and iPhone 12 share in common.

But how bad is the iPhone SE battery?

The iPhone SE battery is below average, but not terrible. The iPhone SE battery lasts 9:05 hours browsing the internet, 4:45 hours watching YouTube videos draining at a rate of 1% battery every hour, and lasts 4:59 hours gaming, 1 minute short of 5 hours. The Galaxy lasted 7:50 hours watching Youtube, nearly double the iPhone SE. Popular phones like Samsung S10e are priced similarly with a far better battery. 

PhoneArena found the below screenshot and data.

But does a small battery size of the iPhone SE immediately mean that its battery is unusable?

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How Bad Is the iPhone SE Battery?

The iPhone SE battery is below average. It lasts 9:05 hours browsing internet, 4:45 hours watching YouTube videos draining at a rate of 1% battery ever hour and lasts 4:59 hours gaming 1 minute short of 5 hours. The Galaxy lated 7:50 hours watching Youtube nearly double the iPhone SE. Popular phones like Samaung S10e are priced similar with far better battery.

With 1624 mAh, the iPhone SE’s battery is similar to its sister devices, the iPhone 8 and 7. Similar phones in terms of battery size include the Samsung Galaxy 3.

The Samsung Galaxy S20Opens in a new tab. and the Huawei Mate 40—competitor smartphones, were released in 2020 and the iPhone SE—led by a considerable margin, holding 4000 mAh and 4200 mAh, respectively. 

Phone batteries are measured in mAh or milli-amperes. It estimates how long a phone battery will last before it needs recharging. Simply speaking, the larger the number, the longer a phone battery lasts. A larger mAh rating also means a bigger phone battery.

Though a bigger mAh may indicate better performance and longer-lasting screen time, not all phones can handle the space needed by a larger battery. The iPhone SE is no exception. It stands only at the height of 5.5 inches and a length of 2.7 inches which severely limits its mAh.

The iPhone SE can last 13 hours of video playback after a full charge. According to PhoneAreaOpens in a new tab., it measured 4:50 hours.

Apple’s test places it higher than the iPhone 6 and 6s at 11 hours. However, it contains a similar battery size to the iPhone 7 and 8; it’s not surprising that those two devices can also log in 13 hours of video playback.

Yet, when compared to the most recent Apple smartphone releases, the iPhone SE lags terribly. The iPhone 11 Max Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro logged in 20 hours and 18 hours of playback time, a whopping 5 to 7-hour difference.

iPhone Video Playback Compared (iPhone 6s to iPhone 11 Pro Max)

iPhone Video Playback Hours
iPhone 11 Pro Max20 hours
iPhone 11 Pro18 hours
iPhone SE13 hours
iPhone 813 hours
iPhone 713 hours
iPhone 611 hours
iPhone 6s11 hours
Video playback hours based on Apple website

Apple also uses other ways to measure battery life. It includes streamed video playback (the key difference here being the internet instead of pre-downloaded videos) and audio playback.

The iPhone SE ranks the lowest for streamed video playback at 8 hours, while the iPhone 11 reaches 10 hours of streaming before needing a recharge.

iPhone Video Playback Streaming compared (iPhone 6s to iPhone 11 Pro Max)

Apple iPhone ModelStreamed Video Playback Hours
iPhone 11 Pro Max12 hours
iPhone 11 Pro11 hours
iPhone 1110 hours
iPhone SE8 hours
Streamed video playback hours based on the Apple website

For audio playback, the iPhone SE can only handle 40 hours before you need to plug in its charger. In comparison, the newer Apple models can manage 60 to 80 hours of audio. 

iPhone Audio Playback compared (iPhone 6s to iPhone 11 Pro Max)

Apple iPhone ModelAudio Playback Hours
iPhone 11 Pro Max80 hours
iPhone 11 Pro65 hours
iPhone SE40 hours
iPhone 840 hours
iPhone 740 hours
iPhone 650 hours
iPhone 6s50 hours
Audio playback hours based on Apple website

The iPhone SE may be perfect for you if you mainly use your smartphone to send emails and check your social media accounts, but you may have to bring a charger or a power bank just in case you feel the urge to watch some videos on YouTube.

The battery is the most crucial part of your iPhone, keeping it safe & healthy if you want to keep your iPhone working well, please read my detailed guide on how to charge an iPhone.

Why Does the iPhone SE Battery Die Fast?

The iPhone SE’s small battery size (1821 mAh) stores much less energy with every full charge than other iPhones. This causes the iPhone SE to drain its battery much quicker than an iPhone 11, whose battery size (3110 mAh) is almost twice as large as the iPhone SE. In addition, the A13 Bionic chip puts a lot more stress on the small 1821 mAh battery.

Though battery sizeOpens in a new tab. to accommodate the iPhone SE form factor is a significant contributor to battery life, other things are to consider.

If you’re running multiple applications at the same time, you’ll drain your battery quickly. Even though you’re not actively using those applications, your phone still uses its battery for notifications and background refreshes.

Watching videos on your favorite streaming sites can also reduce your battery life rapidly. Because these applications use sound, the internet, and your display to run, you’ll end up needing to charge your phone in a few hours. Remember, the iPhone SE lasted 4:59 hours watching YouTube!

To never run out of battery for a midnight Uber again, I recommend buying a portable power bank. I’ve used it to charge my MacBook as well as my iPhone when I needed it most. I recommend purchasing a 2-pack 10000 mAh Miady charger for a BARGAIN on Amazon.

Watch the above video for other tips to maximize your iPhone’s battery. I currently have an iPhone 7+, and the recent iOS update has destroyed my battery life. Following the above video’s tips put the battery drain back to normal.

Even the brightness and the Bluetooth setting on an iPhone can be probable causes of a fast-draining battery. The brighter the screen, the more the display needs battery energy to run it. Similarly, using the Bluetooth function on your iPhone SE to listen to music may consume a ton of energy. This is because Bluetooth devices demand constant connection to your phone, which eats up a lot of battery power.

But if you’ve closed all your background applications and streamed videos and your battery seems to continue dying fast, you may have to check your battery health or the status of your iPhone.Opens in a new tab.

Does dropping your iPhone cause internal damage? To learn more and how to prevent internal iPhone damage, please read my article.Opens in a new tab.

How Long Should the iPhone SE Battery Last?

The iPhone SE battery lasts 9:05 hours browsing the internet, 4:45 hours watching YouTube videos draining at a rate of 1% battery every hour, and lasts 4:59 hours gaming 1 minute short of 5 hours. The iPhone SE A13 bionic chip puts a lot of stress on the tiny compact battery (1821 mAh).

The iPhone SE has a small battery size, which means it takes up its energy from a small stockpile of stored power. Based on three categories—video playback, streaming video playback, and audio playback—the iPhone SE’s battery should lastOpens in a new tab. according to 13 hours for video playback, 8 hours of streamed video playback, and 40 hours of audio playback.

It means you can watch downloaded or recorded videos on your iPhone SE for a maximum of 13 hours before you need to recharge it. On the other hand, you can only use the iPhone SE for a total of 8 hours after full charge if you’re planning to use it to stream videos online. The 40 hours of audio playback can consist of listening to downloaded songs or recorded audio files.

However, these numbers can change if you mix and match activities on your iPhone SE.

Your battery will last longer if you use a dimmer brightness as compared to a brighter display. Your iPhone SE battery may last even shorter if you run background applications. Similarly, watching videos lasts longer if you only spend an hour or two streaming movies before switching to an email application.

Because of its small battery size, Apple has provided the iPhone SE with fast charging properties.

It allows iPhone SE owners to charge up to 50% of their phone’s battery within 30 minutes. All you need to do is plug the iPhone SE into an Apple USB-C to Lightning C cable and a suitable charging adaptor.

Using the correct lighting cable is key to charging your iPhone safely and effectively. I recommend learning more about the chargers you can use for your iPhone in my detailed article.

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