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Your iPhone 14's battery degradation isn't great, but it's normal

A closer look at Apple's battery degradation claims suggests you've got nothing to worry about.
By

Published onAugust 14, 2023

iPhone 14 Pro with display on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Some iPhone 14 series users have recently complained about battery degradation.
  • However, this degradation seems broadly in line with Apple’s own, long-standing guidance.
  • There are a number of ways to slow down battery degradation, though.

We’ve seen a number of iPhone 14 series users expressing concern over battery degradation in recent days. At first glance, these complaints suggest that the latest iPhones are suffering from major battery woes.

Many iPhone 14 series users on Reddit and X (formerly known as Twitter) have posted screenshots showing notably reduced battery capacity. Users have pointed to battery capacities now being anywhere between 85% to 95% of their original capacities.

However, this seems to be much ado about nothing, for the most part. Apple has long maintained that its iPhone batteries are designed to hold up to 80% of their original capacity after 500 charging cycles. And it’s worth noting that 500 charging cycles is broadly equivalent to one year and four months of daily charges. So it seems normal for iPhone 14 batteries to now report 85% to 90% capacities as we close in on the first full year since their release.

By comparison, some Android phone makers like Xiaomi and HMD Global now tout 80% capacity after 800 charging cycles for some phones, equivalent to roughly two years of usage. We’ve also seen the likes of OPPO, realme, and OnePlus claim 80% capacity after 1,600 charging cycles. We’re not sure whether the latter figure reflects real-world conditions and charging habits, though. However, neither Google nor Samsung provide similar figures for recent handsets.

Do you think the iPhone 14 battery degradation is bad?

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It’s still entirely possible the iPhone 14 series batteries are degrading a little faster than previous models, as some users claim. This could be down to software, extensive use of the always-on display, extensive use of Magsafe, or another reason altogether. But the degradation figures still seem within Apple’s rated parameters. We’d be more concerned if users were reaching the 80% mark (or lower) after less than a year of usage.

There are plenty of tips to slow battery degradation, though. For one, Apple offers an optimized charging toggle that sees the phone learn from your usage habits and then only charge fully when you need it. Many handsets offer similar functionality, like Google’s Adaptive Charging. It’s also worth noting that wireless charging can generate excess heat, which can adversely affect battery health, so you might want to stick with wired charging too. You can also reduce excess battery degradation by using a slow charger and avoiding idle charging.