The Impact of Bluetooth on iPhone Battery Life
Have you ever asked yourself how using Bluetooth on your iPhone affects its battery life? Let’s answer the question with technical details.
While it adds convenience to our lives, some of us worry that keeping Bluetooth on might drain the iPhone's battery. In this article, we'll explore the impact of Bluetooth on your iPhone's battery life and offer some tips on how to use it efficiently.
Bluetooth is a low-power consumption technology, and therefore has a very low impact on your iPhone’s battery life. As Bluetooth has a very important job in the iPhone’s ecosystem, it’s not worth it to disable it in order to save battery life.
Before we dive into its effects on battery life, let's shortly talk about what Bluetooth actually does. Bluetooth is a wireless technology present in iPhones since the very first one, that you can use to connect to other devices, such as headphones or wearables, and stay connected as far as you keep close to them.
When you connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth accessory, it creates a network link for them to share information and data. This connection is needed for things like listening to music wirelessly or syncing your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
Bluetooth's Low Energy Trick
Now, you might be thinking that keeping a wireless link between your iPhone and Bluetooth devices must be eating up your iPhone's battery, right? Well, here's where the magic happens. Many modern devices, including iPhones since 2014, use an optimized version of Bluetooth called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). BLE has been specifically developed to keep the power consumption very low while keeping the Bluetooth links very strong..
BLE is the reason why you can use your Bluetooth headphones all day without your iPhone running out of battery. When your iPhone and the connected accessory are not actively transferring data, BLE puts them into a low-power "sleep" mode. The link remains but it uses much less power. They wake up only when needed, conserving precious battery life.
How Much Battery Does Bluetooth Use?
How much battery does Bluetooth actually consume? The answer depends on a few factors:
- Connected Devices: The more devices your iPhone is connected to via Bluetooth, the more power it uses, that makes sense. So, if you have your AirPods, Apple Watch, and another Bluetooth device all connected at once, your battery will drain faster than if you were only using one of them.
- Distance: The farther your iPhone is from the connected device, the harder Bluetooth has to work to maintain the connection, and the more power it will use to achieve that. This can slightly increase battery usage.
- Data Transfer: If you're actively sending or receiving data through Bluetooth, like streaming music to your headphones, it will use more power compared to a passive connection as I explained above. Having your iPhone connected to your Apple Watch won’t have a big impact on your iPhone battery life if they are not exchanging data.
- Device Compatibility: The efficiency of Bluetooth can also depend on the quality and compatibility of your Bluetooth accessories. Newer devices often use more efficient Bluetooth versions, while older ones might be less optimized.
That said, you could estimate more precisely how much battery a Bluetooth connection is using. We know that a Bluetooth connection is using less than 100mW of power, that’s the maximum power usage with the latest Bluetooth 5 version.
If you are listening to music during 10 hours, your iPhone will continuously send data to your AirPod using Bluetooth, and therefore will use 100mWH each hour, so 1 WH for 10 hours of music. The battery capacity of an iPhone 15 is about 13WH.
It means that listening to music with AirPods for 10 hours will use 7.6% of battery life.
Some other Bluetooth accessories, such as Bluetooth Remote Shutters and other camera accessories for iPhone are barely using any battery life.
Tips to Maximize Battery Life with Bluetooth
Now that you have a more precise idea of the impact of Bluetooth on iPhone battery life, let's see how to use it wisely to improve your iPhone’s battery life:
- Turn It Off When Not in Use: The simplest way to save battery is to turn off Bluetooth when you're not using it. You can do this by going to "Settings" > "Bluetooth" and toggling it off. But as you will lose many important features, I do not recommend doing this.
- Limit Connected Devices: Only connect to Bluetooth devices that you're actively using. Disconnect or forget devices that you no longer use regularly. Don’t stay connected to your Bluetooth printer if you are not printing anything.
- Use Bluetooth Accessories Wisely: If you have multiple Bluetooth accessories, try not to use them all simultaneously. Connecting to just one at a time can extend your battery life.
- Keep Devices Close: When using Bluetooth, keep your iPhone and the connected device as close as possible to minimize the power used to maintain the connection.
- Check for Updates: Ensure that your iPhone and Bluetooth accessories have the latest software updates. Manufacturers often release updates that can improve energy efficiency.
- Optimize Apps: Some apps, like fitness or navigation apps, may use Bluetooth for tracking. Check the settings of these apps and disable Bluetooth if it's not needed.
Among all the things using power, Bluetooth's impact on your iPhone's battery life is relatively small, especially with the power-saving magic of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The convenience it adds to our daily lives often outweighs the minimal power consumption.
By following some simple tips, you can ensure that Bluetooth doesn't use too much of your iPhone's battery. So go ahead, connect those headphones, wearables, and speakers without being worried, knowing that your battery life won't be too much impacted.