How to Tell if You Need a New iPhone Battery – PCMag Middle East

There’s a certain point in the life cycle of Apple’s iPhone when—about six to nine months before the launch of a fresh handset—batteries seem to begin losing the will to live.
For me and my iPhone 12 Pro, that day came around Easter, when I had to purchase a power bank and begin carrying a Lightning cable at all times—just in case the battery dropped from 80% to an anxiety-inducing 25% over the course of an hour and a half.
“Batteries are a complex technology, and a number of variables contribute to battery performance and related iPhone performance,” according to Apple’s support page. “All rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan—eventually their capacity and performance decline such that they need to be replaced. As batteries age, it can contribute to changes in iPhone performance.”
Sure, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, like the ones Apple uses to power its devices, have improved over the years—charging faster, lasting longer, and boasting a higher power density in a lighter package. But until someone invents an everlasting cell, we’ll always need replacements.
And while it’s tempting to make a Genius Bar appointment the first time your phone unexpectedly dies, keep calm and read on to learn how to tell if you need a new iPhone battery.
Apple’s 2018 launch of iOS 11.3 came with the Battery Health feature—a mea culpa amidst legal battles related to “Batterygate,” when the company deliberately slowed older iPhone models without notifying users. (Apple eventually agreed to pay $25 to each affected customer as part of a class-action lawsuit that cost upwards of $500 million—and then some.)
The function, housed in Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging, includes your handset’s Maximum Capacity, or measure relative to when the power cell was new. Apple considers a battery capacity of 80% or above optimal (and not in need of replacement).
Snoop around a bit further and you’ll find graphs charting your battery level and activity over the last 24 hours or 10 days, with info on activity broken down by app. Toggle between Show Battery Usage and Show Activity for a deeper dive. Or don’t, if you’re not in the mood to feel shame over the eye-watering number of hours you spend scrolling Instagram.
As your battery health degrades, so can its ability to deliver what Apple calls “peak performance.” Here are some potential messages you’ll see and what they mean.
Convinced your handset needs a fresh power source? Here are some options:
Eligible iPhones can get a battery replacement at no additional cost, if you have AppleCare+ and your product’s battery holds less than 80% of its original capacity. Otherwise, there’s a service fee of anywhere from $49 to $99, depending on the generation and model:
Note: You’ll have to resolve any damage (like a cracked screen) that may impair the replacement process before sending the phone to Apple.
For the do-it-yourself types, iFixit sells iPhone battery kits with “everything you need to replace your old battery,” including a custom driver, steel bits, opening tools, tweezers, and, of course, a new battery (backed by a one-year guarantee). The site covers nearly every model Apple, from iPhone 4s ($16.99) to iPhone 13 Pro Max ($44.99). Most modern options, however, fall somewhere between $30 and $40.
If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of more affordable options, including Apple-approved or third-party repair providers. Just ask Google.
For more, check out our tips on How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone.
B.A. in Journalism & Public Relations with minor in Communications Media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)
Reporter at The Frederick News-Post (2008-2012)
Reporter for PCMag and (RIP) (2012-present)
PCMag is obsessed with culture and tech, offering smart, spirited coverage of the products and innovations that shape our connected lives and the digital trends that keep us talking.


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