Apple promises up to 24 hours of 3G talk time on the iPhone 6s Plus and up to 12 hours of LTE Internet or Wi-Fi usage. The iPhone 6s Plus battery life typically comes in at a couple of hours more than the 12 hours Apple promises, but there’s an iOS 9 feature that helps users squeeze even more battery life out of their iPhones. We wanted to find out how much battery life the iPhone 6s Plus Low Power Mode would add to a day’s worth of battery life, so we put the phone through a real-world informal test. Here’s what we found out.
iPhone 6s Plus Battery Life Test
The iPhone 6s Plus battery life lasts between 13-15 hours depending on how a person uses the phone. We already shared some tips for extending iPhone 6s Plus battery life. That post applies to the 6s, but those tips will also work on the 6s Plus.
To test how much battery life the iPhone 6s Plus Low Power Mode adds, I first ran an iPhone 6s Plus with Low Power Mode turned off and with Wi-Fi, LTE and Bluetooth turned on the entire day. The day also included normal use of phone calls, text messaging and email. During the day I also used Safari browser and other apps that connect the phone to the Internet. A lot of the time I used Pocket Casts ($3.99) for watching video podcasts. Finally, I used the built-in Maps app for navigation for a couple of hours.
The phone came off my dock around 7:30 a.m. and returned to it about 5:30 p.m. on the first day because the battery got pounded more than usual and didn’t last all day.
On day two, I also disconnected the phone at about 7:30 a.m. and immediately turned on Low Power Mode using the steps below. During the day the phone handed the same kinds of things it did on day one including calls, texts, email, web browsing, apps, navigation for a couple of hours and a lot of video podcasts.
At the end of day two I checked the battery percentage at around 5:30 p.m., the time I returned it to the charger on day one.
How to Turn On iPhone 6s Plus Low Power Mode
Open the Settings app and swipe down till you see Battery. You’ll see its green icon second-to-last in the third section on the main screen of the Settings app. At the very top of the next screen you’ll see Low Power Mode. Tap the on/off switch to turn it on and it will turn green. You can tell this feature is turned on because the battery icon in the status bar at the top of the screen turns yellow as seen below.
While in the Battery section take a look at the other items. From that screen users can turn on or off the Battery Percentage, which shows the percentage of battery life left in the status bar at the top of the screen as seen above. This makes it easier to see how much battery life the phone has left.
On the left find the Battery Settings in the Settings app. On the right see what apps are using the most battery power.
The help text below the iPhone 6s Plus Low Power Mode on/off switch in Settings tells users that this feature turns off features to cut the amount of power the phone uses. Here is a list of the things affected:
Mail fetch – the phone automatically downloads email as soon as it’s ready, but this feature turns that off so the user must manually download email or set it to download at a scheduled time in the Mail settings of the Settings app.
Hey Siri – while the phone is charging, it listens for the user to say “Hey Siri” and then engages Siri ready to complete whatever command the person tells the phone to do
Background app refresh – apps often do things in the background, like update Twitter feeds or download content on demand and this turns that off for all apps that use this feature.
Automatic downloads – music, movies, TV shows, books, or app updates won’t download automatically forcing the user to download them manually.
Visual effects – the parallax effect that makes the home screen and lock screen backgrounds move is one feature that will get shut off in Low Power Mode.
iPhone 6s Plus Lower Power Mode Test Results
So how much battery life did iPhone 6s Plus Low Power Mode add over a day of heavy usage? On the second day of test, the iPhone 6s Plus lasted 25% longer thanks to Low Power Mode. The phone lasted about 10 hours before draining to 10% on the day of heavy usage without Low Power Mode. With the setting turned on, the phone lasted longer, lasting closer to 12.5 hours on Low Power Mode with heavy usage on day two.