Regarding OLED... Does screen curtain reduce power drain?

Hardware & Accessories


so probably in the same quandary as most of you, which new iPhone to get. Pros have nothing particularly interesting on them aside from the LIDAR which, for the time being, isn't a useful tool to the blind. I'm left weighing up the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini. Form factor wise, until I hold both, I'l not be able to say which is right for me. If anything, the mini sounds a little small as I'm used to the iPhone 8. Anyway, the main thing for me, as I'm sure it is for most, is battery life.

the Mini comes in at 10 hours of video streaming whilst the iPhone 12 comes in at 11. This is probably the best metric as it is everything on, 5g, processor, screen etc rather than just the local video playback. Naturally these will translate to very different real world result dependent on use, but we can safely say that the iPhone 12 will last approximately 10% longer than the mini.

My question is, this is to people with iPhones with the OLED displays which I believe are the Pros from last year, does screen curtain have a baring on battery life? I realise that with the LCD it doesn't as the screen is still on, but OLED, as far as I understand it, switches elements off to get those deeper blacks etc, so, in theory, with screen curtain on, the screen is actually off, reducing power drain.

What are peoples thoughts, experiences or knowledge on this?





Submitted by Chris Hill on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I've always gotten better battery life with screen curtain on. I don't think that will change.

How do I know I'm getting better battery life? Usually it is because on some days I have to charge early, and usually after a day or two of doing so my wife will mention that my screen is on, usually because we've been to Sam's club and I needed it on for the scan and go to work). I turn it off and I'm back to going all day on a charge again.

I've been keeping screen curtain with a 5, 6, and an 8, and the battery life has always been better with it on.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

When it comes to OLEDs, a black screen means the pixels are off, unlike an LCD which can actually consume more power when it's showing a black screen. The main reason the LCD saves power is because it cranks the backlight down to minimum, at least it did back when I had an iPod Touch. The only thing about OLED is that the display driver will likely stay active, even with a black screen unless Apple reworked it. Still, it's a great power savings.