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How much battery does the dark theme or dark mode really save?

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2019 will be remembered in the world of smartphones as the year of Dark Mode. Both Google, in Android Q, and Apple, in iOS 13, have introduced a dark theme for their operating system and key apps. Aesthetics aside, how much battery will it save us in real life?

iFixit, a famous portal where you can find guides on disassembly and repair of many gadgets, has published an article in which they've revealed some numbers on this topic.

Obviously, due to the different technologies, not all displays have the same advantages. Smartphones with OLED displays are able to save much more energy than LCD displays, which must still illuminate the entire panel even in the presence of black pixels.

Blue LED
In AMOLED panels, each pixel emits its own light and does not require backlighting as in LCD panels. / © Gussisaurio, CC-BY-SA 3.0

According to the data reported, a Google engineer saved as much as 63% of energy using Google Maps with a dark theme compared to the light version. Ryan Whitwam consumed 41% less when browsing Reddit with a dark theme while AppleInsider measured 60% on average using the Dark Mode on an iPhone.

Obviously, this does not mean that the battery consumption of your smartphone can be reduced by 60% of the usual total. The data reported by iFixit refers to consumption related to the display and does not take into account all the other factors that may affect the total duration of a charge. The dark theme won't give you superpowers and won't magically allow you not to charge your smartphone for two days, however you can expect about an hour more use on the whole, which is not bad!

Will you use Dark Mode or do you prefer clear themes even at the expense of battery life?

Via: Smart World Source: iFixit

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  • 17
    Gavin Runeblade Jun 7, 2019 Link to comment

    I wish dark was the default, and I wish it was carried through onto aps. I hate opening google docs and my nice comfortable phone is suddenly blasting light at me because of the white background. Or Web browsing and every page is white.