The smartphone ecosystem is quickly adopting dark mode like the one significant battery lifesaver. Whether on Android or iOS, we’ve seen an increase in the number of applications that provide users with options in recent years. New research, however, calls into doubt the usage of dark mode as an efficient means of decreasing battery depletion.
A team of Purdue University scientists created new methods to assess the impact of a dark mode on a smartphone’s battery in recent research. The advancement now allows for more efficient monitoring of battery consumption caused by lighter colors on the screen vs a dark mode.
Surprisingly, the study’s findings indicate that dark mode is unlikely to have a major influence on a smartphone’s battery life. Though it consumes less power than a standard light-colored theme, the difference is unlikely to be discernible “with the manner that most people use their phones daily.”
In terms of statistics, dark mode on an OLED smartphone is expected to save just 3 to 9% of battery when compared to normal mode. These findings, however, pertain to using a phone at 30 to 50% brightness, which is often the range followed by an auto-brightness setting.
According to the current study, these battery benefits might be substantially larger at 100% display brightness. By using dark mode, a smartphone may save between 39 and 47 percent of its battery power at maximum brightness. This is over half the battery life given in a single charging cycle.
It was thus discovered that the dark mode, which is commonly used by smartphone users in outdoor situations under sunshine, may considerably preserve battery life in peak brightness. These advantages were discovered to exist on OLED panels due to the lack of backlight seen in LCD (liquid crystal display) screens. When showing dark-colored pixels, OLEDs use less power as a result.
Purdue University researchers evaluated six of the most popular Google Play applications, including Google Maps, Google News, Google Phone, Google Calendar, YouTube, and Calculator, for the study. On devices such as the Pixel 2, Moto Z3, Pixel 4, and Pixel 5, the applications were tested in dark mode for 60 seconds.
Even though the testing was done on Android applications and phones, experts believe the findings would apply to iPhones with OLED panels as well.
For the trial, the team developed new power modeling technology, which is currently patent-pending. According to the claims, the new technology can assess the power drain of OLED phone screens more precisely than previous approaches.