Always-on Display: How does it affect battery life?

Helena Bosnjak
Mar 5, 2023
Updated • Mar 6, 2023
Mobile Computing

Nowadays, mobile phones are more than just phones - as with any kind of device, it facilitates our daily tasks. However, the more we are on our phones, the more we drain the phone's battery. On the other hand, Mobile Phones companies try to enhance our phones to prolong the battery. However, is it always the case?, I sometimes ask myself. Take a look at this new mobile phone option ‘’always-on Display’’! Here are some observations on this feature.

Always-on Display How does it affect battery life

What is Always-on Display Feature

‘Always-on’’ feature on mobile phones enables our phones to be in wake-up mode. In other words, our phone displays won’t turn off when we’re not using our phones. For example, when enabling this option, it means this: you’re on your phone, you need to do something, you leave your phone on a table, and upon completing your task, you come back to pick up your phone, your display will be turned on, not off. You don’t need to wake up your phone; unlock it in your preferable way, and you’ll be able to use it instantly. 

Of course, you might turn off this option when in public places or at work, to keep your privacy from curious passers-by. That’s okay. However, another concern is how much it drains our phone battery. Of course, it depends on our phone operating system and its brand. Dxomark did research on this, so let’s see what they found out.

Always-on Feature vs. Battery Life

The Dxomark team did quite thorough research on this. They used four different smartphones for this research, and they are the Xiaomi Ultra 125, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S22 (Exynos), and Google Pixel 7 Pro. The test was under controlled conditions, such as a temperature of around 22°C (71.6°F), phones placed in a Faraday cage, with 50 lux of ambient light, and battery power at different percentages.

Some phone features were on, such as airplane mode,  auto-brightness mode, and adaptive refresh rate, while features such as Bluetooth, data, Wi-Fi, and location services were off. For displaying the measurement, the Dxomark team used a Radiant imaging colorimeter. So, you wonder what the results are.

They found out that the ‘’always-on’’ display feature drains battery life more than expected. In other words, your phone battery will last for 100 hours with this feature turned on, while it could last 400 hours with this feature turned off. It just makes me wonder whether the phone manufacturers did any research before including this feature. This Dxomark team ran some additional tests as well, and they all proved that this feature is better to be turned off.

Always-on Display How does it affect battery life

Always-on Display Failure

Even though phone manufacturers had the best intentions when enhancing our phones’ features and functions, it’d be much better to run thorough tests for some questionable features, such as this one. Everyone needs a phone with a longer-lasting battery since our phones are our precious tools.


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  1. basingstoke said on March 6, 2023 at 10:33 am

    I’m sorry battery life increases x4?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 6, 2023 at 10:40 am

      Yes, that was Dxomark states. I added the source link.

  2. Kazabooboo said on March 6, 2023 at 9:26 am

    “The test was under controlled conditions, such as a temperature of around 22°C (71.6°F), phones placed in a Fahrenheit cage…”

    A Fahrenheit cage?!? I don’t think so.

    They put the phones in a Faraday cage.

    “To run our battery measurements, we tested all four smartphones for at least two days under the same conditions inside a Faraday cage at a temperature of around 22°C (71.6°F), with ambient light at 50 lux, and battery power between 20% and 80%….”

    Good grief – maybe Softonic should invest in a fact checker and a copy editor instead of a bunch of clickbait writers.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 6, 2023 at 10:39 am

      Thank you, I corrected this and added a link to the source.

  3. Anonymous said on March 6, 2023 at 4:44 am

    It’s obvious that not turning off the display will waste more energy. I expected more quality from ghacks. What will be next, an article explaining that if you hit your phone with a hammer, it will break?

    1. Ray said on March 7, 2023 at 5:06 am

      I betcha Ghacks uses AI to write a lot of the newer articles now.

  4. nigfag said on March 5, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    I only use it to display time.

  5. Tachy said on March 5, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    My phones battery will not last as long if I leave it on 24/7?


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