Dark Mode Does Not Save as Much of Your Smartphone’s Battery as You Think
The benefits are only evident at higher brightness levels.
It is widely believed that using dark mode on smartphones with OLED displays can help improve their battery life. This is often because OLED displays consume little or no to almost no power when showing black content. In contrast, they need a tendency to consume tons more power whenever they have to power on individual pixels for showing light-colored content.
However, a replacement study shows that dark mode is unlikely to significantly enhance your smartphone’s battery life.
Dark Mode Has Little Impact on Your Smartphone’s Battery Life
A study conducted by the researchers of Purdue University points to dark mode barely improving your smartphone’s battery life.
For the study, the researchers tested six of the top popular Android apps on the Google Play Store: Google Maps, Google News, Google Phone, Google Calendar, YouTube, and Calculator. The tests were conducted on the Google Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 5, and Moto Z3.
Using a tool developed by the team dubbed Per-Frame OLED Power Profiler (PFOP), which will measure the facility draw of every pixel, the researchers analyzed how dark mode affected a moment of activity in each of the apps mentioned above.
The study notes that most users tend to possess auto-brightness enabled on their smartphone, which keeps the display brightness around 30–40 percent when indoors. Purdue researchers found that having dark mode helped with the display brightness between 30–50 percent only saves about 3 to 9 percent battery power on average. This, however, will vary, counting on the smartphone you employ.
The researchers found that the difference in power saving is so slight that most users will barely notice the difference. They do, however, note that the upper the brightness levels are, the upper is going to be the facility savings when one uses dark mode. For example, at one hundred pc brightness, switching from light to dark mode saved a mean of 39 to 47 percent battery power.
Dark Mode Does Not Drain Your Phone’s Battery Faster at Higher Brightness Levels
Another interesting tidbit from the study is that the quantity of power consumed by an OLED display at lower brightness levels with a lightweight theme is the same because it is finished at higher brightness levels with dark mode enabled.
For example, the researchers found that the Google News app on the Pixel 5 consumes an equivalent amount of power in a light mode with display brightness set to twenty percent because it does when the intelligence is about 50 percent with dark mode enabled. This suggests that you can increase your phone’s brightness when using the dark method without much of an influence penalty.
The study clarifies that if you tend to use dark mode only to extend your smartphone’s battery life, it’s not getting to make much of a difference. However, dark mode tends to be easier on the eyes, which a study cannot measure.