Dark Mode Consumes 63% Less Battery, Google
Smartphone components are evolving at a rapid pace but, the lithium-ion batteries that power them are not able to keep up with the latest hardware specifications. Hence, in an effort to prolong battery life, companies are trying to make software and hardware more power efficient. Recently, at the Android Dev Summit, Google revealed some key findings that can boost battery life on smartphones. Display and screen brightness are the biggest battery drainers on any smartphone. Google’s findings reveal using darker colours and the dark mode can extend battery upto 63%.
The most interesting piece of information from the summit was, more brightness draws more power in an almost linear manner. Next, the developers shared their studies performed using the Google Pixel 1 smartphone. The study points out the power consumption on max brightness between normal mode and ‘dark Mode’ on the AMOLED screen on the Pixel 1. The study reveals that the Pixel 1 consumed 250 mA of battery on max brightness in Normal mode whereas max brightness on dark mode consumed only 92 mA . The power consumption on dark Mode is 63% less than the Normal Mode. While, Google also conducted a similar test on the iPhone 7 with LCD display and it showed no difference in power consumtion between two different modes.
Google also studied the impact that different screen colours have on power consumption. They found different colours draw different amounts of power from the source. For instance, Red consumes 600 miliWatts of power and Green consumes 580 miliWatts of power. While, Blue draws the highest power at 800 miliWatts out of the RGB colour gamut. The most important finding is that Black consumes the least power out of all the 65k colours that a display can produce. On the other hand, White draws max power out of the battery.
Google Admits Their Mistake
Google has admitted that they made a mistake in the past with their material design scheme. The company heavily encouraged developers to use white as their primary color for all applications and interfaces which apparently takes a jab at battery backup.
Fortunately, Google explained how ‘Dark Mode’ can prolong the battery backup on a smartphone. Additionally, the latest YouTube with dark mode is an example that Google is learning from its mistakes and continue to bring this support to other apps as well. The company also demonstrated the comparison results that YouTube with dark mode has over normal mode. The YouTube video was paused on both the smartphones to pin point effects dark mode has on power drain. At 50% brightness, dark mode consumed 80 mA of power while normal mode consumes 93 mA of power from the battery. The biggest highlight in this study was the amount of power drawn on 100% screen brightness. YouTube in Dark Mode consumed 96 mA of max brightness which is higher than 50% at Normal Mode. But, Normal Mode on 100% brightness drew significantly higher power at 239 mA.
Also Read: Android Adds Foldable Display Support
To conclude, the study reveals that darker colours and options like Dark Mode can drastically reduce power consumption on phones with AMOLED displays.