Have you ever wondered how your Apple Watch might consume less power if you set a darker or completely black dial? This is really true, and it concerns not only Apple smartwatches but also screens in other modern devices, including smartphones. All thanks to the use of OLED displays, for which no backlight is needed – the pixels themselves emit light, so you can play with colors and, depending on this, affect the battery life of the device. This is especially true for the Apple Watch since you have to charge them every day in most cases.

How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone or Apple Watch?
How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone

This is a real combo but just put a black wallpaper.

Why does black consume less battery on Apple Watch?

Unlike iPhones, which still come with IPS screens, Apple has opted for OLED displays for the Apple Watch since the very first model. Unlike traditional LED-backlit LCD screens, OLED is a “self-emitting” display. This means that no backlighting is needed at all because each pixel emits its own light.

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This is what allows you to control the display light at the pixel level and ensure perfect blacks. To display pure black, pixels disconnect. If you put a dark wallpaper on an iPhone with an OLED screen and IPS, you will see that the OLED does not glow at all, and the backlight is visible on the sides of the IPS. Since, in the case of OLED, the pixels are turned off, they do not consume power.

How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone

In OLED displays, the pixels themselves glow. They don’t need a backlight.

For this reason, dials that use mostly dark or completely black elements consume less power than dials with a lot of white or bright elements.

Will this have a big impact on battery life? Of course, you are unlikely to get an extra hour or two, but there will be certain improvements. The best way to answer this question is to try a dark dial on your watch. If your Apple Watch is running low on battery power, a darker background can favor battery life. If you’re not complaining about how the Apple Watch is charging, you might not notice the difference.

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How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone

Such a display may slightly increase the battery life of the watch.

Conventional LCDs do not turn off the backlight when displaying completely black or dark. Instead, they “block” the backlight to varying degrees. However, the backlight is still constantly on, and the black color becomes more washed out and rather gray from this.

How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone?

It’s not just your Apple Watch that can save power this way. Some of the latest iPhones also have OLED displays, and the dark wallpaper trick applies to them too.

If you have an iPhone X, iPhone XS or XS Max, iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max, or any iPhone 12 model (including the iPhone 12 mini), your device uses an OLED display. Want to extend your iPhone’s battery life? You can set a black background and turn on a dark theme. Since many developers have heeded customers’ requests and added dark themes to their applications’ interface, it would be a gross mistake to ignore the innovation. Activating this add-on in the programs with which you interact during the working day will allow your smartphone to work much longer, and you will be less likely to worry about charging it.

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Another trick is also about the “play of colors” and is to invert the screen. If you don’t like the dark theme, go to Settings – General – Accessibility – Customize your display and enable color inversion. This action will increase your iPhone’s autonomy and give all the interface elements without exception.


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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