Dark mode can extend the battery life of your phone, but there are pitfalls

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XDA Developers

Enabling Dark Mode on your mobile phone may extend the battery life of your mobile phone. This is something I’ve been hearing for a while. However, according to researchers at Purdue University, the battery life extension isn’t as great as you might think. In addition, when Dark Mode is enabled, a black background does not offer many benefits over the dark gray background found in most apps.Research has shown that enabling dark mode gives nothing. Selection subject It’s more efficient unless you look at it in a particular scenario. The most effective battery life improvement was seen when switching from full brightness light mode to dark mode.

In Purdue research (via Android Authority), Researchers examined dark mode power usage from six different applications. Calculator, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google News, Google Phone, and YouTube have all been tested on Pixel 2, Moto Z3, Pixel 4, and Pixel 5. Of course, all phones have an OLED screen. Researchers have tested the power consumption of each of these apps when run in dark mode for 60 seconds. Researchers said they have built a set of tools to accurately measure pixel-by-pixel power consumption.

“When the industry was rushing to adopt dark mode, there wasn’t yet a tool to accurately measure pixel power consumption.” Charlie Fu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University’s Michael and Catherine Burke, said. “But now we can provide developers with the tools they need to provide their users with energy-efficient apps.”

At about 30% to 50% brightness, researchers found that switching from light mode to dark mode could save only 3% to 9% of power on average. However, switching back at 100% brightness can save an average of 47% battery power.

“In past tests to compare the impact of light and dark mode on battery life, the phone was treated as a black box, bringing together an OLED display and a huge number of other components of the phone. Our tool can accurately separate the consumable parts of the battery with an OLED display. “ Pranab Dash, who holds a PhD from Purdue University, said. A student who worked with Hu in research.

There were other interesting discoveries, such as using the Google News app in 20% brightness light mode on the Pixel 5 and consuming the same amount of power as in 50% brightness in dark mode. Therefore, if you are concerned about a bright display, you can increase the brightness when using it without using too much power overall.

Dark Mode Energy Usage on Android

The study also mentions that Android’s battery consumption details don’t take dark mode into account, so the team developed a tool called “Android Battery +.” Researchers want to open source display profiling tools and add Android Battery + functionality to AOSP.

Featured Image Credits: Purdue University Photo / John Underwood

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