Apps, Phones

Does the dark mode of your mobile really save battery?

We have known for many years that mobiles with AMOLED or OLED screens can save more battery, thanks to the nature of their panels. For them, Google created the dark mode in Android 10, but now we know that not everything is as they had promised us. And it seems that the dark mode of our phones does not save so much battery.

The battery consumption of our terminal is one of the main concerns for many users. And it is that when something fails in this sense, autonomy suffers a lot. Now we know that dark mode is not going to help us too much either.

No, it does not save as much energy

As we said, the dark mode has come to Android to reduce energy consumption, and therefore increase autonomy when we use it. The problem is that it seems that there is not so much battery that it saves. At least if we use it in a certain way. And it is that a new study sheds more light on the benefits of using a dark mode on a mobile with an AMOLED or OLED screen. And the results are not good, or at least they do not align with what we were promised in the beginning.

And it seems that the brightness of the screen is the key to consider this more or less effective way to increase the autonomy of the phone. This study has concluded that the dark theme offers true power savings only when the screen brightness is set to 100 %. The problem is that in most Android phones, users keep the screen brightness between 30% and 50%. Under these conditions, energy savings range from 3% to 9%, making it almost imperceptible to users.

As you know, screens with AMOLED or similar technology turn the pixels on and off individually to show the graphics on the screen. This allows not only to have pure blacks, but also to save energy by not having to turn on so many pixels when displaying dark images and backgrounds, hence the dark mode provides more energy savings, although not as much as expected.

A study that could improve these dark modes

This study was conducted by Charlie Hu, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Michael and Katherine Brick College of Engineering.

And the motivation of the study has been precisely to find more efficient ways to apply these dark modes. With these results, the researchers have more arguments to recommend new techniques to developers so that their apps consume less energy using these dark modes.

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