If you’ve had your iPhone for awhile you may have noticed that it doesn’t last on one charge as long as it used to or that it’s slowed down considerably. Sound familiar? Well, it might be time to change your iPhone battery. Apple recently acknowledged that their lithium-ion batteries gradually lose their ability to maintain a full charge over time. After 500 charge cycles, the battery capacity can drop to 80% or even lower. At that point your iPhone may intentionally slow itself down in order to prevent your aged battery from failing.
How do I know if my battery needs replacing?
The most surefire way to tell if your battery needs replacing is to test your battery wear with an app like Battery Life. The app will tell you how worn out your battery is relative to its original state. If your battery wear level is at, say, “Perfect” or “Average,” you don’t need to replace your battery just yet. But if it comes back with “High” or “Very High,” then you definitely need to consider changing your battery.
How much does it cost to replace?
There are three main ways to replace your battery: 1) through Apple, 2) through a third-party service, or 3) do it yourself. The first option is actually very enticing now that Apple is offering a $29 battery replacement on all iPhone 6s and 7s until the end of 2018. For the price of three acai bowls you can have your iPhone running at optimal speed and maintaining a full charge like new.
The second option, a third-party service, really only makes sense if you have a slow 8th-gen or newer iPhone, since Apple’s normal battery-replacement service costs $79 and many of the third-party vendors charge less. While prices vary, it’s common to pay somewhere between $50-$70.
If you’re mostly interested in saving dough (and you can’t use Apple’s $29 replacement option) your best option is to replace the battery yourself. Many of the online kits available on Amazon and eBay are priced in the $15-$30 range, and some even come with a handy step-by-step guide. Also, there are a litany of helpful online video tutorials you can find by searching for “how to replace your iPhone battery.” I would recommend using either or both as a resource if it’s your first time under the hood of your iPhone.
Is it worth it to just get a new phone altogether?
In most cases it’s better to replace the battery. There’s no reason to drop $1000 on a new iPhone X just because your older iPhone is running slow due to a worn battery. If, however, you’ve checked your battery and it’s fine, and your iPhone is still running inexplicably slow or dying frequently, then you should consider getting a new device--or at the very least making an appointment at an Apple store to diagnose the issue. You also should probably get a new iPhone if you’re still rocking a 5th-gen or older. Changing the battery of those devices could improve performance a bit, but at a certain point it doesn’t make much of a difference how new your battery is; an old iPhone is going to run slower regardless.