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Unfortunately, you may get a false negative with Geekbench. Apple’s solution will slow your iPhone only if the battery is failing. This doesn’t happen all the time. If your iPhone is freshly charged, the Geekbench scores may be normal. As the battery depletes, it may deliver less current, which may cause it to slow down. If your iPhone feels sluggish, try running Geekbench again.
Observing a Throttled iPhone
Geekbench isn’t infallible. As mentioned, users can get a false negative result, depending on the condition and charge level of their battery. Temperature can also affect results. I ran the test on my iPhone 6 when it was at 10% battery level, and it shut down. It was tested again at 95% and it was much faster than the baseline for an iPhone 6. I do think it is possible that my iPhone is being throttled under certain conditions. Fortunately we do know the characteristics of iPhone throttling:
- longer app launch times
- lower frame rates while scrolling
- backlight dimming
- lower speaker volume
- gradual frame rate reduction in some apps
- during the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI
- apps refreshing in the background may require reloading upon launch
If you experience any of these issues, your iPhone is being slowed due to battery problems. You may want to confirm this with a Geekbench test.
Apple’s Battery Monitoring Tool
Apple pledged to add a battery monitoring utility to iOS 11 in early 2018. This tool will display the condition of your iPhone’s battery. It will clearly indicate whether your iPhone will be slowed due to a chemically aged battery. If your iPhone doesn’t exhibit overt signs of throttling, I recommend waiting until Apple’s utility is available. Also, if you don’t want to spend 99 cents on Geekbench 4, Apple’s utility will be free.
Replace Your Battery Regardless of Condition
Given that the price of battery replacement has been slashed dramatically, I recommend replacing your battery, regardless of its condition. Even if you just bought a new iPhone X and it is only a few months old, a fresh, new battery will extend its lifespan. I have decided to replace the battery in my iPhone 6, regardless of test results. Even though I plan on upgrading my iPhone this year, I always keep my old iPhones. An old iPhone is far more useful than selling it for $135. (Yes, my old iPhone 6 is really worth $135. No other smartphone retains its value like an iPhone.)
Check If You Are Eligible for Free Battery Replacement
A batch of iPhone 6S devices ended up having faulty batteries. Apple will replace the battery in these devices for free. These iPhones were manufactured between September and October of 2015. Apple offers a web-based tool for verifying affected devices. Simply enter your device’s serial number to determine eligibility for a free battery replacement.
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