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Apple's AR efforts will only work if the battery can keep up

Apple's AR efforts will only work if the battery can keep up
From Engadget - September 12, 2017

We have been here before. Pokemon Go was the first AR game to truly take off in the mainstream market and it's still going strong -- but it offers a cautionary tale for anyone dreaming of untethered AR gaming.

On mobile devices, AR is a massive battery suck. Plain and simple.

Playing Pokemon Go for an hour, with no other apps open, will drain about 30 percent of an iPhone 6S's battery, according to CNET. And with other apps open, it's easy to lose 45 percent of an iPhone 6S's battery life in just 30 minutes. Anecdotally, plenty of Pokemon Go enthusiasts using a range of phones have reported massive battery drain when playing for extended periods of time -- that's why they usually have portable-power-pack cables slithering out of their pockets and purses.

The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are more powerful than ever, and all of our smart phones are only going to get more sophisticated as time rolls on. However, no amount of dual-camera action, f/2.4 aperture or 12-megapixel sensors can save the new iPhones from themselves. Simply put, AR is useless if it bricks your phone every time you flip it on.

This is not just Apple's problem. Battery life was a major concern when we reviewed the ASUS ZenFone AR last month. The phone itself was pleasantly powerful, running AAA-style games like Afterpulse and VR experiences nearly flawlessly -- but the battery simply could not keep up. The ZenFone AR packs a 3,300mAh cell, far outpacing the iPhone 6S's 1,715mAh battery, but still, the phone could not stay charged for a full day. Here's how reviewer Chris Velazco explained it:

"I'd pull the phone off the charger between 7 AM and 8 AM, and it would be right on the edge of death by 6 PM. Things got worse when I spent time playing Daydream VR games or using Tango apps for more than a few minutes."

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