Looking to speed up your iPhone? A battery replacement may be one of the best options. Apple has shared that it decreases iPhone performance to guard against less predictable, older batteries from early shutdowns. However, if you plan on keeping your iPhone for a while longer or want to hand it down, a $20-$29 battery investment may be well worth it.
Since iOS 10.2.1, Apple has been using software to help iPhones with older batteries from unexpectedly shutting down, sometimes called ‘battery smoothing.’ Most recently iOS 11.2 has brought the feature to the iPhone 7.
While this creates the best experience (compared to a dead iPhone) the big trade-off is a slower iPhone. Also, with the way the software safeguards work, the older the battery, typically the more limited performance will become.
How to check iPhone battery health/capacity
An easy way to check your iPhone’s battery health/capacity at home is with the free, aptly named Battery Life app.
iPhone X on the left, iPhone 6 with old battery on the right
Battery replacement from Apple
Even if you try out an app like Battery Life to see your iPhone’s battery health/capacity, it’s a good idea to get in touch with Apple for the most accurate results. I believe Apple can even do this on the phone by calling 800.APL.CARE in addition to visiting an Apple Store or AASP.
There’s also a replacement program for a limited number of iPhone 6s devices (no cost), it doesn’t hurt to check your serial number if you haven’t already.
If your battery heath is poor, you’re experiencing overall slow performance, and you or someone else would like to continue using an older iPhone, Apple normally charges $79 for a new battery.
However, along with its apology for how it handled battery/performance slowdowns, it will be offering $29 battery replacements for a limited time.
This is likely the best option for most users. However, some may want to live on the wild side for a few different reasons…
DIY iPhone battery replacement
Warning: this option isn’t for the faint of heart and can be difficult, although walk-through videos from iFixit make it much easier). That said, if you’re up for the challenge (or feel comfortable with it), want to save some cash, don’t want (or can’t) go to an Apple Store, and don’t mind the risk (like ruining your iPhone), there are some options to replace an iPhone battery yourself.
Keep in mind this may void your warranty, although there’s always the option of replacing the original Apple battery if you need to take it to an Apple Store at some point (even for out-of-warranty service).
Extra warning: Don’t attempt to replace a swollen battery. Also, a battery puncture or other similar issue can create a dangerous thermal event.
Pick up a battery kit
If you’d still like to go for it, the next step is to pick up a new battery and the right tools for the job. Kits from iFixit start at $20 for iPhone SE, $25 for the iPhone 6, $25 for iPhone 6s, and $29 for the iPhone 7/7 Plus. The batteries have a 1-year warranty.
These kits include all the tools you need along with the replacement battery. While iFixit is a trustworthy company, keep in mind these aren’t first-party Apple replacement parts.
You can also find iPhone battery replacement kits on Amazon. The most reputable options look to be from Yontex, with 4.4/5 stars on over 400 reviews.
Battery Kit for iPhone 6 – $26
One note, if you’re considering a DIY battery replacement on a 6s/6s Plus or 7/7 Plus – the process is more difficult as these devices have an adheseive around the display.
Follow a step by step iFixit walk-through
If you do decide to risk it and go for the DIY option, don’t forget to use iFixit’s helpful videos to make the process as smooth as possible.
Video walk-through by JerryRigEverything