In an interesting turn of events, the iPhone XS Max battery life has bested the Samsung Note 9 and Google Pixel 3 XL in a new test. This comes after the Note 9 crushed the XS Max in a battery life showdown last week. So what gives? Here’s the variable that changed…

YouTuber PhoneBuff shared his first ever battery life test that uses a robotic setup to keep everything as even between the compared phones as possible. He kept all settings the same, except for one difference. Many readers mentioned that the Note 9 had an unfair advantage with its default screen resolution being at 1920 x 1080, with the XS Max coming in at 2688 x 1242. Although the flip side of that is that many users may stick with the default 1080 setting of the Note 9. In any case, last week’s test saw the Galaxy Note 9 with 37% battery life remaining when the XS Max died.

Today, we’re getting a look at another test that sees the iPhone XS Max beat out the Note 9, Google Pixel 3 XL, and Sony Xperia XZ3. Notably, the XS Max has the smallest battery capacity of all four phones and was still able to come out on top.

YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss ran the smartphones through many of the same tests that PhoneBuff used like social media, video content, gaming and more. But this time around, he set the Note 9’s display to the full 2960 x 1440 resolution. The Pixel 3 XL natively runs at the same resolution, with the Xperia using a 2880 x 1400 panel.

The XS max lasted just over six hours during the intense testing, with the Note 9 shutting down just about 12 minutes before that. The Pixel 3 XL came in third as it powered down after about five hours of testing.

No matter how they continue to stack up in comparison tests, iPhone XSXS Max and Android flagships likely provide most users with at least full day battery life for most use cases. However, it is impressive that with a smaller battery capacity the XS Max was able to perform so well with the largest display of the bunch, even if it has a bit lower resolution.

H/T Neil

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.