A widely circulated iPhone tip would have you believe that your device will charge must faster in Airplane Mode. On the surface, this makes a whole lot of sense. After all, with GPS lying dormant and all of the wireless radios inside the device rendered temporarily inactive, your phone can take a break from things like searching for a cellular signal and work on recharging.
Intrigued, and perpetually in need of a charge, I decided to check out this oft-cited iPhone lifehack for myself.
Here’s what I found using an iPhone 5s as my testing device with all charging being done via a wall socket.
With Airplane Mode turned off, I was able to charge from 1 percent to 25 percent charge in 21 minutes. Reaching a 50 percent charge took 45 minutes. Getting to a 95 percent charge took one hour and 32 minutes.
Not too bad. Now it was time to try it with Airplane Mode enabled. Needless to say, my expectations where high.
With Airplane Mode activated, I was able to get to a 25 percent charge in 18 minutes and a 50 percent charge in about 43 minutes. I was able to get a 95 percent charge in one hour 29 minutes.
So does Airplane Mode help you charge faster?
Technically, sure, but the difference isn’t exactly earth-shattering.
Still, if you’re pressed for time and need to charge up as quickly as possible, you might want to resort to Airplane Mode just to ensure that your device doesn’t begin updating apps in the background or processing, say, a video sent to you via iMessage.
Was this the most scientific of testing environments? Not quite. There is an argument to be had for the iPhone’s battery strength indicator not being 100 percent accurate. To that end, a test from a completely dead iPhone to fully charged might have been a tad more instructive, but this should still provide a rough framework for what to expect when charging in a hurry.