iPhone 12 only uses 5G when necessary to save battery life

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup will be the first to feature 5G. However, it’ll only use the faster networking speeds some of the time, thanks to a new “Smart Data Mode,” which will toggle between 4G and 5G based on when apps are making big bandwidth demands.

So if you’re out checking your email or Twitter, your iPhone 12 will still use regular 4G — even if you’re in a 5G area — to avoid using the additional (and apparently power-hungry) radio. Switch over to a streaming movie or a video call, and your phone will jump to 5G and its faster speeds and lower latency.

It’s an interesting solution, although it’s still not entirely clear how big of a dent 5G makes in overall battery life, at least for the various 5G Android devices that have…

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