My Dying SE is Killing Me

Hello dear MPUs, I come to you today with a confession and question. For a couple weeks now, my iPhone SE battery lasts half a day at best. I’m unsure how correlated this was with the 13.3 update. I could’ve sworn I was having issues a day or two before, but it definitely has been bad since. In the holiday break, this hasn’t been too much of an issue, but when I’m back to work, I’m going to need to carry an external battery everywhere I go because it’s unpredictable. It’s like it’ll be at normal place and then drop to red. Seems to stay at 1% for longer than I expect, too, which makes me wonder if the indicator isn’t accurate. Still, it shuts down eventually and way sooner than it should.

My battery health is at 83% and says it’s “currently supporting normal peak performance” whatever that means.

So, three questions:

  1. For those of you that currently use an SE, are you experiencing similar things lately?
  2. For anyone, do you have any tips or advice regarding extending the life of this device?
  3. For those with fancier phones, what might I replace it with? I’ve looked at the SE2 MacRumors and it seems there is a device in the works for early 2020, but it will not be as small as the SE now (it will be the size of the iPhone 8) and it will come configured as a budget option, with less powerful features.

Thanks for any advice, and feel free to answer questions I didn’t think to ask if another option comes to mind.

Not an SE user, but have you looked into just having Apple replace the battery? Might be a good option since form factor seems to be the most important factor to you. Alternatively, you might be able to buy a new-ish/used replacement SE on eBay?

Thanks – yes, that’s on my list of options. I’m concerned that the problem isn’t the battery since it’s at 83% and sort of began happening all of a sudden, but perhaps 83% is a pretty crappy rating for batteries?

It’s possible a recent iOS update is hitting it harder than previously — a reinstall and restore could help answer that, but it’s also possible that it’s just crossed a threshold where you really notice the decreased battery life. 83% of its original capacity is definitely a big blow, but batteries do wear out over time, sadly.

If you really like the size, the Apple battery replacement looks like a pretty good deal for the SE:


I have similar things happening for a while with my trusty SE. My SE will be two years old on 4/14/2020, so I am going to hopefully exercise my AppleCare to get a new battery at no cost.

My capacity is similar to yours and I have found it does stay at 1% for quite a while. I do turn on low power mode when I hit 20%. I love the form factor and while the camera is outdated at this point it simply works for me. $50 for a battery seems like a fair deal if they can do it at the store, shipping it off for would be a problem for most people.

Just my two cents.


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I’ve experienced similar problems before with an iPhone6 that I used for around 4 years, and found a battery replacement solved the problem.
If you’re considering keeping the phone still, then whatever the new SE turns out to be it will be plenty for you I suspect. I was considering an SE because I use my iPad more these days.
Eventually I decided to get an XR 2 months ago because I realised value was my driving factor not size.

So, I say if size is most important or you’re otherwise content, get a new battery.
If size is not so important really and you want something with more power, wait for the SE2 (which could be 9 months, you never know) or get an XR or something.

We’ve had an SE for about 1-2 years, not sure. I’ve moved on to an iPhone 8, the wife has inherited the SE. The battery was doing just what you described, and we finally took it in to a local shop here in Mexico. They replaced it w/ a generic battery, so far so good. Same shop replaced the screen when my wife did a face-plant on the sidewalk and caught herself w/ the hand holding the phone. Both events cost about $25 US.