As more and more people have now received their deliveries of the new iPhone XS, it seems like every day we are learning more and more new things about this new model, which at first did seem like a more minor update this year.

In a report from Japan based blog, Ata Distance which covers Apple Pay, Apple Maps and Suica it has revealed that the iPhone XS model in Japan supports the countries Suica card payment system, while the iPhone is in power reserve i.e ran out of battery.

In the video below, the author of the article waits for his iPhone XS to run out of a battery, the proceeds to top up his Suica card, which is a top up card for traveling on Japan’s public transport network then purchases an item from a shop and then uses the train, all while his phone is out of juice.


Ata Distance does mention that this kind of feature has been on some Android phones for a long time, but this is new to the iPhone.

This kind of feature has long been on Japanese Osaifu-Keitai Android smartphones which have dedicated Sony FeliCa chips. Apple has a ‘virtual FeliCa’ implemented on their A-Series but the down side was that iOS had to be up and running and could not match Osaifu-Keitai. A12 Bionic has a new low power state that now allows virtual FeliCa to work without iOS up and running, finally matching FeliCa on Android.

Ata Distance

Once your iPhone is in power reserve, it will only work up to five hours and as the above video shows, you can even top up the card using the machines in the train stations. Ata Distance also mentions that “Suica essentials run on A12 Bionic without iOS.” hence why it can run when the iPhone has very little battery left.

On iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Express Cards with power reserve is available for up to five hours when your iPhone needs to be charged. You can press the side button to check if Express Cards are available when your iPhone needs to be charged. Doing this often may significantly reduce the power reserve for Express Cards. If you choose to power off your iPhone, this feature will not be available.


Using Suica

If you live in Japan, or are planning on travelling for a long period and want to use a Suica card to get around, the card works on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as long as they were purchased in Japan.

Otherwise, if you have a iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max you can use the Suica cards.

Learn more on Apple’s page on How to set up a Suica card in Apple Pay

Source: Ata Distance

Images: Apple and Ata Distance