iPhone 4s battery life

  • Posted: 19 January 2012 07:36 PM

    I finally bought myself a new iPhone 4s 64GB from a Apple store.  I have been a Blackberry user until now.  I loved the ios5 interface, the ease of use and all the apps and abilities of the device.  What I could not live with was the battery life.  I was shocked that the phone would not even last me a single day.  I noticed that if I took it off the charger at 8am and left for work, by lunch time the phone had already lost between 10 - 15% and by the time arrived home it was down to 40%. I am not a heavy user, had not yet installed any apps, and sent around 12 texts and 2 calls totaling approx 6 min.  Over night the phones life dropped to 10% by the morning.  This is performance is no where near what Apple quote.  When I took the phone back to Apple they didn’t seem interested in my opinion and experience.  They just offered to give me my money back, saying that this was a mini computer and I should not compare it to my Blackberry Bold.  If I was not happy I can have my money back.  This I did and am back on my 2 year old Bold :-(.  I just wondered what others experience is and are Apple doing anything about this?

         
  • Posted: 20 January 2012 12:07 PM #1

    TitanUK - 19 January 2012 11:36 PM

    I was shocked that the phone would not even last me a single day.  I noticed that if I took it off the charger at 8am and left for work, by lunch time the phone had already lost between 10 - 15% and by the time arrived home it was down to 40%. I am not a heavy user, had not yet installed any apps, and sent around 12 texts and 2 calls totaling approx 6 min.  Over night the phones life dropped to 10% by the morning.  This is performance is no where near what Apple quote.

    This is very abnormal behavior for an iPhone and nowhere near the experience anyone I know has had.  My iPhone 4S lasts more than a day in heavy usage.  I took a screenshot once just so I could prove I wasn’t imagining it, showing me at 57% power after almost 24 hours.  I was a former Blackberry user too and my BBs never kept power like that.

    I’m sorry that you ran into some less-than-sharp customer service people when you went to have this dealt with.  I would certainly suggest chronicling your experience and sending it to Apple corporate; that’s not the customer service experience they train their reps to deliver.  But in the meantime, as to your phone:

    First, make sure you have the most current iOS update.  Earlier builds of iOS 5 had some power consumption issues related to the phone being stuck in a loop of constantly polling for wifi, draining the power.

    Got the most current version?  Go into settings (I regret that I’m not enough of a techie to be more specific about this, but if you Google around you’ll find tips about this, some right here on TMO) and turn off wifi and location services for all your apps (including the built-in apps).  Then charge up and test usage.  Maybe do this on the weekend when you aren’t needing to do business with your phone.  The battery life *should* be fantastic at that point—if it’s still bad, it’s the unit and you’ll want to go swap it out.

    Once you have it running well as a baseline, turn back on wifi and test, then location services one by one for your apps and test, and you should be able to narrow down the culprit.  More likely than not, some derelict app is phoning home and eating up all your battery in the process.  You can then seek an update of that app or find a substitute, etc. 

    Anyway if there’s someone reading this who can be more specific than I have been, please do speak up.  And I hope this helps solve your problem.

         
  • Posted: 20 January 2012 12:11 PM #2

    I just got my 4S for Christmas, replacing my 3GS, and I have been pleased with the improvement of battery life over the 3GS.

    I have a routine of plugging the phone in overnight so I have a full charge every day, but I’ve never come near running out of juice in the course of the day.

    One big difference for me is the improved 3G signal. With my previous phone, it would lose connection with the tower continually while I was at work. I could rarely receive calls in my office at all. So the phone would be burning battery searching for a signal all day. Now, with the better reception, it’s not wasting charge trying to find a signal.

    People use their phones differently and in different locations, and that’s what affects battery life most for any device. What I’ve found to be most helpful in my case is to routinely charge the phone while I’m sleeping. Then I’m never without juice when I’m awake.

         
  • Posted: 20 January 2012 01:50 PM #3

    I got my 4S in late December, after Apple had released an iOS ‘fix’ for battery life.

    My use varies depending on my global location.

    When I am in the USA, for example, I am a heavy user of both phone and data. I compared my 4S to my wife’s 4, and found no substantial difference in battery life while in the US. The 4 had a marginal difference in longer battery life, but not of a nature where I would recharge one and not the other.

    I also found that my end-of-day battery life was within range of my old 3GS. In all cases, my habit is to charge the phone at night, but I begin my day at 0400 and use the phone immediately for playing podcasts while working out. I plug the phone in to charge it at night, usually circa 2330h and it typically has >50% battery life left after a full days use (between 19 - 20 hours), including phone, texting, Twitter, web surfing, accessing/transmitting data.

    I must admit, if I have had excessive phone use, I occasionally plug the phone in to recharge during the day, but note that that usually results in my ending the day north of 70% charge.

    I have seen reports on Twitter of very short battery life from various users, which I don’t doubt, however my experience is such that, had I not heard of these reports, I would have noticed no meaningful difference in battery performance in migrating from the 3GS.

    Given these variable experience, my suspicion is on software (notifications, tracking) rather than on hardware for short battery life.

    I should add, when I travel and have data roaming off (and have limited phone use), I end with 70 - 90+% charge.

    [ Edited: 20 January 2012 01:54 PM by wab95 ]

    Signature

    wab95