Monday, October 24, 2011

iPhone 4S Battery Life

A quick search of the internet reveals no shortage of people expressing dismay with the battery life of their new iPhone 4S devices running iOS 5.  I too have joined the fray and expressed some frustrations with the lack of battery life of the 4S.

My iPhone 4 had tremendous battery life.  My typical iPhone day starts when I take it off my bed side charger between 7 and 8am and ends around midnight.  My iPhone 4 would typically be around 70% with normal usage at the end of the day.  The only times I really ran my batter down to the 30% range was when traveling and off WiFi and uploading a lot of pictures using spotty 3G service.  Otherwise the battery life was outstanding.

My 4S however is usually around 25% when I end a normal day - a huge drop in performance and no where near what Apple promised.  If I have any variables now to my normal daily schedule my battery buffer is only 25% before I run out of power.  

One of the things I've always held of my Android friends is that my iPhone battery lasted a long time and they all would agree the iPhone had the better battery, that is until the 4S.

I've invested fair bit of time trying to figure this out but have determined there isn't anything I can do.  I've experimented with all sorts of configurations and with no luck.  So here's what I suggest you do if you too have a 4S and the battery life is disappointing.
  1. Stop wasting time on it.  Just use the phone and stop tweaking the settings in a futile attempt to resolve the problem.  There are too many variables and current evidence suggests it isn't your issue anyway.  You probably have it configured fine, just like you are probably holding it fine too.
  2. You are not alone, if you do find someone who posts their 4S has the same battery performance as their old 4 did please let me know.
  3. For most of us the battery does last the entire day and for me that lets me get my stuff done.  It is just frustrating that compared to what we had before the latest and greatest appears to be under performing.
  4. Turning things off will eventually turn the iPhone into an iPod.  I'm going to use the phone and the features I bought it for and until this gets fixed keep a charger handy.
  5. My iPad is also running iOS 5 and while it's battery life appears affected too it is not as great.  Typically I can get several hours of use out of my iPad on the previous iOS version and only drop around 15%.  Now I'm dropping around 30% but the iPad holds it battery life better when in standby then the iPhone does.
While I don't like this I intend to be patient and wait this one out, with a charger close by.  My guess is the engineers at Apple, who are much smarter than I am, will figure something out and resolve this problem soon enough for us all to go back to bragging to our Android friends that we again have superior battery life and superior devices.  Until then welcome to the bleeding edge of technology.