4S battery question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sulpfiction, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    I know batteries are not exactly precise instruments, but I just want to know if this is normal...

    My battery in my 4S was a 5% while I was browsing FB, and also streaming Sirius. I figured i'd let it run all the way out so I could re-calibrate the battery. My battery life isn't all that great to begin with, just barely get through a day with moderate use. I'm usually at 10-15% by 7-8pm.

    Anyway, I'm browsing around, listening to music and within 20-25 minutes, the battery is down to 1%....And that's where it stayed...I continued browsing and streaming for another 20 minutes and it stayed at 1%. Another 10 minutes went by and still 1%. So then I turned the flashlight figuring any second it would shut off. I left the flashlight on for 5+minutes and then shut it out (don't like leaving light on that long). It was another 10-15 minutes after that when it finally died. So it was like 45 minutes of heavy usage at 1% battery. This can't be normal can it? I've drained the battery completely in the past and never had it stay at 1% this long. And although my battery gets me through the day, it's just terrible compared to my 4.

    Any ideas as to what would/could cause this? Anyone else experience similar issues?

    Here's hoping 5.1 is a nice update.
  2. HeezyBear macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    I've noticed the same thing. The phone stays on for an unusually long time at 1%. I mentioned this in another thread a while ago. It seems like when the phone displays battery life at 1%, in actuality it's actually around 10%. I think this incorrect reporting of battery life may factor into why people are having such an issue with battery life. So people have more battery life left than they think, but very few people are going to continue to use their phone without charging once it displays 1%.
  3. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    I'm convinced that from 100% down to 99% is coded to be a long period of time. I can unplug my phone from the charger and get ready for work, go to work, be at my desk, look, and it's still at 100%... like 1.5 hours later.

    Then, from 99%-90, it seems to drain "average".

    90% down to ~20% is all normal drain, but then from 20% down to 1% there's some "shady math" configuring what is displayed on the battery meter.

    Then, as you've seen, 1% is really more like 10%.

    Personally, I think it's all some sort of behind the scenes coding that controls what is seen on the meter vs. what the battery actually has. I kinda think it's a good thing that 1% is actually like 10% (otherwise people would always mess themselves up) But the other stuff... eh.

    Reminds me of my gas gauge in EVERY car I've ever owned. If I can get 300 miles to the tank, from full to 1/2 tank on the gauge is 200 miles, from half down to empty is only 100 miles.
  4. sulpfiction thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Thanks guys! I hope 5.1 addresses this issue. It's annoying. Lol
  5. max pl macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2010
    i think they do something similar to what car manufacturers do with fuel gauges.

    when a fuel gauge shows empty you still have a bunch of gas left to ensure that you can get to a gas station. you can probably drive another 20 to 40 miles before its dry.

    this seems similar and is ultimately a very good design decision.
  6. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Not all of this is really always the case for everyone. With my phone and another one that I often observe, the last 10% or even down to 5% or even 1% really don't last much longer than those from 50% to 40%, for example. As many times as I've gotten down to the phone actually turning off on me--and that has happened more than a few times--I certainly didn't get that much out of that last 5% or even 1%.

    As for how it all works in general, the battery meter is based on the voltage that is sensed from the battery, which isn't something that's linear as the battery is used, it's more or less along a curve, so you generally see "steady" usage between probably about 80% and 20% and somewhat different usage in the first and last 20% or so. Add to that the actual usage of the phone at different times and that amplifies the effect--since in the first 20% of usage you might be doing more (or less) things vs. the middle or the last 20% given the timing of the day, what you have running on the phone, your usage habits, etc., etc., etc.
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Mine is the same way. I watched an entire episode of mythbusters on my 4s on Netflix via wifi at 2% and it still went on for a bit.
  8. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Have you tried this again after recalibrating? If so, any difference? I briefly switched over to a Droid Razr thinking a change would be good. I previously owned a Droid Incredible and Droid Pro after a long stint with BB. After spending nearly a year with the iphone, it made for a very tough adjustment. I quickly sold my Razr on CL and bought a 4s. The Razr shut itself off due to battery drain within about 4 or so hours of moderate use. I surfed the web a bit, checked FB, and snapped a couple of poor quality shots. The 4s, on the other hand, went strong till the end of the day with power to spare. Granted, I had 4g on all day with the Razr, but I don't see the point in having a 4g device if I can't use it like I normally would. Besides I spend more time on wifi between home and work. I was constantly worried about which applications were running in the background and checking my power usage settings. On my iPhone, I turn off the "percentage" indicator altogether and just use it without worry.

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