Anyone else troubled by iPhone 3G battery life?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by netdog, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I was all set to get a 3G iPhone upgrade on Friday, but after hearing Mossberg's comments about battery life, I am really concerned. I find that my iPhone battery frequently runs down before the end of the day as it is, and the idea of a phone with significantly shorter battery life is quite troubling. When Jobs announced that the 3G phone would have longer battery life, this was one of the features at the top of my list of improvements. Now I am not sure whether to upgrade or not. A dead phone at 4pm doesn't do anyone much good.
  2. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Depends what you're using it for. I'd like to see timings with Wifi off, 3G off, etc.

    The current iphone won't last the day if you start watching video on it or heavy browsing.. wouldn't have though it was a lot different. OTOH I can get a couple of days of idle time out of it.
  3. netdog thread starter macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I don't watch any video, but use it quite frequently for browsing which seems to kill the battery on the current iPhone. The idea of the 3G having worse battery life is quite daunting to me.
  4. VideoShooter macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2004
    I have hope.

    What if...

    Those two screws at the bottom pop off the backplate easily and 3rd party companies can make a PHATTY battery.

    That would make me happy.
  5. Badgerguy macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2008
    The battery is not intended for user replacement - screws or no screws. If you strip it down and do this, then kiss goodbye to any warranty you have.

    As for battery life - this is a concern for me too. It's all going to depend on how it's used - my daily life usually sees me desk-bound in the office, so I suspect I'll be grabbing myself an extra charger for when i'm at work! I usually get a car charger for any phone I have too.

    When i'm going to be out and about for long periods - well, I guess depending on how you use it it might be best to turn certain features off (not using data? Turn off 3G or find yourself some WiFi!) - it'd be nice if the device had a power profile feature so you could set it to maximize battery life if you know you won't be able to get to a charge point easily for a while

  6. ginguar macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2008
    London, UK
    the battery life is longer if you don't have the 3G on, it's only when using 3G does it eat up the battery, with the new phone you have the choice how to use 3G or not depending on you battery and data needs.
  7. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The lower battery life under 3G should not be a surprise, except perhaps to those who believed Jobs' excuse for leaving it out the first time. ("We won't include it until battery life is better." No, you'll include it so it will sell better in other parts of the world.)

    The new model fits right in with the the original Apple battery comparison chart from last year, that put the EDGE phone up against mostly 3G and/or GPS equipped phones using their smallest batteries.

    As all the reviews mention, at least other phones have swappable batteries, so you can either pop in a freshly charged one, or buy a super extended version.

    Other posters here could be correct about the screws... Apple could very well offer (for lots of money compared to other phones, of course) an extended battery installation in the near future.
  8. Petoz macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2008
    Correct me if I ma wrong, but the screws on the back don't suddenly mean users will be able to replace anything, and they don't suddenly now allow the phone to be easily opened. Not having screws on the last one did no prevent Apple from replacing batteries. So the back could be taken of, and the phone could be taken apart without screws. So why, all of a sudden, are the screws so important? As the last phone had no screws, presumably it was just as easy, if not easier to get the back off with the right tool or force. I just don't really get the significance of the screws.
  9. Antj29 macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2007
    blimey, so its got 3g but you can;t bloody use it cos the battery dies.

    I bet Nokia and Sony erricson are laughing their asses off if thats true.
  10. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    I've just brought a Powermonkey explorer for when I go camping. It is a little solar power charger that has an iPod (and therefore an iPhone) connection included as standard. I think that I might have to carry this with me to start with until I know whether or not I am going to run out of battery on an average day.

    I can imagine that they are. I can see the advertising now.......

    Buy a Nokia, the phone with 3G that won't die on you in a couple of hours.

    If this is true then Apple will get a slating from all the reviews.
  11. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    Don't you people know anything?! The two screws are the vertical hold and horizontal hold controls for the display! Duh! :) (Some of the younger crowd might need to ask their parents about this one)

    Seriously, this crowd is fairly predictable. THe "Apple does no wrong" goons are and will be out in full force over this. When I started thinking about the battery life I thought, "the blind Steve junkies will simply say to turn off 3G when you don't need it. That makes it all better." The reality is that very few will ever do this. The reality for 99%+ of us upgrading from the old iPhone to the new is that we will have significantly shorter battery life. I share the OPs concern as we just effectively lost close to 40% of our battery life. I'm willing to take that hit because I want the speed, but yikes!
  12. Badgerguy macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2008
    Well, other 3G phones have similar talk times on 3G - so, the iPhone as parity or better on battery life. The difficulty is that the iPhone is much more data hungry - so the device is more likely to be connecting up to data services that competitors handsets, running down the battery life that way.

    So, keep spare chargers at the ready at the places where you'll be near a power point, and turn that 3G off when you're away from mains sockets for long periods!

  13. ratbatblue macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    Lemme see:

    Advantages of iPhone 3G model:

    1. 3G data/voice
    2. GPS
    3. lower price
    4. block deleting of email
    5. better speaker

    Disadvantages of iPhone 3G model:

    1. 3G data/voice (sucks battery like baby on bottle)
    2. GPS (maybe not exactly a disadvantage, more like an anti-advantage, since it appears not to be a huge improvement over the current model for navigation/location)
    3. high plan price (negating lower equipment cost)
    4. pretty shiny plastic may or may not scratch like an iPod 5.5G
    5. 32GB model before Christmas (wanna bet against it?)
    6. iPhone 4G, 5G, 6G, etc.

    Do I still want one keenly? You betcha. Am I still gonna stand in line to wait on launch day? No longer certain. Am I gonna actually buy one, replacing my current model? Also no longer certain. Maybe not. But the lure is unbelievably strong, like some powerful narcotic. "Buy it, you know you want it, everything will be fine, charge it twice a day if that's what it takes, it's okay, really"
  14. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Where in the crap do you get this from? Unless I'm mistaken, the battery times have improved on everything that didn't change (anything not 3G-related), which means the phone itself has better battery life. I also remember reading that the existing 3G radios at the time of the first iPhone would've given it about 2 hours of use with 3G data. Considering the iPhone 3G says you can do it for 5 hours, that makes plenty of sense to me.
  15. Penguinwrangler macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    Edgewater, NJ
    This is ridiculous. You guys are griping about something you've never even held in your hands yet. The review may well be right, the battery life may not be improved, but for all that's holy, it's ONE review.
  16. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    I don't think anyone expects a user-replaceable battery. What some are suggesting, is that Apple could offer an "enterprise upgrade" where you have a larger battery and back cover installed.

    Or the screws could simply be to make refurbishment easier / cheaper. Taking apart the original phone often meant that its back cover was dented in some way and would need replacement.

    And you believed someone saying 2 hours? Even the least phone in Apple's old comparison chart had 4 hours.

    The current "five hours" (in Apple's unmatchable lab conditions; less in real life) is the same as what other 3G phones got over a year ago with the same size battery.

    Other times (video viewing etc) have nothing to do with 3G battery life, but more with more efficient backlighting, probably a bigger battery, and so forth.

    The original phone left out 3G less because of battery, and more because of cost, both in the parts and required data plan. Apple is pretty good at figuring out the best cost, price, profit. They put their first money into the all important display, not the radios.
  17. heyp macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2008
    what would be really nice is if you could choose which applications use the 3G network... for instance, you would be on edge until you opened safari or used maps or something like that and then reverted back to edge... of course, since safari can run in the background, this might be difficult to manage but I think it's doable
  18. DreamPod macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2008
    I think the fact that it uses more battery power to use 3G is offset by the fact that the battery lasts a lot longer when 3G isn't being used. Most people aren't going to need 3G all the time - it'll be 3G until you are in range of WiFi. At which point it gets better battery life than the old iPhone, thus cancelling out the disadvantage.
  19. animenick65 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2006
    I'm desk bound at work as well. I'm thinking I'm going to use the usb cable and just keep it plugged into my computer to charge. This should keep it fully charged for whenever I need it and also help keep the battery health up as well. They really should have worked on the battery a bit more. This may be a breaking point for me to buy a different phone.
  20. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    The phone has better battery life overall, it's just that 3G is a battery hog, and we've known 3G is a battery drainer. We await comparison battery hours for other handsets with 3G. But for now, i'd say 5 hours is decent.
  21. diamond.g macrumors 603


    Mar 20, 2007
    It will technically be in 3G as long as you are in 3G coverage and choose to leave the 3G radio on. Remember in order for voice calls to work at the same time as data that would imply that the call is made in the 3G domain. If you turn 3G off then all calls are made over GSM, which mean if you are pulling data (push email folks) your calls will go right to voice mail!!!!
  22. wildcardd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2007
    Denver, CO
  23. animenick65 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2006
    Pretty neat device. Wouldn't mind keeping one of those with me just in case. Anyone ever used one?
  24. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Why await anything? There are lots of 3G phone articles out there with battery life charts.

    Five hours is less than some, more than some. It's pretty much in the middle for a 1400mAh battery (assuming the new phone doesn't boost that from the old one).

    As Mossberg said, "The iPhone 3G’s battery life is comparable to, or better than, that of some other 3G competitors." He did NOT say (as some are misquoting) that it was equal to or better than all phones.

    As for Apple's "five hours", their testing is pretty unrealistic:

    Talk time: Testing conducted by Apple in May and June 2008 using preproduction iPhone 3G units and software. iPhone 3G units were connected to a 1900MHz network or a 2100MHz network. All settings were default except: Call Forwarding was turned on; the Wi-Fi feature Ask to Join Networks was turned off. Wi-Fi was enabled but not associated with a network. Battery life depends on the cellular network, location, signal strength, feature configuration, usage, and many other factors. Battery tests are conducted using specific iPhone units; actual results may vary.

    What this means is that they connected to a test network in the lab or on campus, in freq ranges that use less power.

    Internet use over 3G: Testing conducted by Apple in May and June 2008 using preproduction iPhone 3G units and software. Internet over 3G tests were conducted over a 1900MHz 3G network using dedicated web and mail servers, browsing snapshot versions of 20 popular web pages, and receiving mail once an hour. All settings were default except: Call Forwarding was turned on; the Wi-Fi feature Ask to Join Networks and Auto-Brightness were turned off. Wi-Fi was enabled but not associated with a network.

    In other words, going to a web page every three minutes, served up locally with no delays. And got an email once an hour.
  25. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    It depends how you use it, if you want to save battery toggle 3G off when you don't need it. Also don't have Mail checking by itself, set it to manual if you also want to save life. Turn off any EQ's on the iPod.. and last buy a car charger ;)

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