iPhone 4 Battery Drain Problem?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by DoubleSh0t, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. DoubleSh0t macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I've posted some stats in the battery life thread, but I wanted to open up a new thread to try to gather some more input. I'm seeing a pretty wide range of numbers. I don't think I'm getting the proper amount of battery life out of my iPhone 4. It seems to be draining incredibly quickly. I can -barely- make it through the whole day with WiFi and Bluetooth off during the majority of the day. I do some surfing on breaks and the occasional text. I'm very happy with my iPhone, I do have the antenna glitch but I'm using the bumper. No green spots on the camera (though I have to hold the phone VERY still in order for the pictures to come out clear), no proximity sensor issues yet. But the battery life is a real show stopper for me.

    Turning Push e-mail off has seemed to help, but I'm still getting incredible battery drain. Frankly, I don't think turning off push is a sacrifice I should have to make anyway.

    Here's a test I did today. Bluetooth off, WiFi on and connected. Only apps running are Phone and Messages. Check out the battery level and the time:


    Next, I played Angry Birds. During that time, I received two text messages. I was playing the game from 2:17 - 2:42. Here's the battery life after:


    Also, here is my brightness screen. You can see the battery went down another 2% in 10 minutes with only Phone and Messages running:


    Is this normal for the phone? I'm coming from a BlackBerry 9700, which at the end of the day would have anywhere from 25-50% battery life depending on use. Am I expecting too much, or do you think I should schedule an appointment with an Apple Genius? My phone is not jailbroken.
  2. draz macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    That is fine. I wouldn't be alarmed.

    Just enjoy the phone and use it like normal. If it needs to be charged everyday then that is fine. Just remember to run it down to 20% or less at least once a month and the battery will last for years.
  3. DoubleSh0t thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I have no problem running it down to 20%. If I take it off the charger at 7:00 AM, by 9:00 PM it will be down below 15%. Here's a screenshot from another day. This is when push was still on. I took the phone off the charger at around 7:15 AM. Not sure of the exact time.

  4. itsmemuffins macrumors 68030


    Jun 23, 2010
    Did you set it up as new or from a backup?

    I would try a hard reset and see if that helps.

    This is how my battery performs.

    3g off

    Wifi on

    Location services on

    Push off

    Mail set to manual

    Brightness @:55%-60%

  5. DoubleSh0t thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Mine was setup as a new phone. I haven't had an iPhone since the 2G and I've since reformatted my MBP so there were no leftovers from that.
  6. trevorplease macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2009
    I went in to genius bar just yesterday for battery problems. They said my battery was good yet if I use the phone 6 hours about then its dead before the end of the day. He said to restore because all my apps were corrupt. BS.
  7. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I took my iPhone 4 in once and they said a few apps were corrupted. I think their tool isn't reporting apps correctly as all my apps worked fine at that itme.

    But the battery in this thread - that's normal. Just use the phone.
  8. mcmanus7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2008
    I think it's fine considering you have bluetooth and wireless on...
  9. IisTomyeah. macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010
    It's definitely not what they stated on the specs in the brochure :|!

    I'm waiting for my iPhone 4 now. Hopefully I get a bit longer out of my battery!
  10. moobey macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2007
    It's fine. If you want better battery life turn the brightness down. I've found that has a really big impact on the battery life.
  11. DoubleSh0t thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Wifi and Bluetooth are off when I'm in the office.
  12. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    The problem with the other thread you refer to (and a lot of battery life threads for that matter) is that they report usage, but never say what kind of usage it was that got the battery life they report. It makes a big difference. It seems some just come on to report long lives as some kind of competition. A phone in airplane mode can get very good battery life. Changing to 3G and then posting a screen shot shows nothing (for example, I have a 3G that I no longer use that is always in airplane mode….I can get 20 or more days on standby). Posting screen shots where most of the usage was on the iPod shows very little as well.

    The battery drainers are surfing on 3G, and next, surfing on wifi. I get 6-7 hours on 3G and 10-12 hours on wifi. The rated battery life is 6 hours 3G and 10 hours wifi. If you get something like that and don’t have BT and push on, you’re okay.
  13. oYx macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
  14. sixxmum macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2010
    I know pretty much nothing about iPhones, but your stats seem the same as mine (new iphone account, so the apps should not be the problem).
  15. DoubleSh0t thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I'm getting much better battery life after turning off push e-mail. I'm not happy about it, especially for work, but if it means I can make it through the day without having to worry that's just what I'll have to do. I've had other phones with push e-mail that didn't suffer the battery drain, so I'm holding out hope that it can be fixed via software.
  16. sixxmum macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2010
    Hmmm... that's interesting. Mine is at 75% today, with 1 hour 44 minutes usage (nothing more exciting than facebook), and 5 hours of standby. It would be great if there was a way to really know what was "normal" use, so that one could determine if there was something that needed to be addressed.

    Now it's at 68%, 2 hours 20 minutes use (facebook, sms, email), 8 hours of standby.
  17. JeffLebowski41 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2010
    It's amazing to see how OCD people get because of the battery %. OP, those numbers look just fine to me. hour usage, 4.5 standby at 92%..not sure what more you could reasonably expect.

    it's been pointed out many times but even just showing the usage/standby screen doesn't give the whole picture. Is that usage playing a 3d game? Or just listening to the ipod? Is it 30 minutes of browsing on wifi, or the same amount on a 3g connection struggling to keep 1 bar?

    splitting hairs about x amount of usage killing y amount of battery just seems like an exercise in frustration. get a car/desk charger or turn off the % is my suggestion. If you have a legit bad battery, take it in and get it replaced.
  18. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Your numbers look about right. Push email has a huge effect on battery life. With 2 accounts pushing, I can comfortably get through a day with the iPhone 4, with 6-8 hours of real usage. If I turn off Push, I get a solid 2 days. If you are comparing Exchange or Apple Push to your Blackberry, it's not a fair comparison, because Blackberry uses a different Push system that relies on intermediary servers, and is optimized for battery life. Also, most Blackberry devices don't have anywhere near the number of 'other' functions as your iPhone - both of which add up to better battery life. The iPhone 4 has the best battery of any 'full function' smartphone available today. What you are seeing is normal.
  19. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
  20. outsidethebox macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    DoubleShot, your battery readings are about the same as mine. This has been my first iPhone, and I am going to be returning it on wednesday.

    I just can't be bothered to have to worry about charging my phone by 7 every night. I'm getting paranoid about turning off 3g, turning off wi-fi, turning off push notifications, turning down brightness... I was so excited about getting my first smartphone, but what is the point if I have to turn off, or severely limit all of its exciting features?

    I'm just going to go back to my boring old non-smartphone, as clearly the batteries on smartphones aren't for people like me. It's nice to only have to charge my phone once a week, even if I don't have any of the new features.
  21. DoubleSh0t thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Jeff, it's not OCD, I just didn't expect to see the incredible battery loss. I haven't had an iPhone since the 2G which can't come close to the features the 4 has, but I figured the battery would have caught up. I guess I was expecting too much out of it, because Apple was touting much better battery life, etc.

    zhenya, thanks for the explanation. I did have Windows Mobile phone with ActiveSync push setup, but we're talking a phone with a monster battery. You're right in saying the iPhone does a lot more than any of my BlackBerrys.

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the phone. I'm going to have to adjust, as I don't want to go back.
  22. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    No problem. It's surprising to me to hear that you had dramatically better battery life with a Windows Mobile phone, because most of them had terrible battery life - even without all of the new features. Perhaps you had one of those huge extended batteries?

    The battery on the iPhone 4 is markedly better than the previous generation iPhones - should be better even than the 2g, even with the new features. Most likely you are using it much harder than you used the 2g. My 3g and 3gs could barely make it to 9pm on most days, while the 4 will often have 30-50% left by then. Of course, as noted it all depends on HOW the phone is used. GPS is the worst offender, followed by 3g web browsing, especially on an overloaded network or with weak signal. In many cases using wifi is much better for the battery life.

    One last thing is that occasionally, a misconfiguration on the Exchange server can cause battery drain, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.
  23. triptyx macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2010
    Try an experiment. After opening/playing with a few things, open multi-tasking and close the "open" programs (I know they're not really "open", just humor me). Try to keep the multitasking tray empty of anything but maybe the Phone icon for a day or two - see if that does anything to your battery life.

    I leave BT and WiFi on at all times, and can get two days of usage easily with my iPhone4. I have Push off - just don't see a need for it, Fetch every half an hour is fine for email.
  24. DmbShn41 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    I use the crap out of my phone. I play music, apps, check email over Outlook web app through Safari(corporate IT doesnt support iPhone due to security concerns..) probably a good 20 times a day, texting, phone calls, and more. I leave bluetooth on, for music when I can listen, and Wi-Fi, so that it hits instantly when I'm at home or familiar places so that I can help ease AT&T network issues. I CAN NOT KILL THE BATTERY ON MY IPHONE 4!!! CAN NOT!! Most days I end the day with around 50%. I charge it full, and go again the next day. Because of this, I let it die on weekends, I need it dearly for work during the week, which is more than the once a month that Apple recommends. But I use it just as much, if not more than my 3GS, which I was completely surprised with battery life. Towards the end of the year that I had my 3GS, a full day would run it down to 25-30%, charging it fully every night. Maybe its spotty, but certainly not an issue for me. I am happy with my iPhone 4.
  25. sixxmum macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2010
    I'm not sure how asking a question is getting "OCD" and, as you said, if people have a legitimately bad battery, they should exchange. If one doesn't know what to expect, it's hard to tell if the performance is in the normal range or needs to be dealt with through an exchange.

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