iPhone 4S Verizon battery life issue related to signal strength

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by j-a-x, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. j-a-x macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #1
    I upgraded from an iPhone 4 on iOS5.0.1 (A&T) to an iPhone 4S (Verizon). I know everybody has been talking about the battery issues associated with the iPhone 4S and I think I may have pinpointed what is causing it (for me at least).

    I noticed today that when I tried to send a medium sized file when the signal strength was poor, I used a LOT of battery power in a short time. I mean A LOT. I know a poor signal will always cause more battery usage, but this was REALLY bad.

    I used something like 60% of my entire battery in about 1 hour in a location with 1 bar and no 3G service.

    With my iPhone 4 (AT&T) in a poor signal area (which was pretty much everywhere with AT&T) I never saw that kind of battery drain, even in locations with horrible signal strength I never used more than maybe 20 or 25% battery in an hour.

    I was just wondering if anybody else has noticed that battery usage when in areas with bad reception is worse than before. I am wondering if this is an iOS 5 issue or an iPhone 4S issue or an iOS5/iPhone4S/Verizon issue.
     
  2. TM WAZZA macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    #2
    If I browse Internet on 3G with 1-2 bars signal my battery would be empty in 3 hours.
     
  3. j-a-x, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

    j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
  4. saving107, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

    saving107 macrumors 603

    saving107

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #4
    No offense OP, but Battery related issues and Signal Strength have gone hand-in-hand since (probably) cells phone have been around.

    It is well known that the worst your signal is the harder your device will have to work to maintain that connection, resulting in battery performance issues.

    I wrote this last night

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14001475&postcount=46
     
  5. mattraehl macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    #5
    I have a Verizon 4S but nothing to compare it to other than my ancient flip phone. But I have definitely seen big battery drain just in standby in fringe areas. Last night I was at someone's house with 1 bar, I lost about 15% in 3 hours with basically no usage, and on Sunday I had something similar, about 10% loss in 2 hours.
     
  6. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #6
    What's a "medium" file? What's the actual file size? How long did it take to send? I don't think there's anything unusual going on here. Sounds like the typical poor coverage eating battery issue that's common to all devices. In your case it consumed more of your battery since you were trying to actively send data.
     
  7. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #7
    Understood, but my point is that the battery drain is WORSE than with previous iPhones when in low signal areas. I used to use my iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4 in low signal areas and yeah there was drain but I'd estimate the drain to be 10x worse with the iPhone 4S running iOS 5.0.1.

    For example, I was at the optometrist's office way up on the 20th floor of a high-rise, I had one bar but I didn't realize it until it was too late. I tried to send a photo of myself with a new pair of glasses to my wife, put my phone back in my pocket, and my battery drained from 95% down to about 30% when I left the office (maybe an hour later). The file was about 1.1 MB.

    I've been in similar situations with my old iPhone in the same 20th floor office but I never saw that much drain.

    So my point is, maybe older iOS version or older iPhone hardware handled low signal situations differently. Maybe the previous iPhones used to just say "no service" or "searching" in this situations while the 4S under iOS 5.0.1 keeps trying and drains the battery too much. I'm not sure, however my point was not that low signal battery drain is a new thing - my point was it is now worse than it was before.

    It would be interesting to do a side by side comparison with an iPhone 4 but I sold mine on Craig's List the day I got my iPhone 4S! :)

    Another thing I noticed. Today my phone got stuck in the GPRS mode "the 'o' symbol instead of 3G" after coming out of an elevator with poor signal. I was at my desk by a big window where I generally have 5 bars but somehow it was just stuck at "o" and my battery drained significantly, maybe 10% in the 30 minutes before I noticed it. I turned Airplane Mode on and off and the phone jumped back to 3G. I think being stuck in GPRS data mode might also cause more battery drain than 3G. BEing stuck in GPRS and having to cycle airplane mode is something new I've noted with my 4S that I never noticed with the iPhone 4.
     

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