Other Why can't Apple do decent battery life in a phone?

filbert42

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 20, 2014
13
0
Worcestershire, UK
Just swapped my Honor 9 for an iPhone 7 (wanting to get away from Big-brother, sorry, Google).

Liking the experience and the way it just links to my Mac and iPad. However, so disappointed with battery life - my Honor 9 would typically have 40-50% left at the end of the day - admittedly, I'm not a heavy user. But I never suffered from "battery anxiety". So far, the iPhone (it's new, with an unused battery) has never got through a day without needing charging.

How many other manufacturers want to sell you an add on 'battery case' to make up for what the phone should be able to do in the first place?

I took the SIM out and left my Honor 9 in a drawer, fully charged with wifi and bluetooth switched on. It lasted 5 days before it had run down. I doubt my iPhone would get any where near that. The Honor 9 is slightly bigger but only 20g heavier then my iPhone. I'd happily trade that extra weight for battery life.

(Having ranted at my iPhone, I must confess that the iPad is much better than the 2012 model Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 that I used to own, even when it was new. Both devices being cellular models, so comparable in that respect.)
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,941
5,139
Both of my most recent iPhones had decent battery life prior to iOS 12.

I had an iPhone 6s Plus, under iOS 9 and 10, it was great on battery life. I hated the large size of the phone, and sold it to a friend. He claims the battery life was better than his older Android phones when he was using iOS 11. But, he started to complain about the battery life a lot with iOS 12.

Right before I sold my 6s Plus, I bought an iPhone SE, which still had iOS 10 on it, even though iOS 11 was out for a few months.

I kept it at iOS 10, skipping 11 due to all the issues Inread about it.

The battery life on the SE under iOS 10 was really good, just slightly worse than the 6s Plus, which was surprising, considering the much larger battery in the P,us sized phone.

But, once I upgraded to iOS 12, I noticed a big drop in battery life, and it has not improved much with any patch.

I think it is just iOS 12.

Imo, iOS 12 is very stable and fast, but at the expense of battery life. There has to be some balance between power and user experience versus batter life, and personality, I prefer sacrificing a little battery life for the experience.
 

Aydy

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2015
378
257
They can. They just don’t need to.

I tend to think Apple only give as much as they need and keep incremental excesses for future models. They could easily give a higher mAH capable battery (it’s not exclusively dependant on physical dimensions as many seem to think) but they hold back to ensure they have somewhere to go, upgrade speaking, with upcoming models. Even still, they would likely only add just enough to outperform previous model. Apple do not mind being behind the specs curve of other manufacturers. Their profit margins do not suffer and until such times that they do, they will continue delivering lesser hardware specification and keep under their belts what they know is achievable for future releases. It’s disappointing, it’s somewhat infuriating but it’s business.

Honestly, my dad’s mantra with regard to Apple products is kinda spot on imo. He believes they employ a ‘Treat em mean. Keep em keen’ philosophy, a kind of reverse psychology tactic.

He is also of the belief that since they were found to be slowing down older devices that the batteries were ‘too good’ and not dying fast enough for apple’s liking and thinks it stands to reason, since they got found out that they would find alternative routes by deliberately using less efficient battery tech to reduce longevity.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My old man does don tinfoil headgear on occasion BUT, subsequently he frequently calls things pretty near accurately o_O he has been in electronic repairs his entire life and tinkers on his downtime but is oldschool & struggles with today’s terminology..bionic chips, dynamic processing etc but he concludes they all but aim to deliver similar results
 
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now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
4,020
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the newer versions of iOS do a lot of stuff in the background that requires power. Phone run time is a design parameter that's arbitrarily agreed upon by the marketing dept and engineering. They pick a number of hours that they deem acceptable for run time & design the battery spec around that goal so it will hit it in controlled circumstances.

Apple w Ive was obsessed with thinness, so long battery life was sacrificed for a slim phone. Apple could easily make a phone that lasted for a couple days, but the bulk would be unacceptable to their design criteria.

There are several examples where a newer iPhone has a smaller battery than the previous model. That's because the smaller battery with the newer more efficient SOC can do more with less power. So if the phone will hit a certain designated number of hours using a smaller battery, then that's what it will get. Apple products have always held back on what's possible in order for them to have something to "upgrade to" on the next model.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
5,395
4,644
Just swapped my Honor 9 for an iPhone 7 (wanting to get away from Big-brother, sorry, Google).

Liking the experience and the way it just links to my Mac and iPad. However, so disappointed with battery life - my Honor 9 would typically have 40-50% left at the end of the day - admittedly, I'm not a heavy user. But I never suffered from "battery anxiety". So far, the iPhone (it's new, with an unused battery) has never got through a day without needing charging.

How many other manufacturers want to sell you an add on 'battery case' to make up for what the phone should be able to do in the first place?

I took the SIM out and left my Honor 9 in a drawer, fully charged with wifi and bluetooth switched on. It lasted 5 days before it had run down. I doubt my iPhone would get any where near that. The Honor 9 is slightly bigger but only 20g heavier then my iPhone. I'd happily trade that extra weight for battery life.

(Having ranted at my iPhone, I must confess that the iPad is much better than the 2012 model Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 that I used to own, even when it was new. Both devices being cellular models, so comparable in that respect.)
iPhone 7 battery size: 1960mAh
Honor 9 battery size: 3200mAh
You can make your software and hardware as efficient as you can, but you still can't beat a (lot) larger battery.

Imo the only iPhones that have great battery life are the Plus/Max models and the XR. The regular models are just okay-ish.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,181
13,025
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I have an iPhone 6s+ that is 3.5 years old. It's a launch weekend phone and the battery has never been replaced. In fact, the phone itself has never needed any service.

I've been using it as a primary phone this entire time and I can get through a day (still) with about 70% of battery left when I go to bed. Again, this is on a 3.5 year old battery.

I have a Pixel 3a XL now. Two months old. It drains battery at a faster rate than my iPhone 6s+ does and I am not doing anything more with it than I did with my 6s+. In fact, I'd argue I am doing less on my Pixel.

I'm not so confident about how my Pixel's battery will hold up.

And one last thing…heat is a big factor on battery life. Yet I drive around Phoenix in the summer heat (above 100º F) in a car that has no A/C and windows that can not be rolled down. My 6s+ with a 3.5 year old battery still performs.
 
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G4DPII

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
245
295
Has nothing to do with Apple. It's the fact that people live on their phones.
I don't live on my phone and can get 7 days life, 10 - 12 if battery savings options are turned on.
 
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pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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I have an iPhone 6s+ that is 3.5 years old. It's a launch weekend phone and the battery has never been replaced. In fact, the phone itself has never needed any service.

I've been using it as a primary phone this entire time and I can get through a day (still) with about 70% of battery left when I go to bed. Again, this is on a 3.5 year old battery.

I have a Pixel 3a XL now. Two months old. It drains battery at a faster rate than my iPhone 6s+ does and I am not doing anything more with it than I did with my 6s+. In fact, I'd argue I am doing less on my Pixel.

I'm not so confident about how my Pixel's battery will hold up.

And one last thing…heat is a big factor on battery life. Yet I drive around Phoenix in the summer heat (above 100º F) in a car that has no A/C and windows that can not be rolled down. My 6s+ with a 3.5 year old battery still performs.
The Plus iPhones have always had great battery life. The 6s+ has 2750mAh battery. Imagine the battery life of iPhones if Apple put 3500+mAh batteries in them.
 

filbert42

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 20, 2014
13
0
Worcestershire, UK
iPhone 7 battery size: 1960mAh
Honor 9 battery size: 3200mAh
You can make your software and hardware as efficient as you can, but you still can't beat a (lot) larger battery.

Imo the only iPhones that have great battery life are the Plus/Max models and the XR. The regular models are just okay-ish.
So, for a phone that is 9mm longer, 4mm wider and half a mm thicker (about 6% all round), the battery is over 60% bigger. That's a win for me.

The Plus phones are just too big (and expensive) for my preference. Standard sized iPhones are pricey enough but then, people don't go to Apple for value for money..
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,853
7,462
Austin, TX
iPhone XR has incredible battery life.

Enjoy your Honor 9. Come back when the OS rot ruins the device.
[doublepost=1563136628][/doublepost]
So, for a phone that is 9mm longer, 4mm wider and half a mm thicker (about 6% all round), the battery is over 60% bigger. That's a win for me.

The Plus phones are just too big (and expensive) for my preference. Standard sized iPhones are pricey enough but then, people don't go to Apple for value for money..
Honestly, the phone with the giant battery runs an unoptimized OS and has to make up for the poorly developed OEM software.
 

jay968

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2019
96
73
California
I'd honestly say that the Xr that I use now, probably has about the best battery life I have ever seen in a cell phone, and I have been using them now for over 25 years.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
5,395
4,644
So, for a phone that is 9mm longer, 4mm wider and half a mm thicker (about 6% all round), the battery is over 60% bigger. That's a win for me.

The Plus phones are just too big (and expensive) for my preference. Standard sized iPhones are pricey enough but then, people don't go to Apple for value for money..
Yes, a larger volume can carry larger battery. Not sure what you’re trying to say here. The iPhone 7 is pretty tiny compared to most phones today. You want more battery, you get larger phone, quite simple I think. No point in complaining how a smaller phone have a smaller battery.
 
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macfacts

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2012
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iPhone 7 battery size: 1960mAh
Honor 9 battery size: 3200mAh
You can make your software and hardware as efficient as you can, but you still can't beat a (lot) larger battery.

Imo the only iPhones that have great battery life are the Plus/Max models and the XR. The regular models are just okay-ish.
Except people always claim iOS is "optimized".
 

tranceking26

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2013
346
125
I thought things were getting better now? In the XR at least.

I would imagine Dark Mode may help for any future phones as well as ours.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
5,395
4,644
Except people always claim iOS is "optimized".
It is. The XR has a shy off 3000mAh battery, yet it performs as well as Android phones with ~3500+mAh batteries.
But when you expect a phone with less than 2000mAh battery to perform better than one with more than 3000mAh battery, you're deluded.
 

tarsins

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2009
848
582
Wales
Always had great battery life with all my iPhones, averaging 2-3 days across all models I'd guess, and I've always left everything "on". I suppose it's possible you've had a duff battery.
 

Aydy

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2015
378
257
iPhones have always had decent battery life due to optimisation of iOS. Turning off background app refresh also helps, although not always convenient.

Android ‘used’ to be a catastrophe for battery life and optimisation BUT android 9 (pie) coupled with samsung’s OneUI is the best battery optimisation I have seen on a smartphone to date. It truly is impressive. My previous S9 didn’t lose a single percentage from bedtime to waking. I figured it may be an S9 thing but also noted same results with a galaxy A70 I used before my iPhone. Android pie has really nailed background activity in sleep/doze mode.
 
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