Consistent Battery Test

Tinman

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#1
There are so many variables with iPhone usage, even when the same kind of usage is repeated, that it boggles the mind. Even something as simple as the phone's cellular signal can affect battery life from one day to the next. So the anecdotal reports of battery life are really tough to apply to all. Too many variables.

Even the test Wired did was probably not the best. Regardless it showed, under similar circumstances, the 3GS's battery lasted longer than the 3G's.

I think what we need is a somewhat definitive test. Something like the following:

All use the same video file: FREE!, available free from iTunes. It should get added to a newly created playlist called "Predictable Irrational - Video Podcast" (it's a 3 minute video). You'll need to play it in that playlist, with nothing else in the playlist, in order to be able to loop it properly.



  1. iPhone 3GS plugged in with a 100% charge.

  2. Reset iPhone (off then on, without disconnecting USB). Verify usage stats are zero. Don't load any apps. Verify charge is still 100%.

  3. Airplane mode on.

  4. Brightness set to exactly 50% and auto-brightness off.

  5. Volume set to exactly 50%.

  6. iPod settings EQ off, Sound Check off. Auto-Lock set to never.

  7. Ensure no alarm clocks are set to go off, nor calendar alarms, but then set clock timer for 3 hours.

  8. Immediately unplug USB cable.

  9. Immediately loop video FREE! (Remember, play it from the playlist in order to loop it!)

  10. Immediately after alarm timer goes off, stop video and check battery level. Report results.

At least with a test like this we can see, under the same circumstances, what our batteries are like. So if two people are reporting vastly different real-world battery life, we can see if there is indeed a problem with a battery.

Thoughts?



--
Mike
 

Tinman

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#2
Oh yes, I'm gonna try it tonight. Will report my results.

Then I'm giing to do it on my G1, to how it compares.



--
Mike
 

psylichon

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#3
Interesting. I'll give it a go my next day off.

Also talk to Fury about his battery drain tests on Youtube. They're pretty extensive...
 

bass_lover1

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#4
I understand that you're trying to remove as many variables as possible to make the results consistent, but IMO this test is only going to show how long the battery lasts in THIS situation and isn't really applicable to every day usage.

Just IMO.

Carry on :)
 

Hawk

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#5
I think this is a good idea. At least this way it will define a specific usage, and how well the phone performs the test, and in doing so, shows if the battery is possibly discharging too quickly.
For those that perform this test, make sure that when reporting your results you specify the model, firmware, capacity, remaining battery percentage, and even what color the phone is.
My guess is that the 3Gs iPhones will all test very similar, with maybe an exception who needs to take it back and exchange it.
Similarly, the 3G iPhones will also test comparitively the same, but I am guessing more than one or 2 will have results either far exceeding or way under the average.

I still hold my theory that the radios have been amped up, and that is what's causing the larger drain. Also, if your phone has tethering enabled, please note that as well. Another theory of mine.
 

Tinman

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#6
I understand that you're trying to remove as many variables as possible to make the results consistent, but IMO this test is only going to show how long the battery lasts in THIS situation and isn't really applicable to every day usage
That's the point: to remove the variables of individual everyday usage, and compare battery performance only. What I see now are anecdotal reports that seem to indicate a difference in battey life between units (among 3GS iPhones). I'd like to know if the batteries themselves are different.

So if someone says their battery life is horrible, and another gets great life, knowing that the batteries are similar can show that the difference has to be usage patterns. Conversely if one shows worse performance than the norm there is little that can be done to help as the battery life itself is sub-par.


--
Mike



--
Mike
 

psylichon

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#7
The idea is a wonderful. We just need at least a dozen or so people to do the test to establish a baseline so then only people with batteries issues need run the test to determine if it's usage or actual battery performance.

Like I said, next day off I'm down. Sunday?
 

Tinman

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#9
Thanks, guys.

And I agree, once the baseline is established those with poor battery life will at least be able to see if their battery is indeed defective.



--
Mike
 

Tinman

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#10
OK, I just tested my 3GS. Did it just like I outlined above, and the iPhone was sitting next to me here at work. I think I know every darn word from the FREE! video. But I digress...

Anyway, after exactly 3 hours my battery was down to 74%. Not too bad, and hopefully that is the norm. More importantly, there is no question as to what was done for those 3 hours.


IMG_0496.JPG



Alright, I did it. Now let's get some others to compare to!




--
Mike
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tinman

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#12
Great! Make sure it runs for 3 hours. I had changed the test to two hours yesterday, but didn't feel that was long enough for an adequate test (mine was at 84% at the two hour point).



--
Mike
 

Tinman

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#14
Great. It's been running on a two hour timer...
No problem, so was mine. I just let it go another hour. Or you can reset the timer, it won't change things much at all.

But if you can't, no biggie. We can test both 2 and 3 hours, since 3 is kinda long.



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Mike
 

Tinman

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#15
OK, any results there, Mr. Phone Apart? ;)


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Mike
 
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#16
Yep - with one caveat:

When I restarted the iPhone prior to the test, SSH was automatically turned on (my 3GS is jailbroken) and was running the entire three hours. That being said:



I'll run it again soon with SSH off to see if there is a major difference in battery life.
 

Tinman

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#17
Hmmm, interesting. I too am curious if SSH might have affected the result.

Thanks for doing it, Nap!


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Mike
 

Indy

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#18
I'll give it a go either tonight or this weekend. :eek:k:eek:k
 

dturner

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#19
OK, I am probably going to feel like a D A but I am doing something wrong and don't know what. I created a playlist-Predictable Irrational - Video Podcast and dropped the video in the playlist. It doesn't show up in the music tab under playlist, so I can't sync it to the phone. What am I doing wrong?
 
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#20
It was difficult putting my 3gs down for 3 hours, but i did and got a little better than 10 percent an hour...if it holds up that way thats 10 hours of video on 1 charge....so why are we all complaining about the battery? :)
Great idea Tinman...doing a test this way rules out a lot of variables.
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