My own battery test....not so great!

#1
I'll be doing some traveling next month and plan to take the iPhone on the plane. It would be NICE if it would last the whole (5 hour) trip. I'm thinking it won't.

Here's what I did tonight:

* Watched movie (1hr 52 minutes)
* Surfed the net for about a half hour or so
* Watched two Brady Bunch episodes (Hey, I don't get out much)

All in all, it was 3 hours and 54 minutes when the phone just shut off.

Granted, this is the first time that it has been completely drained and recharged, so it MIGHT improve some. We'll see...

So what kind of battery life is everyone averaging? What are you doing mainly? Talking? Ipod? Video? Texting?

I'm wondering if I need to take 'er back to the Apple store, or if this is it for battery life.

Interested in hearing what you all have.
 

spazzman90

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#2
Yeah, if you take the iPhone on a plane you can get 5 hours easy. Using the ipod features take pretty much the least battery of all the features. When you watch movies, turn the brightness down to as low as you can tolerate.

With the wide array of features and connectivity options, the battery gets drained at different rates.

Least drain - Audio ipod, Camera and photo book,
More drain - Video ipod, stream podcasts
more drain still - internet (and maps) over edge, making calls
even faster drain - youtube over edge, internet (and maps) over wifi
fastest drain - youtube over wifi

Couple tips to keep battery life up. Turn off wifi if you are not going to be using it. The phone continuly tries to seek wifi. Put it in airplane mode if you are in an area that does not have cell service, like camping or a tall building. The phone uses more power trying to seek out a signal from a tower. Turn down the brightness of the screen as much as possible. Get more efficient headphones. The ones that come with the iPhone require much more power than most of the aftermarket in ear type headphones. ALso, when I encode movies, I do so at 320x240. Yeah, you can go higher, but lower resolution requires less power to process and display and still looks great.

Hope this info helps.

-Jeff
 

deac

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#3
I've had mine since Day 1 and have been pleased with battery life. Only been a couple of days it seemed to drain faster and it was related to heavy internet and video use on the beach.

Saturday was different. I charged it full overnight. Went out at 7am for tailgating and all day football activities ---- at 4pm I got the dreaded 20% warning which surprised me as at first I didn't think I had done much excessive -- just usual calls, a few internet checks, a couple of mail checks, showed it off to a few curious etc.

Then it hit me -- for the first time -- I extensively used the camera-- took about 65+ pictures during the day --- I had not heard of the camera feature hurting battery life. is this a known battery eater? or perhaps did I just have some other quirk going on?
 

Montalicious

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#4
No, I went on vacation with my pretty little iPhone. Woke up at 8am, watched youtube videos over edge till about 9. listened to my ipod till about 10. at that piont we went out and ate breakfast. listened to ipod from 11 till about 1, taking pictures in between. then went to a few state parks for about 3 hours. Listened to my ipod in them and took a bunch of pictures. Then on the way home, 2 hour trip, i went online and talked on mundu (aim) for the entire 2 hours, while listening to my ipod and taking pictures in between. So i'd say that's pretty heavy use on the camera and ipod. and i still had about 20 percent left when i got home around 5. When i'm in school... I usually only los about 1-2 notches because i leave it on bcuz my friends text me sometimes during school and i don't wanna put it on airplane mode.. so i guess that'd drain life. i also listen to the ipod on the bus/on the way home.
 

Redfor

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#5
Just as a general rule, if you use your screen a lot (video, pictures etc ) it's going to drain your battery a lot. Just using casual use of checking e-mail 5-6 times, using the phone, checking weather.. I can get about a day and a half maybe 2 days of battery life.
 

tfg

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#6
I was just on a trip with a couple of 4 hour flights and the phone lasted the entire time, with room to spare. I had an hour connecting flight and I listened to the ipod and then on the 4 hour flight, I watch almost all of Pirates of the Caribbean and an entire other 90 minute movie. This was with the brightness turned up to around 75%. Obviously make sure that you have the airplane mode on.

The biggest battery drain is using the internet, by far. Take out the hour net surfing and you'll be fine.
 

kdarling

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#7
Here's what I did tonight:

* Watched movie (1hr 52 minutes)
* Surfed the net for about a half hour or so
* Watched two Brady Bunch episodes (Hey, I don't get out much)

All in all, it was 3 hours and 54 minutes when the phone just shut off.
Figure you're starting with an allowance of 1400 mAh (milliAmp hours) on a fully charged battery.

According to Apple's battery tests (with call forwarding turned on, etc) watching video should take about 200mA/h. Let's assume that in your real-life mode, it was more like 250mA/h. So three hours of watching video * 250 = 750mAh used up, leaving 650mAh.

In your case, the 650mAh was used up by web surfing for 1/2 hour.

If you're constantly transmitting web data, that could be perhaps as much as a constant 450mA, but receiving should be much lower.

So yeah, your usage seems a bit low. Bluetooth on standby should be very low. WiFi on standby could be anywhere from 20-200+ mA/h. As others said, disable BT and WiFi if not using them.

Someone needs to put an ammeter in line with the battery and get some good figures, so users could actually precalculate usability. (Instead of doing third grader tests like that awful arstechnical 3G comparison article.)
 
#8
Thanks everyone for the interesting info!

So I guess that when I do fly, the main thing is to shut down extra stuff and be more conservative with usage. Maybe I should pick me up a solar powered charger and insist on a window seat? ;)

On a related note (airport/travel/etc)

Do you put the iPhone in the bucket with your belt, wallet, shoes, etc. and run it through the x-ray machine?

Has anyone had any problems/issues with airport security? Flight attendants? Other passengers?
 

Dawgfan

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#9
yes, video is the most battery intensive feature I think.

yes, your battery life will improve after serveral charge cycles. I would not let the iPhone die 100% before charging ever unless you have to (but just above dead) and when you do charge it I would let it charge ALL the way and then unplug it. I know BBs do not like being left plugged in overnight...from what I have read. After you have cycled it in, it doesn't hurt to top off the battery IMO but I would cycle it about once a month...won't be hard with a smartphone these days...

After about 4 or 5 charge cycles my batter life got A LOT better.
 

ps49556n

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#10
Are you serious? How the hell can you use safari on an airplane? Does it have wifi? When you are on an airplane you would obviously switch to "airplane mode", why wouldn't you do your little test in airplane mode? Go return it if you don't like it, nobody is holding a gun to your head.



For the record, I have had my battery last over 8 hours once, mostly for phone, email , and ipod use but 8 hours, even 5 hours is long for this type of device.
 

tfg

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#11
Thanks everyone for the interesting info!

So I guess that when I do fly, the main thing is to shut down extra stuff and be more conservative with usage. Maybe I should pick me up a solar powered charger and insist on a window seat? ;)

On a related note (airport/travel/etc)

Do you put the iPhone in the bucket with your belt, wallet, shoes, etc. and run it through the x-ray machine?

Has anyone had any problems/issues with airport security? Flight attendants? Other passengers?
When you fly, you have to turn on airplane mode. That'll automatically stop sending and receiving any cell signal as well as wi-fi. Basically it turns the thing into just an ipod. If you want to get a solid 5-6 hours of usage and make sure that you don't run out on your flight, just don't use any internet (wifi or edge) from the time you charge full to the time you get on the plane.

As far as the x-ray, I put it in the bucket along with everything else and it was fine. No one else said anything about the device. Suprisingly, no one even asked me about it or wanted to see it etc.
 

kdarling

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#12
yes, video is the most battery intensive feature I think.
For local ops, yes.

Radio usage (WiFi / EDGE) can easily double or triple the battery draw over just video.

Plus if you don't have a good cell signal, then that radio has to boost its transmission power. Being in a poor reception area will have a large effect on battery time.
 

adseguy

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#13
Someone needs to put an ammeter in line with the battery and get some good figures, so users could actually precalculate usability. (Instead of doing third grader tests like that awful arstechnical 3G comparison article.)
Very good idea! My personal belief is that just like a laptop, the top drainer of a battery is always the screen. When Apple did their tests it's with minimum brightness and call forwarding on.

BTW whoever said wi-fi uses more batter the EDGE...that is incorrect. Wi-Fi requires not only less connection time, but also less power. Tests have proven that if you have auto-check e-mail feature turned on it's actually in your benefit to leave Wi-Fi turned on to save battery. I'm not joking, I believe PCworld did that test if I'm not mistaken.

To the OP: I think your battery may have needed a little "reset" and also things like how bright the screen is and also how strong your cell phone signal is plays a much bigger part in battery life then one thinks.
 

greenjbhsd

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#14
On longer trips I will bring this:

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16875999020

I have not used it for the iPhone yet, but I am assuming it will work on that since it was able to charge both my GPS and my former ipod. Since the power output is not huge you might have to let it charge the phone while you are not using it (or just using the ipod part with no video), but it is still a power solution on long flights or "power challenged" activities.
 

Lincoln

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#15
Usually, I use mine for two days with no issues. I check email about five times a day, make one or two phone calls, listen to about 15 songs, watch an occasional YouTube video, check Stocks, and take a few pictures.

However, this ended yesterday when I modded my phone. The new apps suck the battery dry.
 
#16
Are you serious? How the hell can you use safari on an airplane? Does it have wifi? When you are on an airplane you would obviously switch to "airplane mode", why wouldn't you do your little test in airplane mode? Go return it if you don't like it, nobody is holding a gun to your head.
Geesh....who pissed in your Fruit-Loops this morning?!?!

I was simply asking what kind of battery life people were getting in different situations, and in "normal" use. Trying to get an average and see where my battery life sits with everyone else.

And with or without a gun to my head, I plan to keep it, thanks! :)

Hope the rest of your day goes better.