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Brand new iPhone 3GS user, just took it out of the box and 2-days later here I am looking for a battery fix. At first, I just assumed my battery must be defective.
Can I roll-back/download to 3.0 for improved battery life? 5 hours of stand-by and 2 20-minute calls and I'm at around 10% remaining. That's awful...
I started having problems from week 1. I reported it when O2 rang with their welcome/courtesy call, tried all their tips, tried to find answers and tips online, persevered for ages, then took it onto the apple store where i was again fobbed off and told to upgrade my software. Switched off wifi, bluetooth, 3G, location services, and still no better- what's the point of having these features if i cant't use them?? Upgraded and things got worse! 100% charge at 9am, dead phone at 3pm! Finally took it back into store and told that I'm outside the 30 days return/exchange period (by 10 days) so they've sent it off for "repair or replacment". This is one of only 2 apple products I own, and I'm seriously put off. My iphone is not fit for purpose.
12 hours on standby is not standard and don't let anyone tell you it is. Period. There are a couple things that trigger battery drain but a properly running iPhone should last hundreds of hours on standby (Apple says up to 300 hours).
You don't need to diagnose the cause to fix it, that's Apple's job. Try to match your symptoms to some things that have worked. I just went through this. Fortunately, I had enjoyed good battery life to know that something was wrong when it started lasting only 8 hours with only a couple of emails, calls and texts.
Skip all the debates and discussions about turning off Bluetooth 3g etc. Those are small drains compared to the one you are looking at with a standby capability of only 12 hours.
Most probable cause these days is corrupted email "meta data" in your email accounts causing some processes in the OS to run amuk (aka most all the time). Look in Settings->General->usage and see if your usage and standby numbers are about the same when the reality is that you used your phone only a little. That indicates your phone was busy when it shouldn't have been. Here's a fix:
1. Reboot the phone (hold Home and Sleep until the Apple logo appears; about 10 seconds).
2. Delete the email account(s), reboot
3. Reset Network Settings in the Settings app and reboot.
Test your battery life with no email accounts. If it gets way better, then you've found the problem.
Add your accounts one at a time until you find the bugger (high probability it's an Exchange type of account or one using Push).
Once you have a bad email in there, you have to use the above procedure when deleting it. I was able to put my accounts back in by manually configuring them (not syncing them). YMMV
A corrollary to the email causing battery drain is bad applications that trigger the same proceeses gone amuk problem. Again following the above procedure but deleting all non standard issue applications instead of email accounts may tell you something.
Another symptom of "bad battery life" is wildly fluctuating battery indicator. For this you can try the various battery calibration procedures documented elsewhere but you may just have a battery that's gone bad. Apple has a $79 battery replacement program.
In all cases, be wary of people who say you have to upgrade your firmware and/or restore your phone as new using iTunes. A 3gs on 3.1.2 can be made to work just fine. The trick is to get YOUR configuration setup without triggering bugs that let processes eat your battery. Restoring as new or from a new computer is just trying to clean out your email and other configuration stuff. Restoring is a last resort. YMMV
Lastly, for $3 there's a handy application called System Activity Monitor which will help you save time by letting you see what is or is NOT happening. The time saving is in not wasting time in long procedures for something that isn't happening.
I've had a 3G and 3GS. My 3GS spends most of the time plugged in: while at home or the office. Knowing full well that the iPhone, unlike a Blackberry, would place far more demands on the battery, I used to panic when I would see the battery meter dip into the 60% range.
A few weeks ago I noticed that it was draining about 10-15% from a full charge when commuting to or from work generally just listening to music. I took it in to the Apple Store, and they agreed my battery was borderline, and replaced the phone. However, it still felt like it wasn't keeping a charge, and I went in again to see what was going on.
They gladly swapped it out for me, but they did give me some tips:
First, let the battery drain fully. I did this the first week I had the second replacement: After leaving home, I wouldn't charge it until it was less than 7% or completely dead. I found that, when doing this and looking at my usege stats, I was getting a decent charge, anywhere from 3-5 hours. Of course, that depended on what I was doing while unplugged, but general stuff -- email, Facebook, texting, music, etc. -- didn't drain it as fast as I thought.
Second, the battery performance meter is very inaccurate. If, like me, you use that as a guide to how much life your phone has, you will THINK your battery is draining faster than it is, and your perception will be reality. Just yesterday, I went a full day -- from 6:30 AM to almost 10 PM -- without charging. It wasn't until a block from home that it gave out. Obviously I wasn't using it the whole time, but who really is? If you are constantly checking mail, launching applications (especially ones that have to get data from the net), listening to music, you will probably have it drain very quickly. If it's on standby a good percentage of time, you'll get acceptable life out of it.
Third, tinker with settings. We love our phone and want it to do everything, but that'll come as a trade-off. I'm not willing to turn off location, push notifications, or push email. But I can live with fetching data from less-used accounts every 30 minutes or even manually. I like my Bluetooth headset, but I've found by turning Bluetooth off and on, the headset will disconnect, and reconnect only when you click on it. Check which apps are doing push notifications...can you turn some of them off?
I don't have any benchmarks on my 3G or first 3GS to compare, just a feeling. But being less hypochondriac about the battery meter, adjusting some settings, and doing a full drain a couple of times certainly seemed to help.
That being said, I think Apple can (and MUST) do a better job at improving battery life. If the iPhone could hold half the charge an older Blackberry could it'd be great. But as these smartphones get smarter, they are all running up against the same issues. I also have a Blackberry bold, and I've noticed it doesn't get near the life of my first Blackberry (although it still gets way better life than my iPhone, but probably because it's idle most of the time).
Again, you can have an Apple Genius test your battery, and get a more definitive answer than looking at your meter, and they will swap it out, much to their credit. But also testing some settings will help improve your battery.
After that post yesterday, I tried to consciously test it today.
So after an overnight charge to full capacity, and verifying that usage stats were reset, I took the iPhone out of it's charger at 6:30 am. On my 10 min walk to the train and 15 minute commute and 10 min walk into the office, I checked email, twitter, set my facebook status. My Mac's hard drive is being replaced, so this was going to be a good test. I took or made a total of 10 phone calls today, and checked voice mail about 5 times, for a total talk time of about an hour. Between 5 email accounts, I received about 150 messages before noon, all of which I checked on my phone. Between using my (ugh) Windows workstation, I did the things people usually do...checked facebook, checked my bank account, went through my to do list, browsed the web (more than usual), and used Trillian to chat. By 12:30, the battery was 32% (according to the unreliable meter). Took it to lunch, listened to music, got a 15 minute phone call, and continued to listen to music all the way back to work. Back in my office, the meter said 6%, for a total usage of 4 hours and 53 minutes and 7 hours and 10 minutes of standby. For fairly heavy use, I don't think its that bad. The other variable I remembered today is that I commute via San Francisco's light rail underground, which I can sometimes get a connection and sometimes it drops. If I remember correctly, the phone is always looking for a connection, and when it's "Searching..." as I see it do when I enter a tunnel or go from coverage to no coverage, that drains battery life.
What I really dislike about Apple's claims are the assumptions it makes: 3G off (um...isn't that why we got it?), as well as some other settings; and it assumes we are doing nothing else with the phone except listening to music, talking on it, or surfing the web. The reality is most people do all things, sometimes talk and surf the web/use applications at once (didn't both Apple and AT&T tout that in their commercials?). Give us a real world rundown of the iPhone in mixed usage. Those battery stats were fine for the iPod, which only did one thing (play stuff back). I'd like to see more reports on using it for what it was designed for.
Yes, 5 hours of use isn't spectacular, but it's not abysmal either. And given I know I'll be in a location where I have access to a charger, it's fine. If I were going on a hike for several hours, I'd probably make some settings to prolong life.
Hi all, new to forum but as it helped me I thought it good to let you know my situation.
3GS 16GB, bought December and working fine. Battery life always an issue compared to other phones but adapted to the iphone's appetite for regular charging. Generally a charge will leave me with 60%+ by the evening, even with e-mail, browsing and a bit of Doodle Jumping.
The phone had both home and office e-mail set up, latter on Exchange and working fine. Some concerns about heat from back of phone but generally pleased with the unit.
I needed to remove the work e-mail account midweek and get it added back by our IT guys on Friday - this is when my problems started. Saturday morning, phone was dead, battery life gone. First time ever. During Saturday, battery life basically bled away minute by minute, approx 20/25% per hour. I reacted with the usual turning off 3G, push, location services etc. but no major impact on discharge rate.
Time to Google - battery or software? A post on this forum highlighted e-mail settings as a possible risk. Since the exchange e-mail was reset on Friday afternoon, I had been unable to read or send mail so I assume our Techie had an incorrect setting this time around (prior to the reset, it was fine).
I simply deleted the exchange e-mail account from the iphone and now have been up and running for four hours and on 89% with a mixture of calls, text and browsing. This time yesterday, I would have been down to 30-40% at best.
This may not be the only battery problem based on previous posts but, in my case, a perfectly fine unit started to bleed battery power when an exchange e-mail account was incorrectly added and returned to normal when the dodgey account was deleted.
Hope this helps,
Well it's nice to see I'm not the only one with this problem. I'm on my 3rd iPhone 3GS in a year because the battery in each one of them fails. Now my 3rd iPhone just started doing the same after 6 weeks of usage. I'm going to go back into the store to have them look at it and ask for a 4th iPhone. It's totally unacceptable that a mobile phone battery can't last 1 day, just 1 day. I use my iPhone for both personal and work email, as well as internet, etc. I've changed the way I used to use the phone by now fetching emails instead of pushing and limiting some other usage in order to help battery life.
However, before this I had a Blackberry Curve, Storm, and World Edition and any of those phones would last 3 days before I needed to power them up again. Granted, I am using the iPhone a lot more than those (with all the apps) but still, the iPhone battery should last at least 1 day.
Hopefully the iPhone 4G will fix this issue. I know from talking with a friend that the iPad's battery life can last 2-3 days of heavy usage (i.e. videos, Facebook, email, etc). So it's not like Apple hasn't figured it out.
A disappointed but hopeful Apple customer!
After reading this forum I think I've solved my issue.
Once I re-charged it back to 100% from being absolutely dead I changed my work Exchange email from "pushing" my e-mail to "fetching" manually and it's made a huge difference. It's the only change I made.
I took it off the charger at 10:30pm ET last night and at 3:15pm ET the next day I'm at 76%. So I think this whole time what's going on is the battery life only lasts like 6 weeks with the settings I normally had and then it would just tire out but changing it to this has helped a lot.
My IT Director also said that if I was in a location with poor service (i.e. NYC) and had my original settings that it would just use up so much of the battery. So I'm going to keep an eye on this and hopefully this change lasts.
Finding this annoying myself only having had the phone two days it runs out of battery surprisingly quickly which is not acceptable at all. Bought the phone for increased reliability and I am not getting that. What on earth is going on apple and how are you going to fix it?
Just to add I'm not recieving e-mails on my iphone and havent set it up to, bluetooth is off... wifi off... location services on. E-mail can't be the problem?
I hate to add myself to the "me too" column but I am having the same problem. Restored my iPhone a couple of times and it fixed it for a while.
One of the times I was having the battery super drain, I noticed that the device was constantly connected or trying to connect to the internet/cell tower. (I set it down next to my speakers and heard constant interference).
Turning on airplane mode sometimes seems to slow the battery super drain.
Hope it helps!