I upgraded from a 3GS to a 4S and I'll say that, at least for me, the battery drain is about the same. Though there are a few exceptions which I'll mention at the bottom.
My set up is I left everything enabled that is enabled by default. This includes leaving all "known battery draining" features enabled. These include push mail (I use Yahoo and iCloud), iCloud (everything enabled), location services (all enabled), ping, notifications, Siri, WiFi, etc. Basically I left everything on that is normally on, with the exception of BlueTooth and WiFi sync (since that causes the WiFi connection to never drop when the phone sleeps).
Here's my battery info currently after light usage (email, some push notifications, etc) today at my office (3G only, no wifi at my office):
Battery Percentage: 98%
Usage: 17 minutes
Standby: 4 hours, 58 minutes
Despite this, I still see errors in the log about being unable to wake the phone, or being unable to update the provider info. So those errors don't appear to effect battery life.
Based on my observations people who claim that leaving all the default settings on the phone enabled [b]will[/b] drain the battery are incorrect. They can drain the battery if you have bad data or a stuck exchange connection, but it's not an inheritant problem with the leaving the services enabled.
Normal things that I've noticed that will negatively affect battery life:
- Poor or low signal areas - This causes a noticeable drop as the phone boosts power to try and receive and send signals. The phone can get warm when this occurs.
- Location based reminders - Setting these will cause a slow, but noticeable drop in battery throughout the day until the reminder is completed or deleted. The more you move around the faster the battery will drop as the GPS check is triggered by cell phone triangulation changes. My advice is to use these sparingly.
- Data usage - This is a "duh" one, but sometimes people don't realize they are using data. For example excessive use of Siri will drain the battery since it's constantly sending and receiving data. Checking the notification center will also use data (and the GPS unless you disable local weather in the weather app) since weather and stock data is downloaded every time the notification center is used.
- Using any app that runs in the background such as GPS or VOIP apps. Most VOIP apps will automatically restart when the phone is rebooted, if they were running in the background at the time of the reboot. Turning them off inside the app will disable them and prevent that from happening. Apps that upload or download in the background can also drain the battery, but there is an upper limit on how long they can run so they won't cause constant battery drain like GPS and VOIP apps will.
Abnormal things that can affect battery life:
- "Bad" mail accounts - Sometimes for whatever reason a mail account goes "bad" and will cause battery drain. Simply removing the account and re-adding it appears to fix this.
- Odd network settings. Sometimes the network settings can get corrupted causing the phone to try to connect to networks it shouldn't. This is rare, but reseting the network settings will fix this.
- iCloud synced data corruption - I've only read about this, but apparently if the phone's data (contacts, calendar, mail, etc) becomes corrupted and tries to sync with iCloud, it can cause the phone to go into an infinite loop. From what I've read removing the data off the phone or doing a restore will fix this. Note that while apps can sync with iCloud as well, they can only do so when running.
- I'm sure there's other bizarre things that can happen, but reseting settings or doing a restore should fix every possible odd condition that the phone can get into.
Yeah, I think that its iOS 5 causing most of the battery issues and not as much a problem with the 4S hardware itself. There are just so many more components to iOS 5 that are utilizing the network all of the time, draining the battery. My 3GS had really great battery life until I upgraded to iOS 5 and now I'm having similar issues to my 4S.
I get decent performance out of the battery at the moment, but only because I have many of the features turned off. iCloud is all but completely disabled as I don't realy need it. I only use Location Services if I'm outside of the house or workplace. Notifications are kept to a bare minimum, brightness is kept low, I recondition the battery every few days by draining it all the way before charging back to 100%, etc..
I hope Apple gets an update out soon because I really love everything the 4S and iOS 5 have to offer. Maybe as they get some fixes out, I can start turning on some of these cool services on one at a time and get all I can out of my iPhone.
My battery life has been pretty poor as well with the iPhone 4s 32gb. With my iPhone 4 I was able to make it through a whole day at the office, playing Music or Pandora for 3-4 hours of that, and not need a charge. Now, if I want to listen to music at work, I need to have the iPhone 4s charging at least half the time.
I'm sure some of these "workarounds" would help, but we should be able to use all the intended features of the phone with a reasonable drain on battery -- shouldn't have to turn off significant iOS 5 features like location-based reminders, photo stream, etc., just to make it through a typical day without a charge.
Thanks for working on this, Apple!
I'm watching my 4S now since I got it at the 14th of October ... I immediatly recognized the behaviour that 1 hour of standby causes 10% in battery charge ... so I started turning of push-notifications for one mail account, automatic load for another one, reduced the notification center items .. but still, it remains the same. I also tried the restore, the complete discharge of the battery .. nothing help'd .. so I'm waiting for an solution from apple ...
my iPhone 4 doesn't show that much battery drain in the same timeframe, even with all the push-settings etc. I had all the time on this phone.
In general I've noticed the battery life being pretty bad, but last night was the worst example so far. I went to bed with my black 64gb 4S at about 60% battery life and woke up this morning (between 7 and 8 hours later) with it dead. Wasn't doing anything, just sitting on my dresser. Not connected to wifi, and I haven't even enabled iCloud on it. I have it connected to exchange for work email/contacts/calander, but I don't have tons of appointments or email coming (and none came in over night). I'm not noticing much activity on the notification center. I have the weather and stock quotes widgets on there and that is it when I don't have texts/appointments coming in.
The battery life is a major issue.
I'm having the same problem. I'm using the 4s the same way I used my 4 on iOS5. Same settings, notification, location servicers and I'm on WIFI at work and at home. But now by the end of the day my 4s is on 10% battery left. The only difference in my usage should be using Siri a few times a day and in my opinion that should not be effecting the battery that much. *****.
For what this is worth, here's how I solved my iPhone 4S battery issue, now draining ~10% for 24 hours of light use, without going through factory retore.
Here's the background and symptoms:
1) backed up my old iPhone via iTunes
2) restored into 4S via iTunes
3) activiated 4S and all the settings are preserved (1 MobileMe and 1 gmail account, but no iCloud yet)
4) observed that it used 10% battery per hour of light usage
Steps I took to improve battery life:
1) bought an app to monitor CPU usage (I went with System Activity Monitor), and the CPU should stay below 5% on average
2) turned off Push for both email accounts, and changed one to manual and another to 30 minutes. (you can change this to different settings and observe the effect using #1)
3) kill all background apps and restarted the phone, in case they use background resources
4) turned off bluetooth, automatic reports to Apple, and location services that I don't need
5) optional: I did drain the battery complete down and charged it overnight, something Apple recommends doing every 2-3 months for Li-ion batteries
that's about it! The main tip is to get a CPU monitoring app so you can check the impact of changes you make to your phone. I suspect that for me it was one of the email syncing issue, but other conditions are known to draw power, such as low cellular signal (so modem is boosting power to compensate), and crashing apps. I didn't have those issues, but hopefully these tips will help some of you!
Just wanted to add my voice to this discussion in hopes for a solution.
I've had every iPhone since day one, but I am getting horrendous battery life on the new iPhone 4S. As an example, on my previous iPhones, I could use the Hipstamatic camera app just about all day long and by the end of the day my battery percentage would be about 75%. now with the iPhone 4S, after only 2 hours of usage, my battery had been down to 17-25%. That's not cool at all.
One issue that I am having that may be affecting the battery, I have lost all of my bookmarks on my iPhone (and my iPad 2.) They use to be synced through MobileMe from my Macbook Pro, but now, even though I have the option chosen in iCloud, no bookmarks are showing up on my iPhone 4S or my iPad 2, yet when I try to edit my bookmarks, a message says that my "bookmarks are currently syncing" and to wait until it finishes... it's been saying that for a week now! And nothing new is actually syncing to my iDevices. So there is definitely a bug somewhere in this (either iOS 5, iCloud or both?)
Extremely frustrating and I need to get it resolved quick! I was just about to shoot a short film with the iPhone 4S that is schedualed to premier at Macworld, but there is no way I can do this if my battery drains so fast...
I have a 16gb white iPhone 4S. I am experiencing much of the same issues with my battery draining at an alarmingly fast pace. The weirdest thing to me is that the battery actually drains some when it has been plugged in and fully charged. On more than one occasion I have seen the phone showing it is fully charged while plugged in to it's charger, and a few hours later when I check again, it shows 96% or 92% even though I have not been using it.
I played an online video game for about 30 minutes while riding in the car. The phone showed 100% when we left the house. When I got home 4 hours later, it was down to 35%. I used Siri and a few other apps for around 30 minutes as well. 1 hour of use and I am down 65%?!?! I wasn't editing video or anything that power intensive.
I had an iPhone 4 and upgraded to iOS 5. I've done everything correctly, it would seem -- my data is secure, I don't have a lot of "intense" apps like games running and my phone almost always stays within WiF range. On iOS 4 I could go days without a charge to my phone. Now, with iOS 5 my iPhone 4 required a charge every night. Restoring the phone did not help.
Enter the iPhone 4S, which I purhcased and restored from an iCloud backup. It did not help. The iPhone 4S now runs with a 7-15% battery loss every hour. By the end of the day, my phone sits on the charger all night as it usually ends up around 20-35% of life remaining.
In the morning, the process repeats. By the time I've had breakfast I'm already down to 97%.
Turning off features like Siri, Geo-target reminders, etc. doesn't appaer to help. Closing running apps doesn't help either. I even purchased a System Monitor app for 99 cents that made feel like I was on Android suddenly. It reports high memory usage, but CPU usage hovers around 96-98% idle most all the time I'm looking at it. Plus, turning off features like Siri would defeat the point of actually getting the phone.
My assumption is that it's an issue with a corrupt backup or restore -- either from iTunes or iCloud. Upon installing iOS 5 on my iPhone 4, the "Other" data field ballooned and filled my entire iPhone's drive, over half of it, to be specific. Research indicated that something went wrong during the backup or restore that caused it to currupt. Restoring and re-uploading all my settings from the backup again resolved that issue.
I'm guessing now that my backup was corrupted and got transferred to iCloud. I would imagine something is draining the battery by constantly trying to connect or restore or re-download a corrupted file.
Has anyone tried restoring their iPhone and NOT restoring from a backup? Maybe just turn it on with no Apps, no Music, no Videos? That'd be a real bummer, no doubt, but it would isolate the problem as being with a backup or with the hardware itself.