For anyone new to the thread be sure to go through these steps to address the battery after updating to iOS 5.0.1 or 5.1:
1. Reset all settings (settings app-> general-> reset)
2 a. Go through initial setup steps (lang, wifi, siri, enable location, etc) and choose setup as new phone (don't worry your apps, data, contacts, mail will still be there). Do NOT restore from iCloud or iTunes (It can copy back corrupt settings)
2 b. If you do not get the complete new setup screen with language setup and setup as new phone or restore from iTune/iCloud backup, be sure to go back to #1 and reset all settings again (it should happen the second time)
3. Turn off system location services timezone and iAd (settings -> location services -> system services)
4. Fully discharge battery (until you get the spinning wheel and it shuts off)
5. Fully recharge battery (overnight if possible)
In my experience this improves the Standby battery drain issue significantly in most cases. It reduces drain from 2-4% or more per hr to 0.5% or less. It has worked for many, many users now. If it does not work after a few try's you may have a real battery or hardware issue and should contact Apple. Good Luck!
You can check details on my thread along with numerous successes here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3484755
add a failure ... this doesnt help me ... i have tried it a milion times .. anyways now i am not complaining, frankly smarphones are not smart when it comes to power , its not apple's fault, it is the very nature of work that these phones do. And i dont see drops as people have observed ... thank god .. though certianly every day i have to charge. If i use skype for 20 mins I see about 15-20% drop .. so not bad.
regardless, i got a very good power, when i charged in the everning, switched off my phone over night, morning it was 100% yay ! i think the solution is to switch off the phone, when not in use. I believe 100% of the cases it will work ... if it does do appreciate me and let apple know how intelligent i am.
The battery percentage meter is still screwed up under iOS 5.1. I'm noticing that when I unplug my phone from charging in the morning, the percentage immediately drops from 100% (AC icon) to anywhere from 97 to 99%. If I plug it back in, it immediately changes back to 100% AC, meaning it thinks it's fully charged. If I open the maps app for a few seconds and then plug it in, it will stay at the 97 to 99% and start charging back to 100%. That takes upwards of 15 minutes depending on what the percentage is.
Another thing I've noticed is that the battery percentage will drain very quickly when the percentage drops below 20% and then it will simply stop at 1% and sit there. I drained my iPhone 4S to 1% and then used the map app for about 10 minutes, downloaded so apps and then play Angry Birds for about 15 minutes and it was still at 1%. It took about 30 minutes of constant use before the phone shut off after showing it had 1% battery left.
I've done two full cycles recently since updating to iOS 5.1 and I'm still seeing this, so for whatever reason the phone is not calibrating correctly to the battery.
Currently my battery is showing 87% after 42 minutes of "usage" (I really only used it for about 15 minutes) and 8 hours and 44 minutes of "standby". If the iPhone 4S really gets 6 hours of usage over 3G, that's about right, though I don't all 42 minutes of the "usage" was really 3G data traffic, so who knows.
In case you are using iTunes Match:
Today I found out, that Apple pushes every single change on iTunes (on your PC) to the iOS device (iPhone/iPad) immediately. And it uses the mobile provider connection, even if it sits in the dock and connected to WiFi.
Everytime you play a song in iTunes, it will update your automatic playlist (last played songs). This is pushed to the iPhone via mobile GSM/3G.
Everytime you change a playlist (just move one song from position 9 to 10), click from one playlist to another, you can hear nearly instantantly the typical GSM noise so that your iPhone gets updated to the latest iTunes Match condition.
Now I understand, that my iPhone has a lot of useage, while it just lays in standby on the couch table and I'm listening to my Music using iTunes or my iPad. Every song that was played, leads to an update via mobile network.
Try it out. Switch your phone to EDGE only not 3G (as this is quite noticable noice in a speaker of your choice) and play around with iTunes. It doesn't matter if WIFI is turned on or off. Even when the device is connected to your WIFI, it will synchronize via EDGE and drain your battery.
The odd thing is, even when turned off the switch: use mobile connection in the iTunes Match settings on the phone, it will still use the mobile connection, while it is live connected to the WIFI, too.
I guess there is a lot of opportunity to save bandwidth and battery.
I don't really keep an eye on battery so I can't really contribute to this but I have a problem with the camera turning on by itself in a lock mode while in my pocket! I charged it all night and then in the morning drove to school (40 mintues) and found out that the camera was on the whole time and the battery is something like 78% and then it happened couple of times again. The previous version when you needed to double click home button for camera-in-lockmode was much better. And yes, my phone also became sluggish and sad.. no joy..
Well, I think I might have a fix for this battery issue.
Sometime ago, I also had my battery drain in about 1 - 1.5 days. Sinse then, I had some problems with my phone, visited Apple Store for help and etc, etc, etc.
You're going to need to reset some stuff (Go to Settings ---> General ---> Reset.....)
So my point is: 1st: Try to reset your network settings (IMPORTANT!!!! If you don't use or have data (3G), and you reset the network settings, your phone will not be able to recieve any calls, so make sure you turn on 3G back on after you reset your settings, and then you can turn it off again if you want to).
Now if you done with that wall'o'text, next step: (REALLY SUGGEST TO BACK UP YOUR PHONE) Now you need to reset all settings (you need to do it from your iPhone, not computer, and IT IS NOT THE SAME AS "Erase All Content and Settings"). All of your things will still be there, just all the settings will be reset.
After all these steps, I found my battery to last longer everyday. Right now, I didn't charge it in 3 days already, and it still has 47% of battery left. Specs: No 3G, no iCloud, 27 Apps installed, everyday internet use through WiFi.
P.S. tried on iOS 5.0.1., and deleting some apps might also help with the battery life. And sorry for this essay .
My battery life hasn't been adequate IMO since I got my 4S but I learned to live with it. Then 5.0.1 update made it drain steadily so I tried (again) a Restore to New which helped greatly but still not the way I think it should be.. Last night I was able to drain the battery until it shut off and recharged it overnight. I'm hopeful now because I'm at 99% after 36 minutes of use and 1hr 51mins of standby - best performance yet. Apple says they'll replace my phone if I continue to have a problem because the update is supposed to fix the issue -- continued drain may mean a defective battery. I have coverage so I don't know how they handle problem if you don't.
I've been having the same issue and I dont understand why apple said if the problem presist they'd give you a new phone? They did a diagonostics on mine and basically told me I was SOL and that the cause of the battery drain was caused by me. He than compared and contrast to me how the iphone 4 battery vs. iphone 4s worked out. Since the iphone 4s has more power and etc your suppose to expect a battery diffrence. He than claimed to me that the iphone 4 battery should be better than the iphone 4s mainly because of the hardware between the two. I'm basically stuck with a phone that drains like crazy if I wanted to use the phone as how it was intended to. Instead I need to turn off various functions in order to save the battery =/ I am definently not a happy camper.
I just wanted to say that I completed this this morning. And at first blush, I am still at 100% despite tooling around on itunes and facebook and in my emails. Typically, I would've lost a few percentage points already. Yesterday, in 4 hours of usage I dropped from 100% to 28%. Thank you davidch!!!!
i've tried your suggestion to reset all settings, but it seems it doesn't change my phone battery life. i wanna ask you, how can you get 0.5-1% decrease per hour? do you have your celular data on?
my battery status is like following:
when no cellular data and no wifi : 0,5%-1%/hour
airplane mode : less than 0,5%/hour
when wifi on and cellular data off : 2-3%/hour
wifi off and cellular data on : 5-6%/hour
is it normal? i've tried this all in standby mode. I bought this phone feb28th with bundled xl (indonesia), at that time, even when my wifi off and cellular data on, it could last 1,5 days. then i change it into another provider (im3), here comes the trouble, it last only 20 hours of stand by time. so is this provider have something connection with my phone?