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How is Your iPhone 4S Battery Life?

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Every time a new iPhone is released, every feature is meticulously scrutinized by its users–and rightfully so. The iPhone 4S battery is supposed to offer an extra hour of 3G talk time, but a 100 hour decrease in standby time. This is probably due to location services being used more frequently in iOS 5 as part of the Reminders app, Find my Friends, Siri, and more.

Here is the advertised battery life for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS:

The Option to Disable 3G Cellular Data is Gone

In the past, one way to save battery life was to toggle off 3G data and use EDGE only, as many of us did when the iPhone 3G debuted. It appears that option in the no longer available in Network Settings. We don’t know if Apple will bring that option back in an update, but for jailbroken iPhone users SBSettings will let you turn off 3G easily.

As mentioned on Apple’s iPhone battery tips page:

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).

I have yet to calibrate my iPhone 4S battery–here’s my usage for today so far:

If you’re a hardcore iPhone user, you probably already carry a backup power source such as the ZAGGsparq or a battery back from Richard Solo, along with your white USB cable.

Want some instant battery saving tips? Limit push notifications (configure them in Notification Center), turn down your brightness to about 40-45%, and turn off location settings for apps that don’t require them. Also, heat is one of the major killers of battery life so ensure any case you have allows proper ventilation. But honestly, it’s tough to have amazing battery life when we can’t put down the iPhone 4S–it’s just too awesome.

How’s your iPhone 4S battery life so far?

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  • Mine’s very similar to yours so far. I haven’t calibrated yet either. I’m home for the evening and I’m at 48%, so I’m happy!

  • I was down to 18% when I got home from school, so it seems pretty bad so far. But the extra battery drain might also be due to the fact that I was showing off Siri a lot today, may have attributed to the drain.

  • Anonymous

    Looks better than any android I’ve used so far!

  • Nick

    Any news on the jailbreak?  I know it’s early… But it sucks losing all the jailbroken features and the sooner I can get them back the better..  Google searching doesn’t result in any fresh news about the progress.

  • Jt

    I can disable 3G on my ip4. They actually made disallow it on the ip4s only?! Probably for Siri to work.

  • Whitesocks

    For Telus customers, with or without the option to disable 3G makes no difference because on Telus network, you will loss the wireless connection completely including voice as soon as you disable the 3G on iPhone 4 and pretty much make it airplane mode. I am not sure about Rogers, Bell, and Fido tho.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t switch to edge only? Wtf is that Rogers network is so brutal unreliable that your forced to go to edge to pickup signals and you can’t even do that?

  • Jarndt08

    What do you guys mean by ‘calibrated’?

  • It means draining it and recharging it again. You should do it once a month or so.

  • Setak

    I don’t see why you say the option to turn off 3G cellular data is gone, it is still available.

  • Swotam

    So far it’s not great. Probably about the same as my 1 year old iPhone 4 as far as drain goes. I haven’t calibrated yet but will let it drain tonight and charge tomorrow. So far, the battery drain is noticeably higher than the iPhone 4 was when brand new.

  • Ex

    And your iPhone is on iOS 5? Or you have the iPhone 4S?

  • Anonymous

    Smart man.

  • DDR

    Probably the setting not available on the new Qualcomm baseband processor.  Also, I can confirm that the setting is there on the iPhone4 running iOS5.

  • Alej

    iPhone 4 on iOS5, still have the option to enable or disable

  • Setak

    I currently have iPhone 4S, so yes it is on iOS 5. My screen when I am in network is the same as the picture posted by Gary and when I turn off 3G I cannot use applications that require internet without wi-fi. And I have a question, what do you guys mean by battery calibration ?? Thanks !!

  • Sweet. I’m letting my battery run down tonight 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Honestly compared to my old 3G it practically lasts forever. My jailbroken 3G would use up like 10% in 30 minutes and I would sometimes have to charge it twice a day. With the 4S I was able to make it through 2 days without needing to charge it. I know it has less standby time than the 4 but I really can’t tell the difference.

  • Omar

    I’m actually really impressed and surprised by the battery. My iPhone 4 would usually be at about 30% by the time I left work at 5. Mind you I would be streaming radio most of the day, texting, browsing when on break or lunch and here n there. With the iPhone 4S I unplugged it at 8, listened to music on my 45 minute commute, used Sirir quite a bit, streamed radio for about 7 hours. Had a couple small conversations, browsed online a fair bit and at 11:26 pm I am at 9%. My usage is 10 hours and standby is 15 hours. So I’d say its amazing

  • Sevael

    Even 15 months after launch, my iPhone 4 had amazing battery life.  During a 9-hour shift at work, it would usually drop down to around 70 – 80% with hours of music playback, various texting, 20 – 30 minutes of net surfing and one or two phone calls.  That’s with push mail, location services, Bluetooth and wi-fi all turned on.  Outstanding battery life on iPhone 4 even 15 months later.

    The 4S in the same situation dropped down to just under 40% after a full shift at work.  Draining it tonight and will do a full charge to see if it helps, but I seriously doubt that the calibration will *double* the battery life.

    So far, I’m not at all impressed with the 4S’s battery life.  My iPhone 4 slaughtered it in comparison.  And yes, both on iOS 5.

  • Sparky

    Turning off cellular data isn’t what he meant. On the iPhone 4 and earlier there is an extra option to turn of 3G, thus using just Edge.

  • Sparky

    Wow your iPhone 4 slaughters my iPhone 4’s battery life.

  • Anonymous

    My iPhone 4S gets me through the entire day, which is all I really care about. My day starts at about 8 o’clock in the morning and then ends around 10 o’clock in the evening. My iPhone 4 did the samething.

  • Anonymous

    My iPhone 4S gets me through the entire day, which is all I really care about. My day starts at about 8 o’clock in the morning and then ends around 10 o’clock in the evening. My iPhone 4 did the samething.

  • Wuju

    I want to able to turn off 3G when I want. This sucks, hope Apple is bringing it back

  • kabsalsa

    I am still waiting for my iPhone 4s. I have to wait a bit because I decided to cancel my order with Rogers and buy from Apple!

    My iPhone 4 was working fine until I upgraded to iOS 5 over the weekend. It started running really hot and the battery was draining at breakneck speeds. Yesterday I unplugged at 8 or 9 am and was down below 10 percent by 11:50 am. Then last night it drained again to zero and then died. Won’t power up. Not sure if iOS 5 killed my battery. Hope apple will be kind as my phone is out of warranty and I wanted to sell it to offset the cost of my 4s.

    I know this is supposed to be about iPhone 4s but I thought I would share. My husband’s iPhone has been acting similarly.

  • Anonymous

    Rogers and Fido have the legacy GSM network so EDGE would still be an option, but Bell, like Telus, operated on CDMA until just before the Vancouver Olympics, when they got their HSPA network running, so you cannot fall back on EDGE with Bell and Telus.

  • Lewis Kezagger

    It was brutal until I let my 4S completely discharge.  Went from 100% to 5% in about 3 hours then sat at 5% for another 2.  That was two days ago.  Yesterday was considerably better but not quite as good as my 4.  Did another complete discharge last night and will see what happens today.

  • Staranp

    I went from a 3 to the 4s and can admit that there is only a small improvement in battery life. About to drain it to see if it improves.

  • Anonymous

    My 4S is terrible. This morning I answered the phone and talked for about 10 minutes, did a few text messages and it’s at 90%.

  • Wuju

    Terrible here too. 100 percent this
    Morning and now 1perecent. Didn’t much really. iPhone would have at least 50%
    The trouble is the constant 3G which sucks the battery really bad

  • DDR

    Disable BT if you aren’t using it.

  • Guest714

    My iphone 4s battery life for normal usage is about 6.9 hours. Thats using location, ipod, wifi, a bit of games, appstore. almost no calls.

    Don’t know if to return it, when I play video games it only last like 1.5 hours. is that normal?

    I guess some people have really bad phone, when i got to sleep and turned it on, 9-10 hours it only looses like 5-7%

    so do i have a good phone?
    new to all this. don’t know if its normal.

  • Flip_thug

    Unless your using a tethered jailbreak, do this while near a PC to “boot tethered” afterwards.

  • Kwopau

    My iphone 4S is doing great. No battery drainage. I do have icloud, notifications, mail, pretty much everything turned on

    Also for those of you that have battery issues on your iphone 4S, a simple fix is to just turn off your phone and not use it, this will last you a month. Only turn it on to make phone calls and once you are done, turn off the phone.

  • Kwopau

    My iphone 4S is doing great. No battery drainage. I do have icloud, notifications, mail, pretty much everything turned on

    Also for those of you that have battery issues on your iphone 4S, a simple fix is to just turn off your phone and not use it, this will last you a month. Only turn it on to make phone calls and once you are done, turn off the phone.

  • Anonymous

    Same situation here the Apple tec at the store said to cycle the battery 6 times and will be much better battery life? I’m at 4 it does seem better???

  • Pennieslogo

    my 4s died in less then 8 hours on standby this is really disapointing in a phone of this value my samsung went on for days any suggestions or should I just return it

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