How to Increase iPhone 3G Battery Life

After picking up my iPhone 3G the day after Rogers’ craptacular launch, I was quite impressed with the blazing speed of 3G connectivity. It’s unfortunate the battery life on the iPhone 3G runs out faster than you can say Jesus Jobs.

My iPhone 3G Battery Saga…to be continued…

The first time I used my iPhone 3G after a full charge via the wall charger, the battery life was extremely dismal. After some light surfing and barely any talking, I received the 20% battery remaining pop up. This was after less than 6 hours of standby time. My usage showed about 3.5hrs and just under 6 hours of standby. Something definitely was messed (my friend’s iPhone 3G had battery life that doubled mine) with my iPhone 3G that was less than one week old.

Soooo…off I go and to dial “611” on my iPhone to climb the highest mountain known to mankind, what many call Rogers Customer Service. After waiting 20 minutes, I found out the hard way that there is a separate technical support line for the iPhone 3G. After speaking with the CSR about my battery woes, he tried to convince me that my usage was normal. I refused to let him coerce me into thinking that having my 20% remaining pop up around 3pm in the afternoon after light usage was “normal”.

When I told him that the standby time of the iPhone 3G was 300 hours, he responded with “I have never ever heard of that before. Where did you find that?” My response to him (with the iPhone 3G spec sheet in front of me) was “umm…it’s stated on the Apple website.” Let’s just say he wasn’t very pleased with me at that point! Anyways, he finally decided that my situation warranted an iPhone exchange. I was told I would receive a brand new 8GB iPhone in 2 days and that I’d have to mail back current iPhone. Standard procedure right? That is until…

…after a couple days, I got thinking. I realized the company I was dealing with was Rogers Wireless, home of the most inconsistent customer service reps ever (no offense to those that do a great job). So I decided to “follow up” on my iPhone exchange on last Friday. What I found out did not shock me–I was expecting it. Turns out the rep did not actually “process” the exchange, but only left notes. Luckily the current rep quickly rectified the situation and assured me I would receive a new iPhone in 2-5 business days.

I know what some of your are thinking right now. “Why bother returning your iPhone 3G? You should know that 3G drains your battery life!” Yes, I am aware of that. However, when I’ve paid $200 for the phone and signed on for a 3 year contract, I would like my iPhone to last the duration of the contract. No way would I let this slide considering how important battery life is! That being said, here are some tips I’ve used to help increase your iPhone 3G battery life, in no particular order…

How to Increase Your iPhone 3G Battery Life – the Extreme Edition

  • Turn on 3G only when you need it. I found that having 3G turned OFF saved battery life (duh!). Using EDGE actually isn’t that painful–just think of it as a mildly disfunctional WiFi hotspot!
  • Turn off Location Services.
  • Turn off Auto-Brightness. Manually move the slider to 25% or 33% brightness.
  • Turn off WiFi until you need a hotspot. The iPhone’s WiFi will automatically try connecting to SSIDs it detects.
  • Turn off Push. Change your Fetch schedule to Manually.
  • Set Auto-Lock to 1 minute.
  • Turn off Bluetooth.
  • Limit GPS use unless you really need it.
  • Do a monthly battery calibration. According to the Apple website, you should be doing this periodically. Give your iPhone a full charge, then let the battery run out. Recharge.
    • Usually with lithium-ion batteries this is not necessary as they maintain no “memory effect”…but it’s worth a shot.
  • Only use the iPhone 3G connected to an outlet. Find a 100ft extension cable and attach it to your USB cable. Attach USB cable to iPhone 3G. Let extension cable follow you around the house, knocking furniture, pets, and children over. Ignore wife/girlfriend’s complaints because–email, Twitter, and the forums call for your attention.

The bottom line is Apple needs to desperately release an update for 2.0 firmware. When previous updates were made, such as jumping from 1.0.2 to 1.1.1, battery life increased. Let’s hope a new firmware will help increase battery life by a bit.

On top of the abysmal battery life, I’m experiencing constant slowdowns when typing and just navigating around the phone. Throw in some Safari crashes here and there, and I’m about ready to shank someone (well, not that bad, but almost!). Want to save your battery from dying? Turn off 3G–’nuff said.

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