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Is iPhone Battery Usefulness On the Decline?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the more-time-please dept.

Iphone 222

jfruh writes "Every time a company rolls out a new version of a product, it extols how much better it is than the previous version. Thus, Apple spent a part of its iPhone 5 rollout touting the staying power of the latest version of its battery. But have iPhone batteries really seen improvement since the original came out in '07? Kevin Purdy crunches the numbers and concludes that, while the 5's battery beats the 4S's, we still haven't returned to the capabilities of the original phone."

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False Comparison (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330309)

This is because the original iPhone used EDGE. If you force future version off the 3G network, talk time beats the first generation iPhone easily.

Re:False Comparison (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330331)

Stupid article is stupid.

Re:False Comparison (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 2 years ago | (#41330663)

It would be a false comparison if people switched their 3G (or LTE) phones to use EDGE. They don't.

Re:False Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330707)

You can turn off 3G/4G data in the settings if you want to match.

Re:False Comparison (-1, Redundant)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 2 years ago | (#41330825)

You can turn off 3G/4G data in the settings if you want to match.

No you can't (unless you Jailbreak). Not since the 4S, it's no longer an option in the Settings menu.

Re:False Comparison (5, Informative)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 2 years ago | (#41330933)

Sure there is. General>Network and top of the page is enable/disable 3G

Re:False Comparison (4, Informative)

Macman408 (1308925) | about 2 years ago | (#41331343)

This is both carrier and iOS version-specific. I believe iOS 5.0 and 5.0.1 did not have the option at all, while 5.1 restored it, but not on some networks, including AT&T. (I have a 4S with iOS 5.1.1 on AT&T, and can confirm that there is no option to disable 3G in the Network settings.)

Re:False Comparison (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#41331443)

I see the option on iOS 5.1.1 on Fido (Rogers).

Re:False Comparison (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about 2 years ago | (#41330985)

What is that mod you recevied, a "+1, Wrong"?

Re:False Comparison (1)

superdana (1211758) | about 2 years ago | (#41331077)

You're *almost* right. This feature was removed in iOS 5 but returned in iOS 5.1.

Re:False Comparison (3, Informative)

mkraft (200694) | about 2 years ago | (#41331265)

You can turn off 3G/4G data in the settings if you want to match.

Actually for many, you can't. Carriers can disable the 3G toggle on the iPhone 4S. AT&T does so.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/03/09/ios-51-brings-3g-toggle/ [idownloadblog.com]

Re:False Comparison (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#41331447)

For some, it makes sense. Bell, for example, has no GSM network; they migrated from CDMA (EVDO) to HSPA+. Disabling 3G on a Bell iPhone would simply cut all connectivity.

Re:False Comparison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330893)

And if you used Android, you can set it up so that you get Edge battery life at 3G speeds, by automating switching back and forth.

Re:False Comparison (3, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | about 2 years ago | (#41331185)

And if you used Android, you can set it up so that you get Edge battery life at 3G speeds, by automating switching back and forth.

I was about to ask about this.

I was wondering why you'd want 3G running all the time. if it sucks so much battery life. It's not like it's needed to check for new email or incoming text messages. I don't need 3G for a voice call. Automatic switching seems to be a no-brainer. Simply hand over to 3G if it's available as soon as you start to use data (or open apps that flag themselves as needing a high speed data connection).

Personally, I've long since given up on the cell phone arms race. If folk need to get hold of me the generally find a way.

Re:False Comparison (2)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 2 years ago | (#41331605)

And if you used Android, you can set it up so that you get Edge battery life at 3G speeds, by automating switching back and forth.

I was about to ask about this.

I was wondering why you'd want 3G running all the time. if it sucks so much battery life. It's not like it's needed to check for new email or incoming text messages. I don't need 3G for a voice call. Automatic switching seems to be a no-brainer.

For me, the android switching process actually drains more power compared to locking the phone on 3G only. I think it has something to do with how shitty cell connection in Indonesia, so YMMV

Re:False Comparison (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41330895)

What comparison? Despite all the blabbering there is actually no comparison in the article. Here's the key part:

Synthesizing the rumors and supposed leaks about the iPhone 5[...essentially baseless speculation.] Tests and assessments from reviewers and pundits will come next week, but will undoubtedly deviate from Apple's numbers.

In other words, nothing is known.

Re:False Comparison (4, Insightful)

arekin (2605525) | about 2 years ago | (#41330963)

I think the comparison is one of Battery life not keeping up with battery usage in newer devices. Technology is not increasing at the same rate, but the expectation is still there, especially for people who previously owned earlier versions of the iPhone. What most people see is not "my iPhone battery consumption is high because of increase demand from data networks", but rather "I never had to charge my old iPhone this much." Its like comparing movies sales in 2012 dollars, its a perfectly valid statement to make, even though we all know what causes the reduced data usage.

Re:False Comparison (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#41331341)

Penny pinching to maximise profits and also the ability to tout light weight are creating the urge to under size batteries against expected use. Stop blaming the customer that crap is straight up marketing bullshit. Apple knows full well the expected use and is simply short changing the battery to pick up a few more cents profit.

Much the same as the change in screen size. Apple marketing was disturbed by people standing an iPhone up against a Galaxy Nexus and in comparison commenting the iPhone looked like a toy. So the marketing department rather than creating an equal sized phone, snuck in taller one so when people compared the phones standing up the iPhone wouldn't look as small. The reason, screen area is the number one big ticket cost and you pay per square mm, so Apple squeezing out extra profit from it's customers.

As for the reviews oh my the paid for pandering absolutely sucks. Apple do you seriously believe normal people will accept such biased reviews, best phone on the market, not based on specs, oh no, based purely on paid to comment opinion.

Re:False Comparison (5, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41331553)

Apple from a profit standpoint would much rather have a big cheap battery than the incredibly expensive light thin batteries they have. Heck they would rather sell the phone hooked up to a car battery and give you 1000 hrs talk time. Light and thin is costing them money, this isn't about penny pinching.

iPhone 5 is not the iPhone you are looking for... (2, Funny)

Esteanil (710082) | about 2 years ago | (#41331031)

That, my friend, is the iPhone 12 - as was revealed exclusively to me in a morphine-and-"don't worry"-drug-coctail following my (very successful) brain surgery 3 1/2 years ago, a little over a month after the iPhone3G was released.

At this point, sitting stunned in a hospital bathroom, I was pleasantly surprised:

You see, the Interplanetary Patent Office had commited a major temporal blunder, and I held in my hands the fabled iPhone 12.
I'd been looking forward to this, I came to realize, because of the wonderful new function added to this generation of iPhone.
  The Replication ability: Simply hold your phone in your right hand, turn your hand around to the left and a duplicate iPhone is created - one which lasts for 12 hours and can be used just the same as the original for that period.
Can you imagine the craze? Lend out your iPhone and keep it at the same time! Borrow an iPhone and buy apps, they'd follow you and not the phone. Lose an iPhone and you could join the begging crowd at the central railway station hungrily gazing at the iPhone Carriers - the source of their only light in life.

The only real problem was that damn bug - those jackasses at the Interplanetary Patent Office not only had committed a major temporal blunder, but they'd sent out a buggy test edition!

The only thing that happened when I turned my hand around to the left was that it made my head *hurt really bad*. I've chosen to take this as an analogy of what'll happen if I (a free-spirited hacker-minded kind of guy) pick up an iPhone... It'll just end in one glorious headache.

----------

Also, clearly, as evidenced by religious leaders, prophets and other conm^H^H^H inspired people, such drug-fueled visions - especially considering the holy trappings of the event... I'd just had a freaking robot in my brain!
This experience should from now on be considered the one holy truth about the iPhone 12.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that the 4S isn't the only model increase that won't be a straight number one... By my calculations, iPhone 12 will be model 43.

Re:False Comparison (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 2 years ago | (#41331591)

This is because the original iPhone used EDGE. If you force future version off the 3G network, talk time beats the first generation iPhone easily.

Yes, but the battery capacity bump between the OG iphone and iphone 5 should also be put into consideration. My point is smartphone manufacturers in general believe that their customers will tolerate shorter operation time in return of bigger screens, slimmer body and faster data rate

Jokes on them! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330315)

I'm still running an original iphone as my main phone. I still haven't seen anything worth upgrading for, yet, on either side of the isle.

It still works perfectly and holds a days charge.

Re:Jokes on them! (0)

slashdyke (873156) | about 2 years ago | (#41330429)

I'm still running a home phone - VOIP, not land line. I haven't seen anything worth switching to in the mobile market. So, I have you beat. I have not spent the money, nor will I, on any iPhone.

Re:Jokes on them! (5, Funny)

cameloid (120654) | about 2 years ago | (#41330597)

Sometimes it IS necessary to upgrade though, it can save you real money. I used to spend $$ on firewood for sending smoke signals; but then I made a one-off payment by switching to semaphore flags. Simples!

Re:Jokes on them! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330887)

You think you're saving money?
After getting a mating pair of carrier pidgeons, my transmission costs are minimal, and my bandwidth just keeps increasing. Sure there are a few lost packets to aircraft, bb guns and Richard Gere, and latency is high, but we're talking reverse data cap here.

Re:Jokes on them! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41330545)

As long as you don't want any apps. How many apps available today work on the original? I had a 1 year old 3G and could run about 10% of the apps I tried to download. Haven't tried any for the past few years, though. It's been turned into a heavy and slow iPod touch (phone without a sim).

XD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330321)

Primero

don't care (0)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41330329)

On the grounds that I want a mini iPad and they didn't announce it yet.

SCORN!

Re:don't care (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41330857)

The new ipod touch STARTS at $299, where exactly is an ipad mini going to fit in that lineup?

Re:don't care (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41331095)

Uhh, figure the 16 gig mini iPad will be the same price as a 32 gig iPod Touch.

Where it fits better is in my hand than an iphone or ipod touch. Sorry, they're just too small for me to comfortably use for what they're capable of doing.

More power for the same battery life is Good (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330347)

And as competitive as smartphones are today that's close to as good as we'll get for a bit. There IS a type of Lithium-ion battery that can store twice the charge of today's batteries at the same volume, but that's apparently coming to electric cars first; which obviously spend a lot more on batteries per unit and are in far more need of it.

But expect these batteries in phones at some point. In the further future the most promising technology is lithium-air batteries, which offer up to 10x the current charge per volume as today. But there are still numerous problems with them, and so an ETA there would be indefinite but quite possibly less than a decade. Still, imagine a phone that would need charging less than once a week!

Re:More power for the same battery life is Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330397)

imagine a phone that would need charging less than once a week!

...until they put 5G radios in them...

Re:More power for the same battery life is Good (2, Insightful)

neonmonk (467567) | about 2 years ago | (#41330505)

But that's NOT as good as we can get. Apple sacrificed possible battery life for aesthetic thinness, as is their wont. But let's not fool ourselves into thinking that's the best that could be done.

Re:More power for the same battery life is Good (3, Interesting)

fast turtle (1118037) | about 2 years ago | (#41330627)

You're right about the asthetic issue. I've got a candy bar phone that lasts at least a week between charges and if I'm actually using it, it'll last 6-8 hours of talk time in fringe reception area's because it has an actual antenna that I can pull out when needed. Range is great as I've successfully connected to the carrier while 6 miles off-shore (whale watching trip). Surprised the hell out of me an most everyone else when the damn thing rang.

Re:More power for the same battery life is Good (1)

SuperAlgae (953330) | about 2 years ago | (#41331329)

Wireless signals travel extremely well over water. Getting a signal 6 miles out is not too surprising.

Re:More power for the same battery life is Good (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#41331363)

I'm sure everyone wanted to throw your phone (and you) overboard. It's douches like you who ruin outdoor activities. "Yo dude guess where I am !!!"

Re:More power for the same battery life is Good (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#41330609)

Apple's claim of 8hours LTE useage i think is very optimistic.

Oh, the milliamp-hours! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330369)

"As explained around the web, milliamps hours (mAh) are something like a gas tank, and voltage (V) is the amount of fuel the device is drawing."

I don't know who wrote this bullshit, but they need to be shot.

(Yes, I attempted to read the article; so sue me.)

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 2 years ago | (#41330411)

well, the author is half right. mAh is a unit of energy, and is equivalent to fuel in a gas tank. But the amount of fuel a device is drawing is a measurement of power, which would be watts not volts.

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (1)

byornski (1022169) | about 2 years ago | (#41330509)

mAh is a unit of charge not energy.

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (0)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41330555)

no, that would be Volts.

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330593)

No it's charge. An amp [wikipedia.org] is defined as

one coulomb per second

Now when you take units of charge/time and multiply by time, the times cancel out and you are left with charge. So a mAh has units of charge.

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 2 years ago | (#41330661)

The unit you're looking for (energy) is watt-hours.

Amp-hours * Battery voltage = watt hours.

1 amp from a 3.7V battery = 3.7 watts. Utilize that for an hour, that's 1 amp hour, or 3.7 watt hours.

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41331421)

Volts would be the size of the fuel line or size of the engine - something that approximates instantaneous draw without being instantaneous draw.

Re:Oh, the milliamp-hours! (5, Informative)

dido (9125) | about 2 years ago | (#41330729)

Actually, simple hydraulics and electronics have natural analogies [gsu.edu] , in that similar equations can be used for both. Milliamp-hours is a unit of charge, 1 mAh == 3.6 coloumbs, or about the charge in 3.73e-05 moles worth of electrons, so yes, it would be accurate to say that mAh can be analogised to the volume of a tank of petrol, as charge would be the equivalent of fluid volume in hydraulics. However, voltage, being in units of energy per unit charge (a volt is 1 joule per coloumb), is more like fluid pressure in hydraulics (joules per cubic metre or pascals), or at how much pressure the fuel is being sent out the gas tank, so the article is completely wrong on that score. The "amount of fuel the device is drawing" is more like current, which is measured in amperes (coloumbs per second), which would be the equivalent of flow rate in hydraulics (cubic metres per second). Thus, if you had a battery rated at 1500 mAh used on a device that drew 100 mA of current from it on use, you'd be able to use it for about 15 hours before you needed to recharge the batteries. In a similar way, if you had a tank with a volume of 1500 cubic metres and were pumping liquid out at 100 cubic metres per hour, you'd need to refill it after 15 hours.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330379)

Today's iPhone does so much more than the early models. The fact they've been able to keep the battery so powerful is a testament to their engineering. The new iPhone is 20% thinner. They could've easily used that 20% for more battery, and users wouldn't have even known.

Re:Seriously? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330975)

actually the iPhone does about the same now as before... the "improvements" have all been incremental... Which is why the iPhone 5 only does what a 1 year maybe 1 and 1/2 year old Android does... They've fallen WAY behind the times. the world just hasn't realized it yet...

But they will...

iphone 5 owner: LOOK I HAVE TURN BY TURN NAV!

Android owner: My last two phones did that...

iphone 5 owner: BUT I have 5 rows...

Android owner: SO do I and my phone has widgets and rotates... yawn

iphone 5 owner: Look at my 4" screen!

Android owner: 4.6" yawn

iphone 5 owner: But its APPLE!

Android owner: and you paid 100 dollars more good job sheeple...

Better in all the ways that matter (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41330381)

Did the original iPhone have 225 hours standby?

And the fact that you still get 8 hours browsing, even over LTE, is really impressive. It might be slightly shorter than browsing time on an original iPhone but how much browsing could you have got done on Edge? You could probably read 10x the content on the iPhone 5, so how is it not far ahead?

It comes back to the problem of looking at a raw number on a list, without thinking what that number MEANS to a user on the device.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330393)

The typical iPhone user is only considered with the number 5. Heck, they could just take what they have now, make some ridiculously minor change, and then change the name and have a whole new round of sales to the macfags. Oh wait, they already did that with the 4S.

Not at all. (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41330657)

The typical iPhone user is only considered with the number 5.

Not really. There will be a lot of iPhone 4s users that skip this update.

Heck, they could just take what they have now, make some ridiculously minor change, and then change the name and have a whole new round of sales to the macfags.

Oh the clever wit of the hater!

Oh wait, they already did that with the 4S.

Nope. Some people did upgrade, yes, but Apple had a lot more new sales. I never got a 4s because it was a minor upgrade. And now the iPhone 5 is an upgrade over the 4s, but not very large... however it is a big jump over the iPhone 4. And that's what is really most important because most people have two year contracts. For the iPhone 4 (and older) iPhone owners, the iPhone 5 is in fact a big deal.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (2)

mkraft (200694) | about 2 years ago | (#41330529)

It remains to be seen if the iPhone 5 can really pull off 8 hours of LTE browsing as that would be impressive (blow through your data cap on a single charge), but historically Apple's battery estimates are on the high side.

Apple pretty accurate on battery estimates (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41330617)

It remains to be seen if the iPhone 5 can really pull off 8 hours of LTE browsing

Yes, but remember that in every device Apple has shipped (from laptops to iPhones to iPads) the battery life estimates have been pretty much spot on.

as that would be impressive (blow through your data cap on a single charge)

Browsing is not watching media only. Browsing is loading pages, reading them, moving on and reading more. It's not about constant data streaming, so it's not overall something that will destroy your bandwidth - you can only read so much in eight hours!

Yes you could blow through bandwidth fast if you sat watching extremely high quality video for hours on end. But that is why mobile app developers are not giving you those really beefy data streams, instead over even LTE you'll get reduced quality video from most things unless you force the issue.

Re:Apple pretty accurate on battery estimates (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | about 2 years ago | (#41331239)

With the latest version of LTE phones, it's not so much the browsing/downloading (heck on my Galaxy Nexus with the old inefficient LTE radios, I could download over 3GB in a day and still have battery at the end of it), but rather the screen drain.

I get tons of hours of usage if I'm in a dark room. Well-lit airport, and I'm easily half that unless I turn down the brightness low enough that I can barely read the thing.

#1 draw on nearly all modern smartphones is the display, which the 4S and lower had an edge on due to being quite a bit smaller. With the iPhone5 I expect that the biggest dip in longevity numbers will be screen-on-time, aka when you're using/browsing.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330563)

Ha.

I use a BlackBerry 8703e. I bought a bunch of them on Ebay for dirt cheap.

I replaced the batteries with aftermarket ones and can easily get over 14 days of standby (with a fair amount of email checking along the way).

What this means to the user is he paid a tiny fraction of the average apple fanboy, got several devices, can easily and trivially swap parts and do other user servicing, gets MORE battery life than the latest and greatest, and gets the nostalgia factor of using a 6+ year old device when picking up chicks.

Trouble (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41330679)

Brother, if you are picking up chicks with a Blackberry I hate to see what you are bringing home.

  I can get a million hours of standby with a clod of dung in my pocket but it doesn't mean I want to carry it around, much less show it off.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (1)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#41330835)

Those were good times. I needed to charge my 7290 and 8820 at most twice a week under heavy use.

My current BB will only go about two days between charges, three if it's a slow week.

How "It'll make it through a day" became a selling point is beyond me.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330699)

Something I've always wondered. They say "8 hours of browsing on LTE". What constitutes browsing? Obviously the screen being on is probably the big draw, but I know a good percentage of my "browsing" is actually reading the sites I've pulled up. During that time it's not pulling any data (unless you're on a javascript hungry site). On the other hand, someone could be skipping through web on image heavy pages or trolling web video trying to find something that would suck up more transfer time... So which is it?

I know I definitely get better battery life while on WiFi.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (0)

epiphani (254981) | about 2 years ago | (#41330745)

Did the original iPhone have 225 hours standby?

No, it had 250. [gsmarena.com]

And the fact that you still get 8 hours browsing, even over LTE, is really impressive. It might be slightly shorter than browsing time on an original iPhone but how much browsing could you have got done on Edge? You could probably read 10x the content on the iPhone 5, so how is it not far ahead?

It comes back to the problem of looking at a raw number on a list, without thinking what that number MEANS to a user on the device.

Great example of cognitive dissonance. The point of the article is that taking into account technology changes, this iphone isn't any better than the original. And you just argued "but but but... new technology!"

The point remains (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41331449)

Ok, so the original had slightly longer standby.. but...

Great example of cognitive dissonance. The point of the article is that taking into account technology changes, this iphone isn't any better than the original.

But that is exactly wrong, even if the times are identical - because the newer technology allows you to do MUCH more in those eight hours than you could before. It's not just arguing for new technology because it is new. It's arguing for new technology because it is actually useful to do more in the same amount of time.

Re:Better in all the ways that matter (2)

arekin (2605525) | about 2 years ago | (#41330995)

You could probably read 10x the content on the iPhone 5, so how is it not far ahead?

Probably not actually, as speeds increase so does the average page size (even on a mobile browser). Honestly what 4g has bought us is a marginal amount of more information and a dramatic increase in ad usage. We are paying more for the privilage to see what people have to sell.

Crap compaired to .... (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#41330395)

The iPhone 5 is crap compared to the new iPhone 6 that will come out next spring.

Re:Crap compaired to .... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41330517)

Ssh. We're supposed to buy the iPhone 5 now, because the 4s is crap compared to the 5. We're not supposed to think about the iPhone 6 until May.

Didn't you get the memo?

Funny but informative (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41330749)

The iPhone 5 is crap compared to the new iPhone 6 that will come out next spring.

Humorous.

And yet in that comment lies a revelation of why Apple's supposedly boring updates are not a problem.

Because from the 4 to the 4s, it was not that much of a leap. Or so it seemed at the time.

But now from the 4 to the 5, that is actually a pretty big jump. So even though we might see something like a 5s next year, you can be pretty sure that waiting for that will not be an amazing leap over the 5 - so there's little point to wait. And yet when the 6 does come out a year or two from now, it will probably be a really impressive gain over the iPhone 5.

Re:Funny but informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330993)

so? there already a generation behind... current Smartphones, by the Iphone 6 they'll be two...

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330405)

I'd say iPhone batteries are just as useful as ever, although I still don't have much use for one outside of an iPhone. YMMV

Re:No (5, Funny)

PNutts (199112) | about 2 years ago | (#41331171)

And I'll add that I agree they are useful. Without the battery my iPhone's screen is too dark and I can't hear the audio.

HUGE DECLINE (4, Interesting)

fferreres (525414) | about 2 years ago | (#41330443)

iPhone 2G, lasts me 12 hours full use or 4 days stand by (2 days average) - still use it btw with new battery
iPhone 4 lasted me (now my wife) about 8 to 9 hours and a day and a half of light use
iPhone 4S with most battery hungry functions (eg. GPS, notifications) lasts me 6 hours of constant use, or 22 to 26 hours of light use

Now the 4S is in the brink of being unacceptable. It's still convenient and the extra speed is very appreciated. But I always need a power outlet nearby when traveling, and I cannot count on it lasting a full day. It just can't if used for browsing and apps for a couple of hours.

Now, I love the iPad 2 battery life. Puts it in the Awesome Stuff list. I am guaranteed it'll last a day. If they could have kept the 2G life and not up CPU I'd have been more interested in the iPhone 5.

Re:HUGE DECLINE (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41330531)

> iPhone 2G, lasts me 12 hours full use or 4 days stand by (2 days average) - still use it btw with new battery

Seriously? I thought we weren't supposed to replace the battery.

Re:HUGE DECLINE (4, Insightful)

theJML (911853) | about 2 years ago | (#41330759)

My 4S is definitely better than my 3G was, but then it was 3 years old when I traded up. I still get a days worth on either. The catch is that the 4S is so much faster and generally more useful that I end up doing more battery sucking things with it just because. It's smooth and does great transferring real time maps with GPS while streaming Pandora in the background, even over AT&T "4G".

If I leave both on the table and mostly ignore them for the day, the 4S gives me more battery life than the 3G ever did.
If I actually use them as I usually would have, the 4S loses... but I find I actually use it A LOT MORE. When I first got it I found myself thinking "Man, the battery life sucks on this" but then I realized I was bascially using it non-stop. Once I got over the "OMG NEW-SHINY" period, it's on par with what the 3G was.

In short, I think the batteries Have improved, but we now expect our phones to do more, and have found more and more ways to use them more on a more regular basis. We cram more powerful AND power hungry chips in the same package and then get annoied and act surprised when it doesn't last as long as the older ones did.

The same thing has happened to laptops... and because this is slashdot, cars. I mean, I remember in the 80's and early 90's when we had little civic hatchbacks that got 55+ MPG. Why don't we have that now? because the civic is huge in comparison, weighs almost twice as much (the old 90 DX was literally 1 ton), has A/C, power everything, huge beams and airbags for safety, etc. And everyone thinks we should have more MPG by now. Yeah. We should, except you wanted all this other crap in there too.

Re:HUGE DECLINE (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330773)

iPhone 4 lasted me (now my wife)

You married your iPhone 4? That's being too much an iFanBoi.

Re:HUGE DECLINE (4, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41330795)

The iPhone 2G only uses the edge network. 3G is more power hungry than 2G (LTE even more so). This is the point everyone is making. The article is flawed because it doesn't take this into consideration. People upgraded their phone to take advantage of the more advance features, so increased power usage should be taken into account.

My android phone battery has a much shorter battery life when I travel to some locations. I believe its a function on how much power is required to maintain contact with the nearest tower (using "4G" doesn't help). Right now I'm on the road and I'm lucky to get 24 hours of "standby" time on a single charge (standby being in quotes due to email client running in background so data is being transmitted on occasion).

My iPad2 seems to last a very long time (charge once a week range), but it's WiFi only and therefore doesn't need to use power to maintain contact with a tower miles away. Also the iPad2 models that have a wireless modem built in (CDMA or GSM) has the luxury of being able to put that modem to sleep to increase battery life since it doesn't have to accept incoming phone calls (especially when a WiFi connection is available). Also the iPad2 is able to have a physically larger battery.

My point being that "Your milage may vary" due to factors like usage pattern, location in respect to cellphone towers, and the data protocol being used.

depends on use (5, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41330451)

ever since i got rid of my work email account off my ipad the battery time doubled or tripled

take 10 people off the street and you will have 10 different use patterns

IS THAT ENRISH ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330455)

Maybe American by a chinaman in Bombay ??

Oversimplification (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41330487)

It's an oversimplification to assume that a company would, or should work to increase battery life. The different features have to be weighed against each other. Performance comes at the expense of battery life. A larger battery would mean a heavier, bulkier phone. Lithium ion batters today have about the same capacity of the batteries which existed when the first iPhone was released, while power efficiency of electronics has increased significantly. They could have used these advances to increase battery life, but have instead chosen to use them to increase performance.

Re:Oversimplification (2)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41330587)

most companies will release one with features, one with battery life, one for people who browse, one for people who use it as a _phone_, one for media and games, and one for the fat-fingered.

apple only releases 1 of anything, and dangles the update like a carrot through their ridiculous press managed "leaks" and rumours.

Re:Oversimplification (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330713)

>one for people who use it as a _phone_
>smart phones
dumb comments

If you want a non-smart phone, don't buy a smartphone. Duh.

Re:Oversimplification (0)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41331335)

oh, cool. i'll go buy Apple's dumb phone then.

fucking idiot.

Re:Oversimplification (1, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 2 years ago | (#41330601)

Battery life is a rather powerful tool for implementing planned obsolescence, too.

Why didn't they... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330535)

Just leave the iphone 5 the same size as the iphone 4s(thickness), in order to squeeze in a bigger battery in.

Why compare to the first (2)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about 2 years ago | (#41330573)

When Apple made the first iPhone they probably had very little real world usage info.
By now they have a good idea how people use their iPhones and what they should target.

Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330779)

HEADLINE: Consumer electronics company releases new iteration of product! Features slightly changed!
wtf Slashdot...

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330803)

No.

http://bambuser.com/v/2977072 cairo live fire war (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330805)

sounds like it can't see much running kids being shot at

Marketing genius! (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41330839)

If I was to make a product and I just wanted money, but didn't care about improving society, I'd do a gimmick:

Every release, I'd have some things better and some things worse. Then I could tout,"Improved THIS AND THAT!"

Next release, I could make the worse things better and the better things worse, and tout,"We improved this now!"

The trick is that it can't be things the user easily can see in action like screen resolution.

This iPhone has the best battery ever seen!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330867)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdIWKytq_q4

More features draw more power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41330929)

It you limit your new iPhone to the capabilities of the original, the battery lasts much longer.

As a telephone (4, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41330937)

The $20 phones from the convenience store have more battery life and equal call quality. If you are looking for a telephone they can't be beat.

If you want to talk about carrying a computer in your pocket, that's a different story, but for pure telephone use, the cheap ones are the way to go.

War lost long ago. (4, Insightful)

PineGreen (446635) | about 2 years ago | (#41330953)

There is absolutely nothing new here. My Nokia in 1999 had a 10 day battery life and today I recharge my HTC One S every day. It is just a fact of life that we use phones todays for so much more that the batteries just last less. No phone has a 10 day lifespan these days.

Re:War lost long ago. (1)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#41331157)

Slap a modern lithium battery into an old Nokia, and I'll wager that battery life will be much longer than 10 days. (Of course, you can't -- at least not in the US, since it won't have GPS as required by law. But in theory....)

That said, I get a week or so out of an old OG Droid that has no cell phone service. I used to have to recharge that exact same Droid every day when I used it as a cell phone, whether or not I actively used it it at all.

I remain puzzled as to how a phone that is just a dumb phone gets gets excellent battery life (and can make calls), and a smartphone with no service gets excellent battery life (but cannot make calls). But a smart phone that can actually be a phone? Phooey, charge it every day or be stricken with a dead battery.

If anyone wants to offer up an explanation for this incongruous behavior, I'm all ears.

Re:War lost long ago. (2)

Aldanga (1757414) | about 2 years ago | (#41331349)

Constant data and intelligence gathering.

Hey: it could happen [youtube.com] .

Re:War lost long ago. (1)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#41331545)

My tinfoil hat prevents this from occurring.

A car analogy that works! (3, Funny)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#41330957)

There is a very good car analogy here.

Over the years cars have become much more efficient, through various refinements and improvements in the design of the internal combustion engine. We are able to produce more horsepower with less fuel. So, did cars stay the same size and increase in fuel economy over the years? Some have, but especially in the USA, designers instead chose to increase the size and power while keeping fuel efficiency relatively constant. So the engine has become more efficient, yet those gains weren't used to produce a more fuel efficient engine, they were used to make bigger, more powerful, cars that had the same fuel economy.

With the iPhone, the battery definitely has become better of the years. So did Apple choose to increase battery life? Nope. As with the cars, they increased the CPU power, screen resolution, GPU power, memory, radios, etc. They packed more powerful components, more efficient components, into the same size with ever increasing battery technology. So battery tech has to keep improving all the time, just to keep up with the increase in power usage from the rest of the system, and it doesn't even always keep up. It takes all the running you can do just to stay in the same place.

I've not developed this very far and I know there are counter-examples, many came to mind while writing this, yet the analogy is apt especially when we confine our comparison to specific segments of the US car market. I'm pleased that, in recent years, this trend seems to finally be reversing, and the US is becoming more--if only slightly--like Europe with their focus on smaller, more efficient cars.

Re:A car analogy that works! (3)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41331189)

They packed more powerful components, more efficient components, into the same size with ever increasing battery technology.

The iPhone 5 is 1.778 mm thinner than the previous iPhone.
That's almost the difference between the Droid Razr and the Droid Razr Maxx.

You know what the Razr Maxx did with that extra thickness?
They almost doubled the battery capacity and now have a phone that outlasts everything else.

But people are used to plugging in their smart phones to charge every night, so Apple doesn't lose anything by adding thinness instead of battery life.

Re:A car analogy that works! (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#41331351)

I'd prefer to pick the size of my battery than have it dictated by the design of the phone. Back in the day, I had three batteries for my old Nokia. The stock battery that I never used but kept charged as a spare, a very thin/light battery for day-to-day use that I charged each night, and a gigantic brick of a battery that could go for a week between charges which I used when travelling. That was normal back in the analog days and I wish manufacturers would bring it back.

Re:A car analogy that works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41331557)

You can basically do this now by getting an iPhone case with built in (and fairly large capacity) battery. There are a lot of different ones on the market, probably more than for other phone models.

Birther joke (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 2 years ago | (#41331073)

”Are you better off now than you were 4 iPhones ago?“. "Yes, but I don't think this phone was born in the United States."

Iphone battery life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41331221)

sucks apple fanboi dick... my samsung s3 has 200 hors standby...

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