Are you experiencing poor battery life with your iPhone 4S?

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: October 28, 2011

The latest from 1 Infinity Loop has taken the market by storm, unsurprisingly ... again. For a fifth time in a row, Apple has managed to hit record numbers on launch day and set the standard for how a high-class smartphone should look, act and perform. That said, Apple is far from perfect (believe it or not), and have once again hit a few road bumps shortly after a new product launch. Last year was the enormous "Antennagate" debacle that blew up in Apple's face. And they were met with a slew of angry customers who overestimated the strength of the glass Apple used on the front and back of the iPhone 4. This year, however, Apple is facing a completely different problem, a problem they have rarely faced in the past: concerns with battery life.

For anyone who remotely follows Apple as a tech – not just mobile – company, it is widely known how much time and effort Apple puts into making their devices the most well-rounded on the market. They try not to sacrifice any aspect of performance, but to improve all areas, collectively, to offer a solid product. This is why they have such a huge following. And to date, battery life has been one of their most prominent features.

Just two weeks ago, Apple's iPhone 4S shipped to wanting consumer hands. Initially, battery life was of concern and up in the air. Immediately upon opening my iPhone 4S, I noticed that battery life was not quite as impressive as my CDMA iPhone 4. But battery life is usually variable with any new product (which makes it especially hard for us reviewers to gauge in a short review window) and needs time to "settle." This is due to users likely fiddling with their device more than they normally would on any given day – it's still fresh and prying fingers want to try out the new features while they're still hot – and the battery needing a few charge cycles for optimal performance.

Since then, I have calibrated my iPhone, disabled some pesky services that are known for battery drain and have done everything I know to do to improve my battery life. Whether it's because of the things I have physically done to my phone or because the initial hype has worn off and I am using it less, the battery is better than before. Simply put, though, the battery in the 4S does not stack up to the iPhone 4. With my CDMA iPhone 4, I could easily charge my phone every day and a half without issue. I am forced to charge the 4S every day; this could be due to Siri, the A5 dual-core processor, the "intelligent switching" antenna or a multitude of other variables. (I would include iOS 5 as a possible culprit, but I do not believe that is the case. I used iOS 5 betas on my iPhone 4 for several months with minimal problems, few of which were ever related to battery life or unfixed in a following beta release.)

My battery woes are, more or less, me being picky. I can easily make it through an entire day with moderate to heavy usage (which is more than can be said for my HTC Amaze 4G). But reports of dreadful battery life are beginning to pop up left and right. These claims are much worse than any of my experiences. One user told The Guardian that his iPhone's battery would drop 10 percent per hour while in standby mode. Apple has allegedly reached out to this individual and some others, trying to crowdsource the issue and come to a resolution.

Serious kudos to Apple for a quick response. If you are experience battery woes, however, there are a few things you can try to resolve the issues on your own:

  • Try turning Siri off for a while to see if things improve
  • Turn your brightness to about 1/3 with auto-brightness – this is where I always keep mine
  • Enable restrictions and disable Ping – this has been known to work in the past
  • Perform a few charge cycles (zero to full) and calibrate your battery
  • Leave your phone alone for a while – it's easier to gauge drain if the phone is in standby and not being constantly used

Luckily, the worst of the battery issues don't seem to be affecting the majority of 4S users. Most of the people commenting on the issue or that I have talked to seem to be experiencing battery comparable to or better than mine. And in truth, most of the problems will likely be resolved with a little know-how (hint: follow the tips above!). As for those of you experiencing drain issues similar to The Guardian's report, hang tight. I'm positive Apple will get to the bottom of it and will respond accordingly, and rest assured we here at PhoneDog will keep you in the loop.

Are you experiencing abnormal battery drain on your iPhone 4S? Have you tried the tips above? Chime in below and tell us your story or share some battery-saving tips of your own below!

Also, have a great Halloweekend!

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