iPhone 5 Battery Doesn’t Last Longer, and iOS 6 Users Believe iPhone 4S/4 Has a Better Battery Life

By Sidharth | Apple

Five million units of iPhone 5 smartphones were sold over the weekend, at least that’s what we heard during the Apple’s iPad mini event. But not every iPhone 5 owners are happy with their devices, partly because of the issues with iOS 6 and the discouraging battery life of the iPhone 5.

Let’s talk about the battery life

New iPhone 5 battery life

Apple claims that iPhone 5 ships with a superior battery that will last longer than any of the iPhones released till date. Have a look at the battery capacity of the last three iPhones, and you will know that the iPhone 5 stands as a clear winner:

  • iPhone 4 battery is 1,420mAh
  • iPhone 4S battery is 1,432mAh
  • iPhone 5 battery is 1,440mAh

Despite this, why does the battery of iPhone 5 drain so quickly? Because of the larger screen? LTE support? Or should we blame the iOS 6 firmware? A thread in the Apple forum titled “iPhone 5 battery life is way worse than iPhone 4” is filled with furious iPhone 5 owners trying to understand the cause of the battery issue on their smartphones.

The thread has generated almost 2000 replies, and most of them are there to vent their frustration out on Apple and iPhone 5. I have glanced through a couple of pages, and here are some common complaints on the iPhone’s battery life:

My iPhone 5 battery drains a lot faster than my iPhone 4. With 30 min of consecutive use I’ve dropped 40%. With my iPhone 4 after 1 hour of continuous use I’d drop 30%.

The iPhone 5 drains way faster than my two year old very well used iPhone 4 which is running 5.1.1. Is it because of IOS 6? Just leaving it sitting overnight lost about half the battery. My iPhone 4 hardly uses any battery while it sits overnight.

Apple claims 8 hours of usage? I’ve never had more than 5 hours.

Full charged this morning, down to 91% with very little use in.  I manually turned off all of my apps and that seems to have slowed the drain some.

I have the same issue too. It claims to last 8 hours of constant use but iPhone 5 ends up only lasting half that time. This is really a big issue and definitely a complete lie from Apple!

I got my iPhone 5 on release day also had battery life issues since day one. Compared to my 4, it was really bad. My phone would last until 5 PM and would need a full recharge. If I took the phone off the charger at 10 AM, with barely any use, at noon it would be about 70%.

Should we blame iOS 6 for such a poor battery life?

The second I updated the software to IOS 6 was the second that I saw my battery draining before my eyes. 99% chance that there was absolutely nothing wrong with your iPhone 4 battery (mine was perfect until the update).  So, you could return the iPhone 5 and use your iPhone 4S/4 until this problem is fixed (if it’s fixed).

Apple isn’t saying a peep about this problem so we just have no idea.  If I were you, i’d return the 5, use your iPhone 4. If there’s a fix, great! You can buy the iPhone 5 again.

Or let’s blame 3G or LTE for consuming the battery life?

I went for a run using Nike+GPS with both 3G and LTE and had music going at the same time and it drained over 20% in less than an hour. Well, I did a comparable run only this time with 3G on and LTE off and it only drained 10% in one hour.

It’s a 3/4G connectivity issue. People having this problem are in areas of no/minimal LTE service. They typically aren’t in a WIFI environment throughout the day either……they are users that are solely in an area with 3/4G service.

I do believe its LTE <–> 4G/3G related and it makes sense.  I am currently on at 57% with 4 hours 17min usage, 16 hours 54min Standby with 50% brightness, everything is turned on as well (iCloud, Bluetooth, LTE, etc).

Now the phone tries to connect to LTE from 4G, this constant trying to connect to LTE would probably use up a lot of power to connect.  Since people who have took their iPhones seem like they are still having a battery issue, i seriously doubt its the phone itself but the network. Like what another user said, they did a network reset and it worked for them.  I live in a rather large LTE area (Los Angeles), I get 5 bar LTE everywhere I go.

Do we have a solution?

I went ahead and did full discharges and cycled the battery to no avail. Restored the software and set up as a new phone didn’t help. Switching things on and off didn’t work. I am also experiencing the WiFi problems.

There’s a lot more going on in the thread, but let’s put a stop here. This brings us to a very important question: as an iPhone 5 user, what can you really do about this? Well, you can only wait for Apple to respond (which they won’t) or fix all these issues in the next iOS 6.0.1 update (which they will).

As mentioned in this post, Apple is aware of the battery issues on iPhone 5 devices, and they are trying to fix this by updating the iOS 6 firmware.

Lastly, to extend your iPhone 5’s battery life to a certain degree, you can adjust brightness, turn off notifications, extend the data fetching interval, and disable push email. You may also want to read and implement these tips from Philips on improving iPhone’s battery life.

What are your thoughts on iOS 6.0.1 update? Do you think your iPhone 5’s battery lasts longer on iOS 6? Share your thoughts through the comment section below!

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

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