Apple's iPhone 3G battery good for about 3.5 hours of browsing

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Existing iPhone owners moving to Apple's new iPhone 3G should expect an approximate 50 percent reduction in battery life when using the new handset in 3G mode to browse the web and perform other Internet-related functions, a series of tests show.



Over the past five days, several publications have weighed in with early reviews of the new phone that include battery benchmarks covering 3G talk time and 3G Internet use. For the most part, talk time results have met or exceeded Apple's promise of "up to 5 hours on 3G."



An average of five 3G talk time tests (PC World, WSJ, PC Mag, CNet, and WirelessInfo) have the new iPhone's battery lasting just shy of 5 hours and 20 minutes when used solely to perform voice calls -- 20 minutes more Apple's own tests, and good enough to place the handset among the best in its class.



On the other hand, iPhone 3G suffers the same battery limitations as other smartphones when acting as an Internet device on 3G networks, and has routinely fallen short of Apple's claim of "up to 5 hours" of Internet use on 3G.



With the exception of the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who somehow managed to keep his battery juiced for nearly 6 hours while browsing and performing other Internet functions, other reviewers saw their iPhone 3G's battery fall anywhere between one and two hours short of Apple's optimal 5-hour claim.



An average of four 3G Internet tests taken from the chart compiled by Gizmodo (below), which includes Mossberg's stellar results and the mid-point of Ars's mixed-use test, suggests the battery in the new iPhone will conk out after 3 hours and 55 minutes of continuous use. However, individual tests performed by DVICE and Anandtech have the battery fizzling out at 2 hours and 54 minutes, and 3 hours and 17 minutes, respectively.







While Anandtech's chart shows the Apple handset to last about 30 minutes more than Samsung's 3G Blackjack, the unsettling comparison exists between the iPhone 3G running on AT&T's 3G network and the original iPhone running on AT&T's EDGE network. In the site's tests, the original iPhone lasted 2 hours and 26 minutes longer while browsing over EDGE than the new iPhone did browsing over 3G.



In its analysis of the matter, Anandtech noted that Apple has been unable to achieve a substantial edge over other smartphones for 3G Internet use because it "doesn't design any of the chips or battery technology that goes into the iPhone, [and therefore] doesn't really have much control over things like 3G battery life."







That observation, however, lends hidden promise for future generations of the touch-screen handset. Apple recently purchased boutique microprocessor design firm PA Semi for $278 million and plans to use the assets acquired in that deal to help it design a new generation of proprietary chips to power future iPhones and iPods.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 112
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Why do people even bother with battery tests dependent on cell radios? There's no way you can control the power of signal to and from the base station(s), making any measurement pretty much useless.



    The way to do it is either (a) setup your own cell in a Faraday cage (see below) and measure accordingly or (b) install software on many, many phones that measures battery performance with normal use.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_Cage
  • Reply 2 of 112
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Being in NYC. I'm around abundant WiFi hotspots and have mostly had 3G turned off. I have noticed that the WiFi signal is stronger and faster than it was on the original iPhone.
  • Reply 3 of 112
    So my question is, should I wait for the 3rd generation of Iphone or splurge now? Will the battery issues, cut, copy and paste, and video recording be in the 3rd generation or will we again get bits and pieces?



    Your opinions please!!!
  • Reply 4 of 112
    nickmininickmini Posts: 74member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Existing iPhone owners moving to Apple's new iPhone 3G should expect an approximate 50 percent reduction in battery life when using the new handset in 3G mode to browse the web and perform other Internet-related functions, a series of tests show.



    Over the past five days, several publications have weighed in with early reviews of the new phone that include battery benchmarks covering 3G talk time and 3G Internet use. For the most part, talk time results have met or exceeded Apple's promise of "up to 5 hours on 3G."



    An average of five 3G talk time tests (PC World, WSJ, PC Mag, CNet, and WirelessInfo) have the new iPhone's battery lasting just shy of 5 hours and 20 minutes when used solely to perform voice calls -- 20 minutes more Apple's own tests, and good enough to place the handset among the best in its class.



    On the other hand, iPhone 3G suffers the same battery limitations as other smartphones when acting as an Internet device on 3G networks, and has routinely fallen short of Apple's claim of "up to 5 hours" of Internet use on 3G.



    With the exception of the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who somehow managed to keep his battery juiced for nearly 6 hours while browsing and performing other Internet functions, other reviewers saw their iPhone 3G's battery fall anywhere between one and two hours short of Apple's optimal 5-hour claim.



    An average of four 3G Internet tests taken from the chart compiled by Gizmodo (below), which includes Mossberg's stellar results and the mid-point of Ars's mixed-use test, suggests the battery in the new iPhone will conk out after 3 hours and 55 minutes of continuous use. However, individual tests performed by DVICE and Anandtech have the battery fizzling out at 2 hours and 54 minutes, and 3 hours and 17 minutes, respectfully.







    While Anandtech's chart shows the Apple handset to last about 30 minutes more than Samsung's 3G Blackjack, the unsettling comparison exists between the iPhone 3G running on AT&T's 3G network and the original iPhone running on AT&T's EDGE network. In the site's tests, the original iPhone lasted 2 hours and 26 minutes longer while browsing over EDGE than the new iPhone did browsing over 3G.



    In its analysis of the matter, Anandtech noted that Apple has been unable to achieve a substantial edge over other smartphones for 3G Internet use because it "doesn't design any of the chips or battery technology that goes into the iPhone, [and therefore] doesn't really have much control over things like 3G battery life."







    That observation, however, lends hidden promise for future generations of the touch-screen handset. Apple recently purchased boutique microprocessor design firm PA Semi for $278 million and plans to use the assets acquired in that deal to help it design a new generation of proprietary chips to power future iPhones and iPods.



    Even if the battery life is halved, with surfing speeds almost doubled isn't it kind of a wash in terms of what you actually get to browse? I think I'd prefer less waiting for pages to load and getting through quicker!
  • Reply 5 of 112
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    While Anandtech's chart shows the Apple handset to last about 30 minutes more than Samsung's 3G Blackjack, the unsettling comparison exists between the iPhone 3G running on AT&T's 3G network and the original iPhone running on AT&T's EDGE network. In the site's tests, the original iPhone lasted 2 hours and 26 minutes longer while browsing over EDGE than the new iPhone did browsing over 3G.



    Why is this unsettling again? we all know that 3g uses more battery life than edge.. so it should be expected that the phone will not last as long as the original.



    The unsettling fact is apple has yet to deliver on its promises of 5 hours browsing time.



    btw, why are they comparing 3g and edge on battery life???
  • Reply 6 of 112
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freethinker View Post


    So my question is, should I wait for the 3rd generation of Iphone or splurge now? Will the battery issues, cut, copy and paste, and video recording be in the 3rd generation or will we again get bits and pieces?



    Your opinions please!!!



    faster browsing, i choose 3g any day. Cause you can always charge your battery in your car. or at a wall plug. besides, you can always turn the 3g off if you want to save battery. So to be honest, nothing to lose. If you turn it off, you will get edge, which is the same thing as before.
  • Reply 7 of 112
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,172member
    That is disappointing.



    Given that EGDE is **not bad at all** for most uses when there are four or more bars, V1 is beginning to look better and better.



    Perhaps I will hold off for a bit before buying V2.
  • Reply 8 of 112
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Being in NYC. I'm around abundant WiFi hotspots and have mostly had 3G turned off. I have noticed that the WiFi signal is stronger and faster than it was on the original iPhone.



    yeah, its the plastic instead of aluminum. Although i still prefer the aluminum over the plastic in so many ways.
  • Reply 9 of 112
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    That is disappointing.



    Given that EGDE is **not bad at all** for most uses when there are four or more bars, V1 is beginning to look better and better.



    Perhaps I will hold off for a bit before buying V2.



    You can always turn off the 3g network and get the same battery life. Nothing to lose really if you really want to get the new one. the 3g signal is not as good. but if you turn off the 3g, it will revert back to edge and edge signal strength.
  • Reply 10 of 112
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,172member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nickmini View Post


    Even if the battery life is halved, with surfing speeds almost doubled isn't it kind of a wash in terms of what you actually get to browse? I think I'd prefer less waiting for pages to load and getting through quicker!



    It depends on one's reading speed (which is constant regardless of download time), so total time might not be 'halved.'



    Also, in the case of the other uses -- weather, stocks, email -- the question is whether EDGE significantly outperforms 3G.
  • Reply 11 of 112
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,172member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post


    You can always turn off the 3g network and get the same battery life. Nothing to lose really if you really want to get the new one. the 3g signal is not as good. but if you turn off the 3g, it will revert back to edge and edge signal strength.



    Good point. Any tests on length of battery life solely on EDGE with iPhone V2 -- i.e., do we know if it is, indeed, the same.
  • Reply 12 of 112
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    It depends on one's reading speed (which is constant regardless of download time), so total time might not be 'halved.'



    Also, in the case of the other uses -- weather, stocks, email -- the question is whether EDGE significantly outperforms 3G.



    Right. for small data download such as email, i don't even think that 3g is needed. EDGE works just fine and its fast enough. I think the application loading time takes longer than the download time..
  • Reply 13 of 112
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freethinker View Post


    So my question is, should I wait for the 3rd generation of Iphone or splurge now? Will the battery issues, cut, copy and paste, and video recording be in the 3rd generation or will we again get bits and pieces?



    Your opinions please!!!



    You should wait until the 6th generation model, it will be much better.
  • Reply 14 of 112
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    You should wait until the 6th generation model, it will be much better.



    no, it will be clearly proven that the 5th generation model far outperformed the 6th generation model which also caused infertility in rats after extended TZ usage. Get the 5th gen, your future children will thank you.
  • Reply 15 of 112
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    "Browsing" is mostly the user reading web pages, during which I assume the radio could be off or in a low power mode. I guess I find it odd that browsing would result in shorter battery life than requiring a constant signal to maintain a phone call.



    That said, I'm vastly oversimplifying the issues involved. Maybe the difference is in Apple turning the screen off when the phone is by your ear (you can't turn the screen off and read a web page), and the power requirements for 3G have little to do with the posted comparison results.
  • Reply 16 of 112
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Why do people even bother with battery tests dependent on cell radios? There's no way you can control the power of signal to and from the base station(s), making any measurement pretty much useless.



    The way to do it is either (a) setup your own cell in a Faraday cage (see below) and measure accordingly or (b) install software on many, many phones that measures battery performance with normal use.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_Cage



    You have a point, but a faraday cage test is going to get the lower bound because the radio is going to transmit as powerful a signal it can in seeking towers, so it's not going to represent meaningful use either. In actual use, the signal is just high enough to be useful so as to not waste power.
  • Reply 17 of 112
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    I don't get the "unsettling" thing either. 3G simply uses more power than EDGE. Jobs said that when they shipped the first phone without 3G and people complained about the lack of it, and now that 3G is shipping, the battery result is exactly what he said.



    All phones need more power for 3G, that's not going to change until there's a breakthrough in 3G technology or in battery technology.



    I wonder if it would be possible to create technology that switched the phone between the two (or three, including wifi) on the fly depending on use? Like only switch to 3G when the user is browsing pages of a certain size?
  • Reply 18 of 112
    stokessdstokessd Posts: 103member
    The tests talk about browsing; what is "browsing"? Streaming videos from you-tube for 5 hours is way different than reading slashdot for 5 hours. When reading a slashdot type of site, it loads in a couple seconds, and you may read for 10 minutes. So an hour on slashdot (assuming good commentary and articles) is really only say six page loads. an hour on youtube is a lot of bandwidth.



    Sheldon
  • Reply 19 of 112
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freethinker View Post


    So my question is, should I wait for the 3rd generation of Iphone or splurge now? Will the battery issues, cut, copy and paste, and video recording be in the 3rd generation or will we again get bits and pieces?

    Your opinions please!!!



    1) There are no battery 'issues'.



    2) C&V can come with a software update.



    3) Video recording can come via a software update or a 3rd-party app.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nickmini View Post


    Even if the battery life is halved, with surfing speeds almost doubled isn't it kind of a wash in terms of what you actually get to browse? I think I'd prefer less waiting for pages to load and getting through quicker!



    But you are still maintaining a 3G connection while reading the pages.



    edit: Pipped by Anantksundaram.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post


    You can always turn off the 3g network and get the same battery life. Nothing to lose really if you really want to get the new one. the 3g signal is not as good. but if you turn off the 3g, it will revert back to edge and edge signal strength.



    If you aren't using WiFi you should also turn that off, too. While it's the radio that uses the least amount of power if you are only using EDGE then you don't need it on. Every little bit helps.
  • Reply 20 of 112
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Why do people even bother with battery tests dependent on cell radios? There's no way you can control the power of signal to and from the base station(s), making any measurement pretty much useless.



    The way to do it is either (a) setup your own cell in a Faraday cage (see below) and measure accordingly or (b) install software on many, many phones that measures battery performance with normal use.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_Cage



    You really don't care about how much power the cell tower uses because that does not figure into battery life but how far you are from the cell tower makes a BIG difference.



    If your close to the cell tower your phone will reduce it's transmit power and the further you are from the cell tower the phone will increase it's transmit power. This is all under the control of the cell tower. You never see this, other than your phone getting warmer the further you are from the tower, but if you had a field strength meter you would see your phones signal increasing as you move away from the tower.



    So if you were sitting under the tower you might get well over 5 hours maybe even 6 or 7. If you were near the fringe of the cell tower coverage area you might only get 3 hours or less.



    Europe has a much higher density of cell towers than the US so they might see longer battery life on average that the US.
Sign In or Register to comment.