Monday, November 21, 2011

iPhone 4S Battery Drain Notes

Date:  Nov 20, 2011

I think I should put in a note or two on this issue.

This is probably the hottest issues for Apple iPhone 4S currently.  Apple has admitted the problem, and has come out with a IOS 5.0.1 fix and that a lot of people claimed didn't work.  Apple is working on another IOS 5.0.2 fix, and it is scheduled to be out these 1-2 weeks time.  So, stay tune.


In this house, we have two iPhone 4S, and both behalf differently.  Mine iPhone 4S battery is roughly same as my iPhone 4 before.  And I don't think I am a victim of the Battery Drain issue.  However, I see my wife's iPhone 4S battery drain like 10% per 30 minutes, and the iPhone 4S getting warm with no reason.  So, I am convinced that iPhone 4S battery drain issue does exist!

So, what is the problem?

Why it happened to my wife's iPhone 4S and it does not happen to mine?  So, we have to back track a bit and recall what happen when I first got my iPhone.  No, let's rewind it back to before I updated my iPhone 4 to IOS 5.0.

1a.  I downloaded the IOS 5.0 on my iTunes and tried to apply an update.  But because I did it on the same day it released to the whole world, (i.e. everybody trying iCloud, and the iCould servers might have just been overloaded), my upgrade is not so successful.  So, I fed up and did a FRESH NEW INSTALL for the IOS 5.0 on my iPhone 4.  I was happy with the new IOS.  But I need to reinstall my apps, my music, photos, movies, etc.

1b.  Only a few days later, I did an upgrade for my wife's iPhone 4.  And the upgrade went so well.  It installed the IOS 5.0, followed by RESTORE the last back up.  Everything looks perfectly fine.

2.  My wife complaint that her iPhone 4 battery is worst than the previous IOS.  I told her I did not see that on my iPhone 4.  I didn't know it is a big issue back then.

3a.  2 weeks later, When I got my iPhone 4S from SingTel.  I immediately openned the box, and pop in my SIM chip. Again, I set it up as a new phone, and download only my iCloud settings such as Mail, Calender, etc on it.  Again, I need to reinstall my apps, my music, photos, movies, etc.

3b.  About a week later, after I came back from my KL trip, I received the iPhone 4S for my wife.  So, I quickly setup the phone and again, I did a RESTORE from her last back up.


4.  Then, she took the phone and fly to California.  And then, she phone back, the batter is even worst.  It drained out all battery when she reached US.

5.  Not until I saw the phone again and verify the Battery Issue does exist.  And of course, feedback from my other friends who faced the same problem.  That is when I really go dig in and try to understand what is the problem.

So?  What is the problem then?

After I read so many forum and threads, I concluded the followings...

1.  The problem seems to lies with some "corrupted" or "incompatiblity" settings being pass over when you do a RESTORE FROM BACKUP.  If you choose to SETUP AS NEW PHONE, you won't get this problem.  That is why on the iPhone 4 with IOS5, you see such battery drain problem.

2.  So, when you install your new iPhone 4S, and again, you choose to RESTORE FROM BACKUP, I believe the "corrupted" settings are being ported over to the iPhone 4S and since it is a new model of the phone, the battery drain bug becomes even worst.  Again, I don't see it on my phone, as I set it up as a new phone.

3.  Some people claimed that SIRI is the problem.  SIRI will used up battery, but it should not drain it.  So, I don't think that is a problem.  Anyway, SIRI does not work in Singapore yet for the Map, so, you might wanted to turn it off just to be sure.  A lot of people on the forum also commented that the "infrared" or the proximity sensor, the IOS uses to detect your RAISE TO TALK feature, does not turned off if you do not do a soft reset, or did a hard reset.   (Strange!)  Seriously, I think that is a smaller matter.


4.  A lot of people also think that Apple did not do a good job in handling the 2 antennas.  People are saying that Apple wanted to cut cost for providing the 3G and CDMA phone.  So, they buuild 2 antenna into the new iPhone 4S.  And they claimed that might be a reason.  Possible.  I think that is why 5.0.1 suppose to fix or it does not.  So, 5.0.2 might be a soft fix for it.

So?  What should I do?

You should follow the below steps.


Don't worry, it will only reset all the systems settings such as Wifi, phone, password, etc.  All your media files, contacts, etc will still be there.  Just do it.

2.  Once you have done so, it will ask for new WiFi settings, and the go thru the iPhone setup again, just provide info and proceed.

3.  Once it is done, DO NOT CHARGE YOUR PHONE YET.  Instead, drained your phone.  Turn on brightness to maximum, run movies, or play RPG games, until the phone battery got drained out completely.

4.  The iPhone will turn off (no more battery).  Then, plug in the power to charged it to 100%.  This is called cycling the power charge, some thing like that.

So?  Does it Work?

1.  I performed the Reset All Settings yesterday night.

2.  My wife took over and play games until the battery drained.  (Suggest you do this when you do not have a lot of battery power, otherwise it is a pain to try to drain the power especially after you did the reset all settings, for us, we did it while it left with 29% of battery).

3.  So, when I was awake at 2:30AM, I saw the phone is charged 100%.  I unplug the power.  Then, I went back to sleep again.

4.  And this morning, as of now, 7:42AM.  After 5 hours and 12 minutes.  The battery stay at 99%.

OK.  I think that fix works!  Previously, after you fully charged, the battery drained 10% per hour or per 30 minutes or so.  Now, after so many hours, it only lose 1%.

Now we just have to wait for 5.0.2 to come and hopefully it gives more life than the 5.0.1.


Latest Updates:

Just check with my wife.  She did not charge the phone, and make a few calls.  The time is 7:24PM.  After 17 hours,the battery stay at 60%.


Lots of people complaint about the battery of the smart phone.  Here are an article to chew.  Not sure why Sumsung Galaxy II are not in there.  But as you can see, Apple did come out quite decent!

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