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iPhone 4S users charged up over battery life

Some users of the iPhone 4S say its battery life is drastically less than promised.
Some users of the iPhone 4S say its battery life is drastically less than promised.

The iPhone 4S has been in users' hands for more than two weeks now, and some are complaining that its battery life is terrible, sometimes a matter of a few hours instead of the longer time periods stated in Apple's specs. Comments on Apple's own support forums are filled with gripes such as this one:

"I make a small, 10 minute call and it drops by nearly 8-10%. 3G is nearly always disabled. I even bought a external battery case and my iPhone will chew threw the battery + that case in less than 1.5 days, wrote "Limitin" on one forum thread, "iPhone 4S battery life?" that now has more than 161,000 views. "I normally use my phone for work, so this is unacceptable! I also use it when out (so some 3g or wifi, but only one active at a time). I disable all iCloud things besides contacts."

Many users are trying to disable or minimize various functions that normally use up battery life more quickly, such as Wi-Fi, location services, brightness settings, fetching email every 15 minutes.

Another user, "Jules8823," posted: "I have 3 hours and 45 minutes of usage and my phone's battery is down to 30%. Location services off, icloud account deleted, mail fetch featured turned off, notifications are off... No phone calls have been made. This is terrible! Im returning this phone! How frustrating!"

Apple, which hasn't commented on the problem, is paying attention to it. Some users in the forum commented on their own dealings with tech support. "Joechurch" posted:

I was contacted by an apple support agent who worked with me to apply a power log diagnostic profile to my phone. After two days, I sent the logs to the rep and he assured me they were investigating the issue. I wasn't able to reproduce some very dramatic drain issues during the period I had the diagnostic profile installed, but hopefully they will get something useful from it ...  I got a real live person who called me and provided very friendly assistance.  After many charge cycles and tweaking some settings on my 4S the battery life seems better, but its still nowhere near what I got with my 4.

Another, "iphone 5 lover," wrote:

Im having all the same problems as you guys, losing 3-5% every ten minutes on light usage so i rang apple and they have gotten me to restore it and do some tests and if it's still bad they're going to give me a new one.

The Guardian, in Britain, says Apple "engineers are contacting some iPhone 4S owners to try to solve problems with battery life ... One owner has told the Guardian that Apple contacted him directly and asked him to install a monitoring program on the phone to try to diagnose the problem, which is so far unexplained."

The iPhone 4S battery should be getting these estimated times, according to Apple:

  • Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G 
  • Standby time: Up to 200 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-fi

If you have the iPhone 4s, are you noticing dramatically shorter battery life than promised? If so, let us know in comments here, or take our poll.

— Via Gizmodo

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