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iPhone Battery Life - High Capacity Testing
 
TopTechies™ has partnered up with Valup Technology Inc. for our iPhone battery benchmarking.  This is one of the industry leaders in battery capacity monitoring and logging for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  The application they developed is called BatteryLog which is available in the App Store.  AmpJuice battery capacity testing and results are located here.
 
This page will provide you with battery life optimization information for your iPhone.  Did you ever wonder how changing load settings would affect battery performance?  We benchmark the TopTechies 1150 mAh Li-Polymer battery on the iPhone 3G to reveal this information.  This "real life" testing allows us to put our batteries through different usage scenarios and provides perfomance results that we all can understand.
 
Additional information and community feedback is available at the iPhone Battery Life section of our blog. 
 
iPhone 3G Battery Testing Controls 

   Hardware
   Software                            
   Load Variables
  • iPhone 3G
  • Capacity 16GB
  • 1150 mAh Li-Polymer Battery
 
 
 
 
 
  • Firmware v2.2.1
  • BatteryLog Client
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Brightness
  • Wi-Fi
  • 3G Radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Location Services 
  • eMail Fetch Frequency
  • eMail Account Quantity
  • Push Mail

 
iPhone 3G Scenario #1:  Medium Load - High Usage
This first battery scenario depicts a medium load on the battery with high Internet and eMail usage.  In this scenario we have Wi-Fi & 3G Radio turned on.  eMail Fetch Frequency is set to 1hr with a total of 4 emails account configured on the iPhone.  The LCD brightness is set at the 1/4 setting as all usage was indoors.  Push Mail is turned on and bluetooth wireless is turned off for this test.  We feel this is a fairly standard configuration and usage pattern for the majority of the business users.
 
We were able to achieve 5hrs and 48 minutes of usage from a full overnight charge.  Battery standby during this time period was 1 day and 8hrs.  The battery showed a high power reserve for the last 10% of the charge and this allow us to run for an additional 30 minutes.  Usage pattern for this test was mainly Internet and eMail with equal time on both the Wi-Fi and 3G network.
 
  
 
 
iPhone 3G Scenario #2:  High Load - High Usage
This second battery scenario depicts a low load on the battery with high Internet and eMail usage.  In this scenario we use the 3G and Wi-Fi is turned on.  eMail Fetch Frequency is set to 30 minutes with a total of 4 emails account configured on the iPhone.  Location service is turned on.  The LCD brightness is set to above the 1/4 position.  Push Mail and bluetooth wireless are turned off for this test.
 
We were able to achieve 5hrs and 28 minutes of usage from a full charge.  Battery standby during this time period was 1 day and 3hrs.  The battery continuted to show a high power reserve for the last 10% of the charge and this allow us to run for an additional 35 minutes.  Usage pattern for this test was mainly Internet and eMail running equally between the 3G network and Wi-Fi.
 
iPhone 3G Low Load Battery  iPhone 3G Low Load Results
 
 
Battery Load Variable Components
There are 6 main load variable components that impact battery performance for the iPhone. These include Screen Brightness, Wi-Fi, 3G Radio, Bluetooth, Location Services & eMail Fetch.  All of these components can adjusted or turned off to increase battery life.  It's important to understand the impact these componenets have on battery life in order to optimize performance.
 
Screen Brightness
The screen brightness setting will have a large impact on battery performance.  We recommend this slider setting be position around the 1/4 area.  This will provide for good brightness during indoor usage.  This setting may need to be increased to 1/2 position for outdoor usage.  There should be no need to increase the brightness above the 1/2 setting.  The brightness setting can be found under Settings > Brightness option.
 
Wi-Fi
The wireless Wi-Fi module in the iPhone is constantly seeking and evaluating the wireless signal around you for usage.  This does impact battery life.  If you know you won't we using Wi-Fi and are in a situation where preserving battery life is important, disable this setting.  Wi-Fi can be disabled by going into Settings > Wi-Fi options.  There is a slider to disable this feature.  Note: The iPhone will remember the default wireless Access Point that was selected along with the security password as it is disabled.  This makes it easier when it comes time to re-enable Wi-Fi.
 
3G Radio  
The iPhone has the capability of running either in the Edge or 3G data mode.  The 3G mode provides for significently greater download speeds.  These speeds can top 100kbps with a quality cell signal.  However, the service availability is usually limited to larger population areas and it does create a greater draw on the battery.  The Edge data network more widely available but is a much slower network.  If your in an area that does not have 3G service you should disable the 3G radio on the iPhone.  This can be disabled by going into Settings > General > Network.  The 3G option slider will be at the top of the screen.
 
BlueTooth Wireless
The Bluetooth component on the iPhone allow the connection of wireless devices that are Bluetooth compatible.  These are typicall headsets however wireless music peripherals are becoming more common.  If your not using any of these features the Bluetooth component should be disabled to conserve battery life.  This setting can be found under Settings > General > Bluetooth.
 
Location Services
Some applications use location services (GPS) as an input to their data.  Maps is a good example of an application that uses this functionality.  To disable location services, go to Setting > General > Location Services or use location services only when needed. 
 
Mail Fetch
The iPhone has the capability to fetch emails from your POP service provider on a predetermined frequency.  The fetch function also works when the phone is in standby mode.  The more mailboxes and greater the fetch frequency the greater draw on the battery.  Try and limit the number of mailboxes and reduce the fetch frequency.  This setting can be found under Settings > Fetch New Data. 
 
Push Mail
If you have a push mail account such as Yahoo!, MobileMe or Microsoft Exchange, turn off push mail when you don't need it.  Go to Settings > Fetch New Data and set Push to Off.  Message sent to your push email accounts will now be received on your phone based on the global Fetch setting rather than as they arrive.  See Fetch eMail about above.