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#266991 - 01/30/14 06:51 PM Are all iPhone batteries crap?
GoatMan Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 118
So I've been on a number of cold weather outings with iPhone users who always end up with VERY POOR battery life in the cold. Most go dead in a few hours. Multi-day hunts to simple scout overnighters, if it gets too cold, they all seem perform the same. What was a fully charged battery goes dead in a few hours.

I have an Android based phone that I can use for days on a cold weather hunt without charging. Both types of phones can turn off GPS, Bluetooth, wireless, data, etc to save battery life.

So it makes me wonder, is it the iPhone (multiple generations) or their choice of battery which has such poor performance?

#266996 - 01/30/14 09:35 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2321
Loc: Colorado
I'd say they are crap, since (per Apple) you cannot replace them. Way to go Apple! You can get third parties to replace the battery for you however.

I have an Android, but my wife and son have iPhones. Their battery life is very good during normal times. Better than my Android. I don't know about during extended cold though.

#266998 - 01/30/14 10:04 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: haertig]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5341
I have a Mophie battery case for my iPhone which doubles the battery capacity, but not sure what that does in arctic conditions. That said, is it the battery or the phone itself using more juice? I put my phone in airplane mode a lot and in arctic conditions I'd just turn it off to conserve power and then carry it under my coat so it doesn't freeze. Take it out of airplane mode only when needed. $.02

#267003 - 01/31/14 02:24 AM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
AKSAR Offline

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
The Apple spec sheet for the iPhone says:
Operating ambient temperature: 32 to 95 F (0 to 35 C)
Nonoperating temperature: -4 to 113 F (-20 to 45 C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
Operating altitude: tested up to 10,000 feet (3000 m)
In spite of that, I have not had many issues using mine in Alaska. I just make sure to carry it in my shirt pocket inside my jacket. Taking it out for a few minutes to make a call doesn't seem to be a problem.

The only time I had a problem was once when I absent mindedly put it in an outside pocket and went out cross country skiing at about 5 deg F (-15 C). It didn't like that at all, and when I tried to make a call it died immediantly. Once it warmed up again it seemed fine, however.

Although I love my iPhone, and often have it with me when out hiking or skiing, I don't really look at it as a field item. I put it in a baggie to keep it dry, and keep it in an inner pocket so it stays warm. Unless I'm expecting a call, I turn it off to conserve battery. I don't consider an iPhone as a primary GPS, but only a back up.
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

#267029 - 01/31/14 12:12 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
all batteries have issues with the cold. it is just the way it is.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#267030 - 01/31/14 12:31 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2938
Like he said, all batteries will have worse performance when cold. But remember every product design has tradeoffs. The iphone (like most all Apple devices) looks is a high priority. The many generations of their products from phones to computers have suffered from other issues due to function being a lower priority. be it batteries in the phones and laptops that have issues, laptop hinges, power adapters, phone antennas, all the way back to the engineering issues with making the PCB in the Apple II look pretty.

Edited by Eugene (01/31/14 12:31 PM)

#267041 - 01/31/14 04:16 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
Pete Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
Goatman ... how about tucking that iPhone in an internal pocket inside a jacket or coat. keep it warm with body heat. And if the iPhone wont fit in the inside pocket, at least carry a backup battery there.

this is a useful takeaway - sew some inside pockets in your shirts so you can carry sensitive kit close to your body (for cold weather trekking).


#267043 - 01/31/14 05:34 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
ireckon Offline

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
I'll keep this in mind. I have not had issues down to about 32 degrees. I will say that I won't be planning beforehand to test my iPhone 5. I have doubts about any thin smart phone. I am still fascinated that they can do what they do, and so I don't expect them to perform well in the cold.
If you're reading this, it's too late.

#267073 - 02/02/14 06:41 AM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Battery life is one of the things I utterly hate about my Iphone. I used to get days of use out of my old "dumb" phones before needing to recharge them. By comparison, my Iphone needs to be recharged every single day, even on days when I only use the phone to make and recieve calls. When I first got it I actually thought there had to be something wrong with it!

After a while I got used to the poor battery life (and started carrying a charger everywhere), but I would trade some of that sleek thin design for a longer lasting battery in a heartbeat. My brother has one of the Motorola Droid phones and he easily gets a weekend out of his phone under similar usage conditions.

#267077 - 02/02/14 05:47 PM Re: Are all iPhone batteries crap? [Re: GoatMan]
ireckon Offline

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
iPhone users, if you're not aware of the tricks for "preserving battery life on iPhone", I recommend doing a Google search for that.

In addition, I downloaded a program from iTunes that gives me reminders to do certain things to keep battery life.

For me, the best practices have been the following:

1. Turn down the brightness on your screen to as dim as you can handle. I have better than 20/20 vision. So, my screen looks quite dim to everybody who looks at it.

2. Turn on Wifi and/or turn off cellular data. Wifi uses less battery than cellular data connection. The phone must put out a stonger signal (more battery draw) to maintain a cellular data signal.

3. Release programs from being pre-loaded in RAM. Go to home screen. Double click home button. Swipe away all your programs. Do this every time you think about it.

4. Use Airplane mode when you can.

5. Use your phone less often. The screen being on is probably the biggest battery drain.

6. Don't use speaker phone. The speakers use way more battery than earbuds.

7. Set your phone to auto-shutoff after 3 minutes or less.

8. Turn off location services (GPS) when not in use. Communicating with the satellite uses energy.

9. Power off your phone. This is the ultimate battery preserver.
If you're reading this, it's too late.

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