iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S: Battery Life

iPhone 5 Battery Life

According to iPhone 5 tech specs, the 6th generation iPhone offers improved battery life compared to iPhone 4S – Apple’s 5th generation, but when it comes to real world testing it may not be completely accurate.

Folks at iLounge have just published an extensive battery comparison of Apple’s new iPhone and iPhone 4S, which reveals that iPhone 5 battery life is worse than iPhone 4S in most departments.

Here’s a look at the battery life of iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S:

LTE or 3G Internet Data:

  • Apple claims:
    • iPhone 5: Up to 8 hours
    • iPhone 4S: Up to 6 hours
  • Actual:
    • AT&T iPhone 4S: 5 hours and 54 minutes
    • Verizon iPhone 4S: 5 hours and 53 minutes
    • AT&T iPhone 5: 4 hours and 44 minutes
    • Verizon iPhone 5: 5 hours and 15 minutes
Wi-Fi Data:
  • Apple claims:
    • iPhone 5: Up to 10 hours
    • iPhone 4S: Up to 9 hours
  • Actual:
    • iPhone 5: 6 hours and 24 minutes (with Cellular antenna turned on), 8 hours and 26 minutes (with Cellular antenna turned off)
    • iPhone 4S: 8 hours and 30 minutes
Voice Calling:
  • Apple claims:
    • iPhone 5: Up to 8 hours
    • iPhone 4S: Up to 8 hours
  • Actual:
    • AT&T iPhone 4S: 7 hours and 16 minutes
    • Verizon iPhone 4S: 8 hours and 27 minutes
    • AT&T iPhone 5: 6 hours and 15 minutes
    • Verizon iPhone 5: 6 hours and 6 minutes
Video Playback:
  • Apple claims:
    • iPhone 4S: Up to 10 hours
    • iPhone 5: Up to 10 hours
  • Actual:
    • iPhone 4S: 10 hours and 32 minutes
    • iPhone 5: 11 hours and 7 minutes
Audio Playback:
  • Apple claims:
    • iPhone 4S: Up to 40 hours
    • iPhone 5: Up to 40 hours
  • Actual:
    • iPhone 4S: 41 hours and 20 minutes
    • iPhone 5: 37 hours and 3 minutes
FaceTime Calling:
  • Actual:
    • iPhone 4S: 3 hours and 15 minutes
    • iPhone 5: 3 hours and 2 minute
1080p Video Recording:
  • Actual:
    • iPhone 4S: 2 hours and 20 minutes
    • iPhone 5: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Actual  (recharging a completely dead iPhone 5 from a 1-Amp power source):
    • iPhone 5: 2 hours and 17 minutes
iLounge notes that there was a major impact on battery life when the LTE or 3G signal was weak:
if you’re using your iPhone 5 in places a with a very strong (4- to 5-bar) LTE or 3G signal, your cellular battery life may approach that number, but if not, the cellular antenna will struggle to maintain a signal, and fall well short. Because LTE and 3G/4G towers are in a state of build-out flux right now, our tests suggest that many LTE users won’t come close to Apple’s promised numbers.
iLounge concludes:
As much as we’d love to be able to say that the iPhone 5 is an “all day” phone, it’s still not: just like most of its predecessors, Apple prioritized new thinness and speed over battery life. Consequently, it’s advisable to keep a charging cable nearby, lest you find yourself out of juice at or before 5pm. This isn’t terribly different from the iPhone 4S, and your mileage will vary depending on local cell tower strength, but it was certainly disappointing for us—battery life is certainly one of the two biggest issues with the iPhone 5.

Because of the iPhone 5’s tendency to run low on juice just when the night’s getting started, heavy users and frequent travelers will once again find themselves in need of spare battery packs and chargers.

It goes without saying that your iPhone 5’s battery life will depend on your usage pattern so you observe better or worse battery life. Check out our tips to manage your iPhone’s battery life.

Surprised by these test results? Let us know your experience in the comments.

[via iLounge]