So how bad is the iPhone 3G battery? And other first impressions ...

by Volker Weber

While I find the original iPhone battery life ok, but not great, the 3G is somewhat disappointing. Seven hours standby and five hours of usage with about half an hour of 3G talk time, and now it is down to 20%. That is with everything on: 3G, Wifi, GPS, Exchange ActiveSync with Push enabled, GMail with 15 minutes fetch interval. That is a pretty heavy usage pattern, and the battery has not seen sufficient full charge cycles, so I am expecting it will last through the day, but just barely so.

I will try to squeeze in a few rundown tests in the next few days. This unit goes back to Apple end of next week, so I don't know how scientific I can make this.

Other first impressions:

Exchange works a lot, repeat a lot, better than you are being lead to believe. This certainly looks "good enough" for me. Yes, you have to be online to move things, also to the trash. But you can read, reply, forward, create just fine. I don't see why they cannot move things yet, but I am pretty sure that will be added. Password policies and remote wipe work great. It does take a long, long time to wipe, but what do you care?


Re: Location Information

Isn't the setting under "Einstellungen -> Allgemein -> Ortungsdienste" (Settings -> General)? My iPhone does not ask me anymore after enabling this parameter.

Andy Brunner, 2008-07-18

I can switch Location Services on or off. But I can't give permissions to certain apps there.

Volker Weber, 2008-07-18

I think you've got (li) and (i) confused in your post near "The App Store works a treat. I can see myself wasting quite some time there.

Craig Wiseman, 2008-07-18

Fixed. Thank you.

Volker Weber, 2008-07-18

Volker, have you tried using Google Maps with the built-in GPS for actual in-car navigation? I'm curious if it could be used for that purpose since there's no real turn-by-turn navigation software available (yet?).

Michael Sedlaczek, 2008-07-19

You need turn-by-turn instructions. Or a navigator.

Volker Weber, 2008-07-19

I noticed that the iPhone 3G needs 5 to 7 full charges to get everything out of the battery.
I use MobileMe, check an IMAP account every 15 minutes, use twitterific, 1 hour talk time, 3-4 SMS, ~1 hour playing music.
I think it would last one and a half day (I recharge it every night, so I don't know it exactly)

Timo Zimmermann, 2008-07-19

It took other 3G phone manufacturers 2-3 generations of phones until they reached reasonable battery lifetimes - why should Apple be so much better than HTC, Blackberry and the rest?

Axel Koerv, 2008-07-19

Why? Because the industry as a whole has learned a lot. And because the original iPhone was much better than many people assumed.

Volker Weber, 2008-07-19

One and a bit weeks on, my impressions have developed some more...

The battery life is much better now. Seems that it needs a few charges before reaching full capacity. I now keep 3G data switched off unless I need it. I have managed to eke out 4 days of no charging this way.

The GPS no longer works, I cannot locate myself any more in Google Maps. I am going to try a few more times over the next few days before taking it back to the store. I hope there isnt a pattern here for other users.

The firmware needs more work. It is prone to crash. I have had 3 or 4 complete crash and reboots.

Its a nice user interface, and the web browser is excellent, but I find my Blackberry 8800 much more practical for dealing with emails on the move.

Andy Mell, 2008-07-21

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