Poll: How's your iPhone 4S battery life?

So... how's the battery life on your brand new iPhone 4S? We've already asked you about battery life under iOS 5 in general, but now that you have that Apple A5 processor to power and the Siri voice assistant feature to play with, battery life could be getting hit harder than ever.

Now a new phone, especially one that talks back to you, is so fun to use that we might not get back down to every day levels for a while still. But if you're not talking to Siri every minute, if you set up as new rather than restoring from backup, if you're not lighting up all the new location-based Reminders and Find my Friends, and your Notification Center isn't set to the full fire hose, how do you think battery life compares to your previous phone?

Is it great, gets through the day, no problems whatsoever? Is it about the same? Is it so bad you've stopped using Siri, turned off location services, disabled push notifications, and gone to commiserate with your Android wielding friends?

Vote up top and give us the details, including anything that's helped you improve battery life, in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

Poll: How's your iPhone 4S battery life?


Not an iPhone 4 user but looks to be getting me through a days use....so i would say about an average battery comparing it to my old phone...

Went from a Droid X to the iPhone (very first iPhone) specifically for the battery life and all I can say is WOW! And I'm no longer tethered to my charger! Woot!

Just came in to type the exact same thing. Doesn't matter how it compares to the iPhone 4 to me, compared to the X, it's a dream!

I too just switched to the iphone from the Droid X. Hated the Droid so much that the iphone is amazingly easier, SMALLER, and much clearer with the buttons you are really pushing. I love it. Hoping the battery is not going to become an issue, cause I really don't think I could give up the awesome iphone. PS, Droid went straight to the garbage!

I assumed the first day with it, I couldnt use that as a gauge of battery life but today , minimal use it is at 50% already. DEF worse that iPhone4

Not dramatically worse, but not as good iPhone4. I lose about 5% overnight if not on a charger, and wifi use drains faster. About what I expect with the new goodies. Still acceptable and better than most other smartphones.

I'm still enabling and disabling features to see how it does. So far, by disabling Mail, Notes, Contacts, and Calendars (which synced before iCloud), battery doesn't take that much of hit. It's been now 2 hours, and the phone is at 96%.

After 2 hours of use and only 96%? That's really great. On my Android phone, as soon as I unplug it from a full charge on the charger it instantly drops to 98%, and is already now on 87% from web browsing for a little bit. Worst thing of a Android device. I miss my iPhone!

Not as good as the iPhone 4, but probably still good enough to get me through a normal day. The first few days have not been normal!

Worse than the iPhone 4, but probably enough to get me through a night at work (I normally top up before I head in.) It's possible Apple can tweak it over time with iOS updates, so we'll just see what happens. Still the best smartphone on earth.

The problem is that I'm playing with it SO much it's had to get a good gauge of it. I took 300+ photos and videos yesterday, not a good gauge. And I dropped to 40% in 3 hours. I also played with Siri outside on a super windy day (amazingly well) and used foursquare and uploaded photos and videos to FourSquare and Facebook and shot some PhotoSynsths.
But I think I now that I think about it, that's an awful lot to only drop to 40%. Somewhere after hour 3 I plugged in a spare battery (some of the above was done after hour 3), but I was really out 5 hours.
I'm a compulsively charger prepared person: I've got a car charger and USBs plugged into my computer and 2 cheap spare external batteries (I keep one in my backpack and one in my bicycle bag).

I upgraded from a 3G running iOS 4.1 and my phone could go for days on one charge. This thing gets like maybe 8hours of course I can do a lot more on the 4s but I thought you know it could make it though the whole day

I can't complain. I had a Palm Pre plus on Verizon before my iPhone 4S. I was lucky if I got 2 hours of use out of it. Maps? Maybe 30 minutes. But with the iPhone, life is a candy dream of long lasting power.

Jack, you probably "used up" the battery on the Pre. Mine got to where I could eke out 1 hour of use, took it to the Sprint store where they tested it and gave me a new battery. Said the old one was "unchargeable".
I almost always had to charge my Pre during the day, with wifi and GPS off. Yesterday the 4S went all day, wifi and GPS on, and I still had 30% left when I went to bed. Candy dream indeed!

I still have my Pre+ (waiting on my iPhone order to arrive). The first 40% burns up in about an hour of very heavy use. I don't play games, just listen to podcasts, web surf and read news, Twitter and FB. The remaining 60% takes at least a few hours to use up. It can stay on standby for an entire work day and still be at 80% remaining. If this new iPhone shows similar battery life as my Pre+ even on a good day, I will be very disappointed as it should be 10x better, literally.

Updated 3 devices...2 iphone 4 and an iPad 2. Had horrible battery drain on one of the iPhones. Had to restore as a new phone to rectify situation. Battery life is now slightly better than ios 4.3 on all devices.

First time IPhone owner here. Unplugged the phone from the wall charger at 7:30 am used 4Square a lot, twitter, facebook, Sportsmobile, Whatsapp and iMessage. At 11:45 had 20% left. Not bad at all!

James, for those who went from iphone 4 to 4s, that is still a pretty bad battery consumption. Glad you're satisfied though. You'er previous phone must have been really bad.

Looking over my post, I omitted the "pm" after 11:45. That does make a difference! Original post edited.

Sadly, the battery life on my 4S is very similar to the Pre that was my previous phone. This includes not only battery drain while in use but also on my nightstand while sleeping. Both of the areas of use are fairly poor signal strength so hopefully that's the reason.

Could you say more about "cycling the battery" for those of us unfamiliar with the practice?

Battery life is awesome. 3 hours at work listening to iTunes non stop and only dropped 10 percent. My nexus would have been almost ready for a charge by now.

My 4S has been heating up very warm when making calls and is losing battery life rapidly. I think I am going to downgrade back to my 3GS on 2G as battery life is important to me. Data etc. is a luxury but I am buying a phone and want to be able to turn off extras.

Just upgraded from jailbroken 3gs. the 4s seems to drain the battery much quicker. Had the phone charging over night, unplugged it and left it on my desk all morning--didn't use it. Went to check email and saw the batter was down to 80%. WTF? I'm assuming some of the background apps and possibly iCloud stuff was going on while the phone was idle, but that was a huge drop for me not actively using it. Never saw that on the 3gs.

I unplugged my 4s at approx 6:30 am; fully charged. i made one phonecall, which was less than 20 minutes, played some words with friends and sent two or three texts. By noon it was 40%. I don't feel this is very good...my 4 did not go down that quickly.

Coming from HTC EVO Shift 4g and battery life is night and day....
Off the charger Saturday morning at 7am from full charge and at Sunday night at 8pm and down to 7%.
That time included many text messages, playing with phone, some games and picture of my 22 month old son.
Very impressed with battery compared to my android phone.

Impossible!!!! mine is full at 7 am and down to 15% before i arrive my home after work around 6:30pm. I never listen to music, I only use IM+, and several text, play game for half an hour, and that's it. and I have already put off the notification, location, push functions. I totally disappointedly about the battery life!!!!!

My phone used to go 3-4 days w/o a charge. Now need to charge every day and I only used the phone like 1/2 hour today. Went from 100% to 35% in 8 hours.

I can't help but open and close thing to compare to how fast my 4 was, so at this point it's kind of hard to compare because it certainly hasn't had any thing near "normal usage". That being said I am still not disappointed.

Battery life WILL be worse...new OS = users playing with all the new features. Ask again in 3 months and I bet 80%+ will say its the same.

I have restored from my 3gs and i think i am going to reset and then sync so i get the battery optimization from the 4s. The restore from the 3gs is killing my battery life. We will see what happens.

Battery is draining way to fast on the 4S compared to the 4. I was at 100% and dropped down to 47% in 1 hour and 47 minutes. That's horrible compared to the 4.

Mine is calibrated/conditioned (through 3 cycles of 0-100% and it still has terrible battery... i've even turned certain features off and dimmed the screen as much as I can bare! I have to have bluetooth, push, and locations enabled... the rest is off (ping, certain locations, notification center... etc). Apple definetely lied about battery life... or just ran the phone with NOTHING on... and used it as an iTouch!

Firstly, its mere stupidity to ask about the iphone 4s battery life at this time. Its been only 4 days since everyone got their iPhone 4S!! It takes many charge cycles to estimate the battery life. Moreover, I am sure many would not have calibrated their batteries (Charge and complete discharge for 2-3 times).

It's not stupidity - you can tell straight away how the battery is doing. If, like some of us, you have gone from an iPhone 4 to a 4S, then you know what to expect. And you also know that if it is just sitting on the desk it shouldn't run out of battery in 8 hours (as mine is doing). Calibrating the batteries like you say is not really necessary.

So far the battery life seems good, having no issues with it, working fine and enjoying it. Hope that later on it doesn't get worst.

Bzzzzzzt.... Wrong! You don't need to condition the battery.http://www.apple.com/batteries/
"You can also recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without the full charge or discharge cycle necessary to keep nickel-based batteries at peak performance."

Different kind of conditioning. You still need to give it at least 7-10 FULL charge cycles before you'll see realistic performacne of battery life. It's the same thing every year with every iphone. People get excited the first 48-72 hours. But after 2 weeks you'll see much better battery life. Tipb should remeber this.

I noticed today that the Location Service for Setting Time Zone was constantly using the GPS so switched that off as was losing around 1-2% every 10 mins whilst it wasn't being used. Seems a lot better now :)

My battery life has been less than what I expected, based on Apple's site. However, just today I turned off location services, bluetooth, change email to manually pull in new mail and shut off notifications on things I didn't care to receive notifications on. Hopefully this will do wonders!

Upgraded from 3GS and battery is amazing! Have used my phone a lot today and have still got 50% left 3GS would have died by now

i don't know what you guys are talking about... it is about 2:30PM where i am at, and i wake up at 7am. from about 7:30am that i unplugged the iPhone 4s, using it non-stop, making calls, texting, sending e-mails, and facebooking all day so far i am down to 73% battery, i have my screen set to about 80% bright, all my features like bluetooth, wireless, push notifications, and everything pretty much you can turn on the phone, ON... so i don't know if people are lying, or just a bunch of android users here, or if these people are just crazy, but i think the Battery life is pretty much amazing...

Samson, I am not doubting your very respectable battery performance, but all I can say is where there's smoke there's fire, and there are clearly a lot of people that "perceive" the battery to be draining inexplicably fast. As for my experience, I left my new 4S in the car at 8:00 AM (not permitted to bring it inside due to security restrictions) when I went in to work. I returned to the car at 1:30 PM to find that it had dropped from 95% to 65%. That works out to ~5.5%/hr doing nothing but laying around in standby mode. Of course I had all the iCloud and Google mail/contacts/calendar sync'ing ON and probably about 15 apps with push notifications ON, but then apparently so do you. So maybe there's just one thing or a specific combination of settings and factors, that is nailing a lot of people, and apparently some have it even worse. At any rate, assuming it is not all in our heads, I hope it either gets fixed or we can determine the cause and find a palatable work around.
(full disclosure: Former Droid user; first time iPhone user, and so far I love it in spite of a few Android things I dearly miss, and in spite of my concerns about the alleged battery issue.)

Don't be ridiculous. I'm glad you're not having issues but I doubt all of theses people are complaining because they use android and want to make apple look bad. I have a 4s and always use apple products, but my phone's battery is terrible!

I switched from my iPhone 4 to 4S & the the battery life on 4S drains much much faster than the 4. I believe SIRI sucks a lot of its energy. Its quite noticable & I am starting to worry about it.

Compared to my 4, its worse but I'm not complaining. Today is the only time I even let the battery hit the red zone (was at 1% before I noticed and plugged it in). I'm using Siri, mostly asking for drugs and hookers and setting alarms but still... I'm constantly being pushed FB and Twitter updates with emails. I'm wirelessly syncing and using iCloud between the phone and iPad. Its worse but I'm using it and I haven't done the suggested charge cycles so yah... I can't really bitch about it.

My battery sucks and I have a lot of the features turned off in fact my 4S should be considered in airplane mode but I have my Facebook open so I can not go into airplane mode. I do have Wi-Fi off and my email push is off and my fetch my mail in about 30 minutes. I do have to carry my car charger with me because my battery will die by the end of this day.

FIXED MY BATTERY DRAIN ISSUE! – I tried all the tweaks as well, to no avail. What finally brought my new iPhone 4s back to the battery longevity of my iPhone 4 (pre-iOS5) was turning off the Notification Widgets (weather and stocks) that are the default in the new notification bar (the one that now acts like an android). Simply go to settings, then “notifications” is the 3rd option. Next, find the two default widgets (Stock Widget and Weather Widget), and turn them off. If you have any other widgets running, turn them off as well.

I don't feel it is good. I charged my phone in the night to 100%. It's just half a day... I just listened to 2-3 songs...and that's it...my battery is at 75%... I think it's really bad.... I m sad :(

Well, if I unplug it at 730 am when I get up
and it is down to 80% at 830 before I leave home
and I haven`t done anything with it in the meantime
then there must be something wrong.
And I already deactived the "rise to speech" option at Siri.

My battery drained almost 30% in 3 and a half hours of sending a single text listening to musics for 10 min, and surfing the web for 30 min looking up battery problems with the Iphone 4S. Not happy :(

My 4S was worse than 4 and was having to boost the charge during the day. Been slowly turning off location based and already had brightness optimized. BUT I think I've made some real progress with Siri -- TURN OFF RAISE TO SPEAK and just use the home button. I'm now down only 22% in 4-5 hrs.

Thank you for this suggestion! I had shut down just about everything else that could be shut down and was still recharging after 3-5 hours of moderate use. I shut down this part of Siri's function and now have gone for about 8 hours of moderate to high use, including over an hour of turn by turn audio navigation, and still have 28% battery left. It's not perfect, but it is livable.

Very disappointed. The UI is backwards, the battery is not that great for a real power user. I liked my Palm pre (Original one from 2 years ago) much better. I expect to get more than 12 hours of use out of a brand new phone. Especially one advertised to get 200 hours of stand by time.

NO LONGER AN ISSUE After letting the battery nearly die, its fine and I'm still pushing, clouding, SIRI-ing and everything. For most people letting the battery die or restoring it does the trick. We go through this every year. Also, turn off the push and location stuff you aren't using.

NO LONGER AN ISSUE After letting the battery nearly die, its fine and I'm still pushing, clouding, SIRI-ing and everything. For most people letting the battery die or restoring it does the trick. We go through this every year. Also, turn off the push and location stuff you aren't using.

After letting battery run down and charging to 100% I made one phone call and phone went down 20% - then I called Apple Care. I was told to shut off wifi, notifications, (they were all off) blue tooth, auto brightness and just about every auto function on the phone to get it to last more than 7 hours. I did this and phone lasted about 7 1/2 hours. I asked them if I had to turn everything off what was use of having all this on the phone - and the rep told me to get an after market type charger so I could charge phone during the day. By the way Apple Care did not recommend cycling the battery but I did that anyway - no help. I think Apple knows this is a huge issue and expects people to just like it. Our iphone 4 works all day with all of the above on. Nice phone if only you could use it with all its features for more than 1/2 day.

The battery life is pathetic. Mine has to be charged every day around noon - afternoon time and it still dies again before I go to bed. If this isn't a bug or hardware issue I'll be selling it and going back to my iPhone 4. This thing is pretty much worthless to me like this.

Got up at 06.00 this morning 4S 64G showing 100% battery it's now 10.09 and my phone is showing just 56%!! I'm at work so I've only used it moderately. My last phone was a 28 month old 3GS 16G with original battery and the battery level is what I would have expected with my old phone!!

I had the 4 for a week and the battery life would last me two full days.. now with the 4s.. i only make it one full day. :(

Have both data and locations turned off, display at half brightness and don't use Siri or talk to text, but have to charge 4s everyday. I hardly even use it!

I bought two IPhone4s's, one for myself and one for my son. Both phones while everything is turned off(no bluetooth, no wifi, no apps, running etc....) looses 1% per hour.... Returned them both to Apple today. One now gets great battery life the other is just as bad. Clearly there is something wrong with a subset of the manufacturing batch..... After speaking with the apple rep (which apparently is mathematically challenged and can't figure out that 1% per hour = 100 hours of life).... eventually did give us two new phone.
I see a recall or patch in apple's future.

4S battery life is wretched!! WAY worse than my iPhone 3. My iPhone 4 was the best of all of them. I would say its at least 40% worse than the 4.

My 4S battery life started out much worse than the 4 (third of the time) so I let the battery of down below 20% charged it up to 100% then did a factory wipe and restore from backup using iTunes. Now it is just as good as the 4 and in some ways better. I suspect the way the phones had IOS5 applied at the factory may be the issue and as there are two manufacturing sites maybe what they did was slightly different. Anyway very pleased now to get the same sort of life from a machine with a dramatically faster processor and 4 times the memory of my old iPhone 4. Yipee !

At first my iPhone 4s 32GB battery sucked, I couldnt get through the day without charging it at least 2-3times. But I tried all the tricks that I did with the 4 and still not much difference. I started to play around with it he other day and found the most helpful thing. TURN OFF THE STOCK WIDGET! And the weather one if you feel like it will help you more. I've been off the charger since 630am and it's now 1030am and I'm down 5%. So far I've made 2-10minute phone calls and sent/receieved 100+text messages. It really does make a difference

At first my iPhone 4s 32GB battery sucked, I couldnt get through the day without charging it at least 2-3times. But I tried all the tricks that I did with the 4 and still not much difference. I started to play around with it he other day and found the most helpful thing. TURN OFF THE STOCK WIDGET! And the weather one if you feel like it will help you more. I've been off the charger since 630am and it's now 1030am and I'm down 5%. So far I've made 2-10minute phone calls and sent/receieved 100+text messages. It really does make a difference

Make sure all apps are off! I notice some apps not completely shutting Down and it was draining my 4s awful! So I went into usage and noticed that I had 9 hours usage and 9 hours standby so I knew something was draining it! My battery was draining 20% every 4 hours, and I was very upset. Now I made sure today that all apps were shutting off, and I have 15 hours standby time 1 hour of usage and my battery is @ 82%. No complaints anymore. Love my iPhone 4s now. Those of you that aren't sure how to check running apps.... Just hit the home button twice and apps will appear at the bottom of the screen. Hold your finger on the apps and wait till a red dot appears and tap on it and shut the app down. Just do this until you figure out which app is draining your battery! Hope this helps!!

This is my first iPhone (the 4S), so I don't have much to compare it with. But the battery life is slightly underwhelming.

I thought that my iphone 4 battery life was far better than my iPhone 3 GS. but find that my iPhone 4 s is worse than my iphone 4 and closer to my 3 GS. I have had iPhones since day 1 and take all of the same measures to reduce battery consumption. My thought is that the duo processor and and IOS 5 are using up more power.

I've noticed my battery started to suck when I turned "push" on. With that on was the first time my battery didn't make it all day . Testing from full batt tomorrow to see if that is the Batt killer

With my Palm Centro I had two backup batteries that I could pop after a few days when the juice ran low. With the iPhone 4S I have to make sure I put it on the charger every frickin' day or it just becomes an expensive pocketweight. I've turned off half the great new features that brought me to the iPhone in the first place just so I might squeeze a few more hours of life out of the non-user serviceable battery. All this and I pay Sprint $10 more a month for what has become slower 3G service.
Hey Apple and Sprint! Ever heard of load testing?!?!?!

Battery life is not even close to what's advertised. This is false advertising. Most likely my last iphone

Took my 4s off the charger at 7am.. worked all day so it was on standby, aside from checking the time a few times.. by 3pm it was down to 13%... and thats with all my notifications turned off, wifi turned off, location services turned off, and nothing running in the background.. this is my first iphone, before this i had a blackberry torch.. my torch would last a solid 2-3 days of heavy use without charging it... i got the iphone for siri, but if apple doesn't do something soon i'm going back to blackberry for the battery life

Left my phone unplugged by my bedside last night... Battery was at 86 percent. Woke up at 12 percent.... REALLY? I know I wasn't talking to Siri, my notifications didn't light up and now I'm heading I work with a dead iPhone. Ugh.

I don't risk leaving location services off, lose your phone and the. What happens? Keep it locked keep location on for find my iPhone.

Found this site trying to find out why my new 4s battery was diminishing so much in one day. First smart phone, minimal use, everything location & update, etc that I can find is off. Minimal use of siri so far too. I'm a little nervous about maintaining the battery life.

I am a developer and all I can say is that iPhone 4S is really an amazing phone. Owning such a phone is really a great stuff and you get a lot of amazing features. The battery has a longer span compared to other phones I have tried.