Friday 14 August 2009

iPhone 3GS: Battery Woes

Apple’s iPhone 3GS was released in the UK on 26th June this year. After putting away buying Apple’s iPhone 3G for the past year or so, I eventually bought the iPhone 3GS (on Pay as you Go with O2) a day after its release. In the past six years, I used three Sony Ericsson branded mobile phones; T610, V800 and K800i. All the three phones were good and solid. I had absolutely no problem whatsoever with any of them. My decision to buy iPhone 3GS was based on the positive reviews I read about the earlier model of Apple’s iPhone.

I was very impressed with the iPhone 3GS in the first two weeks of its use. The interface was great, the apps (free ones) were gorgeous and the wi-fi browsing was painless. My favourite apps were TVU player, Google Earth, Reuters News Pro, Skype and Shazaam. The battery life initially seemed okay, though I remember not using it extensively in the first two weeks. The first problem arose on the day I flew down to London Heathrow enroute to Hyderabad. The battery seemed to drain down faster than it did in the first few weeks of its use. On arrival at Heathrow T5, the battery was down to 80%. A couple of calls via Skype brought it right down to 60%. I had to switch off the phone, to preserve power for the rest of my journey. On arriving at Hyderabad nine hours later, switching it back on showed the power level at 10%. I switched it off until I reached home 6 hours later, where I eventually powered it from the mains. The battery seemed to last half a day before draining down to critical levels. I looked up on the Internet for a solution to maximise battery life and found one on the Apple website. I turned off the following (i) location services, (ii) push notifications, (iii) push mail and (iv) 3G. Things seemed to improve for a while, but remember, in the first few weeks I had all the above switched on and had absolutely no problem whatsoever.

I followed a pattern of charging the iPhone every day for a couple of weeks. It all seemed to go well, until I missed charging the iPhone for a couple of days early this month. The battery died down completely and I couldn’t bring the iPhone to switch back on. I took it down to the O2 store in Aberdeen and they sent it back to Apple to have a look.

Now comes the question, why is Apple’s iPhone battery not accessible like all the other mobile phones? It seems absolutely absurd that one has to send the mobile phone back to the manufacturer for them to have a look at a drained out battery. Unlike, other mobile phones, iPhone battery continues to drain down even in standby mode; meaning lot more disgruntled costumers.

Right now, I am looking at HTC Diamond 2 and Blackberry Curve as potential alternatives to iPhone 3GS, if Apple doesn't come back with a solution to my problem.

My iPhone 3GS was replaced by Apple with a brand new one. The whole process of replacement took 12 days, during which time I called O2 a couple of times to get an update on the status and to make sure that things were moving in the right direction. The battery in the new iPhone 3GS seems fine, which is approx. 20% drain rate per 12 hours with moderate access to e-mails, internet and iPod. This is on similar lines as my earlier iPhone before things went horribly wrong. I will keep posting updates on the battery, in case something crops up in the future.