Monday, August 26, 2013

iPhone 5S (iPhone 6): Rumors, Move Aside - What About the Battery Life?

I love the rumors (except ones about the colors) about the next iPhone, whether Apple calls it iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, just as much as the next guy.  But fingerprint scanners and colors aside, I want to know one thing that should matter to every mobile warrior:  what's the battery life going to be like for the 2013 iPhone?

And the only number I care about is the hours of standard use.  I don't care at all about standby time.  I charge, on average, my iPhone 5 every 30-36 hours.  Not bad.  Under heavy use, I can get through the battery in about 12-15 hours.  Again, not bad but I also would not mind a longer battery as an insurance against unforeseen heavy uses.

I'm sure battery life is a very important factor for Apple when it comes to iPhone, iPad, and, yes, Macbooks.  Just recently, Apple updated the 2013 Macbook Airs and gave them between nine to twelve hours of use.

I argued that Apple not only has upped the ante for its competitors but also other Apple products as well - expected updates this fall are Macbook Pro and iPads.  And I argued they also need to see significant battery life improvements.

Hence, it stands to reason that we should expect the same of the 2013 iPhone as well.  After all, copying or not by its competitors, Apple should try to distance itself from its competitors with better iPhone battery life because, unlike Samsung, Nokia, or HTC, Apple owns its hardware and software development that could drive speed and efficiency further than anyone else without making compromises.  And should Apple find a way to make the iPhone last longer than anyone else, significantly longer, it will not be a feature that can be copied.

This is why I have high hopes that Apple will give the iPhone 5S (or iPhone 6) a major battery improvement.  Also, consider that Motorola, owned by Google, just released its Moto X with a reported 24-hour battery life.

Now, I know that no two manufacturers conduct and report their battery uses the same.  I also know that Google fudges its numbers quite a bit as well.  So, whether Moto X really can last a full 24-hour of real work use or not, it does have repercussions.  Motorola/Google was willing to make compromises to Moto X that Apple is not willing, like using dated (two-year old) mobile tech.  Clearly, anyone who is mobile savvy will know this fact.  However, not all tech journalists and tech bloggers are industrious enough do a bit of research and realize that.

Right now, the iPhone 5 has a talk time of 8 hours, 8 hours of Web use on LTE and 10 hours on Wi-Fi, and 10 hours of video play back.  (Apple)

The talk time is well short of competitors but who truly talks that much anyway?  So, to mobile users these days, video and use hours are more important.  As far as web browsing is concerned, it's about a draw.  The iPhone 5 might have most beaten except for Sony's Xperia ZR (GSM Arena). Most other flagship devices lasted around 8 hours.  I said "might" because we don't know how GSM Arena conducted their tests - using only the cell antenna or Wi-Fi. (GSM Arena)

However, it came to video play back, the iPhone 5 is near the middle of the pack with the newer flagship devices lasting about an hour more.

So, as you can see, you can get the 24-hour claim from the iPhone 5 as well but those kinds of battery claims are just people playing games and it's not what Apple is about.  As an iPhone user, I'm used to getting Apple's more real world hours of usage.

Personally, I don't care to watch 10 hours of video straight.  However, with a combination of GPS use during runs four to five times a day for an hour, maybe one or two mapping use with GPS for a 30-minute trip a week, an average of 20-30 pictures and 5-10 minutes of video capture during events or get-togethers, 10 messages an hour and checking e-mail every 30 minutes, catching up on news and sports, and maybe a bit of blogging or Evernote uses or tweeting, and about an hour of gameplay or video, I like to see Apple improve the next iPhone battery life for my kind of mobile use by about 50%.

Maybe I'm an optimist but I think we're gonna get that this year.

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