Phones Review

iPhone 4S battery & overheating, fix or forget iPhone 5

Under: Apple iPhone
Date: October 22nd, 2011

A while back we all heard about the new Apple iPhone 4S, then it was announced, then it was pre-ordered, seems like a simple process at first. The expectations were great and once in our hands loved it, new camera, new iOS 5 built in, so many new features. This all turned sour due to poor battery life and overheating.

We will talk about the iPhone 4S battery and overheating, and what needs to be done to fix or it will become the case of “Forget the iPhone 5”.

Before we start, we here at Phones Review would like to hit on something Online Social Media (OSM) said,

“We’ve tested the new device, and turning off many features including location services, notifications, and iCloud helps the battery last longer, but why have these features if they drain the battery extremely fast.”

The OSM quote above is so true, what is the point of features that drains the battery? Ponder on this thought for a little while.

We here at Phones Review have had the iPhone 4S for a little over a week now and really starting to dislike a few things, do not get us wrong there are so many features that are fantastic like the camera on the lock screen, use the volume buttons to take photos, Siri is ok at first but then gets a little boring but nether the less still a great addition, AirPlay Mirroring is pure brilliance, but this all comes to a dead end thanks to the poor battery life and major over-heating issues.

If you search the web, play an app for a while, use Siri for about 20 minutes, or even use the AirPlay Mirroring feature then iPhone 4S get’s very hot indeed.

Try it out, do this: Play an app or search the web for like 10 minutes, once done turn the iPhone 4S around so the back is facing you, you will notice that the left hand side on the back is hotter than the right hand side, good old hot processors at their best.

THE FAIL: Apple, you have worked wonders to produce a smartphone with the worst battery life I have ever come across, we have had many emails, comments of iPhone 4S customers not happy with the battery drain, so we are not the only ones.

THE TEST: earlier on today we had 2% battery life, we let it run down low so we could charge it back to 100%, we did this and ONLY 45 minutes later the iPhone 4S is on 81%, that tells us that we on an average getting only 5-hours battery life per one full charge.

Can Apple fix the battery life and over heating issues with a simple iOS update fix?

The Inevitable: Sort out the above problems Apple or you can just forget the iPhone 5 getting the same backing the iPhone 4S got.

Please do let us know what you think of your Apple iPhone 4S, are you having the above issues or not?

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  • Jaykishen Gokani

    Yes, I have the same problem with the iPhone 4S 16 GB White. After playing Angry Birds or Checking my e-Mails for a few minutes, the phone is piping hot.

    Sometimes, it gets so hot that I cannot hold it in my hand. This is specially to one side.

    I will be taking this to Apple Store for a check.

    Did not expect this from Apple..!

  • Evan R.

    I am having the same issues. Took it to the Apple store and they gave me a new one with the same problems, but worse. All they could tell me was that their new iPhones had wonderful battery life and never overheated. Very disappointed.

    • Chucky

      Apple Store staff phones work fine and never overheat as they are too busy selling people iPhones 24/7 to acutally use thier phone. LOL. Liars.

  • Robhoo7

    Disappointed with the battery life but must say I haven’t encountered any problems with overheating. Even when used extensively for extended periods of time.

  • Gw

    What a load – no problems at all.  As always, it is you not the phone.

    • Lippythelog

      Hello Gw

      Can you advise what EXACTLY you are doing / set up you have on your iPhone 4S to not to get the problems stated here and in other forums.
      After following all the advise on forums, including the battery cycling to flat and then re-charging the battery to 100% I’m still experiencing a standby time 18 hours maximum with only checking every 2 hours to see what the battery %age has dropped to. This is with EVERYTHING switched off, all apps removed and to be totally sure all cellular data turned off as well, and I still cannot get more than 18 hours on standby with no outgoing comms of any kind been made from the phone. 

      Please do not take offence at the above but just posting that this is user error does not cut here. 

      I’ve been an iPhone user since they first launched and know my way around the iPhone better than most and what is been experienced here is not normal.

      • Mark Stephenson

        I lol’ed

      • Gw

        There is no magical set up.  In the words of Jobs, “It just works.”  It would be amusing to see just what you people are doing.  Do you not put it down for even a second?

      • Roxyz

        What you’re experiencing isn’t normal. Take it to a Genius Bar if you have one nearby. As I posted above, my battery problems were fixed by using an app called Battery Boost Magic. I’m now getting around 6 hours usage, which is about what I was getting on my iPhone 4.

  • Chucky

    If they would let you disable or limit the ammount of apps you can multi task I think that would clear things up. I don’t need 50 different apps running in the background. So lame to tap 50 apps off at one time. If they would let you turn off or limit mititastking to like 3 or 4 apps max that would be good for saving my time and battery life. Also the browser seems to hog battery if you leave web pages open. This was a problem on my 3GS too. Sad to see this is still there for 4S iOS5.

  • Anonymous

    i’m facing the same problem with my new 4S.
    However, I did have similar issues with iPhone 4 after installing an update back in Dec 2010 (if I remember correctly). The solution was to reset everything and not restore from a backup (just re-configure all settings as a new phone).

    I’ll hopefully going to do that with this one to see if this works

  • Symran

    Today, my iphone 4S got really hot and now it is totally stone dead…no amount of charging helped! I am off to Apple store tomorrow!

  • http://rt-now.com/ Rob T

    I haven’t had any problems with my iPhone 4s. As far as I am concerned it is the god of smartphones.

    • Carcrazyhoe

      I have been reading this site for a few weeks.Must admit that some of the site reviews seem bias toward one phone over another and not based on facts but more because of personal preference of the article author.In America we tend to force information sources to be more credible.We are after after all a very letigious society.A magazine in the States would not want to get sued and face the lost of lots of money.Several articles on this site makes me wonder if the author bothered to research their topic.Iphone 4S are amazing phones and thus far are considered more reliable than the Samsung Galaxy S2.

    • Carcrazyhoe

      I have been reading this site for a few weeks.Must admit that some of the site reviews seem bias toward one phone over another and not based on facts but more because of personal preference of the article author.In America we tend to force information sources to be more credible.We are after after all a very letigious society.A magazine in the States would not want to get sued and face the lost of lots of money.Several articles on this site makes me wonder if the author bothered to research their topic.Iphone 4S are amazing phones and thus far are considered more reliable than the Samsung Galaxy S2.

  • Ciarán

    What are you talking about dude, my iPhone 4S is sweet to the beat and the airplay feature is awesome!  Also my iphone 4S doesn’t overheat in the slightest, your bat crazy!

  • Gene

    This site really needs an editor if your content is to be considered credible.  This article is riddled with poor grammar and style choices.  We here at My House think it makes a good case for why we still need trusted institutions for journalism.

  • Aalmuhairi

    Am having same issues, battery life suck as hell. my iphone 4 is way better. 3G speed is lower than iphone 4 while it should be faster.

  • Traktanet

    It seems some of iphones 4s  have these problems and some dont. What is that difference? Remember there are 3 types of iPhones 4s – difference is in storage place. Couldnt it be in that?

  • Traktanet

    I found this, can you please try it? I dont have my own iP4s yet. :
    “Hi,

    I think I’ve found a cause of the battery drain. Believe it
    or not but it’s the System Service for setting Time Zone. If I go to
    Settings -> Location Services -> System Services and turn ON the
    “Status Bar Icon” option at the bottom, I can see the GPS is in
    permanent use. Disabling the “Setting Time Zone” option immediately
    stops it.

    I’ve tried this on my dad’s iPhone 4S too. I suspect
    it’s an iOS5 bug. I no longer have an iPhone 4 to test if it happens on
    that phone too.

    Anyway, it’s made a noticeable difference to my battery life.”

    • Jaybob

      I’ve now just tried this along with a few other minor tweaks that have been suggested and will let u know, thanks Jaybob

    • Appleuser1223

      I disabled time zone setting and it IMMEDIIATELY cooled off. Thanks u!

    • Tiatipton

      Hi..I have followed your instructions..Do you leave the Status Bar Icon on “ON” after switching OFF Setting Time Zone?… Thanks for the advice and I hope it works. I have had my phone for one month now and it’s seriously overheating becoming unbearable to hold. Also, the battery life is very poor. I spoke with Apple and they have arranged a replacement for me, but can’t guarantee that it will not have the same issues.

  • Blazeracing

    After I updated my wifes and my own iPhone 4 to the os5, my battery would last only 5 hours with moderate use. My wife’s phone on the other hand was just fine. I place both phones side by side and I compared mine to hers to see if hers was set up different. The only thing that was different was hers was set to lock after two minutes and mine was set to never. And she had her iCloud set up. Even though I never left my phone “on”. It’s always locked, I switched it to lock after two minutes and set up my iCloud account. My batter life is great!! I don’t understand why but it’s back to way it was before the os5 update.

  • MJHatters

    My Iphone 4S does not overheat at all. I have had mine tethering overnight with no overheat.

  • Darkspot

    There always seems to be a hefty batch of defective phones in every release, hence why I’ll continue waiting.

  • Darkspot

    Oh yeah, and we here agree with the poster below that like hates your writing. I wish Google’s bots could blacklist articles with unsavory or nonexistent editing.

    I shouldn’t have to mention that this issue is somewhat isolated to defective devices, not all of the latest iPhones, which would have been more apparent to you given more research!

  • Dove

    I don’t think it’s defective devices. It’s iOS5.

    I got another phone4s and disabled some settings and got up to 1 day 3 hours on standby with 70% still remaining. Almost 2 hours of usage (edited some settings, played with some apps, 3 phone calls and a read webpage or two). No quick loss of battery yet.

    Some say remove cloud mail. Turn off push. Just keep tinkering with it. I’ve had wi-fi on the whole time too. Strange little bugger.

  • Roxyz

    I was having a lot of battery drain issues, and found what I think is a solution in an unexpected place.  I installed an app called Battery Boost Magic.  It had great reviews and only cost 99 cents, so I thought I’d give it a try.  To my surprise, it DOES seem to make a significant difference.  It’s now 9pm and I still have 57% left…before, I would have needed to charge it by around 6pm.  I don’t know how it works, but it does.  And no, I don’t have any connection to the app developer!

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  • dave

    My battery life is terrible,,,,I want my old phone back

  • MattyEss

    My original 3G had the same if not better battery life!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LTT3EYRXV4766CIUILHKKHQDJY David

    I love the iP4S, but the shorter battery time and “over-heating” are frustrating issues, for sure.

  • JayRoddy

    I too am experiencing poor battery life on 4s, infact had an appointment with an apple genius and they have swapped it for a new 4s. Hey guess what it’s still rubbish after switching off many of notifications, locations, and push email settings. My apple loyalty is slipping thanks to the 4s thanks for listening

  • Stuart Mccrone

    Very happy with my iPhone 4s and no issues with battery life and no signs of overheating.
    Use mine for business so it’s camera, e-mail, web, twitter etc. Have iCloud on andplenty of notifications but limited location services. Battery has comfortably lasted over a full 24 hours without running below 20-30%. Is there really an issue here?!

    • Marklaceyuk

      After 7 months are you still standing by this???

    • Yvkvvb

      You must have gotten Developer’s Model Special Edition. There were a few of these…

  • Roman Dev

    Yes, my iPhone 4s gets randomly hot and the battery drains very fast, seemingly without any provocation. It was fine for the first week, then started last Friday now it self-drains 1-2 times a day. I turned off all the push settings, iCloud, Find My Phone etc, and it still does it. Sometimes just turning on the phone starts the drain, sometimes turning on the phone stops the drain. I’m clueless, and bummed

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LDA56KT5SQQ5GHVPLBYJX5CCQI s

    Same issue, but also hear some crappy static when in calls.

  • John Williams

    Have the same noise or static when in calls.
    And when I use the headphones to make a call I hear a lot of echo.

    Could the be another antenna gate?

  • Marco Pezzi

    I’m really unhappy with this phone. The first and for sure the last in my life.

  • Konsudtai

    Same with my iPhone.. It’s hot then shut down and never turn it back on until it cool down. I went to apple store and I have to make an appointment even though my phone is still hot and I don’t want buy a new one. :(

  • Jo Wood

    Ok- onto my second 4s as first one had a crackling on the line. Not only does the second shell have the exact same crackling problem, the battery life dies every few hours and it overheats at the drop of a hat. I have only a couple of days on my return policy, otherwise I’m stuck with this phone for 24 months. Apple have completely let me down.

    • Shirley

      I totally agree, this is my second one too.

  • Tcoyne99

    I just made a 10 min call and had to hang up as iPhone was burning my hand. Surely that can’t be right…

  • lindix

    I bught my iphone 4s black (my first iphine) on december 2011 and i start finding a lot of thing that are missing or that doesn’t work!
    1. Short battery life: The most important is the short battery life, i don’t use my iphone that much but hardly i can have battery for all day long.
    2. Overheating: Today (14 jan 2012) i used kind of 35 min of voice skyping and surfing the web through 3G the iphone was burning as hell.
    3. HotSpot, doesn’t support the hotSpot, i wanted to use my iphone as a modem to surf through my macbook but it doesn’t work;
    4. Bluetooth, i try to pair and connect my iphone and macbook pro. I paired the two devices but i could’t connect them! I tried lot of times and in different ways but nothing to do!

  • Neighbor

    I have also experienced heating issues, and I know that it is not my hardware. I used iOS 5.0.1 for about a week, didn’t like the battery drain or heat, then I went back to iOS 4.3.3 and my iPod only ever got warm and the battery was better. Last night I decided to restore as new back to iOS 5.0.1, and I am kind of pleased, but also not so pleased. I’m happy that I’ve seen WAY better speeds going about my business on the device, and my battery is actually doing well, and many of the newly incorporated features run seamlessly in with the experience and are brilliant (Notification Center is a very good idea but there NEEDS to be an option to turn it off completely). The push notifications are also imporved, but I’ve noticed bad heating and random springboard crashes within the first 8 hours. Also, Newsstand is annoying as hell, but the NoNewsIsGoodNews tweak in Cydia removes the folder. Also, as a way to turn off notification center AND have better multitasking, you can use Activator to make the swipe down action of revealing the notifications center turn into acitivating the task switcher. Activator + Remove Recents from Cydia makes the multitasking experience 100x better.

  • Onglenn03

    Same here! I thought it’s only my phone have this kind of issue…

    Last time i charge my phone with the charger which they provided 1st few weeks it was okay, but after a couple of weeks my phone starting to over heat when im going to charge it! It’s just too hot for a phone to charge and i think thats not so normal at all!my poor phone, sorry mom i think i have ruin your gift for me last november ;(

  • Jacki

    My iPhone 4s gets uncomfortably hot if on the phone for any length of time.  I find this rather annoying as I had the iPhone 3 and never had any problems.  Jacki

  • Nrrangaraj

    I regret having got a Iphone 4S after my Palm treo680. The delicate phone overheats has poor reception in the same palce where I work , ie phone to phone comparison. My car tyre went over the palm Treo680 and I still use it!! When I ask the local istore, they think they are the smartest people on earth and we got to take what Apple makes!! It costs $1000 in India …..

    • ta (phoenix)

      I got iphone 4s after the contract was up with my palm pre.   I only got iPhone coz there is no more palm :(   before pre I had Treo.  Treo was a great smart phone.  Too bad palm didnt have a visionary like Steve Jobs or palm could have become a major player in the cell phone industry :(

  • Shirley

    What is the whole point of this phone if we have to be careful about every different kind of usage ?
    I mean I feel like I can’t even enjoy the phone without worrying about over draining the the battery. My husband installed an app for me to view our home camera and now that is taken out among with the only few apps that I have. To me , that just beats the whole purpose of the ” newer and better iPhone” it’s like walking on egg shell with this one. My old 3GS iPhone didn’t have all the cool gadgets, but never gave me this much problem. I had to exchanged my first brand new one and now the second one is doing the same thing which I believe it was a refurbish .

  • graham

    Just fully charged my 4s, 15 minutes later it was down to 63% battery life and running hot. I literally watched the battery life drain away to 25% before it stopped. During this period the phone was switched off. It then cooled down. Taking the phone back to my supplier, should I demand a new phone? Is it my legal right? The phone is less than 2 months old.

    • ta (phoenix)

      My iPhone 4s started acting strange yesterday  (3/11 sat) after less than one month use.  I had it fullyl charged over night, took it off charger @ 6 am, and by 10 am the phone had no battery left and went dead.  The  phone got hot also while draining battery.  The phone has not been holding the power any more than a few hours after each complete charge since then.  It is now on charging cord all day, it’s not a cell phone any more but it’s like land line, stack to the wall.  I took it to verizon store where I got the phone from on the same day (sat), very annoyed.  They ordered a new phone to be delivered to my house for free exchange.  I did not change anything on the phone  from 3/10 (fri) to 3/11 (sat).  No new app, no change in setting, no change in usage pattern.  I read in many posts online that it was a software problem but I’m not sure.  It is made in China after all.  The phone should be covered by warranty for a year.  You should have them send you a new iphone too. 

  • Rob Johnson (Australia)

    I purchased a new 4s for my girlfriend on saturday around midday. She came home on sunday night saying her phone got so very hot, then turned itself off, and now we can’t get it to turn on again. We will be taking it back to the phone store today (Monday morning) It will be interesting to see what course of action they will take. This thing lasted a day and a half!!! Having an iphone in the past, and now using a HTC, I tried to convince her to get the HTC also, but it seems she has also been sucked in my good marking of a crap product.

  • Gembiz21

    I’m so pissed, I have had phones from the very start. I watched and was (only 18) one of the idiots with the bag phone, then the big grey Motorola “flip”‘etc. I had them ALL and like everything else got sick of the next best thing. I actually became so happy with a throw away $15 Verizon . It got phone calls, texts and I could check my email. When it comes down to it, it’s all you really need from a phone. I always played around with my IPhone (first one) for pics , music, and wifi, but was over it. Now my kids started telling me how cool the new Iphone was and I already wanted an iPad 2. I went to the Apple Store and bought 4 IPad2′s for Chritmas and started to fool with the idea of the IPhone 4s . Now, I was hooked again, it is so great, everything about it. Was going to get one for each of my 4 kids, and my wife, that is until I realized the battery !! I charge it to %100 at night and within hours it’s below %60 and I haven’t made a call. Apple told me to shut off Bluetooth, location services, and ICloud when not in use. It made a small difference, but I don’t need to pay for headaches, I have enough of them that I get for free. I’m just disappointed that such an incredible device would be marketed with such an obvious and IMPORTANT flaw. Now what, fix it, buy a new one when they get it right.

  • Shaun

    Hi I’m in Australia and I recently got an iPhone 4s.
    I don’t seem to have issues with over heating, sometimes I can feel a little warm patch
    But it’s seems to go away pretty clquick. The battery life oils be better
    But I don’t use 3G or mobile data unless I want to go on the Internet.
    Otherwise I use my wifi at home and the battery seems to be fine

  • Michel Channaa

    i think the site is boring

  • 77Richey

    My Iphone battery dies EXTRA fast. I let my 5 year old play games on it and within an hour and a half it went from 75% to 2% battery life. Not very helpful when at a doctors appointment and trying to keep a little kid calm. My phone also gets so hot I cant put it up to my face to use it sometimes. The camera freezes, apps freeze and I am just extra dissapointed in it. I had the iphone 4 when it was brand new and loved it. The new update seemed to have KILLED this iphone. Not happy at all. I wont turn off icloud though because i lost my other iphone and that is what saved me from losing all of my data and videos and pictures of my other son when he was first born! I got the phone again JUST because of icloud.

  • Taj6994

    Ios update does’nt fix this prblm i suggest to apple plz make gud batteries for upcoming iphones

  • MustBeSaid

    The iPhone 4S is garbage. Who cares what it can do when it can only do it for a couple of hours.

    And WHY, WHY, WHY does it take upwards of 10 min of charging from a dead battery before you can use it? It should boot immediately when charging. Just waiting for someone to end up on the news dead because they couldn’t contact anyone because their phone had to charge for 10 min for no reason before it would turn on.

  • Shant1998

    My iPhone 4s is getting hotter while charging, playing games, surfing the web and more. I use a protective case but this not the problem as I tried without it.

  • Kamal Sh Kamal

    Yes
    I just inbox a new iPhone 4s and surprise with being hot and consume the battery too much. I’m sooooooo angry of Apple..

  • Kamal Sh Kamal

    I find a simple fix to have 1.5 day battery life. It’s simply by switching-off the 3G internet connection. Switch the internet on only when you need it. You will not miss viber/whatsapp calls or messages because you will be notified immediately when you connect to the internet

  • hi

    hi

  • underdogP

    Ah!!! iphone 4s; this is my fourth ‘smartphone’, but first iphone.

    It is 20140224, I just bought a brand new iphone 4s, 3days ago. On the first day of using it I was shocked with its hot surface. Being warm, I understand, eventhough I did over use it to get acquainted with it by setting up, and downloading some, but hot?! is not right. Particularly, on the first day of opened brand new box phone???!!!

    I observed the phone for full 24 hrs. Right after, went to apple store, informed the situation to one of the blue shirt f**ls. The person was doing something, and saying something to me, but does one even understand nor aware of what oneself is saying???, left as mystery. I looked in to the one’s eyes profoundly for exactly 9.5 seconds, still in silence, I asked, “I believe you are not a thecnician, so how could I get your technician to explain and/or even fix the phone?”
    My bad, on not knowing ‘the process’ to meet with the wizard of Oz.

    While making my reservation to meet with the Apple’s tech individual on website, did some related searches, and here I am, joining with “twisted awes of ‘the APPLE’”, seeing My only fault is that I trusted enough with ‘the’ APPLE, and didn’t bother to do any back ground checks.

    Here is my one and only big question to inconsiderate beings who represents thenselves with the only APPLE that ruins my appetite, what is the “solution” to such symptom? Echoless shout out???!!!
    I am only hoping any, one, wise man, will some how over hear such a disorder..!

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