Phones Review

iPhone 5 vs. 4S battery life with iOS 7 beta

Under: iOS, Software
By:Daniel | June 14th, 2013

Following on from our article looking at the iOS 7 beta 1 AirDrop features on iPhone 5 and the lack of AirDrop on iPhone 4S, we thought a quick post would be ideal with our battery life findings. Battery drain is something a few iPhone 4/4S users know very well and in most cases appeared after a new software update, so how did our iOS 7 beta installs perform in terms of battery life?

We noticed that the iPhone 4S was experiencing bad battery life and much faster drain after installing the iOS 7 beta, so we put this to the test and fully charged both the iPhone 5 and 4S. Then we made sure all settings were the same with all apps and windows closed in the background.

Apple iPhone 5 battery life with iOS 7 beta 1 – the iPhone 5 lost 3% of its battery after the first 3 hours, although this had been without any use and only on standby. 12 hours later and overnight after a sleep, we noticed the iPhone 5 at 86% battery and again this was mainly on standby. Now let us take a look at the iPhone 4S over the same period and again being on standby.

Apple iPhone 4S battery life also with iOS 7 beta installed – within just 3 hours the iPhone 4S running iOS 7 beta lost 15% of its total battery life, and this is a much faster drain than experienced with iOS 6 or on an iPhone 5 with iOS 7 beta. 12 hours later and under the same circumstances as with the iPhone 5, the 4S battery hit 1% left and this is with the device being on standby overnight.

It is also worth noting that we fully charged both iPhones again and after using the iPhone 4S for just web browsing, the battery drained 5% in only 10 minutes. This certainly highlights major problems with iOS 7 beta on the iPhone 4S, but it could just be a bad install and this has happened before with iOS 6.

We have two usage screenshots below taken from the iPhone 5 and 4S running iOS 7 beta 1. These were taken before the above test and give a little insight into the differences between the two generations of iPhone running the same software. The first is the iPhone 5 and the battery percentage can be seen at the top right, and the second screenshot shows the iPhone 4S again with iOS 7 beta and with only 1% battery life left.

iphone-5-battery-life-ios-7

iphone-4s-battery-life-ios-7

Finding out if this is an iOS 7 beta 1 bug or a bad install – following the above tests we have wiped the iPhone 4S and installed iOS 7 beta 1 from scratch to see if battery life improves after a fresh install. We will update this article with our findings after the next test and this will reveal if restoring the iPhone 4S content and settings on iOS 7 beta caused the battery problems, or if in fact it’s an issue with iOS 7 beta 1 even on a fresh install.

It is clear that the iPhone 5 vs. 4S battery life is far from equal in our initial tests, but keep connected to Phones Review as we update you within the next 24 hours with more details from our review. We want to find out if this is just a bad iPhone 4S install and how to fix the battery drain on iOS 7 beta 1.

Update: After a fresh install of iOS 7 beta 1 on the iPhone 4S, we used the phone for just web browsing for an hour and noticed a dramatic improvement on a clean install. This isn’t ideal for most users, so we will now restore the old backup and see if things are better after restoring from a fresh install. Again, bookmark this page and keep connected with Phones Review and our review of the first beta.

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  • Lancedubois

    my friend had the exact same problem on iphone 4s. huge decrease in battery life

    • Brano

      I got the same problem! This is beta 1!!

      • Frederik Strindberg

        Lost 81% the first 4 hours today. Beat that! Hardly used the phone too. No apps running, turned off wifi and did everything else that one does to save battery. When I started typing this I had 19%, now 17%…. Jeez!! Need a fix or I`ll change back fast!

        • Chooey Choco

          Hi! i’m having the same problem? do you know any fix? thank you in advance

          • guest

            i phone 5

          • bob

            after using ios7 2 days i hv changed back to ios6. ios 7 make my phone so hot.. i actually thought its gonna explode if i keep talking on it or even leave on charging for long. yes it drains battery lot faster than any other ios so far.. will wait for final version now..

          • kenan

            same here. HOT HOT HOT.

            and i was on beta 3. My 4s is slugish, it takes about 5ms to open app after touch. very slow performance. i stick to 6.1.3

          • Frederik Strindberg

            When updating to Beta 2 it seemed to be a lot better. Yesterday the iPhone actually lasted all day for once… Just a measly 7% left at the late evening. I did use some time on spotify, talked for perhaps in total 1 hour… I will have to get better still, but I still have my hopes for the future.

            Some apps still crash (Navigon, and the list “Clear” still does not work) but at least no crashes when closing apps running in the background.

        • sheldon

          I had the same issue with my 4s. Was pissed about it, so i browsed google for a solution and luckily i found one. It said to put your phone in the recovery mode and make a fresh install of 6.1.3 and then update it with Beta 1 and to update to Beta 2 OTA. And trust me, that really worked. No battery drains and no crashing of apps and no random restarts. It’s all history.

  • powerwiz

    Ive noticed that my iPhone 5S gets pretty toasty as well. Ive never felt it warm before. Some other bugs are programs that are installed that display the icon as though its awaiting a update or downloading yet its on there. To fix that I have to remove the program via iTunes then reinstall it.

    Theres some random reboots, iTunes stoppage happens after a while of playing some tunes.

    Messages also forever is waiting for activation.

    Other then that its been fun using it. Its a pretty OS. Pretty amazing that something new is also familiar.

  • LH

    Ive had exactly the same problem running it on a iPhone 4s, 3 full charges of battery used today, at this moment i am just downgrading to iOS 6.1.3. Other than this problem and the lag now and then i love the new design. Also including some great new features.

    • Edu

      Hello! How do you do the downgrading? This beta has many bugs and I am so tired of that, random reboots, random app crashes and extreme battery drain on my iphone 4s

  • Jpankowski

    It’s because the Bluetooth was left turned on with the 4s, and the 5 has the Bluetooth turned off

  • Nick Franklin

    I updated an iPhone 4 with ios7 via my developer account. The phone was fully charged before the update. It was set up as a new phone and not restored from backup. I have played with the new OS, set up an email account installed some apps. The phone has been mainly on standby since monday 10th June, by Friday 14th June the phone had was at 47%. Wifi was on, bluetooth was off.
    I think this is a huge improvement from ios5 and 6.

    • Papi

      Dear Colleague I got developer account and iOs 7 Beta1 for my iPhone 4s 32.

      The battery discharge in half time then into iOs 6.3.1.. The battery decrease when the phone it is under use not into stand-by mode. When I use my phone, open notes, reads messages, use apps, etc, the battery decrease fast and I have the back side of the Iphone 4s very warm, I think it is the hard use of cpu but I don’t know why.

      When iPhone it is into stand-by state the battery decreases very slowly.

      For me it is not normal the high use of CPU during normal use of iPhone.

      What do we think about?

      Best Regards

      Papi

      • MrWrighty

        Further to my last post phone down to 15% on standby by Sunday evening. No heat from iPhone 4 at all. So far I’m impressed. Still not charged since first install.

        • Guest

          Dear Apple Colleague,

          Stop talking BS.

          • MrWrighty

            On what grounds do you say that, do you have my phone, can you see my phone, no. It is your comment that is BS. Treat a battery with respect and it will last very well.
            For your info the phone finally died on Monday morning.
            Note the phone was not used but left on standby.

  • Michael Jensen

    From the screenshots above, I can see you had bluetooth switched on with the 4s. No wonder the battery was run down so much more over 12 hours!

    • Guest

      ahh, no, Bluetooth is switched off.. It’s not in dark, meaning it’s switched off..

      • michael

        Actually I think you’re mistaken. If there’s a Bluetooth icon, it’s turned on. When it’s dark as you’re talking about, it’s connected to something.

  • Michael Jensen

    Sorry Jpankowski – I scrolled down and saw you made the same observation. Doh!

  • Paul-Arthur Oddon

    I experience the same battery drain since i updated to 7, with an iPhone 5, bluetooth off, and “true” multitask off. The issue is not hardware-related, it’s just software.
    Not surprising for a first beta.

  • japhillips87

    I have noticed the same thing on my 4s. I lose about 1% every minute i look at my email or messages. I lost 45% streaming music from iCloud over bluetooth in 30 minutes.

  • Louis Cooper

    my 4s battery has greatly improved from the ios 7 update..

    • Darrell Hubbard

      mine has too actually

  • kieron

    I’m having problems with the signal. My iPhone5 works perfectly fine after a fresh install, after a couple of hours my cellular signal crashed.

  • AdamD

    People with the iPhone 4S “us” are screwed. The battery is already bad and I charge at home and work. I am not using it a lot. I surf but not too much.

    This sucks.

    • Darrell Hubbard

      This is not necessarily true. I reset my settings back to default 2 days ago turned off back ground app refresh and then made few more tweaks (Siri is off, data is only set to be used for a few apps, etc.) Right now I’m at 8hrs, 26mins usage-13hrs, 41 minutes standby 15% battery life. Compared to what I was getting on 6 and when I first upgraded to 7 even, this is a big improvement for me personally. Also I have data, WiFi and location services on and running. I listened to the itunes radio today, had a few phone calls, browsed social networks and chatted with a friend on messenger. Right now I’m listening to music. I’m going to do a full charge and see if it gets better. All in all, after I reset my settings to default (icons and everything) things have been running a lot more smoothly and my battery life has doubled

  • jrc456

    My i4 was draining in less than 8 hours on standby with bluetooth off. Stopped background updates to no effect. 2 things I had did, not sure which fixed it. I wasn’t attempting to do these for a fix; but after the following my battery was draining normal again. 1)Removed my wifi connection and rejoined to my router. 2)logged out of my apple id in iTunes and logged back in.

  • Iphone is great

    I have 3,38 min on usage and 11,3 min on standby. Iphone 5. And my batt still 56% now. Its very great!

  • ingybing

    On mine i could see the camera app seemed to keep the gps on far too much so just turned that app off for now.

    Settings > Privacy > Location Service (on) > Camera (off)…. sorted my battery drain issue. Early day bugs i guess :)

  • Captaion101

    You had Bluetooth on and even not connected to anything it kills your battery, your test is not a fair evaluation.

  • Danie Viljoen

    Your test is off, mine lost like 1% every 3 minutes im back on ios 6.1.4 again. sorry dude test it agian… hehe……

  • Frederik Strindberg

    The small (i) next to contacts… Anyone else who hate that yet? And storing numbers on new contacts seem to be a bit more hazzle than before.

    Also: when taking a picture, why the H*** is it not possible to send it to someone directly? You may edit and you may delete – and even enter camera roll – but sending stuff? No way! Then you have to CLOSE the cam-app and enter the OTHER camera roll from Pictures. This is NOT very efficient and I hate it on a daily basis.

  • hunter

    You had Bluetooth on which made it not a fair test and make sure all the apps are cleared on both devices then it would be a fair test.

  • francis

    Good noon everyone,

    i have a problem with my iphone5,
    i lost my charger so i couldn’t on the phone for about two weeks and now that i got a new charger the phone couldn’t on……….

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