iPhone 4S: Battery Life

As I waited anxiously for the time when I could upgrade my cell phone, I watched with interest as stories began to surface regarding the poor battery life of the iPhone 4S. Since I had made my decision to upgrade from a first generation Blackberry Touch to an iPhone, I was beginning to question my choice, perhaps some flavor of Android phone would be a better way to go. My move to Macs 7 or 8 years ago from PC’s had been both successful and enjoyable; the Apple environment, OS X in particular, had become ingrained in my approach to computing technology so my consideration of Android OS was done with reluctance. Review after review convinced me that any switch to a phone using an Android operating system would have to come with the latest release, Ice Cream Sandwich; fragmentation was an issue which seemed to plague Android phones and I had had enough of RIM’s missteps over the two years I had a Blackberry to take a chance. Apple controls the updates to the iPhone’s operating system rather than the telecoms which made fragmentation a non issue with iOS as far as I was concerned.

While my past experience with Apple products and services had been basically very positive, an iPhone was totally different beast from my iMac or MacBook Pro, or the mini and the iBook with which I first entered the world of Apple. Several trips to the local Apple Store involving stints of playing with the iPhone and asking questions added to the information that I had gleaned from online reviews and testimonials. All in all, it seemed to me that the iPhone 4S was the best choice for me despite those who had expressed disappointment at Apple’s not releasing the “iPhone 5” with 4G speed and a 4 inch screen, etc. By my reckoning the 4S was indeed a significant release, especially when I compared it with the Blackberry Touch I had. The 4S had 4 times the memory for starters and a browser that was actually fast while the browser on my BB was barely functional. Still there was the nagging issue of battery life that had reared its head shortly after 4S had been released. I checked with a friend who had a 4S who said he had not experienced the battery issue that many had reported.

I haven’t scratched the surface of the iPhone 4S’s capabilities, including the mysteries of iCloud, but I have laid to rest my concern over the battery issue. During the week that I have had my 4S, I have gone 3 days on a single charge. My usage is probably atypical. I do not stream movies on my iPhone, nor do I intend to even though I have a grandfathered, unlimited data plan with Verizon. I use WIFI whenever I am at home and turn off cellular data services. When I am away from home I turn off WIFI. I also do not use push notifications with email and prefer using fetch. At present I do not have a plethora of apps loaded on the phone however the availability and range of apps is intoxicating. Although I am a novitiate with the iPhone 4S my expectation is that my satisfaction will increase as my experience deepens. If I were to channel Siskel and Ebert of old, I’d give the 4S two thumbs up.