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No, I didn’t pound it with a mallet.

I merely tested it this morning just to see how fast the battery on the 3G S would drain with some simple short use.

I unplugged it from the charger this morning the moment it hit 100%. With a fully charged iPhone, I received a pdf attachment by MMS from a friend, asking me to take a look at some contract plans for the iPhone 3G S his company was offering. The pdf wouldn’t open in Messages, so I forwarded it to my wife’s Nokia N81. The pdf file opened flawlessly on the N81. A shortcoming of the 3G S? Perhaps for now, but nothing a software or app won’t fix, which I will sort out in the next few days. I would have preferred to view the pdf file with its content on contract plans in tables on the larger glorious screen of the 3G S anyway. However, today’s post is on battery life and not features or lack of them. Moving on…

After forwarding the MMS and having failed at a few more attempts at opening the attachment locally, I locked the 3G S and left the house. I noticed that after all this while, the battery was still showing 100%.

Starting the car on the way to work, I launched the iPod on the iPhone, plugged in my RM600 UE in-ear monitors/earphones, and started the journey to work. During the drive, I turned on the iPhone a few times to switch songs. Still 100%. Could something be wrong? Come on, I turned it on a few times to scroll the list and switch songs, at the same time with a track playing through my headphones. Oh, and with the phone’s EDGE/2.5G radio on constantly too. All that and the MMS and file attachment opening have got to account for at least 1%! As it turned out, no. Maybe it used up 0.4% or something.

The journey to the office took all of 20 minutes. I turned off the 3G S’s iPod, went into office and looked at the bar again. Still 100%. I know the percentage readings on my iPhone 3G S can be quite accurate, having seen it drop every single percent during an attempt to drain the battery dry a couple of days ago. It is not like other phones where it remains at a percentage reading for a long time, only to suddenly drop drastically at a certain point or when the phone is switched off and turned back on, apparently forcing the system to read the battery level again more accurately.

So that I tried. Hold the Sleep/Wake button for 3 seconds and slide to power off. I had turned it off completely. I was expecting to see upon waking the phone, a 2% or 3% drop perhaps. Nope. Still at 100% upon switching it on.

The battery only started to hit 99% after I checked on some new downloaded apps (downloaded in the morning during the battery charge) at the office. It was then that I was pretty convinced that the battery on the 3G S is quite remarkable, comparison with the previous 3G model’s battery aside.

The day before, starting with a 100% charge from home, the day ended with a 60% charge left. And believe me, a lot happened during the day, ranging from phone calls, text messaging, keying calendar entries, checking the dictionary, testing new softwares and apps, using the calculator, reading the free Archie comic from start to end, demonstrating Maps, Compass and iHandy Level to my boss shortly hooking to the 3G network, playing the softkey piano to a song on the phone’s iPod, and the most stressful test of all – the wife playing some games on the 3G S. I even played Paper Toss, Tap Tap Revenge 2 and VW Scirocco after that.

This kind of abuse on the battery is expected when a phone is spanking new, when there’s still so much left unexplored, waiting to be discovered. A 40% battery usage with that is quite remarkable. I can guess, once the novelty wears down and the iPhone is used normally, a 20% to 30% usage per day can be expected. The phone should then last 2 to 3 days on a single charge without much problem. Great!

Nevertheless, like money, one can never be satisfied or have enough battery. But with the way the battery was battered in the last 2 days, a better battery will not be necessary, for now.



  1. Driving with headphones on not a good idea, sir!

  2. I have since used the cheaper RM50 Panasonic earphones instead of the more expensive 3 by Ultimate Ears (UE), keeping that one for home and holiday use instead. The reason – it’s passive noise isolation was just too good to be used while driving – but not because of listening to traffic, but because I can’t hear my car engine roar for gear switching! The Panasonic offers great balance and I get to hear a lot of traffic noise at the same time, hence safer for drive use; but for optimal sound quality, the 3 still beats a lot of the other models out there, including its top of the range siblings 5 and RM1,600 IMHO.

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