PC World Test: Apple iPhone 3G battery life beats out Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Palm 3G handsets

“The battery life on Apple’s new 3G iPhone isn’t great, but it beats that of other 3G smart phones we’ve seen. PC World’s Test Center ran it through our standard talk-time battery life test, and found that on average it ran 5 hours, 38 minutes, a running time that we consider earns a Fair rating,” Yardena Arar reports for PC World.

“That’s a big tumble from the superior performance of the original iPhone, which ran on AT&T’s slower EDGE network and lasted the maximum 10 hours of our testing time. But the 3G iPhone beat out the rest of the current 3G smart-phone pack,” Arar reports.

Source: PC World Communications, Inc.

Arar reports, “3G networks in general are notorious power drains, but the network type used by AT&T is particularly power-hungry because voice calls use the same mobile broadband network as data tasks [but users can make voice calls while using their phones for data]. In contrast, the EVDO technology on which Sprint and Verizon base their 3G networks supports data only; voice uses older CDMA networks, which (in theory at least) use less power [but users cannot simultaneously make voice calls while using their phones for data].”

More details in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “ds” for the heads up.]


  1. hmmm…..makes me mad that at&t;can put out whatever network they want and handset makers are left trying to deal with what they are dealt…at least it seems that way.
    Verizon seems to have it together with their voice-on-CDMA and data-on-EVDO but then again, I don’t have an iphone (yet…) and don’t know if I’d use the data-while-talking ‘feature’.

    still…10 hrs down to 5 hrs…..yikes.

  2. uh . .

    “but then again” is correct. Its funny how those who speak on the iPhone in a negative light have never had one. Hmmm . . that along with the #1 Customer satisfactory rate must be saying something, no?

    BTW, when I worked at Verizon wireless in the past I can’t remember one phone that surpassed 5 hrs without an extended battery, much less one on 3G – that would have been unheard of. 10 hrs on 2G is groundbreaking.

    The information is there, but too many are blind to it given the apparent rhetoric of so many still with blackberry’s, treo’s, and what is it . . the “instinct” or something?

  3. @burlow:

    I would opine that Apple knew going in what the ATT network infrastructure comprised of. I think, this is within Apple’s part of design strategy, be able to browse the internet while talking on the phone (instead of having to hang up each time you need to use the net). Frankly, having used the iPhone for nearly a year now, I find it to be a natural flow for the iPhone and wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I also think, Jobs expertly lowered the expectations on the battery life on 3G with a few selected comments last year. I just am not sure about the non-removable battery, and hopefully, there’s rational reasoning behind this one, other than just form factor.

  4. Exactly Gary Krakow’s point. The battery life sucks. Wait… Does this chart utterly destroy Gary’s credibility?

    How is that possible? He was so right about getting Blackberry or Windows Mobile OS on the iPhone! I need more Kool Aid.


  5. If you need to save battery time and talk all day long, you can always turn off the 3G part. If you don’t need simultaneous data, and you need a lot of talking time, at least you do have an option!

  6. I think being able to talk and use data at the same time is a great feature. The other networks “may” save a bit of power, but their system has the compromised capability.

    The new iPhone is apparently a bit thicker. Considering other components were miniaturized and integrated, and only GPS was added, any extra space is probably taken up by a larger battery.

  7. When I got my 3G iPhone I was amazed at how quickly using the 3G network sucked power. You could almost see the battery indicator moving! It wasn’t until I spent a lot of time Sunday using my home Wifi that I realized how much battery power the iPhone has. It barely moved after a couple of hours on Wifi.

  8. Keep in mind that the iPhone 3G has to also work with the voice and data networks in other countries. In most of the world, that means GSM and UMTS (with HSDPA). CDMA, which (according to some) is a better technology for calls (e.g. higher quality, etc.), is not nearly as prevalent in Europe, etc.

    By going with GSM/EDGE and UMTS (3G HSDPA), Apple has addressed the majority of countries in the world that have substantial iPhone markets.

  9. I’m not saying that the iPhone is perfect, because it certainly isn’t, but what annoys me about 90% of the criticisms is that they don’t take into account the competition. This is a perfect example. I’ve been reading for several days that the battery life of the new iPhone stinks, but now I see that it is better than all other 3G devices on the market. And when the first iPhone came out, everyone cried about it not having 3G, never mentioning that Blackberry didn’t have a 3G phone on the market (and still doesn’t).

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