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iPhone Hardware and Accessories Discuss iPhone hardware

iPhone 3Gs: battery life issue not related to battery?


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Drew384

 
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I've had my 3Gs for 19 months, and some months back, the battery began to show real signs of its demise. This didn't come as a surprise however, because I'd left it plugged into AC power all night for more than a year. So I paid a technician to put a brand new battery in the phone, which he said came from the very same supplier that the OEM battery came from. This battery had identical life to the original, so I had him put another new battery in. It too had the very same poor level of battery life.

When in use - talking, texting, surfing, checking email, etc - the phone goes through about one percent a minute, and depending on the situation, will go through 3-7% an hour just sitting, unused, with the screen locked.

After two brand new batteries, the tech mentioned the possibility of other, perhaps damaged or worn out components possibly putting an excessive drain on the battery. Has anyone else had this same issue with the 3Gs, or even had one diagnosed and found an issue outside of the battery itself?
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bobtomay

 
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There is nothing unusual about a smart phone going through 3-7% an hour in standby depending on what you have turned on.

Location services
Mail auto syncing
Bluetooth
Wifi
etc.

Pretty much every smart phone is going to go through around 50% or more a day.

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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pendlewitch

 
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Hi,

It would be very rare that the starting capacity of a new battery ever reached 100%; it would be more likely between 85% and 95% so we never start off on a level playing field anyway.

Lithium batteries need regular partial discharge and the smaller the depth of charge the longer the battery will last.

Leaving batteries at a full state of charge for extended periods can be extremely damaging which is what I suspect had happened originally with you. Elevated temperature levels can also adversely affect battery life.

If for example you let the battery run to say 50% and then recharged, you would get approximately 3 times more discharge cycles out of it than recharging it from dead. The figures get really interesting when charging from 90% capacity....almost 10 times more discharge cycles !

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PeterJG

 
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I'm experiencing the same problem as Drew384: my battery is draining about 1% per minute, so it doesn't survive a few hours being disconnected from a charger. Moreover, charging through USB doesn't contribute anything to the battery level any more. This behaviour started about a week ago. I'm sure that it is a hardware issue as the USB-charging also doesn't work when the battery is completely drained (and software can not be active). I have ordered a new battery, but I'm afraid it will not solve the issue as I bought my 3GS only 7 months ago: the battery is too new to have reached its end of life. What else could be the cause of this issue ?
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pendlewitch

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJG View Post
I'm experiencing the same problem as Drew384: my battery is draining about 1% per minute, so it doesn't survive a few hours being disconnected from a charger. Moreover, charging through USB doesn't contribute anything to the battery level any more. This behaviour started about a week ago. I'm sure that it is a hardware issue as the USB-charging also doesn't work when the battery is completely drained (and software can not be active). I have ordered a new battery, but I'm afraid it will not solve the issue as I bought my 3GS only 7 months ago: the battery is too new to have reached its end of life. What else could be the cause of this issue ?
Can you download the Battery Doctor app onto your phone?
There is a free version. Charge from Mains and this will take your battery through a 3 stage charging process and may re-condition it back to somewhere near where it should be. There are some useful tips on there for extending battery life along the lines of what bobtomay talks about, you may have some background apps running which you don't need open.

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PeterJG

 
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Ok, I have installed Battery Doctor free version and started the 3 stage charge process. My battery was at 60% and the estimated time for the total process is 2:30. What strikes me is that the behaviour of my battery really changed all of a sudden: about a week ago I was used to a healthy battery that managed to keep my 3GS alive and kicking during the day effortlessly, but now only a few hours of operation is the maximum. And above the iPhone is getting very hot. Apparently energy is being lost as thermal energy, which is a waste. The big question is: what is causing the waste of energy ?
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pendlewitch

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJG View Post
Ok, I have installed Battery Doctor free version and started the 3 stage charge process. My battery was at 60% and the estimated time for the total process is 2:30. What strikes me is that the behaviour of my battery really changed all of a sudden: about a week ago I was used to a healthy battery that managed to keep my 3GS alive and kicking during the day effortlessly, but now only a few hours of operation is the maximum. And above the iPhone is getting very hot. Apparently energy is being lost as thermal energy, which is a waste. The big question is: what is causing the waste of energy ?
Let it run it's course and then take a view. The charge time is typical for the capacity of approx 60%. The elevated temperature could be due to the protection circuit and/or elevated internal resistance whilst reaching full charge.

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PeterJG

 
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Well, the procedure lasted almost 3 hours (2:55 to be precise) after which I disconnected it from the power supply and watched television while playing Wordfeud (not intensively). After 2 hours and 40 minutes the battery was drained completely, so it didn't benefit from the Battery Doctor treatment. I have read many complaints of others about underperforming batteries, but I have not yet encountered any testimony of the unability to charge an iPhone via USB. In my case I can only charge my 3GS through a netadapter. When I try to charge with an USB-connector the charge symbol (lightning) appears in the small battery-logo, but the battery-percentage is not increasing. Instead, it is decreasing (very slowly). The same applies for my car-charger: the lightning symbol tells me that charging is in progress, but the battery percentage is decreasing (very slowly) !
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pendlewitch

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJG View Post
Well, the procedure lasted almost 3 hours (2:55 to be precise) after which I disconnected it from the power supply and watched television while playing Wordfeud (not intensively). After 2 hours and 40 minutes the battery was drained completely, so it didn't benefit from the Battery Doctor treatment. I have read many complaints of others about underperforming batteries, but I have not yet encountered any testimony of the unability to charge an iPhone via USB. In my case I can only charge my 3GS through a netadapter. When I try to charge with an USB-connector the charge symbol (lightning) appears in the small battery-logo, but the battery-percentage is not increasing. Instead, it is decreasing (very slowly). The same applies for my car-charger: the lightning symbol tells me that charging is in progress, but the battery percentage is decreasing (very slowly) !
Ok, well you've shown some good patience there
Just a quick question..you are mainly charging with the proprietary Apple cable connected to the USB slot on the Apple supplied plug hooked into the AC outlet?

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PeterJG

 
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Yes, I do charge through a genuine Apple adapter (A1299) and Apple cable since one month after having burned two imitation adapters (A1300) beforehand.
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pendlewitch

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJG View Post
Yes, I do charge through a genuine Apple adapter (A1299) and Apple cable since one month after having burned two imitation adapters (A1300) beforehand.
The A1299 is the one I use (UK 3 Pin). I may be misunderstanding you but have you used two imitation adaptors before converting to Apple's own ? (I'm sure my iPhone 4 came with it's own adaptor)

I think your battery and or charge circuit is faulty, if it's getting very hot under charge then disconnect it.

The Apple adaptor I believe is a high frequency switching regulator with an IC control circuit specific to Apple (I can't drill down to anything more detailed than that unfortunately!) but I would always recommend using Apple's proprietary or licensed products because chargers and supplies have a BIG influence on battery health.

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PeterJG

 
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I did receive the A1299 together with my iPhone, but as I am living in Holland the three UK-pins don't fit in our wall connectors. Therefore, the supplier of my iPhone included an A1300 in the package. I have used the first A1300 only 2 months and the second one 4 months before they stopped operating. After having burned these two adapters I became aware that they were not genuine Apple as the resemblance is huge: you need eagle eyes to spot the differences (e.g. the serial number inside the USB-connector). Now, I have purchased an adapter that makes it possible to fit the A1299 into a Dutch wall and therefore I can state that I'm charging genuinely :-) Along with my car charger I received another net-charger branded AML. I agree with you that some circuitry of mine is faulty and I hope it is the battery's as it's easier to replace.
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PeterJG

 
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Yesterday I received a new battery: a Li-POL with 1600mAh. After having installed the battery it showed 50% on the iPhone. Unfortunately this percentage went down the hill just as fast as I was used to with the original battery, so the bad news is that the iphone itself is bugging me. Overnight I tried to charge the new battery with the AC-adapter (A1299), but strangely the iPhone was dead in the morning and I was not able to charge it at all ! I decided to uninstall the new battery. Its outer pins showed only 2.8V which is way too low for a 3.7V battery. Inside the iPhone everything was fine: no signs of burns or explosions, so I installed the original battery again and now the iPhone is operational again ! (but my charge-problem did not disappear)
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pendlewitch

 
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Hi PeterJG,
Sorry to hear the bad news.
It could be anything internally but I fear you may need a new phone. Have a look here and also for some great info about all things battery.

How to Awaken Sleeping Li-ion - Battery University

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PeterJG

 
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I have surrendered: contacted Apple Care and they will supply me a new iPhone. Thanks Pendlewitch for your support.
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