Watch Your Network Signal, It Will Hurt Your iPhone 5’s Battery Life

Watch Your Network Signal, It Will Hurt Your iPhone 5’s Battery Life

Having a weak cellular connection could mean your iPhone won’t last as long between charges,

How’s your iPhone 5’s data connection where you live? Did you know that if your signal is poor, and your handset is always struggling to get a decent data connection, it could mean that your battery life won’t last as long between charges?

That’s according to iLounge’s review of the iPhone 5, which looks at the handset’s battery life performance. Although they found that battery life is almost always fairly good on Apple’s latest smartphone, more power is consumed when you make calls or transfer cellular data over a weak signal.

if you’re using your iPhone 5 in places a with a very strong (4- to 5-bar) LTE or 3G signal, your cellular battery life may approach that number [8 hours], but if not, the cellular antenna will struggle to maintain a signal, and fall well short. Because LTE and 3G/4G towers are in a state of build-out flux right now, our tests suggest that many LTE users won’t come close to Apple’s promised numbers.

Of course, battery life is always a relative subject, because so many different factors can have an impact on it — including the brightness of the display, whether or not Bluetooth is switched on, and of course the general health of the battery itself.

What’s more, this type of thing isn’t new to the iPhone 5 — or indeed just the iPhone; it’s common among all mobile devices. Think about it: having a weak signal means your iPhone has to work harder to maintain a good connection, and it’s always searching for something better. In addition to this, everything you download or upload takes longer, which is directly impacting your battery life.

Personally, I get a full (five-bar) GRPS connection where I live, and I’m always connected to my home Wi-Fi network. Under those conditions, my iPhone 5’s battery life has been incredible. I’m charging it every other day now, whereas my iPhone 4S had to be plugged in every single evening at around 9 p.m.

  • matrix3D

    Guys, this is not news and this is not specific to the iPhone 5. My iPhone 4 does the same thing and I’m willing to bet all cellular devices do too. When you have a weak signal your phone has to boost the power in order to “talk back” to the cell tower. Case in point, I have a consistent 4 or 5 bars on AT&T at my home and, if I’m there the majority of the day, I can easily get 6-7 hours of actual usage from my phone. Where I work though the AT&T signal is pathetic and shifts constantly between “No Service” and a 3-bar connection AT MOST — the majority of the time it’s a 1 bar connection. On these work days, I’m lucky if I get 4-5 hours on a full charge. Nothing new to see here.

    EDIT: I see you actually brought this point up at the very end of the article… which begs the question as to what the point of this article even is. Shameless click bait?

  • Jdsonice

    I get 5 bars on AT&T were I am located and batter life seems to be reasonably good. I am charging every 2 to 3 days.

  • hanhothi

    I get the same problem on my iPhone 4 when I get the train in the UK. The coverage (Vodafone, not even 3G) in the countryside is none existent during much of the journey. When I arrive at my destination after a one and half hour trip, there is hardly any battery left, around 15-20%. I now put the phone in Airplane mode, and reconnect on arrival. It is a pain, but has the advantage of avoiding those embarrassing “I’m on the train” calls!

  • 5imo

    Killian which network are you on? My guess is Vodafone since you’re on GPRS.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , |