Posted in: Mobile phones

iPhone 4 battery life test is over – turns out undisputed video playback champ

It’s rarely that we do dedicated battery life tests with mobile gear because it’s time-consuming and honestly, doesn’t seem to influence buying decisions that much (unless it’s a flop). But when we have the opportunity we like to walk that extra mile with certain high-end handsets. And lately, it’s worth it. Because they seem to be getting better and better, despite all the extra features each new generation brings to the table. Today we’ll see how the iPhone 4 is doing in that department.

iPhone 4

Here’s a little spoiler for you. The Apple iPhone 4 excelled in the dedicated video playback test. It scored the whopping 9 hours and 40 minutes of looped playback of our usual test video (converted to the proper format, of course).

The Samsung Wave did 8 hours and 40 minutes in the same challenge, while the Samsung Galaxy S managed nearly 7 hours and 30 minutes. Now that’s something, right?

So here come the real-life iPhone 4 battery test results – 68 hours operation time, including the following:

  • 30 min of general usage
  • 90 minutes of video playback
  • 40 minutes of voice calls
  • 40 minutes of web browsing
  • 40 minutes of gaming
  • 40 minutes of photo browsing
  • 2 hours of music playback

When you compare the iPhone 4 results to those of our current champion – the Samsung Wave, you’ll see that somehow we missed taking a circle around the block in GPS navigation mode and we didn’t use the camera for the time of the test. However we did some heavy photo browsing with the iPhone 4 and we did some more gaming than usual. I think that should compensate in a way.

And let’s be clear about one thing – we’re not publishing the results from a scientific test here. Without specialized equipment, you can’t be truly objective about battery life tests. We did our best to come up with straight and honest numbers that are above all COMPARABLE to those produced with the other phones. During the time of testing, the iPhone 4 was hooked to a 3G networks at all times with full signal.

The final verdict is that the iPhone 4 is a pretty good performer. Its score is day shorter than what Galaxy S and Samsung Wave achieved but my guess is you’d have a hard time depleting the iPhone 4 battery on a single day of regular use. And compared to the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 is hands-down a superior performer, although at the announcement Apple promised only a marginal improvement. Well, that’s one lie we can take.

In case you wonder how the competition is doing check out our HTC HD2 battery test, plus the Samsung S8500 Wave battery life (impressive stuff!) and most recently the Samsung Galaxy S.


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