Having A Dead Battery Halfway Through The Day Sucks

My iPhone 5 got me today. Having convinced myself that its battery woes had been resolved (and it was safe to go with my iPhone for a full day away from the mains on a school holiday day out with my daughter), I found myself staring at a charge-deficient brick at 2.30pm. At least three hours away from getting to a charger I was left completely out of contact. As any parent will tell you, that's not acceptable in the modern day.

So why did I end up without power so early in the day? It wasn't like I was pushing the phone excessively. The sum total of the days activities was two minutes of video, forty photographs, eight minutes of calls, a couple of dozen SMS and fifteen minutes of web browsing on 4G.

In normal circumstances I wouldn't have headed off with my iPhone without putting a Lightning cable in my glove box - but recent tweaks to improve battery life (detailed here) had lulled me into a false sense of security. And of course my regular daily driver - the Xperia Z1 - easily powers through even the busiest day so I never have to worry about topping off the battery during the day.

With such little usage and a combined usage/standby time of just six hours from coming off charge to going black, I'm guessing I was undone by the iPhone's achilles heel, dreadful power management in low reception areas. One of the locations I visited was an aquarium, with lots of tunnels through tanks, and as we know water does a good job of blocking cellular radio transmission.

Being out of contact was an unpleasant experience. Having been a cellphone user for over twenty years I've known this experience before, but in the last five or six years on-demand connectivity has become such a key part of our daily lives that to be robbed of it almost distressing.

As iOS 8 offers no extreme battery saving mode (unlike Sony, Samsung, HTC and LG) the risk of this happening again would certainly be enough to prevent me choosing an iPhone again.


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