Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The tale of my iPhone 5 battery...

When it came time to  upgrade my old iPhone 3GS a couple of years ago, I wavered between the new iPhone 5 and some flavor of Android phone. For a variety of reasons, not all very well thought out, I ended up with the iPhone 5. I had an iPad, and a small investment in apps, so it seemed the way to go.

About 9 months ago, around the time of one of the iOS 7 updates, I found my phone would often (as in "constantly") turn itself off and show it needed to be charged when the meter showed about 30% charge remaining. A quick Google showed I was not alone in this annoying behavior. I'd plug the phone in to charge it and it would instantly show as having 35%+ charge remaining. Sometimes doing a hard reset by pressing and holding both the Sleep and Home button would temporarily remind my phone it did indeed have juice, but not always.

"Miscalibration," was the term I saw bandied about. I tried backing up my phone and restoring it.

No dice.

This got worse and worse. Apple was no help at all, especially since I hadn't opted for the overpriced  AppleCare. (Digression: the success of AppleCare demonstrates Apple's cynical attitude about product warranties. Their goddamn phone wouldn't need a freaking extended warranty if they'd built it properly in the first place.)

And then things got ridiculous. I (stupidly) upgraded to iOS 8.

With only moderate use, my phone would go from a full 100% charge to dead in 4 hours. One day, on my 50 minute morning commute, it went from 100% to 50% just because I used BlueTooth to play music to my car stereo. The final straw: using *nothing* it went from a full charge to almost dead in the space of an hour and half.

All of my family got tired of hearing me bitch.

Then one day, my brother sent me a link to a story on CNet that said Apple had quietly started a battery replacement program for the iPhone 5.  Go to a buried page on the Apple support site, enter your phone's serial number and see if your phone is one of the stricken.

Guess what: I qualified. No surprise there.

Here's the link: https://www.apple.com/support/iphone5-battery/

After confirming I was affected, I set up an appointment with the "Genius Bar" (am I the only one who sees any irony in this?) at the Apple store nearest me. Before going, I did a full backup to iTunes, per the instructions.

The scene at my local Apple Store was hopping, since the iPhone 6 had just been released. I made my presence known, and they took my phone away. About 30 minutes I got it back.

I did a full reset AND restore (not just a restore) when I got home, then ran the new battery all the way down. Since doing that, I'm back to getting a full day or more from a single charge. No more goofiness with my battery calibration.

If you are finding you are having the calibration issue, I'd recommend the full reset / restore. Wipe the phone, then apply your (recently made) full backup. I'd do this whether Apple replaces your battery or not.

So am I happy? More so. Am I still planning on getting an Android phone when my mobile contract is up for renewal? Oh hell yes.


Bryan Barnes said...

From iPhone 3GS to iPhone 5? That’s a huge upgrade! Although, I’m with you on your plan to buy an Android after the mobile renewal. Why not when you can afford it, right? Besides, while iPhones are great, there are apps, features and mobile experiences that are only available on Android.

Bryan Barnes @ Cell Phone Repair Indianapolis

Teri Arnold said...

Its terrible that Apple would release updates for their phones that make old models obsolete, but Apple are known for doing it. It makes sense for you to have an Apple phone if you have an iPad, but it was for this reason that I got an Android phone. Still, well done on fixing the issue though!

Teri Arnold @ Spyder Digital Research