iLounge has performed an analysis on the battery life of the iPhone 5, and they’ve found the battery life suffers when transferring cellular data or making voice calls with 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, 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.
iLounge has the detailed results of the battery testing in its lengthy iPhone 5 review, and of course they note that battery life will vary greatly depending on a number of factors including health of the battery, signal strength, screen brightness, and other considerations.
I myself experienced a situation with short battery life with my new iPhone 5 this past Sunday. I attended the Arizona Cardinals game here in Phoenix. The stadium in which the Cardinals play their home game is University of Phoenix Stadium, and it’s a place where cell signals go to die!
I attempted to send a friend a photo of the inside of the stadium via iMessage. The message continued to error out from lack of signal strength. I conceded defeat and put the phone, which showed a near 100% charge, in my pocket and proceeded to enjoy the game.
When getting back to my car I took my new iPhone out of my pocket, only to discover it now had 17% power. The battery had run almost completely down in the space of approximately 4 hours!
As always, your mileage will vary, but I know I’ll be keeping an eye on such things after reading iLounge’s report!