New iPhone Battery Mystery

posted in: Mac, Personal | 0

In recent weeks, I’ve noticed a pretty steep decline in the amount of battery life my trusty old iPhone 6S was giving me. At first, I blamed some apps running in the background, so I started making sure I cleaned up any apps on a regular basis. Then, I blamed the upgrade to iOS12. Finally, after a shocking experience on Friday evening, I started looking at the possibility of a bad battery.

Friday, I actually powered off my phone when I went to an appointment after work. Less that two hours later, I powered it back on to find that the battery was on it’s final 1% of juice. It had lost a good 60% while powered off. That seemed ridiculous. I started checking all the things Apple says to check with the Battery Health but everything kept coming back just fine. It was showing a capacity at 92%, down only 8% in the two plus years I’ve had it, which is remarkably good.

But, still, something was very wrong with the battery life on this phone. so I made a Genius Bar appointment for Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile I plugged the phone into my Macbook and used a little third party app called CoconutBattery to check on the battery condition. Sure enough, it was reporting a max capacity at 39%, not 92%. Frankly, that seemed more in line with what I was seeing in terms of performance, so I immediately believed it.

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Once at the Apple Store, the tech ran all of Apple’s diagnostics, and sure enough, they all reported that the battery was still in good condition, with 92% of max capacity. I showed him the battery charge chart on the phone for the last 24 hours though, including the period of time where it was well about the 50% mark, then powered off, then immediately at 1% when it was charged back on. He agreed something was definitely wrong, and went about replacing the battery, while also admitting he’d never seen the diagnostics and the actual performance be so far off before.

The lesson for you reader is two fold.

  1. If the battery in your iPhone seems to be going wonky on you, double check the phone’s internal battery check with a third party app.
  2. If you own an older iPhone, the $29 battery replacement program ends on Dec. 31, 2018. I might go ahead and do a little digging into any battery issues you might be having before then.

Hopefully, this new battery will breath a few more years of life into my iPhone, since I still actually like having a Home button and a headphone jack. 😉

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