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iPhone 3G battery results: Music and video

CNET Labs reveal test results for iPhone 3G battery testing during music and video playback.

Photo of Apple iPhone 3G
Apple iPhone 3G CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze

Our CNET Labs team has unveiled their battery performance results for music and video playback on the iPhone 3G. We've completed talk time testing and we'll be doing another round of audio and video tests with 3G disabled--but at least we have another piece of the puzzle to add to our review.

To give the test results some context, we also retested the first-generation iPhone, and simultaneously tested a comparable 3G multimedia phone, the Samsung Instinct. Apple's public tech specs claim the iPhone 3G is capable of up to 7 hours of video playback and 24 hours of music playback. Surprisingly, with 3G switched on the iPhone sailed past 24 hours of music playback, but tanked when it came to video. Further testing with 3G disabled may yet redeem Apple's claim of 7 hours of video playback.

Enough talk--here's the numbers:

Music playback battery drain

Apple iPhone 3G (Wi-Fi off, 3G on): 25.5 hours

Apple iPhone (Wi-Fi off, EDGE on): 31.4 hours

Samsung Instinct (3G on, Wi-Fi unavailable): 18.2 hours


Video playback battery drain (same settings as audio)

Apple iPhone 3G: 2.68 hours

Apple iPhone: 5.99 hours

Samsung Instinct: 4.28 hours


For good measure, we also threw in a data transfer test, which measures the time it takes to transfer a single 500Mb file to the phone from a PC. Files were transferred in iTunes 7.7 for both the iPhone 3G and first-generation iPhone, and Windows Media Player 11 for the Samsung Instinct.

File transfer speed

Apple iPhone 3G: 1.35 minutes

Apple iPhone: 1.6 minutes

Samsung Instinct: 7.71 minutes