Battery Drain when using iBeacons: A Detailed Experimental Study

In today’s smartphone-driven world, the battery life of our devices is one of the most precious things. Apple’s new iBeacons make our phones smarter when we are in physical venues, but at the same time they can drain the battery if not implemented properly. At Aislelabs we are constantly experimenting with power consumption impact of the iBeacons and we recently conducted a very detailed study examining the battery impact across phones. Below is a time lapse video showing an iPhone as it scans for nearby beacons (see the time and battery status in the top bar).

iPhone Battery time lapse ibeacon

We have experimented with a variety of phones, including both iPhones and Android-flagship Nexus phones. Read the complete report on ibeacon battery impact here. Highlights of this report include:

  • Android phones battery consumption is better (lower) than Apple devices for beacon scanning.
  • Unlike Android, iPhones battery drain is less sensitive to the number of beacons nearby. With Android, more beacons near the phone meant more battery drain.
  • iPhone battery consumption is more predictable than Android phones. New Android phones use automatic beacon sampling to optimize power use, whereas Apple allows individuals to configure beacons they are looking for.
  • Newer devices (both iPhone and Android, with new BLE chips) are highly optimized for bluetooth low energy with minimal battery impact.

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Aislelabs is the leading global provider of enterprise software for marketing automation, location analytics, predictive intelligence, and combining online and offline customer touchpoints. The company serves customers across verticals including retail, transportation, hospitality, venues, and F&B.

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