I have seen a couple of old comments on the battery life of the Nokia 700 and for the past 5 months I have also suffered from this problem however I have done a couple of experiments and wonder if it is just me or is this consistent with others.
A little history on my experience:
I purchased the phone in July 2012 (in the USA). The first couple of months the phone was great: battery life was ~4 days with moderate use in 3g mode on AT&T. In September 2012 I went to China and brought my phone along with me and used a prepaid SIM card while I was there and there was no problem with the battery life. When I returned to the US in October 2012, the battery life diminished significantly: full battery drain in less that 12 hours with NO use. Installing nokia battery monitor offered no insight as the entire battery drain is in the "Background" with no further information. Further testing showed that switching to GSM mode would extend the battery life to 5 days (as opposed to the 12 hours in 3g mode).
Annoyed by this turn of events, I contacted nokia's repair service, sent in my phone, had my phone replaced by a new phone, and found out that the brand new phone also has the same problem! Rather than dealing with the repair service again (the whole process took about 1 month to complete and there was a 2 week period where I was without my mobile), I opted to run my phone in GSM mode to extend the battery life, only switching to 3g when I need fast mobile internet.
Anyway, in December 2012 I travelled to Malaysia for 2 weeks. Once again I brought my phone along to use a prepaid SIM card. Not much to my surprise, when running the phone in 3g mode in Malaysia with moderate use the phone lasted 4 days on a single charge! Unfortunately, upon returning to the US, the battery life problems resurfaced, leaving me to believe that it the problem has something to do with how the nokia 700 is interfacing with AT&T's service.
My questions are the following: has anyone had a similar experience to mine? Does anyone know if AT&T did anything to their service that could be causing the battery drain when in 3g mode? If so, does anyone know how to fix this? Finally, is there anything Nokia can do firmware wise to prevent this from happening? I believe this is technically possible because the first few months that I owned this model I had no problems with battery life.
Thanks for reading my long-winded message.
This is an issue which is widespread in the cellular industry but which nobody will comment on.
All customer support in the business is done by either script monkeys in call/email centres, or by near-useless forums such as this one which are packed with people tearing their hair out but on which anybody who really knows anything (i.e. working inside the industry) is banned from participating. Nokia employees read the stuff here quietly.
I too have noticed there is a GSM / 3G selection in these phones (I have a 700 and an 808), as well as the various configs for "mobile data" (GPRS or 3G or HSPA). It would be interesting to test whether setting the phone to GSM-only (i.e. disabling "3G" in that menu) stops it working for mobile data totally, or forces it to use only GPRS for mobile data. I have just done a quick test (have a poor 3G signal here) and it looks like the latter.
Different cellular networks are configured differently. For example the 808 is severely affected by the famous 3G bug, massively so in some countries (USA especially though apparently not really on T-Mobile there) but much less so in the UK. I think some networks are set up for a much higher packet rate, or they transmit at a lower power which would force the phone to wind up its own power output a lot more.