Smartphones have terrible, terrible battery life. From truly horrifyingly terrible like the HTC Thunderbolt, to the somewhat tolerable iPhone 4, no mainstream smartphone can last more than two days with moderately heavy usage. My own smartphone – a Samsung Galaxy S II – doesn’t last more than 14-15 hours on a single charge and I have to invariably charge it overnight to make it through the next day. I love it to pieces, and the short battery life is a compromise I have to take in order to enjoy its great features, but yes, a longer battery life would be highly appreciated.
The thing I find the saddest about this whole scene, though, is how using the very features that make your phone “smart” are exactly what simply gulp down battery juice: turning your “smart”phone into a phone that can’t do WiFi, 3G, GPS or take photographs, turning it into a “dumb”phone, so to speak.
I find it frustrating how smartphone manufacturers – especially ones from the Android camp – keep on increasing processing power without actually caring to optimize them so the processors we have on hand can be more efficient to increase battery life.
Alright, enough pwning! PC World published a post yesterday in which they compared the battery life of iPhone 4S with other smartphones such as the Epic 4G Touch, DROID Bionic and Thunderbolt. They tested each phone’s battery life by looping a 720p video with the display at full brightness and the speakers loud enough to fill the room until the battery completely died.
The results are actually a little surprising. We were thoroughly expecting the iPhone 4S – despite all its battery drain issues – to be at the top considering how Android smartphones generally don’t have good battery life but, as it turns out, it came in third place, lasting for 6 hours, 14 minutes while the Epic 4G Touch came on top with 7 hours, 22 minutes:
PC World will revisit these tests after a while when iOS 5.0.1 releases – which fixes the iPhone 4S battery drain issue – and when Galaxy Nexus, Motorola DROID RAZR launch in a few days time. Their next test will also include Windows Phone 7 devices which, I personally think, may just come out on top thanks to optimized hardware/software.
It’s quite easy to complain about smartphone battery life being short, but one must realize just just how amazing these devices are. These are computers that fit in the palm of your hand and can do just about every thing you do on your laptop/desktop when it comes to content consumption. Living in the future is awesome!