06
Feb
ht_iphone_low_battery_jef_111101_wg

When it comes to high tech, downsizing is often looked at as a sign of progress. Microprocessors meant whole computers, for the first time, could fit on a desktop. LCD displays made them portable - in the form of laptops. Moore's law proved that chips that once would have been classified as capable of enterprise-level computing now occupy devices that easily fit in your pocket. And advanced lithium-ion batteries meant you could finally take yourself off the AC teat for an appreciable amount of time, and you could charge your gadgets over and over without worrying about the ridiculous cycling fatigue that plagued earlier rechargeable systems.

But in the world of smartphones, battery life hasn't actually been getting better - it's been getting worse. Even Apple's iPhone 4S has proven susceptible to this trend, likely due to the addition of a dual-core processor to the iconic device. I think it's pretty clear: as mobile devices get more powerful, so too does their thirst for energy.

Two years ago, the Nexus One was released. When I bought mine, I was satisfied with the battery life. As a borderline-obsessive email-checker (despite what Artem might say), I go through batteries pretty damn fast. Still, my good ol' Nexus could manage to get me to 5PM generally, and that was good enough - if only just. But as I became even more engrossed with my Android device, I found one charge at 8 just wasn't enough to get me through the day. So my lithium habit got worse, and I bought a spare battery, hoping it would give me some freedom from juice anxiety. I even started bringing a charger to work.

On "normal" days, this was enough. But on the weekends, I often found myself away from any convenient power source for hours on end, and became lax about charging my second battery. Why? Because I'm forgetful. And kind of lazy. OK, really lazy. Soon, I was so frustrated with battery life that I began taking obscene measures to meter my usage and deactivate my data connection if I knew my phone would be going unused for more than a hour. Then I got a new phone.

When I procured my DROID BIONIC, I knew full well things were only about to get worse, and get worse they did. I'm lucky to make it to 3PM if I'm actually using my phone as my primary email and chat / browsing device (as is the case on most weekends). I have a portable charger, but half the time I've forgotten to recharge it, or to bring it with me in the first place. So, my phone actually has a dead battery at some point three to four days a week.

What's all this got to do with the the so-called "thinness war?" Well, frankly, everything.

Death To The Ultra-Thin Phone And Removable Batteries

Phones that are incredibly thin are good for one thing, and one thing only: taking comparison pictures next to fatter phones. It's like those "world's tallest skyscraper" illustrations - they're fascinating, but totally useless. This isn't entirely true, as some exceptionally thick devices (like the Hero or slider keyboard phones) do make the case for slimming things down a bit, though I think it's safe to say that we've gotten to a point where anything less than 10mm can be called "thin enough."

But instead of aiming to stay within a certain profile size, manufacturers continue to push thinner and thinner devices, like we're all aspiring supermodels. And the real victim here is battery life. If you think 1900mAh is sufficient for a modern, dual-core Android device, you're probably a Samsung engineer. I cannot understand why getting a phone to 8mm is more important than getting it to 8 o'clock every night. It actually makes no sense whatsoever.

Some people might say that it's Android's fault for being such a power hog, but that's like complaining that a Lamborghini gets bad gas mileage. You don't tell your customers to go suck an egg - you put in a bigger gas tank.

So why don't most manufacturers do what is so obviously logical that it literally hurts my brain to think about it? My thought on the matter is this: it's simply a specification war that's gotten out of hand, and it's one that is absolutely screwing consumers. Yes, I remember the days of the bulky flip-phones and gigantic Sidekicks - that was a time when thinness was a real selling point, because getting your phone in your pocket could be a real challenge.

As we all know, that just isn't the case anymore. The only real question about phone size today is in the realm of surface area, or more specifically, display size. It's not a matter of whether the Galaxy Note is too thick to fit in your pocket, it's a matter of whether your pocket is large enough to accommodate its 5.3" display. No one ever says "this phone is just too thick," at least when you're talking about smartphones.

The only manufacturer to even recognize that some users might want a larger battery is Motorola, with the DROID RAZR MAXX. It's 9mm thick. Let me just say that again: nine millimeters. I've held a RAZR MAXX, and aside from the device's unusual width, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I can live with 9mm and a 3300mAh battery, even if it's non-removable. Just check out droid-life's review of it. That battery is the greatest thing since sliced bread (OK, I'm exaggerating), and I am seriously considering getting one because of it.

The reason they can jam that much battery in? It's non-removable, and they've made the chassis 2mm thicker. Let's be frank: if you were offered that much of a boost in battery life on your phone in exchange for it being non-removable and a couple millimeters thicker, you would take it. Talk to me all you want of cycle fatigue, but I couldn't care less - I'll take the multi-day battery and more solid build quality over some flimsy and creaky plastic cover on the back of my phone every time. I don't want to carry a spare battery. I don't want to carry a portable charger. I just want a phone that lasts all day.

And I'm just about ready to put my money where my mouth is.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.theandroidsite.com Ben Marvin

    Super extended batteries from third-party manufacturers are always an option. But most of those just end up making the phone look ugly. I'd just rather have the phone come with a huge battery to begin with.

    • vochdun

      They also often cost upwards of $50-90 and sometimes don't even support specific models (like the Tmobile variant of the SGS2 didn't have an extended battery for a long time)

      • http://google.com Baguett

        As if i just wrote this myself.

        BATTERY OVER THICKNESS!!!

  • http://justreboot.wordpress.com Dei

    So, what you're saying is the MAXX is the only thing Motorola has done right in a long time.

    What happens when you get a MAXX and then they come out with 3 color options the month after, and then a MAXX with an unlocked bootloader the month after?

    Better, less trollish manufacturers need to get on the bigger battery, slightly bigger phone bandwagon though. Good call.

    • Me262

      The world went to big HD screens. Until Motorola can get past 4.3" low def screens, battery life is their only option.

      And it is brilliant. 2mm for twice the battery life is a no-brainer.

      • DCMAKER

        i'll take the HD screen over battery life...i need productivity and screen real state

        • DCMAKER

          dont get me wrong i want both but screen is more important

  • Vangelis

    Hear hear! What is the point of the thinnest phone in the world when you need to charge it twice in a day!?

  • VonLaserface

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't care how thin their phone is.

    I actually like my phone to have some heft to it.

    • KC

      Me, too. I am never impressed with the clumsy feel of super slim devices in my hands. I prefer the solid macho feel of the device, like Motorola and HTC.

      It's the performance specs that matter - NFC (Android Beam and ePayments apps), speed (quadcore), OS (ICS++), good battery, good display, good RAM memory for future expansion/upgrade.

    • Duffin

      I very much agree. I'm constantly afraid of losing a grip on thinner phones. I, too, like my phone to feel like I'm holding it. It's one of the reasons I loved the original G1 when I had it. Sure, it wasn't pretty, but it felt like you were holding something substantial. Same with the Nexus One.

  • Tommy

    My Epic Touch easily last all day. I usually end up with 20-30 left after 15 or hours.

    • Reala

      It felt like it did at first; so did the photon, but they both still fall short of what I would like.

      The E4T I have to turn the screen all the way down turn all radios off when not in use(not like gps works any way right). Just to much hassle. Quickly close apps when not in use. So on and so fourth.

      Its a full time job! Although the E4gT and the Photon are better. Photon being better of the 2 imo they still fall short.

      Im tired of barely making it. If the E4gT got better battery life. I would keep it another year atleast before upgrade.

  • ERIFNOMI

    A bit thicker is fine but give me a removable battery. After a year or so, it's not uncommon to replace the battery. I think the thickness of the Galaxy Nexus os a pretty good goal. Get it that thin with a massive battery and you're golden.

  • http://www.turbosix.net turbosix.net

    i'm pretty astonished at my galaxy nexus battery life. i use the phone as it was intended to be used (except games.. zzz) and it will last me an easy 24 hours unless a pesky process (facebook i'm looking at you, fix that shit!) keeps the phone awake for some reason.

    • http://Reddit Sean

      Facebook polls your GPS, i believe every 15 minutes. GPS is a huge battery hog... you're much better off deleting the FB app and using m.facebook.com on your mobile browser.

  • Scott

    Galaxy Nexus battery life sucks. If you use it as described in the article it does not last a full day. They need to focus on battery life. Not more cores and other crap. Put a 4000mHa battery designed properly!

    • http://www.turbosix.net turbosix.net

      mine does. maybe yours is defective. sorry Scott.

      • Scott

        @Turbo. I've had three GN's. Not defective. If you use your phone a lot of the day for browsing/games/calls etc battery life sucks. I've yet to see a smartphone that can handle a full day proper usage.

        • Ian

          You must have a CDMA / LTE Galaxy Nexus. I game a lot on mine and I can get though a day. Modern Combat 3, Sonic 4 Ep1 and Frontline Commando are my favorites, I've been playing the, for days straight.

        • http://justreboot.wordpress.com Dei

          I get about 4 hours of screen-on time and 24-30 hours of total battery life on my Nexus with AOKP ROM with stock kernel.
          I keep Google+ disabled unless I want to use it, which is seldom.
          Stock is bad, but then, stock is pretty much bad on everything. The MAXX will actually be amazing once juiced with the right ROM and whatnot, but hey, not everybody is willing to root. I get it.

        • Scott

          No LTE here. Just lots of usage. All threde phones are not fauly. Just GNEX has crap battery life. Mines already dead after using some GPS/Data/Calls/Music today. Battery does last all day if you hardly use the phone. I would love to see how you play so many games and have so much battery left at night. I've NEVER seen it on about 5 Android phones, I;ve had and used.

        • Jim

          Scott, i also get 24 hours on this gnex, aokp rom, franco kernel. Recommend you try it.

  • Nick

    I agree that bigger batteries need to be a goal. I like the Lambo reference, because I refuse to back off on my usage. I enjoy the screen at full brightness. I use wifi all the time and don't want to have to turn it on and off, or turn off background data. I've gotten used to plugging my phone in when I get in my truck to go home every day, but I do dread the long weekend days when I don't have that luxury.

    • Scott

      @Jim tried it on two phones yesterday. Phone cannot handle lots of high usage and have much left by night.

    • Scott

      @Jim tried it on two phones yesterday. Phone cannot handle lots of high usage and have much left by night. Hopefully new models focus on battery.

  • matt

    All the points you made are valid but I still want too have the option of a removable battery and a removable SD card. I work a minimum of ten hours a day so I'm out off the house a minimum of twelve hours a day and I'm not sitting in my truck except for the very beginning and the very end of it so a car charger would be useless if my battery dies in the middle of the workday. If you can't absolutely guarantee 18 hours of battery life, with excessive usage, then I will carry a spare. Right now, I never leave the house with less than 2 batteries in my pocket. You can't always go straight home too charge after work. And if my phone doesn't come with at least 32 gigs then you better leave me a slot too upgrade.

  • protozeloz

    I really want to see the new battery technology that's going to evolve. But manufacturers need to consider what's impottant and battery is . I think this is one of those thing fanboys caused .everyone started bragging about how tin their device is and how this matters .this has to stop its OK not to make super bulky phones but seriously I've seen people calling 10mm phones bulky! I think it would be an great achievement and something with bragging that your phone could last a hole day or two while being 10mm and is where things should be going instead. Thin means nothing if I have to charge it every 4 hours or so.

    With that said I can't wait till I get my hands on my Gnex with extended battery. Sure hope next get devices are more durable in terms of time taping the screen

    • ocdtrekkie

      Honestly, it was Apple's fault. With the "impossibly thin" iPhone 4. Which everyone then had to beat.

      • protozeloz

        I personally blame fan boys for this. Wen Samsung galaxy S2 didn't got the thinnest phone title granted because of the "but" it has (sexy btw) I had friends sending messages just to brag about it . Same with people calling the other tablets fat compared with the I pad heck CNet make it an important factor if im not mistaken witch made it even more dumb

  • don huan

    You are just trying to make a sell point for motorola that is all. Thin phone or not, dual core or not, bringing a usb charger cable or a car charger does not cost as much as purchasing a new moto razr maxx with high priced data plan not to mention the hassle of keeping in mind that that is some expensive investment in the next two year... just to satisfy the thirst for a little more juice on the phone.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com David Ruddock

      A little? You clearly have no idea how much longer the MAXX lasts or how piss-poor the battery life of some phones is. I'd be cheerleading a 3300mAh Galaxy Nexus just as much if there was one.

  • Mark

    How are you guys using your phones?? I have a T-Mobile G2 and it lasts me a day and can even carry over to the next before dying around noon or evening. I pretty much use it all the time. Always browsing, sync is always on, checking emails, always playing music on it every now and then throughout the day and all that. You just need to watch how you use it, I guess.

    • Reala

      Your either lying or its dying. HTC has some of the worst BL. Thats my main reason for getting a GS2. Although the latest geneartion got better its still poor. Well not poor the Evo 4g was poor the Evo 3d was bad but better.

      • Ben

        I have a Desire Z which is the same as a G2 and I can tell you that its measly 1300 mAh never carries me over to the second day and I usually have to charge it at some point during my work day.
        It's 14 mm thick (thin?) but I really don't need my phone to be any thinner. A bigger battery on the other hand would be nice.
        If no other manufacturer (read HTC) has come out with a phone that has a decently sized battery by summer then I will be tempted to get a RAZR MAXX.

        • Ben

          I should add that my DZ is running a CM7 based ROM so HTC Sense is not what is draining it.

  • ?

    And the first phone I buy with an non removable battery will probably lock up and I wont be able to turn it off.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com David Ruddock

      Non-removable battery phones have hardware button reset combinations. Moot point.

      • Nick D

        As do some removable-battery phones. I didn't realize that until recently. My issue with fixed batteries is the possibility of liquid submersion. Being a plumber likely makes me worry a bit more about that than the average person.

      • ?

        Yea and so does my phone, but that doesn't mean they work if the phone really locks up, this has happened to me before and then I had to pull it out of its case.

  • marshall

    I'm with thicker phones with better battery life, but as far as non-removable, that's not an option for me.

    As a dev/modder I need to be able to do a battery pull easily.

    other than that, I agree whole heartedly.

    • vochdun

      Yeah I have zero interest in non removable batteries. I'd rather have the option to carry around an already charged backup battery if i'm away from a power source for an extended period of time (or replace a defunct battery) than not have the option...

      • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

        Or just buying a new battery so you can replace one that gets normal battery wear after a while. I know my Nokia N810 has like 10 min battery life cause of wear...

        • Reala

          LOL you still have that thing? I loved that device. Way ahead of its time. I imaggine its time for a new battery, but those things used to last all day with flash and an ffc.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Dr_MBambi DarknesSx

    Good then I'm not alone.. and I think it's time to admit that I didn't buy the Razr (7mm) because its actually so stupidly thin.. !! Then came the Galaxy Nexus with the PERFECT thinness at 8.9mm.. it is what every phone should be.. at 9mm that's the perfect size... and since moto could stick 3300mAh battery in that with Maxx,the equation is complete.. get that battery put it in a 9mm form factor, sell to consumers..

    And that's one reason GSIII is not even a consideration for me as Samsung WILL try to go below 7mm and even if they managed to magically put a 5000mAh in there, I'm not buying as that's just ugly.. (as its predecessor)

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    >> The only manufacturer to even recognize that some users might want a larger battery is Motorola, with the DROID RAZR MAXX.

    If they put that into the original RAZR MAXX, I would give them the credit because that would prove they did their homework. But they didn't and according to news sources, Motorola only came up with the idea to market the MAXX because an engineer decided to throw a bigger battery into the MAXX to play with it, and their CEO happened to get a hold on it and loved it -- this is HARDLY a conscious, calculated act.

    The same can also be said to Samsung/Google, which makes available the 2100 mAh battery for the Galaxy Nexus for a very low price. They could have just thrown that battery onto the standard configuration. I bought one for my son after he complaint his GN barely made it for a day when he got out of school. The extended battery solves his problem (almost) completely, and I put his GN next to mine, and the difference is barely noticeable. In fact, with the differences being so small, I actually think Samsung can make the battery even a bit bigger. I doubt most people can notice the difference even if the battery is 2300 mAh.

  • nicky

    "That battery is the greatest thing since sliced bread...and I am seriously considering getting one because of it" so what exactly is the problem? you found a handset that meets your requirements, but you're complaining because you want them ALL to meet your requirements?

    • Mat H

      I think this is actually a pretty good point. People have feature priorities. For some, they can trade the sex-factor for a larger battery or better integration with their enterprise infrastructure.

      Now to defend the author, looking at phones these days (and of course a lot of this is subjective), I think most phones look pretty good, most have processing power beyond what is even necessary at this point, they're probably getting ICS unless they are end-of-life, and so on (getting thinner, etc). Battery life seems to be tossed aside, with a pretty low standard of around 8 hours of moderate use. So it would make sense for companies to focus a bit more in this area.

  • Freak4Dell

    I completely agree. Thinner phones not only sacrifice battery life, but they also become increasingly uncomfortable to hold in your hand for long periods of time. You know what my favorite phone was in terms of comfort in the hand? My Treo 800. Yeah, it was like 3 quarters of an inch think, but that meant it wasn't ridiculously wide or tall, either, which made it easy to grip in my hand. Granted, I do have relatively small hands, so the sweet spot for most people is probably somewhere around 4 tenths of an inch, which I'd be fine with (my current phone is 11.7mm). Better battery life and a phone that's more comfortable to hold is pure win in my book. That being said, I don't want non-removable batteries.

    Honestly, I think phone development needs to slow down in general. You know what's wrong with my single core, 512MB RAM Droid Pro? Not a damn thing. Paired with an AOSP ROM like CM7, it's more than sufficiently fast. Sure, it's not going to play intensive games, but I don't want to walk around with a PS3 in my pocket, anyway. It plays Angry Birds and other similar games just fine, though, which is more than enough to keep my boredom at bay. Manufacturers need to stop releasing new phones every other week with more cores and RAM tacked on. Spec comparisons are nothing but penis measuring contests for nerds. I used to be all about getting the fastest computer possible, but I've come to realize that upper mid-range stuff does the job just fine, while giving me the benefit of lower cost and better battery life (when it comes to laptops). Phone manufacturers need to focus on putting out quality products, rather than screaming "WE'VE GOT MORE GEE AYTCHES THAN YOU!" Put out phones that run the OS and apps smoothly, and will do so for a full day. Then, support those phones for 2, maybe even 3 years.

    I may detest Apple's products and business practices, but they've definitely done their development cycles right. One flagship phone a year, which will be supported for another 2 years at minimum. I wouldn't want Android manufacturers to drop down to 1 phone a year (we need our different form factors), but drop it to about 5 quality products per manufacturer per year, and consumers would reap the benefits.

  • Golightly

    The other week I did a 9-6 shift, the phone had barely dipped below 70% by the end, and I had used it for music(over BT) and browsing on the way to work and on breaks. After work, left straight for the cottage, ran the Nav with the screen always-on for about an hour, switched to some Netflix during a 100km stretch of straight. Played some GTAIII. Went back to Nav until about 9pm when I got the 5% warning. I was quite amazed at how far the battery had come on this phone. The iP4 next to me had hit critical from less use than mine, and I didn't have to nurse it like he did for fear of having to tether it to reboot after it drained. Thankfully the driver had his SGS2 and we could finish the Nav for the last ~40min of the route. My radios are ALL always on and screen is always set to auto. The Atrix was a far cry from this reliable when I first got it in June though, barely make it through a 1-7 shift. It seemed to get better after GB, and a lot better after 2.3.6.

  • Ian

    Honestly, for a high end smartphone, 10mm is still kind of thick. It may sound minuscule, but my phone is a 13 mm thick and it just looks huge. Huawei killed everyone else, the Huawei Ascend P1 S is amazingly thin. It's not too thin, it's just right (it's 6.69mm btw). It has a 1750mAh battery (don't know how the hell they pulled that off). I'm getting about 2 days of use from my myTouch 4G 1350mAh battery (rooted, custom kernel and ROM, but lengthy nonetheless ) so imagine more juice in a thinner profile. Win.

  • Spydie

    some of you guys are missing the point on replaceable batteries. Yes, they all have a hard reset with the buttons, but that doesn't always work on a locked-up phone. There are times a lot of people NEED to remove the battery to reset everything. I'd never buy a phone without a replaceable battery for more reasons than just resetting it.

    • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

      It's built into the circuitry of the hardware, if it doesn't work, then they did it wrong.

    • ?

      Thank you for noticing this. The reset doesn't always work and sometimes you HAVE to pull the battery.

    • MJT

      I have agree with everyone else if you flash your phone regularly you find that sometimes a battery pull is the only thing that works. Id rather have a battery I can pull quickly and kill the action that is running.

  • Nick Coad

    Thanks for writing these opinion-based articles. I don't think the situation is quite as bad as you're painting it (by that I mean, I think we can have our cake and eat it to: thin devices AND long battery life, we just need the battery tech to catch up).

    But yeah, even though I don't agree it's interesting to see some discussion on these topics.

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    You'd seriously buy a motorola phone? Is this an android blog that likes roms?

  • Mike

    I had a Galaxy Nexus and loved it but hated the battery. I ended up giving it to my wife and picked up the Razr Maxx and WOW!!!

    36 hrs on a battery with heavy usage. I MUST have PUSH email. Ive got my weather, Twitter, Facebook and ebuddy always connected and pulling data. I am always getting emails, text and phone calls throughout the day. I keep both my WiFi (work at home) and blue tooth (so I can work) on all the time. Best thing is I can run live wall papers now also.

    You couldnt give me any other phone right now.

  • Chris

    I am never in a position which I do not have a method to charge my phone. Additionally, the RAZR and MAXX are both devices with bootloaders that will probably never be unlocked. I won't buy motorola.

    • Mike

      I always have chargers around also but I get tired of having to keep my phone connected to a power source. I got tired of buying extra batteries for when I went out of town and didnt know when I would be around a charger.

      My DX was just fine with a locked BL and custom ROM. I suspect my Maxx will be fine also.

  • Mike

    shop for your phone by looking at the battery options from seidio. i havent thought about battery life for 9 months. sometimes i carry a spare 4000 if i need to last 8000 mah. yea its not as pretty, but my laptop may as well be called a desktop now.

  • Peter

    Absolutely agree about battery life - 18 - 20 hrs heavy usage should be essential. The Nokia E71 could go 2-3 days!
    But, lets also add a couple of other requests:
    - A form factor that can be carried in a trouser pocket and held in the palm of the hand and operated with the thumb. My Desire could be a bit bigger - but the 4.5" screens are crazy!
    - A loudspeaker that you can use to listen to music/podcasts etc without having to use headphones. Some Reviewer commented that the Galaxy Nexus ringtone is so quiet that it could only be heard in a quiet room! Madness.

    Simple: a phone you can use all day, use one handed and hear!

    • Freak4Dell

      Yeah, don't even get me started on screen sizes. Apparently in 5 years, we'll be walking around holding movie theater screens.

      • DCMAKER

        E71 was a crappy phone and mine only lasted 1 day of heavy usage...i had the E71x

  • duplissi

    or just get a thicker phone... there are plenty of awesome phones that arent super thin.

    optimus 2x
    droid bionic
    atrix 2 & 4g
    photon 4g/electrify
    htc sensation
    optimus 3d
    htc rezound
    evo 3d

    • andrew

      sensation still has bad battery - but the xe (or an anker) helps

  • Lucian Armasu

    All manufacturers need to start putting 3000 mAh batteries in their phones now. Now that we know it's possible, it's inexcusable for them not to do it. Period. I can't see myself buying another phone without such a battery.

  • J-Dog

    I totally agree! I personally (and I'd assume I'm not alone with this) really don't care how thin (or thick) my phone is, within reason, as long as it has all of the function I need/want.

    Being able to actively use the phone & have it last the better part of a full day would be one of these features. Whats the point of having a 4G radio that can suck in 21MB/s if you have to tether yourself to a power outlet in order to stream a couple songs?

    Other than battery life, I'd also argue for hardware... I don't think there's a phone out there that has both NFC & SD capabilities. I believe when NFC came out on the Nexus, Google's excuse was "there wasn't room for both."... Just make the phone a little thicker - an SD reader can't take that much space, right.... So what if the phone is 10mm instead of 8?!?

    And yes, I know.... Its the age of the cloud, but I still prefer having local copies... Some of us who live in rural areas don't have the best data connections. And having removable storage, if something goes wrong with the phone, I can just drop it in the replacement handset & I'm good to go.

  • Tomas – University Place, WA

    My current device of choice is a Motorola XPRT, which is nearly identical with the Motorola Droid Pro on another carrier. The biggest difference 'tween the two is battery size, with the XPRT having a larger capacity battery.

    Both devices have the same max thickness, but the Pro's body is thinned where the battery goes - a useless affectation...

  • Topgun

    Hate to say it Dave, but bringing the MAXX up was probably in retrospect a bad idea. This is a sore spot for the people that read AP. We devs and Android hard core users are PISSED at Moto for how they are handling it. I have a Droid Razr (up for sale mind you) that I am getting rid of and going to the Nexus. I don't care what they do to their batteries, them falling through promises and screwing us over...they can go eff themselves.

  • JaToMa

    Thank you, for this article!

    Please manufacturers read this article!

    Whenever I read about new Phones I come to the conclusion that it is a nice phone with nice specs except for the battery. And that is a no go.
    My old HTC Desire with a custom ICS ROM still makes it for about 16 hours, depending on usage. However, that is if I am not using it too much and with lots of Wifi connection in the office. I will only buy a new one, if they sort out the battery issues.

    But there is another thing I noticed. Usually I have a case around the Desire and I can hold it perfectly without beeing scared of letting it drop. When I remove the case the phone feels too thin (if I may say that about a Desire) to hold it secure. A SGS2 is even thinner and feels to be handled with care even more. Besides due to its thinness and plastic it feels somehow cheap.

    • http://www.my-guides.net Bono

      I put my Desire in Airplane mode when I go to sleep to get a few more hours of battery. This way my battery lasts about 2 days, depending on usage, but its only a workaround...

  • JaToMa

    Unfortunately with smartphones it really is like with supermodels. They are super thin and nice to look at, but you don't really want one at home, as you are scared to break them when you sit on them. You want something at home that is not too big and not too slim. Just the average with a good endurance is good enough.

  • Kabelux

    That's a great Editorial! I've feeling really sick when design/layout become more important than other things on a product. Automotive Industry: "Why my car isn't flying yet?!" Lol!

  • http://thexbit.com renuka

    If you expect manufacturers to make large batteries your phone will be surely be big in size....because @ last in everything size matters.

  • GraveUypo

    i agree we could use more battery life and theres a point where thin phones are too thin.

    but my good old defy can still take me through 40 to 60 hours of... well, battery life, without charge. right now, it's been 15 hours since my last charge and the battery is still at 80%

    ill have to admit i don't use it as heavily as some of you (not while i'm in town anyway), but turning down / off some stuff, like 4g/3g, you don't need either for a IM'ing. 2g will do fine. when you don't need them can work miracles. Just by doing that your battery life almost doubles)

  • Xeed

    Funny how people say that Device X's battery is crap because yada-yada, could not last a day... even though all manufacturers put the battery rating in their sites, flyers, ads, etc. Why buy a smartphone which you think would not suffice your power consumption
    (Noob much Mr. Whiner?)

    Well anyways, FYI, remember that smartphones were primarily made to make calls and SMS. Other features such as apps, maps, gps, internet are all addons.

    So if consumers treat it as mini-computer to check email, play games, stream music, browse internet then expect the phone to be up almost 24x7.. then you are not simply using a smartphone.. you are pushing it to its limits. mankind has already made PC, laptops, netbooks, tablets for these kind of activities.

    I hate to say this, but if this is how consumers treat/demand their smartphones.. then ALL SMARTPHONE BATTERIES ARE CRAP.

    • Kenny O

      "Well anyways, FYI, remember that smartphones were primarily made to make calls and SMS. Other features such as apps, maps, gps, internet are all addons."

      I respectfully disagree with this statement, I think the exact reason smart phones were created was for all of these "extra" things and for those that want them.....otherwise we would still just have regular phones that are great for just making calls and sending texts and that have batteries that last all day. Unfortunately for people that only want to talk/text there are not a lot of great phone options, but that's just the way the market has gone.....

  • Kenny O

    "Some people might say that it's Android's fault for being such a power hog, but that's like complaining that a Lamborghini gets bad gas mileage."

    Love is this line......Great editorial, I completely agree with your points. Thin is great, but not at the expense of battery life. My goal is from 6am when I take it off the charger until 5 or 6 when I return home. I keep a charger in my car for heavy use days and since I am not based in an office everyday, I do use it occasionally. I prefer to charge every night though, as I want to always wake up to a full battery. Using the Sensation right now with an ICS Rom, plenty thin (I wouldn't call it really thin, especially next to my wife's galaxy 2) but it gets my through my day.

  • James

    Razr owner. I love that its thin, cause it fits in my front pocket better than any phone I previously had. It's like its not there. I love that about it.

    Battery life though...

    NOT an issue! I bought a verizon extended battery but I only use it for power outages (which we seem to get all too often and they last a day).

    My thing is I run on WIFI at home and work. I don't use the phone driving. So I don't need to use 4G. I turned off 4G altogether, and I turn it on if I'm at a restaurant or out shopping AND I feel that 3G is slow. I use my phone for a lot of text messages, emails, and moderate browsing throughout the day, I do play a few games on some days. I typically (non game day) have 70-80% left on the phone. On days I use MOG or play games, I lose about 10% per 45 minutes or so. If I use MOG at work, where I've got headphones plugged in, I throw the charger line on it too... if I know I'll be using it all day.

    I download my mog music so its less radio use.

    I really think its how you configure your phone to maximize its juice. Granted, I agree that the Max would be a better option cause its only a couple mm more and twice the juice. I won't say that wouldn't be welcome cause like I said, our power goes out all too often. But if you are working and not playing with your phone as a game or music app all day then smart use of your phone will leave you with enough juice to keep it running for a few days.

  • David

    So if it is possible to get a 3300 mAh battery in a 9 mm thin phone, why does the Thinness War need to stop?????

    Didn't Samsung say they're going to focus on battery life in 2012?

    Another mediocre excuse for an editorial.

  • Greyhame

    +100000000000

    Stop the madness and give me MOAR PAUR!! Hell, I don't even care if it's removable or not.

  • flamesbladeflcl

    I have a thunderbolt with an extended battery and a massive case. I really wouldn't mind if it was just thicker and sturdier to begin with

    • MJT

      I also have thunderbolt with custom rom and kernel overclocked to 1.4 and easily get 12 hrs. out of the battery with heavy use and 4g the whole time. I like the Razar Maxx design and battery but without the option to flash a custom kernel you’re stuck with the manufactures lazy programing. There is no excuse why flashing a custom kernel doubles my battery life. All this tells me is manufactures aren't taking the time to configure the device for optimal performance and battery life.

  • rlarson_mn

    Well I did put my money where my mouth is and have a Razr Maxx for the last 6 days. I have been unable to kill it during any day no matter what I did with the phone during that 15 hour general days of use. This phone is the real deal. Best phone I have ever had and it will only get better once ICS has been installed onto it.

  • the Goat

    Sorry I enjoy looking at thin super models and I enjoy having a thin phone. My Galaxy Nexus lasts all day unless I'm stuck somewhere and I play a CPU/GPU hogging game for 1+ hours.

  • Norris W

    I always have a couple of spare batteries with me. Fully charged. 9 times out of ten I have a outlet and a charger available as well. I can understand why someone who is out in the field with no outlet in sight would be somewhat concerned (But spare batteries alleviate that problem), but I can't quite understand why charging your phone at night and having one spare battery is such an issue to so many. It's just weird to me.

    I also suspect that if I had a battery that lasted 36 hrs I would get out of the habit of charging it every night and just when I need it...it would be out of power.

  • http://www.fonearena.com/blog Michael Hell

    thank you SO much for this. i agree with every single word.

  • Jack

    I've been saying this for a while now. I don't need a phone that can fit into the credit card slot in my wallet. I don't mind a thicker phone if it will get me through the day.

  • DCMAKER

    I don't know what people complain about...my EVO3D has like 2 weeks battery life....with moderate use. It lasts me like a full week of none stop netflix watching with out a problem. I just through it in my sweat shirt pocket whenever i go anywhere and i am good to go. Literally my EVO3D lasts me 1 full week of nothing but netflix on stop on a single battery.....don't see how you guys' cna barely get 4-6 hours of movie watching.

    http://imageshack.us/g/560/20120208145554.jpg/

    :D

    AKA Hurricane ready :P

    • DCMAKER

      btw i don't know the mAH of C batteries but that has to be like atleast 12-16 batteries of my cell phone lol 8 AA batteries is 4-5 give or take depending on rate of discharge and type of cell and what not.

  • Matt

    "The only real question about phone size today is in the realm of surface area, or more specifically, display size. It's not a matter of whether the Galaxy Note is too thick to fit in your pocket, it's a matter of whether your pocket is large enough to accommodate its 5.3" display."

    Sort of. From a personal perspective, my desire for thinness is directly proportional to a phone's screen size. If the screen is bigger, thinner means being able to fit it much more comfortably in my pocket. The ideal screen size for me is 4.3." Anything bigger is too big for the pocket, but anything smaller is sometimes frustrating to watch videos or play games on.

    As you pointed out, I generally prefer better battery life to a thinner phone, and I will compromise "thinnest" for it, hence, my shared appreciation for the DROID RAZR MAXX. However, I see nothing wrong with the push for thinner. As consumer's, it would be great to have both super thin AND awesome battery life, and I don't foresee a push for thinner phones compromising on my options as a consumer in the future.

  • Chris

    I so agree with you. What is the point in thin if it has no power.

  • peter steffek

    I have a 6,200 mAh battery in my note 2...
    I get to the end of the day and its unusual if at midnight I'm with less then 50%

  • Jesus Urrabieta

    Even if this has no other use that to be a testimony that there are others: I'm totally 100% agreeing with you.

    For me battery life will be the FIRST characteristic I ask about in my next phone. After the HTC One fiasco (for witch I have to wear a usb cable in my pocket and grab any chance I get to recharge) this is my main concern.
    What use is a Quad Core processor in a phone If it drains the battery in 4 hours of intensive use? Yeah, I can run very pretty car games... but I don't game with my phone!

    A quad core is fine for a computer, where you have to compile code, but in a phone, when all applications must run in all models, even slower ones, I don't need quad core power. "Angry Words" works the same in my HTC Desire...

    But we have to take part of the blame. We ask for more and more power... Just check the reviews. The main test a tester does in a video review is to swap the finger in the launcher to see "how smooth" the scroll is... That's not important people!

    Important is to be able to get back home with the battery icon still green.
    Important is to be able to use your phone for whatever you want without having to "reserve" some battery for the GPS in the journey back home.
    Important not having to get the habit of connecting your phone to USB as soon as you seat in your table at work.
    Important Is being able to charge and use the phone without boiling the phone. I can't travel with my phone as gps from april to october as it doesn't charge because of temperature...

    I WANT BETTER BATTERIES!!!!!!

  • alex

    couldn't have expressed my thoughts any better, it's honestly beyond me how motorola seemingly goes without recognition for this, they seem ignored even though they beat other phones in this department. it's just becoming brand credibility now, i went to the shop to look at the lg optimus g which in my opinion seems like a great snappy and smooth phone to play with, within minutes a salesman was trying to tel me there's better phones in the store such as the xperia z, how is the sony better, pretty sure they have the same hardware as far as cpu and memory goes but the sony has a larger screen with higher resolution, big deal, that equates to it feeling just that little bit slower and less responsive in all honesty. i have a sony xperia active, only a little phone with 1ghz processor which does just fine but due to the smaller resolution and tiny 3" screen it never struggles, sure it might stutter a little here and there but every phone does, the only ones that combat that the best are the multi core processor phones, this little phone felt quicker and more responsive than the galay s and possibly s2 purely because there was no strain on hardware for the small resolution. think of it like a game, you can run a computer game on a low or mid range computer at 30fps on a low resolution, then you can go spend 2 as much on a gaming computer or just something more powerful and run it at the highest resolution and come out at 30fps or so all depending on the game etc so in reality sure it might look prettier and all the rest of it but at the end of the day consumers are more likely to lean more towards the handset which FEELS faster, smoother and simply more responsive to their inputs rather than which has the highest pixel density, come on now, you have 5" screens packing the same quality and resolution you get from a 40" screen and i've never heard complaints about a tv needing a higher resolution the same way people whinge about their phones.

    that's the end of my rant

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