If battery life is the most important factor of a new phone purchase, there's probably no better bang for the buck than the BLU Studio Energy 2, even at its normal price. Cameron gave it a decent recommendation in his hands-on post a couple of months ago. Shoppers who are in the market for a mid-range phone that lasts more or less forever can pick it up from Amazon with a significant discount. The phone's price dropped by $50, bringing the total down to an impressive $129.99. Read More
Google introduced the power saving mode in the last developer preview, and it seems to work the same this time with one notable exception—orange. Lots of orange. When you activate power saver mode, your status bar and nav bar will turn orange and stay that way until you shut off power saver.
Android Wear is naturally more limited than regular builds of Android, but some of the omissions just don't make sense. No battery monitor, Google? Really? Well, there's finally an app that fills in some of the gaps, and it's called Wear Battery Monitor. That's a descriptive, if predictable name.
The app can be opened on the watch to get a battery percent graph over time with a maximum of 24 hours of data. The phone app can also be used to explore your battery performance, but it will only sync with the watch when you open it as a way to save power. Read More
Every now and then an app pops up that looks like it was designed entirely for people like us. And by us, I mean tech reviewers, enthusiasts, and people who just somehow end up with more gadgets to maintain than we know what to do with. In this situation, it can be challenging to keep up with all the electronics and make sure each device is charged enough for use. Potential is a new app (still in beta) that can keep track of everything's battery life from a single location, and with its slick Material-inspired design, it looks good doing it.
What It Does
Potential is an app for monitoring the status of multiple devices from a single spot. Read More
One of the issues with the Moto 360 has been the battery life, while I think it's always been good enough to get the job done, there was no denying that other Android Wear devices had it beaten. However, last week's OTA update might have done more than it let on. Some users are reporting as much as 50% more battery life on the 360 after that update.
The folks over at Laptop Mag have undertaken a test that really piques our interest. The results show that T-Mobile smartphones consistently get the best battery life among the big four US carriers. The difference isn't insignificant either. We're talking about a steady gap of up to three hours, depending on the phone.
In the chart below we see variation between the 2013 and 2014 versions of Samsung and HTC's flagships. The starkest void is noticeable on the S4, where T-Mobile pulled in 6 hours and 42 minutes compared to the 4 hours and 1 minute of the second-place competitor, AT&T. Read More
Technology in general and mobile tech in particular is on a rapid march forward, but there's a bottleneck that's holding it back: batteries. For years lithium-ion batteries have been the best option for storing energy pound-for-pound, but they've hit a wall - now we can only get bigger batteries or make our gadgets more efficient. A team of researchers at Stanford University have created what they call the "holy grail" of battery technology, a battery with a stable lithium anode.
Here's a quick refresher for those of us who are a long time past middle school. Your standard rechargeable battery uses three primary components, an anode that stores lithium ions while charging, a cathode that receives the ions while discharging, and an electrolyte that allows the ions to move from one to the other. Read More
Battery life on Android has been a bit of a sore spot for many users, mostly because it's simply not good enough. Most devices can make it a day on moderate use, and a few can even do so comfortably, very few phones can hit two days without some time on the charger. The Android "L" release is making several improvements to power efficiency via Project Volta, but there are also ways to improve 3rd-party apps, and that's where the new Job Scheduler comes in.
In the past, if a developer wants to run a background task to pull data from a server or run some processor-intensive work, the app has to listen for certain events or set an alarm to wake up at regular intervals. Read More
At Google I/O last week, Google announced Project Volta, its effort to change and drastically improve how Android manages battery life. Since then the folks over at Ars Technica have downloaded the publicly available L developer preview build and put it through its paces. Is there a noticeable difference? Yes, apparently. They were able to get an an extra two hours of battery life out of their Nexus 5, an improvement of thirty-six percent. Regardless of how exact these numbers are, the difference suggests good things.
For the process, Ars used a single device, flashed to 4.4.4, signed in, updated apps, charged up, and ran the test (which keeps the screen on and automatically loads a webpage over Wi-Fi every 15 seconds until the battery dies). Read More
Shortly after the new Android Runtime made its grand entrance, I ran a pretty exhaustive (and exhausting) series of performance benchmarks that showed ART wasn't really ready to blow us away. At the time, I opted to avoid the topic of battery life because it is so difficult to test accurately and with unbiased, meaningful results. As it turns out, that was dumb. Yup, so many of you have asked, I finally had no choice but to dive in and run a battery of tests on...well, the battery.
I've been running tests for over 6 weeks, covering virtually every angle I could think of and repeating several measurements to ensure the results were consistent and accurate. Read More