People seem to love gigantic screens on their phones - just ask Samsung (or Apple). And of course, plenty of customers want phones that are cheap, or at least cheaper than the flagships. And the one thing that everyone wants is longer battery life. ZTE and T-Mobile are going to try to please the intersection of these market segments with the ZMAX, a big phone with a big battery and (impressively) a small price tag.
External battery packs are pretty simple. Unless you're specifically looking for something small or stylish, you generally want the biggest capacity for the cheapest price. One Amazon listing is delivering just that today: a 10,400mAh battery for $19.99. This Lumsing model should charge most Android smartphones at least three times over, more if you've got a smaller or older device. It doesn't look half bad, either - the description says it's designed to look like a harmonica, but I wouldn't recommend blowing into the holes.
Update: Motorola responded to Ars Technica's post on the same iFixit story to explain the battery discrepancy. According to the statement, 300mAh is a "minumum rating" for the battery manufactured by Pro-Power, while 320mAh is a more typical rating. (Batteries are much less precise in terms of capacity than, say, a RAM DIMM.) The mix-up reportedly stems from the fact that they simply didn't have room for both a minimum and maximum rating on the tiny label, and erred on the side of caution - after all, end users aren't really supposed to see it.
There are a lot of portable battery packs out there, and a lot of them can be had for less than forty bucks. Motorola is counting on a bit of style and extra functionality to get you interested in its new Power Pack Micro, a first-party 1500mAh battery booster that looks more than a little bit like a Zippo lighter. The device also connects with your phone via Bluetooth for some location features.
"We are very sorry to see one of our users had to experience this with their device as the safety of our customers is our first and foremost concern. We have already contacted MiYzu to learn more about his condition, as well as dispatched OnePlus staff to physically retrieve back the phone. This way, we can determine the circumstances surrounding this so that we may work to prevent this happening in the future.
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 Gorilla Gadgets CHR-150 16,800mAh external battery pack is currently on sale for $39.99 on Woot. The site lists this as a savings of 71% ($100 off its original $139.99). This undercuts the price currently displayed on Amazon, where the battery goes for $69.99. This Woot deal, which will be over before the end of today, costs nearly half as much.
Gorilla Gadgets' external battery comes with an LED screen that shows how much of a charge the pack has remaining.
People who have received a OnePlus One through one means or another are now receiving an over-the-air software update that addresses a charging issue affecting the device. Sometimes the phone would think it's plugged into USB when it's actually plugged into AC power and, as a result, charge only half as fast, if not slower. The handset would display Charging (USB) instead of Charging (AC). This information is available in the Status screen under settings, which is visible at the top of the third screenshot below.
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.
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.