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.
On an Android blog like ours, you're accustomed to reading about the rechargeable lithium ion batteries crammed inside smartphones and the external battery packs that can pump juice back into them. Today we're shaking things up. The SkyRC NC2500 is the kind of accessory that can make keeping up with those AA/AAA NiMH batteries you may have lying in a drawer somewhere less tedious. Just pop your batteries in, install the Android app, and look at those charge levels go.
Huawei has been trying to break into the US market for years, but the current trend towards inexpensive, off-contract smartphones may be in their favor. That would explain why the company stated that it plans to bring the Ascend Mate II to American shores in its CES press conference. This big-screen, mid-range phone has a trick up its sleeve thanks to an oversized battery.
Let's dive into the specs, shall we?
Think back to how annoying it was the last time you sat down on a couch without access to a power outlet. What about that chair situated in the awkward corner of the living room? College kids stuck on the top bunk - you know the feeling I'm talking about. We have these increasingly powerful Android devices without batteries large enough to hold a decent charge, and far too often having access to a power outlet is more important than aesthetics or comfort.
There are many times when it's just nice to have a portable backup battery around. For fifty bucks, you can typically snag a pack with a capacity anywhere between 10,000mAh to 15,000mAh, enough to recharge a modern high-end smartphone four or five times. Yet if EC Technology's new external battery pack available on Amazon is genuine, it offers a whopping 22,400mAh of power. That much juice could recharge a phone up to ten times, all for the same $49.99.
If you're noticing some fishy battery behavior today, and it looks like Google Play Services is the culprit, you aren't alone. Throughout the day, users have been reporting extraordinary battery use by the usually innocuous services app, accounting for up to 50% of battery usage. It would seem that, for reasons unknown, Play Services is keeping users' devices awake for incredible lengths of time. Some users report that location is disabled on their devices, ruling that out as a suspect for the increased battery drain.
Last time I checked, most phones couldn't make it through a long weekend without a little time tethered to an outlet. If you find your gadget batteries regularly hitting the red, or just simply dying, it might be time to invest in a battery pack. Newegg might have the perfect solution for anybody in need of some extra juice when they're out and about, the RAVPower 10,000mAh Power Bank. It's on sale today for just $24.99 with free shipping.
PhoneSuit's Flex Pocket Charger is smaller than most options out there, but in this case, that's a good thing. This external battery pack plugs into your phone's micro USB port and rests there while it recharges. This makes it more mobile than the significantly larger 15,000mAh battery backs that you would typically leave stationary while your device charges, though that also means it will likely only recharge your handset once. Now it's available from Tanga for $29.99, a 50% discount from its usual price.
Most Android devices and ROMs these days include some kind of support for displaying the battery percentage in the status bar, but not stock Android. For whatever reason, Google has neglected this very basic feature – until now. Android 4.4 on the Nexus 5 includes a battery percentage display option, but it's pretty buried and far from an ideal implementation.
The trend towards integrated, non-removable batteries has caused much weeping and gnashing of teeth among the Android faithful, and nowhere is it more passionate than from the Nexus crowd. If you've been lamenting the Nexus 4's lack of a removable battery, ZeroLemon (purveyors of ridiculously huge extended batteries for major phones) has something they'd like you to see.
That's an external battery case, a form factor famous for turning svelte, short-lived iPhones into hulking bricks of longevity.