I don’t remember exactly which of Wayne’s articles it was, whether it was something on the Palm Pre or the iPhone 3G S or something entirely different … but wherever it came from, it started me thinking about that bane of the mobile gadget junkie’s existence: battery life. More specifically: mobile phone battery life. Similar to what has happened with PDA’s, laptops, digital cameras and so on, mobile phone makers have constantly struggled to maintain the balance between features and battery life. Because, after all, a dead mobile phone can’t make a call, regardless of how many cool features are listed on the box. So I asked around the crew of Gear Diary, and here is what they said:
Michael Anderson: Personally, I just hung up from a call and noted I still have ~50% battery and haven’t charged in nearly a week … but then I have a non-camera phone I use only for calls and texting. On the other hand, I am charging my iPod Touch about every other day at this point because I use that for tons of stuff.
Just wondering what everyone thinks is acceptable for what sort of device?
Wayne Schulz: Don’t know but here’s how mine roll out:
- BlackBerry 8900 (EDGE only phone on T-Mobile) — 4:30 am to 11pm — no problem making it
- BlackBerry Bold (3G on AT&T) — 4:30 am to 4pm — depends on usage
- iPhone 3GS – 4:30 am to 4:00 pm — depends on usage
- Palm Pre — 4:30 am to 1pm (I’m being generous) – if I didn’t use the phone for anything it might have lasted until 4
Carly Zektzer: If i can get from morning (6am) to bed (10pm) without having to charge or lose functions to save battery life i am happy.
- Personally, my Touch MIGHT last a day if I am lucky. Normally does not happen.
- My iPhone- maybe half a day. I have turned off push notifications in the hope of better battery life.
It is totally unacceptable to me but it is the trade off I live with.
After having been screwed once when it died I now carry TWO different external batteries with me.
Judie Lipsett: if I am using a dumb phone, like the Vertu, I can get almost a week – because all I am doing is texting and calling. It spoils me, because when I am using a smatphone I have to recharge daily…but the key here is daily. If I can’t make it through a single day without topping the battery off, then it is crap and I won’t use it – no mater how “cool” the phone is.
Speaking of which, I have the Snap set to fetch email every 10 minutes, I use it for extensive email, texting, calls, and some surfing (it’s no iPhone, okay?), and it gets me to 4pm before it hits half charge. I’ve been VERY impressed with its battery life.
Jessica Fritsche: I can make it through a whole day easily with my iPhone 3G unless I am away from home/the office and making tons of calls or using it to do a lot of surfing. I have noticed that with 3.0 my battery life isn’t as good…I heard that the 3.1 update should fix that though.
Jeff Frantz: Assuming a normal day, which means I’m in the office and therefore using my laptop for browsing rather than a phone:
- iPhone 3GS – so far I seem to get a day and a half
- BlackBerry Bold – a little more than a day, if I’m lucky
I actually haven’t noticed that much difference between the 3G and the 3GS, but then I haven’t been using any push functions, either.
Daniel Cohen: how are you people getting such good battery life out of the 3GS??? jeepers.
Jeff Frantz: In my case, I’m not using it much for email and when I do, it’s set to check manually. (Sent via BlackBerry)
My BB Curve 8330 lasts from 6am-11:30 pm ish. That’s even with being in a building that gets no Sprint signal during work hours, searches for signal constantly and gets all pushmail for 3 different accounts.
Travis: I charge throughout the day as I can or I won’t make it. I’m going to have to get a charger for my classroom so I can make it. Game days are tricky. I sometimes don’t get home until 12:00 or later. I often run out of juice.
How about you? What sort of battery life do you get? What functionality do you use – and what do you sacrifice to get longer life? And what do you think is ‘acceptable’?
Image courtesy of Ars Technica