HTC is no stranger to criticism on its choice of batteries for its latest devices. Earlier this year, HTC decided to incorporate non-removable batteries in many of its flagship devices in an effort to keep handset profiles as thin as possible. Technically, this allows HTC to find a slightly larger battery into a phone without increasing the phone’s footprint, but in doing so, HTC has taken away the option for power users to swap out batteries in their phones. In general, non-removable batteries shouldn’t really be an issue, but HTC phones like the new HTC DROID DNA are equipped with top-of-the-line specs like Qualcomm’s quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 440ppi 5-inch 1080p display.
For a while, there were a few rumors that the HTC DROID DNA would come with a 2,500 mAh battery, but everyone’s hopes were shattered when the handset was officially unveiled with the same 2,020 mAh battery found in the HTC J Butterfly. To put things into perspective, a 2,020 mAh battery is actually quite large for a mobile device. There are less than a half dozen Android-powered phones on the market with larger batteries, but none of them features specs comparable to those found in the HTC DROID DNA.
Qualcomm’s quad-core processor may sound extremely power hungry, but it’s actually extremely power efficient. Unlike NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor, which keeps all cores revved to the same speed at all times, Qualcomm uses asynchronous core technology. This allows each of the four cores to operate independently, meaning that all four cores are dynamically clocked based on the the processing load required. Therefore, the CPU can operate a lot more efficiently when the device is not loading web pages, watching videos or playing games.
While the processor in the DROID DNA may be great at providing good battery life, the same cannot be said about the 5-inch 1080p display. Yes, Sharp does claim that the Super LCD3 technology used in the display is 2.5 times more power efficient when the display is static and 20% more efficient under heavy load. But, that doesn’t change the fact that the 1920×1080 display of the DROID DNA has 125% more pixels than the 1280×720 displays found on phones like the HTC One X, Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S III. Regardless of the improved efficiency of the Super LCD3 technology used over Super LCD2 or Super AMOLED, more pixels always has a direct correlation on increased battery drain.
So how does the HTC DROID DNA batter life perform in real life?
It’s still too early to say. A handful of tech sites have already posted their full reviews on the HTC DROID DNA, but none of them seem to agree on how consumers can expect the phone to last on a single charge.
The Verge - The DNA lasted a meager four hours and 25 minutes in the Verge Battery Test, which cycles through a series of websites and high-res images with the screen at 65 percent brightness. In daily use, it frequently tapped out long before the day was over.
Gizmodo - The Droid DNA still lasted until 10pm every night with moderately heavy usage. It’s certainly nowhere near the marathon levels of the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, but it outlasts the Galaxy S III
Engadget - In terms of real-life usage, the DNA got us through a full day on moderate use, but it’s quite apparent that the screen will drain the battery much faster, so frequent users will need to keep that in mind before heading off on the daily commute.
Android Police - The DROID DNA seems to have perfectly adequate battery life for moderate users, and even a little more than some other high-end phones may provide.