While reviewing the HTC Thunderbolt a month or so ago, I expressed my fears that the battery life issue that plagued the Thunderbolt was not device-specific, but signified a deeper problem with Verizon’s shiny new 4G LTE network.
Though impossible to prove a trend from the performance of a single device, I’ve had my hands on the recently delayed Samsung Droid Charge for about a week now and have experienced a similar level of battery drain on Samsung’s first entrant into the Droid series.
On average, between the two devices I have averaged about 6-7 hours of what I’d call moderate-heavy usage. To be 100% transparent, here’s what I consider to be moderate-heavy usage:
- Tweetdeck — Refreshed every 5-10 minutes (remember, I’m an addict)
- Gmail — fairly frequently responding to either personal or Android and Me emails
- Email — fairly frequently checking and responding to work email
- Various games — infrequently I’ll play a game for a few minutes while taking a break from work
- Google Talk — fairly frequently
- Occasional use of Documents to Go to view/edit files while in/heading to a meeting
Though my usage may not represent the typical Android user, I think it’s close enough to drive the point home. If a mobile smartphone can’t make it through the typical day without needing to be connected to a charger at some point, the manufacturer needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a device that can handle it.
Now, I’m still holding out hope that the battery life enhancements we’ve seen in the personal computer market will find their way to the mobile smartphone market. Perhaps we’re even closer than we think. It will be interesting to see how battery life holds up when the first of the dual-core LTE devices drops on Verizon in coming months.
For now, we’ll just have to wait. But I’m curious to hear from you. As I stated above, my usage does not fully represent the average Android user. Do you have a Thunderbolt and think my battery life complaints are unfounded; that you’re getting much better battery life than I’ve led you to believe? Conversely, are you getting even worse battery life than my 6-7 hour average? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!