Motorola Droid X Boasts Longest-Lasting Battery: Report

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-08-27 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Motorola Droid and the Dell Streak out-surfed a number of Android-running devices in a battery-testing contest devised by Laptop Magazine. The HTC Incredible came in last.

Motorola's Droid X and Droid 2 smartphones, along with the Dell Streak, came out on top of a battery-life contest for Android-running handsets, recently devised by Laptop Magazine.

The Motorola Droid X was the big winner, with enough juice to run for 7 hours and 42 minutes, according to the contest results. Dell's Streak-which some analysts say is either a large smartphone or small tablet PC-ran for 7 hours, 35 minutes, while Motorola's Droid came in third, at 7 hours, 7 minutes. Bringing up the rear was the HTC Incredible, which exhausted itself after 4 hours and 33 minutes.  

The test consisted of the devices running an Android application, created by Laptop's Web director, that the magazine writes "opens the phone's Web browser to one of 60 popular Websites, remains there for 60 seconds, closes the browser, then reopens the browser to the next Website on the list. It does so until the phone's battery dies, all while recording the time elapsed."

To create a level playing field, several adjustments were made to each handset. First, two free applications, My Settings and Advanced Task Killer, were downloaded to each device. Then, in My Settings, the Laptop gang turned off auto brightness and set the brightness of each screen to 40 percent. They also turned off WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS location, cell location and auto sync, deactivated the screen timeout and turned off Flash support and plug-ins in the Web browser. Lastly, they placed each phone in a place where it was receiving at least four bars of service.

Each phone was then tested twice, and its score was the result of the tests' average.

"We know this doesn't take into account things such as texting, making phone calls and using multimedia apps, but we feel it gives a fair indication of how long one phone will last compared to another under similar settings," Laptop reported.

That said, it's still difficult to say all phones were equal. Screen size has long been equated with battery life, making the Dell Streak an unexpected second-place finisher, as it features a 5-inch display-the largest in the industry, and the reason why many it consider it more of a tablet. Dell included.  

Additionally, phones with AMOLED, or Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) displays-the Samsung Captivate, Samsung Vibrant and HTC Incredible-put in the poorest battery performances, by Laptop's measure. The benefits of the S-AMOLED technology are said to be an ultra-brilliant display, capable of producing up to 16 million colors. By design, they're said to enable a slimmer form factor. And lastly, according to Samsung, S-AMOLED displays also create images using a black pallete, instead of a white one, which eliminates the need for a backlight-thus reportedly boosting battery life.

Laptop points out that this is why Samsung uses a black background for the application menus on its Galaxy S phones. However, the devices weren't able to benefit from this clever bit of design during the Laptop testing, as most Websites feature white backgrounds.

Which phones offer the best battery life, then?

"It really comes down to what you view most often on your phone," Laptop concluded.

The battery life average was 5 hours, 5 minutes. Coming in just under that, for fourth place, was the Samsung Epic 4G, at 5 hours, 34 minutes, followed by the HTC Evo 4G at 5 hours, 27 minutes. The Samsung Vibrant finished in sixth, at 4 hours, 44 minutes, and in seventh place - putting in 10 more seconds than the HTC Incredible - was the Samsung Captivate, with a battery life of 4 hours and 43 minutes.

The Laptop test also put to rest iFixit's fears, regarding the battery life of the Dell Streak. Tearing down the Streak earlier this month, and discovering a 3.7V, 530mAh, the repair site wrote: "The fact that Dell didn't publish the battery life hints at the fact that it isn't too great."

 


 
 
 
 
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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