Battery life on a smartphone is important to me. Afterall, the idea behind mobility is that one should be able to use his or her device out and about without it dying out in a short time.
Yes; I know you have read that from me several times on MobilityNigeria. Still, I cannot mention it enough. As such, I must scrutinise the Nokia N900 by this same standard. The question is: Does the N900 offer good enough battery life?
The N900 ships with Nokia’s BL-5J battery, specified at 1320 mAh. It is the same battery in the Nokia 5800, X6, and X6 16GB.
Having used the N900 for a few weeks now, here are my thoughts based on real-life usage patterns.
On a typical day, my N900 delivers between 24 and 30 hours of power. A typical day for me includes the following:
- 15 to 20 SMS messages (sent and received)
- 10 – 20 minutes of phone calls
- 1 hour of web browsing (includes RSS reader)
- 1 hour of e-Book reading
- Mail client auto-connecting to the server every 2 hours and management of up to 20 emails
- Several manual connections to the mail server
- 2 hours of Bluetooth headset connectivity
- 15 minutes of other on-device activities
Note that the phone is almost always locked to a 3G network, and Wifi off (I hardly ever, ever use Wifi), and I easilly get over 24 hours of power. This is quite adequate for me, though I wish that Nokia had put in a 1500 mAh battery instead of the 1320 mAh that the N900 ships with.
More intensive use can mean a drop all the way down to about 10 to 15 hours of battery life.
On the whole, I find that I have no need to carry around a charger for the N900 when leaving home each day – except on occassion when I foresee the need for more intensive use of the device.
The battery performance of the N900 seems quite similar to what I experienced with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. Going to bed with a fully charged battery on the N900 means that the battery charge is usually hovering between 90 and 95% when I get up in the morning.
These are my thoughts based on my usage so far. Now, it is up to you to decide whether the N900’s battery performance is good enough for your needs. Happy considerations.
Update 19th may 2010:
Just to see the shortest time in which I can kill the N900’s battery, I put it to this rather extreme test:
- network mode: 3G
- mail client connecting to server every 5 minutes
- RSS reader refreshing every 15 minutes
- Facebook application left running
- display backlight set to brightest
- wifi radio switched on
- watched a movie for about 10 minutes
- played some music for about 3 minutes
- connected to Yahoo and Gtalk messaging services
- used the camera application a little
- set volume to loudest
- bluetooth on and connected to stereo headset
- SyncML synchronisation with Google
- running Application Manager to download and install apps
- 2 SMS conversations and 1 phone call
Rather harsh; right? Well, that was the idea. The battery was on 72% when I started this test. I wish I had the opportunity to do this from a full charge, but I live in the real world too.
Anyway, from a 72% battery charge when I started, the N900 hit zero and switched off in 2 hours. What do you think?
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.