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

Battery Life on the Nokia N900

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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?

nokia n900 me
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:

  1. network mode: 3G
  2. mail client connecting to server every 5 minutes
  3. RSS reader refreshing every 15 minutes
  4. Facebook application left running
  5. display backlight set to brightest
  6. wifi radio switched on
  7. watched a movie for about 10 minutes
  8. played some music for about 3 minutes
  9. connected to Yahoo and Gtalk messaging services
  10. used the camera application a little
  11. set volume to loudest
  12. bluetooth on and connected to stereo headset
  13. SyncML synchronisation with Google
  14. running Application Manager to download and install apps
  15. 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?


  1. Nice one. I guess thats the first nokia phone that the battery last as long as that hour. Which my e75 has same. I currently have 3 batteries for my e75 which i’m not happy about.
    Enjoy your device!

  2. Computer,

    Your experience with battery life on the Nokia E75 sounds strange. I once had it and the battery life was good, if not better than the N900’s.

  3. Computer
    I just read through your post again. Sorry I didn’t get it right initially. I do alot on my smart phone (e63 nokia) and it lasts the whole day while i’m out. Doing alot for me include listening to fm radio, browsing and instant messaging. Emoze Push Email is also on all day.

  4. I would have loved if the N900 COULD LAST A DAY And a half at least. 36 hours with all what you do. But then you are not easy on it and you are a power hungry user and yet it lasts over 30 hours. That is a good bargain still, if you ask me!

  5. Interesting Yomi. That is really some HArsh Test. All in all, I still think your N900 delivers. It is a decent BAttery Life!

  6. hi.I’m based in Ghana.iv been using de n900 for five months now. battery life really depends on usage. for a heavy user like me with constant browsing n listening to music i get like 4 to 5 hours but i always carry a spare battery. this is pretty good compared to my laptop which only lasts an hour n i cant put it in my pocket!! However i was able to get 2 days on a single charge using de phone sparingly 🙂 battery suckers are 3G n high brightness on display

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