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Why high-end Smartphones do not deliver the best battery life

In making a choice of smartphones, battery life is a key factor for many people around the world. What would be the use of a mobile computer and multi-media device that runs out of juice just after a few hours on the road or outdoors generally?

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This is why one is left wondering when product manufacturers pull off one of those mind-fuddling stunts such as putting small capacity batteries in powerful, high-end smartphones. But it isn’t so difficult to see why this situation exists.

Sony Ericsson Satio - High-end Smartphones and Battery Life

Imagine a 3.5″ touchscreen device, with WiFi, GPS, HSDPA, amazing multimedia capabilities and software, astounding camera, all backed up by a tiny 950mAh battery. Seriously. Seriou-frigging-sly. Yeah, the same battery capacity as the original Nokia N95, and we all know how that went (read: it was catastrophic), oh and the N95 only had a 2.6″ screen, non-touch.

These were the words of Rita El Khoury, a contributor at the Symbian-Guru.com website, in expressing her frustration while reviewing a pre-production model of the upcoming Sony Ericsson Satio, a high-end smartphone.

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Anything less than 1450 mAh on a high-end smartphone that does everything, especially those with a huge touchscreen, 5 mega-pixel camera, HSDPA, Wi-fi, and GPS, will not do. In comparison, other high-end smartphones like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 and the Nokia E90 both have a 1500 mAh battery and manage good battery life.

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Years down the road, Apple’s iPhones, which are all high-end smartphones, arrived and quickly developed the reputation of having the worst battery life of flagship phones ever. The case of iPhones is perhaps the most extreme example of how premium phones do not generally offer the best battery life. In trying to make their devices as thin as possible, Apple consistently sacrificed battery life on the altar of sleekness. This changed with the iPhone 13 Pro Max, though, which is the first iPhone with exemplary battery performance.

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As a rule, premium, flagship, high-end smartphones have not had a long history of being optimized for the longest battery life. That is because they are optimized primarily for class, power, and performance. Which is why, if you need the best battery life in a cell phone, high-end smartphones are not where to look. Usually, the mid-range has the phones with the best battery life.

Read Rita’s Sony Ericsson Satio Review – 7 Things I Hate.

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