Windows Phone Hasn't Been Impressive With Power Management

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Some days ago, I published an article on 2012’s smartphones with the best battery life. We lost that article in a recent maintenance procedure, but I am putting it back together again. A fallout of my research for that article was that the available statistics show that Windows Phone hasn’t been impressive in power management.

While Android has been a mash-up of battery experiences, we do have the best battery performance on any smartphone available from Android. The Motorola RAZR MAXX is king of the hill with an amazing 87 hours endurance rating i.e. if you use it for 1 hour voice calls, 1 hour web browsing, and 1 hour video playback daily, it will need a recharge in 87 hours. That is over three and a half days on a single charge with that ideal scenario. Yes; individual usage varies, but we have a picture.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II has an endurance rating of 69 hours. That is incredible for a device with that huge display. It does almost 9 hours of non-stop web browsing, which isn’t shabby at all.

iOS

On iOS, the iPhone 5 is the best available with an endurance rating of 51 hours. I particularly love the fact that it can do almost 10 hours of non-stop web browsing.

BlackBerry

The BlackBerry records are quite disappointing. The best rating that is available is 35 hours on the Bold 9790, though simple principles of physics suggest that the Curve 9320 with a beefier battery (1450 mAh against the 9790’s 1230 mAh unit) and weaker processor will do better. The problem is that GSM Arena hasn’t put it through their battery tests, so we don’t have an official figure.

So, what of Windows Phone?

The HTC Windows Phone 8X scores a paltry 31 hours endurance rating. The Nokia Lumia 820 does significantly better at 40 hours. But the best available at the moment is from the Nokia Lumia 610 at 43 hours. The 610 does 8 hours of non-stop web browsing too. Not bad for a little guy.

lumia610-battery

The question is, What is up with Windows Phone that we are seeing generally unimpressive power management? Of course, it can be argued that initially, neither Android nor iOS were delivering good battery life initially, and that as Windows Phone devices are churned out and fine-tuned, we shall see better power management from that end. Plausible.

In the meantime, I wait with bated breath for the results of battery tests of the Lumia 920. Can the Lumia 920 turn the tides and give us an endurance rating of over 50 hours at least?

What are your thoughts?

Credit: Battery test results snapshots and statistics from GSMArena Blog.

5 comments

  1. I remember the argument we had sometime last year about Android resource management and power consumption. Some of my arguments then was the fancy Android UI as against Symbian bland UI, numerous social media apps that are regularly syncing to with the web, more power hungry hardwares and generally bigger screens.

    One thing I didn’t mention then was age and maturity of the Android OS. I believe those two factors are now playing in Android’s favour while Symbian in the name of Belle is suffering from a bit of maturity too and of course larger displays in terms of pixel count and otherwise, more power hungry hardwares and the fancy UI and UX drawbacks even though it is still lagging Android in those areas.

    How time changes. Android has really come of age but more effort is still needed to keep making it even better. And Windows Phone will certainly be better in the next iteration. The main issue now is for it to gain some acceptance and if the news making rounds is anything to go by, then Windows Phone will soon be there.

  2. there are many issues that determine battery life. a combination of hardware and software factors.

    One factor is not necessarily more important than the other.

    I think it would be difficult to make a sweeping statement that a particular OS is poor / outstanding at power management.

    If my aim as a manufacturer is to have astounding battery life, I could compromise on other factors, just to achieve my aim.

    it is similar to that eternal inverse relationship between fuel consumption and rate of acceleration in automobiles.

    A manufacturer determines what is more important, and tweaks the parameters to achieve his objective.

    Price may be a factor. Profit target may be yet another.

    The Motorola RAZR MAXX is king of the hill with an amazing 87 hours endurance rating

    I think this pretty much buttresses my point. The RAZOR has a beefy battery. That is is the primary reason reason for its power efficiency. If WindowsPhone pack similarly hefty batteries, we may not be complaining about WP`s power management inadequacies!

  3. @eye.bee.kay, then let them put enough battery to power the devices if that’s the case. It’s going to be helpful in sales. I never knew I will be getting this much battery from my Note II. And it’s not only that huge 3100mah battery inside the phone but also it takes far less time to charge compared to the 1,600mah in the sgs 2. This is convenience extraordinary esp for a user in Nigeria.

    Since Microsoft was to rebuild their OS right from the ground up, I expected them to have placed all these in view and make the OS more energy efficient.

  4. “Since Microsoft was to rebuild their OS right from the ground up, I expected them to have placed all these in view and make the OS more energy efficient”.

    EXACTLY. What’s all this nonsense about Power management. Nokia symbian devices were legendary for their battery lives so if they need a larger battery to compensate for a “still-refining” OS, why be stingy?

    I’ve used a Samsung device in the past (a D-something series) that made my heart skip when I launch a game cos it woould last for about 35mins and bade me farewell. Poor battery life is a DEAL BREAKER for me. I don’t care if the device is so advanced that it can read/interpret my thought wave (??? ) ( ???) (ok, I care a little….ok a lot).

    Currently using a Nexus. Online forums say the 4.2 update is a mega buggy one that consumes battery like a greedy pig. Have refused to install it. The speedier and more flexible update contained within the 4.2 upgrade can stuff it.

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