I’ve been a mobile phone owner for almost 20 years. I was far from being one of the first people in the world to get a mobile in the mid-90s, but they were still far from common then. Of course, nearly two decades ago we are talking about dumb phones. Very dumb phones. The most advanced thing my first phone was capable of was playing Snake. As Snake is what you were stuck with; app stores did not exist in any form.
My first phone was very basic, but it did the job. It made and received calls and texts, included an address book and basic calendar, and games provided entertainment. It was very, very simple, and quite bulky. It also had a battery that kept it running for the best part of a week. A week! Can you imagine that in a modern handset?
Of course, fast forwarding to 2014 finds us dealing with a completely different breed of phone. After a period during which handset became ever-smaller, we have now reached the stage that screens are growing and growing and growing — and of course these are full-color, hi-def screens rather than miniscule monochromatic affairs. The modern smartphone does so much more than its dumb ancestors, including connecting to the internet, taking photos and so on.
There is a worrying trend that battery life is just… well… rubbish
But one thing has not improved over the years: battery life. While I could happily think about taking my dumb phone away with me for a few days without having to worry about a charger, these days I’m lucky to make it to bedtime without having to seek out a power point. If I go out in the car, I make sure I have a cigarette lighter charger with me. I’ve also acquired several backup battery packs over the years to provide that extra juice when needed.
I’ll admit that I do use my phone quite heavily, but then so do most people these days. A handset really should be able to make it through the day without running out of power, but I’m increasingly finding that this is just not the case. I’m not talking about old phones with aging batteries that are not holding their charge for as long, there is a worrying trend that battery life is just… well… rubbish.
This is certainly something I have found with numerous Android phones. My old iPhone 3GS was fairly impressive when new — it would last an entire day and at least partway through the night to start with, but time took its toll.
But I have been impressed with the longevity of my Nokia Lumia 928. This Windows Phone handset will always make it through a full 24 hours, and it has been known to last a couple of days between charges. I’m not sure what Nokia are doing, but the company is certainly doing something right here!
So… I’m interested to know what your experiences are. The quotes stats from manufacturers usually have to be taken with a healthy pinch of salt. What have you found in real world usage? What’s the best phone for battery life?Further reading: Nokia, Windows Phone