Two Day Battery Life? Give Me One Full Day with No Compromises Instead
For some reason every new device announcement comes the audacious claim that it will last up to 2 days on a single charge. Most of us see these claims, roll our eyes, and turn to the reviewers we trust to see the claims dashed to pieces.
HTC made this claim yesterday with the HTC 10 announcement, but they are just the latest in a recent string of battery promises that very few can realistically reach. It really makes me wonder, if plugging in our personally connected devices in before turning in for the day is almost as commonplace as the cell phone itself, do we need a phone that lasts 2 days?
There is no denying battery life needs to improve. One of the best devices of 2015 was marred by a horrible battery and every time a new phone is announced one of the first questions is “how big is the battery” or “how many hours SOT can it do”? The top thread on most XDA forums is the battery life thread and questions about battery life litter device related sub-reddits, you might say we are a little battery obsessed.
We have good reason to be that way too. We all have had that situation where our phone died late in the day just when we needed it most. Improvements in fast charging have helped and many of us own battery banks and mobile chargers for when we cannot access a charger at night, but these are more of band-aids on a gaping wound.
Device manufacturers have been advertising strides in battery life or at least have tried to fix the battery problem for years now. The problem is that while they are on the correct track, OEMs aren’t targeting the RIGHT problem. How many times have you had your phone die when you needed it to navigate home from an unknown neighborhood on its second day of battery? Probably never. We are so used to charging our phones every single night; because even if our phone could last part of a second day is it a chance we are really going to take?
How many times have you had your phone die when you needed it to navigate home from an unknown neighborhood on its second day of battery?
We don’t need phones that last 2 days, we need phones that last 1 full – drag it through the mud then navigate to the moon while watching a season of Game of Thrones – day. Device manufacturers should be given some credit in this regard because they have made some progress, but does saying it lasts 2 days inclusively mean it can last for that 1 “realistic” day? Not at all.
Manufacturers are quick to mention that their 2 days claims are under “normal use” and under controlled environments where the small print typically reads that “actual results may vary”. I don’t think I speak for the masses, but my usage is anything but “normal” or “controlled” and the data shows likewise. In virtually every battery life thread you will see varied results, some people can get 8 hours of screen on time while others can only hit 3.
My current daily driver is the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on T-Mobile and recently it received an update that massively improved the battery life drastically reducing the “Android System” drainage. Combining this update with the Snapdragon 820 and a super efficient screen under some conditions it could absolutely go 2 days without requiring a charge. But if I needed to make an unexpected trip where I needed navigation, or my mom calls and needs to talk for 2 hours at the end of that second day I could not guarantee it would last for the long haul. More realistically I have been able to regularly use this phone for 5 hours of SOT (screen on time) with 18 hours off the charger and it still have 10-20% battery at the end of the day and I am not the only one, and this is a really really great thing.
Manufacturers need to stop advertising they can achieve a 2 day battery life when doing so requires you turn off features through power saving modes, live next to a cell tower, use your phone a little as possible or some combination of the 3; they should be advertising that it can last you 24hrs of good, hard usage. They should be advertising that you can navigate to and from work, sit in your cubicle where you demand streaming music at the “High” levels on a horrible signal, and then last you through an evening of Netflix and web browsing.
Please, allow me to remove the battery percentage on my status bar, take the battery level of my phone out of my head and make me forget where I have fast chargers stashed for that quick hit of juice. Target and perfect that one full day battery life and then move on, because at the end of the day you are just going to plug your phone into it’s charger and go to bed, just like you do probably do every night.