As with any new device, there are some key areas of performance that most of us focus on, and probably the foremost of these is battery life. What good is a phone if you cannot take it off the charger and use it for a full day without having to plug it in for incremental top ups during the day. Now forget all the battery myths you have ever subscribed to, with current batteries Lithium-Ion, are not in need of all the conditioning and voodoo that surrounded older battery types. Whether it is a phone, tablet or PC, the battery tech we are sporting now does not require witch craft, and lots of tweaking of settings to get the best out of it.
What does matter is, the OS, the capacity of the battery, the hardware that battery has to push along, like screen, CPU, running processes and background apps.
SO after years, and that is not exaggerating, moving back to Android, and OS that seems more akin to a PC OS than a phone OS, has been a torturous event. To make it clear, it took me a while to fully commit, but for the last four days I have not turned on any of the four Windows Phones in my possession, and I do expect some WinPhan hate mail for disclosing that.
I digress though, using the HTC One is, well different, and I have to say I fell a lot less connected than I did on the HTC 8X. In fact it is quite a void I have fallen into. I’m not sure if it is a natural reaction, or just trying t emulate the WP experience on Android, but I have not installed many apps on the phone, only those that exist on Windows Phone. Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Tumbler, Evernote, Skydrive, YouTube, WordPress, Eyeem, Instagram, Paypal, Google Reader[an RSS client], Skype and a couple of personal apps like bank and carrier. I haven’t gone over the top though, and there are plenty of apps that come pre installed. The thing is though that Android seems to have evolved enough now that it handles the way it doles out the power, like the smartphone OS that it is. That is a huge difference from having to religiously tweak settings back on Android Froyo.
While some of those settings are still pertinent, a phone like the HTC One really shouldn’t need you to become an Android power user to get you through the day with some battery left over.
So compared to my HTC 8X, which easily gets me through a daily regime of very heavy usage, and home again, the supersized HTC One, compares quite well. The One has some hardware features that would not seem to be conducive to great battery life, the huge quad core processor, 4.7” 1080p screen, LTE radio sucking the amps down. Fortunately, one of the key features of the phone is a 2300 MAh battery, and it does it’s job.
I’m an incredibly heavy phone user, and by the screen above, from [Sunday] two days ago, you can see the sort of beating the battery is getting, now that is with the power saver feature turned off, because I like things to update while the phone is not being directly used.
SO eight hours and ten minutes to go from 100% to 20% charge remaining, that’s an average work day for a nine to five employee, who would definitely be doing other things than looking at their phone.
The image above is from the native battery monitor in Sense 5, and gives some detail, but to break it down a bit more for folks I downloaded another app, with a few more detailed observations. I monitored the battery life, unscientifically for the last couple of days and th results have actually been getting better.
Really pushing the phone, a good 8 hours seems to take about 80%, but considering that I take a lot of photos and Zoes, and then edit and upload them to more than one service that seems pretty good.
Today though, I was at work all day, but it was someone’s birthday, and I demo’d the features of the phone to a lot of people as well, and on the way, and once at home edited and uploaded a lot of what I did today, and the results are impressive.
Basically with very heavy usage I got a good 12 hours out of the phone, and did not actually run out of charge.
Again, that is without any sort of power saving measures in place, just using the One as much as I want to, and probably a bit more, as far as testing goes.
Reading back over this, I realise I’m rambling a bit, but really what I‘m saying is that the One is a great hardware package, irrespective of the evil OS, it’s a really well made machine, that ticks along fantastically. If I’m more diligent about tweaking the settings, I could definitely get a lot more time out of a single charge.
For an average user, or someone that just want’s a phone with a browser, the attractiveness of the One is obvious, for more advanced Android users, it’s a cornucopia of possibilities, but to say HTC have done something with this phone that is exceptional is an understatement. Wish it ran Windows Phone!