All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

Old 15-01-2008, 09:26 AM
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Crossing the Battery Threshold

Steve takes a look at the tricky issue of battery life, and argues that the problem is binary - once you reach a certain level of performance, it doesn't matter how much more time you have, cross that battery threshold and you'll be a happy smartphone user, otherwise you'll be worrying.

Read on in the full article.

Old 15-01-2008, 09:38 AM
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I'm always carrying around 2 extra batteries for my N95. Keeps me going without a charger for about 2-6 days. But i really wish that the N95 Classic had a better battery (like E90's 1500mAh).

Old 15-01-2008, 10:24 AM
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The N73

I've been using a N73 for a year now and I've never had any problems with the battery, even on days when I go crazy with the camera. The battery is wearing out now though, so I'll need to replace it(or get a N95 8 gig ).

Old 15-01-2008, 10:55 AM
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An interesting read...the 'threshold' indeed not only varies from phone to phone, but also from person to person, depending on usage. Moreover, newer phones have better ways of regulating and maximising battery life e.g. introduction of the 'Sleep' mode, as opposed to none on older phones.

Old 15-01-2008, 10:57 AM
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My 6110 Navigator lasts two days on its 900mah battery with bluetooth on all the time. For 7 hours of each day it's syncing to a PC over bluetooth every hour, and it's in a building with a very weak signal, so the GSM circuitry is running at full power trying to get something. Obviously it's only got a 2Mpx camera, so that doesn't drain much.

Even with the GPS running, it will last a day's driving unplugged if the screen is set to only light up when directions are given.

When I'm off work, but just at home, it will last 4 days thanks to a clear GSM signal, and no syncing.

All the scenarios (at work, driving and at home) are well over the "battery threshold" for me, especially since at work, I'm close to power anyway and I've got a car charger for when I'm driving if I want the screen on all the time.

Old 15-01-2008, 11:09 AM
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Less than a certain battery capacity (relative to overall functions) and the result will be misery. Greater than the same figure results in happiness and contentment.
That's from Dickens, surely? :-)
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Old 15-01-2008, 11:13 AM
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Hi Steve,

Having been fortunate to have owned both a E61 and now a E90 I really can't remember the last time i had a battery run out on me. I have also had a N73 N93, N95 and N95 8GB and never had a problem with them either. Now there are many solutions to charge your phone whilst away from a power point and I'm not going to list all the products but even Nokia now has them. I have never understood this my battery needs to last days as have always charged my devcie whilst i sleep, to not charge it overnight and then complain it goes dead seems some what bizarre to me. Like skipping breakfast and then complaining mid morning your hungry, but that's not the point really of course as our devcies do more we need more power but at least there are solutions coming to our aid should we need them.

As someone that remembers the original cell phones where you needed multiple batteries to make it through a day or a transportable that virtually meant carrying your own car battery with you . I think we have come a long way from those days and am sure it will continue to improve but we have to realise the more we do with our devcies the more power they will use and there is just no getting away from that simple fact.


Old 15-01-2008, 12:55 PM
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When I was first looking for a PDA the options I was weighing up were Windows PocketPC devices, Psion Series 5, or Nokia 9210. I had a number of friends with the PocketPC things and while they looked flashy and more powerful, they were useless in the fact that the batteries wouldn't last half a day's use. The Series 5 was out of date and ran on AA batteries (see the cost mount up), the 9210 ran on it's own battery and through reasonably heavy use would last 3 days before I'd think about needing to charge it.

Similarly my 9500 and E90 have been great with regards to battery life.
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Old 15-01-2008, 01:41 PM
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A good mobile device is one that only needs to recharge while I sleep. However if devices were designed like that they would could run all day at their peak of power consumption, we either would not have video and GPS and more on the N95 or we would carry those 'portable' old carphone size mobile phones around. And I am talking 12V battery blocks here!

I prefere a device that will take me 95% of my days without worry and can be extended for the remaining 5% of exceptional circumstances. Those 5% are during peak usage (holidays i.e.) where my power usage increases to 2-3 full battery charges.

Size and mobility are truly connected. Size truly determines the mobility of the device as it limits your mobility as a user. The smaller and unobtrusive a device the more occasions there are in which you can carry it with you. As such you may choose between a E-90 for the active professional and a N95 for a weekend warrior like me. Or simply glue the N95 permanently to a Proporta. Doubling it's size and weight. For me a more flexible and adaptable version is more interesting. Sometime I whished the N95 would be even smaller.

However my biggest annoyance about the N95 is still it's lack of RAM.

Convergence and mobility are here to stay and they have a very interesting impact on size and battery capacity of mobile computing. As such they are the main reason for the current MIMD's with Nokia leading the market with the N810/N800. But that's a post on my blog.



Old 15-01-2008, 02:03 PM
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Smile A useful tip for the N95 classic..

I have the N95 classic. The battery life was 16 hours in some cases, until I heard a tip to disable 3G. Now I get even 3 days out of it with minimal use, and easily get through the day with active use. Essentially the biggest drain for me was that my house is a non-3G zone and whilst I was at home, the phone would be constantly scanning for a 3G transmitter. Turn that off and the battery life must have tripled. I no longer worry about it either - I'm over the threshold too now.

If I need to use 3G, which, let's face it, for most people is only useful if they're browsing the web then I just switch it back on. Otherwise it stays off and my battery life stays up.

Old 15-01-2008, 03:30 PM
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I still maintain that the battery life (1100 mAh) of the N73 is fantastic,I was able to get 4 days stand-by time with above average use,which I think is fantastic for an N-Series device with a good quailty camera,even though it missed out on WLAN & GPS...

Even the N73's successor the N82 has a only a 1050 mAh,along with way more tech on board...

Old 15-01-2008, 04:57 PM
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It's fair to say that regular phones have long since passed the battery threshold, often lasting for days without charge. Smartphone users have less of a battery expectation because they know they can do so much more with their devices.

I was going to add that as regular phones get more features that were previously reserved for smartphones, people won't accept a lower battery life, but to be honest, if you get at least a day do you need any more and will people care? Most people stick their phone on to charge at night anyway, which entails almost no effort. Battery life only becomes an issue when you're away from a charging point for any length of time.

Old 15-01-2008, 05:04 PM
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Battery Indicator

How reliable is the battery status indicator on nokai phones? Thought it wasn' t only giving a good indication when starting the phone.

Old 15-01-2008, 10:42 PM
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Battery indicator is not bad. It needs like most Li-Ions a reset once a while. Meaning draining the battery until low and fully charging it again. There is a slight tendency for the 8th power bar (top bar) to indicate a higer power amount of capacity then the rest. But that is largely a feeling. I did not measure it.


Old 16-01-2008, 01:39 AM
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just thoughts

Thanks for the article Steve.

For me the happiness threshold is at least 36 hours. I travel to Eastern Europe a few times a year from Canada. On the day of the departure there are plenty of calls and emails and smses to the office and family and friends... There's also the in between flight connections time and calls from duty-free shops, and checking your email and calendar and jotting down notes. Then, at the arrival, everyone seems to have the urge to call and see if everything went smoothly. And after the airport, it usually takes a few hours till I can get to a power point because I never end up going straight home. I could never get through a complete cycle on a single battery charge with any device I used to own, most of them high end. Now I have an E61i and I hope it will be better.

For regular use, the e61i will last at least 2 days with wifi and synching constantly. After the last Motorola and the n93, this is a godsend.



battery, crossing, threshold

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