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battery life

Data reveals the battery life on the Exynos version of the Galaxy S7 to be better than the Snapdragon model

Galaxy S7

A new report compiled by a variety of sources have revealed that the battery life on the Exynos 8890 running #GalaxyS7 is significantly better than the Snapdragon 820 variant. This goes to show that although the Snapdragon 820 edges out the competition in terms of power, there’s a substantial gulf between itself and the Exynos 8890 in terms of battery life and efficiency. One test found the Exynos 8890 toting model to be about 71% more efficient than the Snapdragon version.

Some other independent tests have shown similar results, suggesting that Samsung has done significant work on its own home-grown Exynos SoC. It’s either that or the Snapdragon 820 is just too much of a power hog. In any scenario, customers who own the Exynos 8890 version of the Galaxy S7 shouldn’t be too disappointed compared to their counterparts.

The Galaxy S7 is available with an Exynos 8890 chipset in most regions of Asia and Europe, while the U.S. and some other parts of the world received the Snapdragon 820 version of the device.

Via: Phone Arena

Top ten Android smartphones with the best battery life – December 2015

Power banks, aka portable battery chargers, energy packs capable of doubling as protective cases, phones that juice up from 0 to 60 percent capacity or even more in under an hour, wireless charging pads, they’re all imperfect solutions or workarounds for possibly the greatest weakness of most modern-day high-end phones.

Android-Battery

What good are breathtaking 4K screens, monumentally speedy octa or deca-core processors, and respectable PC-matching RAM counts when you can only enjoy the amazing resulting ensembles for 8, 10, 12 hours before hugging a wall or needing one of those magical power banks?

Well, if you’re smart, and choose your next Android handheld wisely, autonomy doesn’t have to be so rudimentary, and you can go 16, 20, 24, sometimes even 36 or 48 hours without requiring an extra energy supply. None of the below is quite as enduring as we dreamed several years back, and they’re all still easily eclipsed by “dumb” phones, but they’re the best money can buy stateside right now in terms of battery size:

Lenovo Vibe P1 – available for $398 unlocked on Amazon

Lenovo Vibe P1

The biggest batteries don’t always equal the best battery life, but in P1’s case, there’s little to prevent the massive 5,000 mAh cell from keeping the lights on for what may feel like an eternity. Namely, up to 49 hours, Lenovo claims, in continuous 2G talk time, or over 600 (!!!) hours in stand-by.

The 5.5-incher is hardly the world’s sharpest or most powerful gadget, with a Full HD display and Snapdragon 615 processor in tow, alongside 2 GB RAM, 13 and 5 MP cameras, and pre-loaded 5.1 Lollipop on the software side of things. Still, it’s a fantastic investment if you’re constantly on the run, and need something to keep up with your busy life.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 – $390 unlocked

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

This is likely no longer the answer to the question on many people’s minds – “what smartphone has the best battery life?” But it could well be the second best, courtesy of a non-removable 4,100 mAh juicer rated at a “minimum” standby stamina of 608 hours.

Of course, no one spends four Benjamins to leave the object of desire untouched in a drawer somewhere, which is why we’re guessing the Mate 7 will crack in under two days of heavy use due to measuring 6 inches in screen diagonal and packing a power-hungry Kirin 925 silicon.

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 – $200 factory unlocked

Huawei Ascend Mate 2

How is this 4,050 mAh battery beast so cheap? First of all, it’s ancient, having seen daylight way back in January 2014. As such, its software support is probably halted after a surprising 4.4 KitKat-skipping 5.1 Lollipop update.

Secondly, it’s got a modest quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip behind the hood. Thirdly, it tips the scales at an off-putting 202 grams. But the frugal SoC can be viewed as an advantage through the eyes of an independence-seeking traveler, and the least you could hope for is 24 hours of autonomy under constant pressure.

Huawei Enjoy 5 – $234

huawei_enjoy_5

Where did this mid-range 5-incher come from all of a sudden? China, obviously, via unofficial channels, meaning a valid US warranty is hard to procure at the moment. If that sounds like a risk worth taking, it’s because the Enjoy 5 hauls a 4,000 mAh battery, which is absolutely huge relative to a 143.1 x 71.8 x 9.7 mm footprint.

In comparison, the standard Samsung Galaxy S6 measures 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, shaving a vital 1,500 mAh or so off the cell size just to flaunt a catwalk-destined waist. Forget it, we’d rather have an all-day (and all-night) reliable phone… for a fraction of the price.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium – $695

Xperia Z5 Premium

Also imported using frowned-upon means, this time from Japan, the Ultra HD pioneer stands out with water protection, fingerprint recognition and big battery too, though it goes without saying the 3,840 x 2,140 panel can do major damage on the 3,430 mAh juicer at full potential.

Good thing then Sony limits the display’s energy consumption at the risk of pissing off specs junkies, so hopefully, the Snapdragon 810/3 GB RAM/5.5-inch monster can chug along for a whole day’s work. If it doesn’t, Quick Charge 2.0 technology lets you go from 0 to 60 percent in a measly 30 minutes.

Google Nexus 6 – $340

Nexus 6

Yes, it’s old, yes, there’s a new version in town, and yes, that one’s better in essentially every way, including as far as battery capacity and endurance go. But the N6P is also much costlier, especially through Amazon, while Motorola’s OG “pure Google” phablet retains a certain je ne sais quoi.

Not to mention a 3,220 mAh power container. And wireless charging functions. And a cucumber cool quad-core Snapdragon 805 chip. And 3 GB RAM, and 32 GB ROM, and a water-resistant body, and 6-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – $502 factory unlocked

Galaxy Note 4 battery

Did you know last year’s S Pen-supporting giant towers above its heir to the productivity throne in terms of battery size, with 3,220 to 3,000 mAh? Too bad the Note 4 remains so extravagantly priced. On the plus side, it may for some reason jump on the Marshmallow bandwagon before the Galaxy Note 5 does. The update gods seem to be working in decidedly mysterious ways.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ – $650

galaxy-s6-edge-plus

Why this and not its stylus-wielding, non-edgy cousin? Because it looks so sweet, so curvaceous and slim, yet it still manages to accommodate a 3,000 mAh battery, reportedly good for more than 30 hours uninterrupted talk time activity, 10+ hours of web browsing, or close to 14 of endless video playback.

More affordable than ever, albeit far from a bargain, the S6 Edge Plus sports a 5.7-inch 2K screen, Exynos 7420 SoC, 4 GB RAM, 16 MP LED flash rear camera, and 5 MP front shooter, with wireless charging capabilities, and the absolute best in fast charging enhancements.

Moto X Pure Edition – $400 and up with US warranty

Moto-X-Pure-Edition

No love for the Droid Turbo? It’s too old, too tough to find someplace else than at Verizon, and besides, the X Pure Edition, aka X Style, squeezes a 3,000 mAh cell into an 11.1 mm thick frame. Clearly, this won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s very robustly built, the bang for buck is quite compelling, and the battery scored an impressive 63 hours endurance rating from GSM Arena.

Also, in just 15 minutes of plug-in action, you should get the battery mark up to a third of its full capacity. Not even Samsung can do that…

LG G4 – $425 and up factory unlocked

LG G4 battery

Is it the longest-lasting Android around? Hardly. Is it one of the absolute best phones in its price bracket? Definitely. Consider this – it’s got a 3,000 mAh juicer, rated at roughly 20 hours of talk time, hexa-core Snapdragon 808 CPU, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, microSD support, 5.5-inch QHD display, Marshmallow goodies around the corner, and swanky leather exterior. It’s a very tough act to follow, which is why the V10 strayed so far from the beaten design path, also going with an entirely different moniker.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs LG G4 – specs comparison

It’s becoming clearer and clearer by the day that Samsung’s “true” flagship for the upcoming holiday season was always meant to be the Galaxy S6 Edge+, not the Note 5. It’s of course no coincidence the latter is getting a more limited global bow, and even its freshly surfaced S Pen-related “design flaw” may have something to do with sloppier R&D.

samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-plus-vs-lg-g4

Many will argue you’re not supposed to insert the stylus the wrong way in its slot, and you deserve what’s coming if you don’t pay attention to the direction the tip is pointing at. But is it really as simple as that? Not if you consider such drama was impossible at previous Note generations and their non-springy pens. Physically impossible, as in prevented by design.

Anyhoo, this is not a piece about the Galaxy Note 5 for obvious reasons. It’s about the fully working, thoroughly well-designed and super-provocative Galaxy S6 Edge+. Also, its number one box-office opponent at the moment. That is, until the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale.

Galaxy Note 5 S6 Edge Plus

The LG G4’s curves are clearly subtler than its rival’s, and the hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC is no match for the raw speed of the Exynos 7420. Can the leather-clad dark horse then still keep up with the metal-and-glass front-runner? Let’s find out:

Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs LG G4 – pricing and availability comparison

Up for grabs from all big four US carriers, Samsung’s “next big thing” is nowhere to be found on Amazon for the time being. At Best Buy, it’s bundled with a free wireless charger, which is neat, and can further net you $200 on a gift card with qualifying trade-ins.

Galaxy S6 Edge+

If you’d rather take your business directly to wireless service providers, Verizon is selling the edgy phablet starting at $32 a month, no upfront fee, or $768 outright. AT&T asks $47 extra off-contract, and also still does carrier agreements in exchange for $299.99.

Then there’s T-Mobile, where the 32GB 5.7 incher costs $780 at full retail, and finally, Sprint will give you a free Galaxy Tab 4 (on-contract) if you score the Galaxy S6 Edge+ with Lease programs or Easy Pay, i.e. $0 down. Alternatively, the Now Network wants $350 with pacts, or $792, no strings attached.

LG G4 brown

Quite the upscale purchase, no matter your retailer or operator choice, especially given an unlocked LG G4 is only $455 through Amazon. In brown leather, so none of that ceramicky or “metallic” plastic exterior nonsense. Of course, if you dig the non-leather gold or white models, they’re pretty affordable too, at $470 and $495 respectively.

Arguably the handsomest flavor is the leather black, available for $472 SIM-free, or $99.99 with Sprint or Verizon contracts. That’s one battle LG wins with ease, although it goes without saying the war remains wide open.

Design and build quality

Aesthetically speaking, this is very much an apples and oranges comparison. Which is not to say we can’t like one fruit more than the other. Can you guess which one? Of course you can. The scrumptious, stylish, robust, metal-and-glass dual-edged treat, measuring 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm and tipping the scales at 153 grams.

Galaxy-S6-edge-plus

Thanks to a slightly smaller screen and polycarbonate build, you’d expect the G4 to undercut the S6 Edge+’s weight, but that’s not really the case. Granted, the difference is negligible, as the leathery (or metallic) heavyweight contender weighs in at 155 grams.

At its thickest point (remember, the G4’s got a curve too), the 5.5 incher measures a fairly chunky 9.8 mm. And it’s also a bit wider than the GS6 Edge+, although shorter, courtesy of those now iconic physical buttons moved to the back.

LG G4

At the end of the day though, this is a crushing victory for the odds-on favorite. Ladies and gents, we have an exciting tie so far on our hands!

Display and cameras

5.7-inch Super AMOLED with 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and 518 ppi pixel density vs. 5.5-inch IPS LCD, 2,560 x 1,440 and 538 ppi respectively. Before you call this another tie, perhaps you’ll be interested to hear what DisplayMate had to say about the Quad HD panels on the Note 5 and S6 Edge+. Without going into too much detail, they’re “the best performing displays ever tested.” And that includes the G4.

lg-g4-camera

Now, cameras are a delicate subject to tackle for the moment, as we haven’t taken the photographic units of the S6 Edge+ for a real-life spin yet. On paper, the rear shooter should be as remarkable as the one on the G4, with 16 megapixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus and LED flash offered across the board.

Selfie addicts will likely find more comfort in the 8 megapixel front cam of the older flagship, as the new kid on the block only sports a 5 MP secondary camera.

Processor, RAM and battery life

This is where G4’s dreams of glory are completely smashed to pieces. We already showed you a series of Note 5 benchmarks, in which the S Pen phablet obliterated its predecessor, not to mention its Snapdragon 808-powered arch-nemesis.

Samsung 4 GB RAM

The S6 Edge+ features the same exact octa Exynos 7420 silicon, with a matching 4GB RAM for good measure. Ergo, expect a similar 30 to 35 percent gap in system performance, plus a noticeable advantage in energy efficiency for the S6 Edge+ also, despite its larger screen and identical 3,000 mAh battery.

A conclusive recent autonomy test put the Galaxy S6 Edge+ near the top of the charts, with 9 hours+ of single-charge endurance, whereas the LG G4 trailed way behind, at a modest 6 hours of so. Let’s not forget the new guy also comes with wired and wireless fast charging capabilities in tow, compared to wired only as far as the “veteran” is concerned.

Storage, software and others

What’s the score now? Five, six to one in favor of the S6 Edge+? Give another point to the G4 on account of microSD expansion. And a third one for the user-removable battery. Which still doesn’t make our verdict very hard to cast.

LG-G4-battery-microsd

Particularly when you add the touch-based fingerprint recognition technology of Samsung’s bad boy in the equation, as well as its arguably superior copy of Android 5.1 Lollipop. Proprietary UIs are mostly a matter of personal taste, but we think we speak for the vast majority of our readers when we say TouchWiz is prettier than Optimus 4.0.

Bloatware? Both phones are filled to the brim with non-Google apps, yet Samsung actually provides a few you’ll find use for. S-Voice, S Health, Kids Mode, plus a bunch of free “Galaxy Gifts” typically worth a good few hundred bucks.

Galaxy Gifts S6 Edge+

Connectivity-wise, neither device features a futuristic USB Type-C port, with LTE speeds slightly enhanced on the S6 Edge+, and Bluetooth 4.2 superseding 4.1. We have a clear winner therefore, and it’s exactly who you think.

Top ten Android tablets with the best battery life available today – March 2015

If you’ve ever found yourselves pet peeved by smartphone battery shortcomings, odds are tablet energy efficiency makes your skin crawl and blood boil. Generally, these laptop replacements can last longer than their larger, physical keyboard-sporting ancestors, and in many cases, they infuriate their owners far less than meager handhelds as they don’t tend to be used as much during a normal day.

Android battery

But let’s picture the following scenario. You’re on a train, all alone, no power plug in sight, no travel entertainment offered, just you, your tiny phone and Full HD video-ready 10-inch slate. Or maybe you’re on a non-stop plane from New York to Hong Kong and the in-flight movies make up an homage to the “best” of Adam Sandler.

At first, you feel no boredom or irritation with your airline’s poor Hollywood taste, but after binge-watching a couple of House of Cards episodes, you realize there’s no way you’ll get through the spanking new special edition “Interstellar” DVD.

Tablet on train

An external power bank would come in mighty handy at this point, but why spend extra on accessories and struggle to remember to carry them with you everywhere when you can simply buy an “always-on” tablet? No, there’s no such thing per se, however these ten autonomy champs will certainly feel like they can keep the lights on no matter how long the trip:

Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+ – $421

Quite expensive for a non-Samsung iPad rival with a little green robot running the software show, the Full HD+ 2014 Yoga is rated at an 18-hour “average” battery life by its manufacturer, which drops to roughly 13 hours in Laptop Mag’s tests.

Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+

Basically, even with high-quality movies continuously played at maximum brightness, you should be able to squeeze out north of 10 hours from the somewhat bulky 10 incher. Which brings us to its main flaw. It weighs 615 grams with a built-in “3-stage” kickstand, so a whopping 180 grams or so more than the iPad Air 2.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10 – $290

It’s weird, but this baby is a lot cheaper than the Yoga 10 HD+ and it’s actually newer, thus standing a better chance of scoring Lollipop eventually and further improving its stamina via Project Volta enhancements.

Lenovo-Yoga-Tablet-2

It also features a similarly high-res 1,920 x 1,200 pix res screen, and the design is virtually identical, with all that entails, both good and bad. The only noticeable difference is the Yoga Tablet 2 10 replaces its cousin’s Snapdragon 400 chip with an Intel Atom, losing a few energy-saving points in the process. Not many, though, and you should still get 11, maybe 12 hours in “mixed” use.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 – $235

Okay, so an 8-inch 1,280 x 800 panel is hardly ideal for on-the-go entertainment. But it’s still better than the 5 incher you’re holding in your pocket, and thanks to a secondary cell-tucking kickstand once again, autonomy is estimated at 18 hours.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8

More like 10 or 11 in real-life, uninterrupted use. Which is awesome, given this is a fraction of an iPad mini’s price.

LG G Pad 10.1 – $219 outright in Wi-Fi-only configuration; $150 with Verizon contracts and LTE speeds

13 hours and 55 minutes. That’s not a figure fabricated by LG in a “controlled environment”, with casual web browsing or occasional low-quality gaming. It’s Laptop Mag’s record-setting test result. And it’s not surprising in the least, since there’s really nothing here to quickly drain the massive 8,000 mAh pacemaker.

LG G Pad 10.1

Just a 1,280 x 800 display, frugal quad-core S400 SoC, 1 GB RAM and KitKat software. Of course, once LTE is added in the equation, a good few hours of juice evaporate.

LG G Pad 7.0 – $129 outright with Wi-Fi; $100 and up at AT&T with 4G LTE

A 4,000 mAh ticker doesn’t sound like a workhorse, but LG manages to pull off another sensible, ultra-low-cost system capable of lasting over 11 hours on a single charge. It goes without saying you’re pretty much buying a phablet here, and those Adam Sandler flicks on the larger screen are no longer the worst case scenario.

LG G Pad 7.0

But hey, if you want to catch up on the news, read a book, play Candy Crush, that sort of thing, the G Pad 7.0 is your guy.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 – $379 and up

Fire HDX 8.9

Costly, not exactly pretty and the worst nightmare of Android purists, this was found to be good for 10 hours+ of “mixed use” by Trusted Reviews, including 5 hours of video and 1.5 hours of gaming. Not too shabby for that Retina-topping 2,560 x 1,600 display, zippy 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 805 processor and generous 2 GB RAM.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – $650 and up

Speaking of slightly overpriced and this time overgrown Androids, the Note Pro is as travel-convenient as a mini-laptop. It’s clearly not as productive, but on the plus side, it delivers jaw-dropping 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution on a humongous 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD glass, and yet survives running times of at least 8 hours with grace.

Galaxy Note Pro

Also, it can be had with a neat Samsung Bluetooth keyboard stand/cover accessory for $575 in used, “like new” condition. Not that overpriced in that combination.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $499

You’d think the ultra-crisp Super AMOLED 2,560 x 1,600 pix res panel would go through the less-than-gigantic 7,900 mAh cell like a knife through butter, especially with a potent Exynos 5 Octa chip under the hood. But amazingly, Trusted Reviews got a staggering 14 hours out of the uber-bright pad. With KitKat, not Lollipop just yet.

Galaxy Tab S 10.5

That’s with certain sacrifices, of course, a few features turned off and no gaming. Then again, Wi-Fi was on the whole time, and so was “high-quality” video. Time to get some “Interstellar” plot clarifications from Chris Nolan himself.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet – $400 with Verizon pacts; $440 international Wi-Fi-limited version

More than a year old and about to be replaced by a crisper, punchier, slimmer new kid on the block, the 10.1-inch Z2 remains a smart buy for folks always on the move. It’s only 6.4 mm thin, weighs 439 grams, withstands dust and water contacts, produces Full HD+ images and vids, and above all, can be charged from 0 to 60 percent in half an hour.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

And yes, the battery is tiny, at 6,000 mAh, but GSM Arena reports it’s capable of amazing things. Nearly 13 hours in web browsing and 12 in video playback.

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 – $270 standalone tablet; $330 keyboard bundle

It feels like Asus is cheating, and in a way it is, providing roughly 10 hours of energy on the TF701 in slate mode, and boosting the number to 14 hours or so with the dock attached. But if you don’t mind the extra bulk, what’s the harm?

Asus TF701

 

Too bad the TF700 line hasn’t been refreshed in a while, and so the 2,560 x 1,600 LCD screen is outstanding, but the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor a tad disappointing compared to newer Snapdragons. Oh, and there are no Lollipop update hopes. Well, it’s still considerably cheaper than Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet, even when purchased alongside an autonomy-enlarging keyboard.

Not easy to pick just one, huh? Be sure to evaluate exactly what you need a new slate for, and stay tuned for a top gaming options roundup.

Best Android-supporting fitness trackers you can stuff into a Christmas stocking

If you’ve been following our site closely of late, and decided to sit the Black Friday shopping craze out waiting for Christmas deals and bargains, you should already be able to put together a decent gift list for any gadget enthusiast.

fitness tracker

We’ve rounded up the best Android-compatible smartwatches around for your selecting pleasure, the best business-friendly tablets, as well as the smartphone big-battery champions and top rugged choices in both the handheld and slate sector.

The smartphones, tablets, budget phones and high-end handhelds we recommended for Black Friday remain excellent choices for Christmas too, and the low-cost and 4G LTE equation doesn’t have to be solved by breaking the bank, as we demonstrated here and here.

Still, there’s something missing. A buying guide for fitness nuts who merely want a device to support their hobby, nay raison d’etre. Forget fancy, stylish, smartphone-replacing smartwatches. These guys are all about stats, sleep tracking and health advice, and they couldn’t care less if their wearable piece lets them make or receive voice calls via the wrist.

fitness trackers

Stellar battery life means a week, not a day of continuous use for the target audience of today’s story, and a heart rate monitor is always going to be preferred over a punchy Snapdragon processor. Without further ado, our health enthusiastic friends, here are the seven best activity trackers for your money available today:

7. Garmin Vivofit – $75 without heart rate monitor; $120 with heart rate monitor

Time hasn’t been too kind to the aging Vivofit, which put simply can’t keep up with 2015 wearable standards. Sure, it’s still nice you can bundle the band with an external heart rate monitor, and the combo’s price is hardly prohibitive.

Garmin Vivofit

Then there’s the traditional watch-like battery, which will never get old and could well outlast the actual fitness tracker. It’s the replaceable kind, and Garmin says it can stay on for “more than a year.” Of course, some may prefer recharging the thing rather than paying extra to swap it once it’s dead.

Also, we hardcore Android geeks would really really reheally like it if Garmin stopped shoving its clunky Connect app down our throats. Not to mention at the end of the day, the Vivofit just doesn’t do very much for its $75 and up price. It’s basically a glorified pedometer, and as we’re about to show you, you can get one of those for a lot less.

6. Misfit Flash – available for $25 in black or red

This little guy is a third of Vivofit’s price, and all in all, it offers mostly the same functionality. Granted, heart rate monitoring is nowhere to be found here, neither standard, nor as a paid add-on, but much like the Vivofit, the Flash is a decent, unpretentious, tiny running companion.

Misfit Flash

It also helps you sleep better, and it’s splash-proof, so it’s safe to wear around the pool. Around it, not in the pool, got that? As far as Android support and app compatibility goes, we love Misfit lets you choose between a number of “connected partners”, Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal included.

The minimalistic interface makes it a little difficult for the Flash to be used as a watch, but otherwise, the LED light assortment is a neat, ingenious way of keeping production costs low, yet not cut very many corners in terms of functionality.

5. Basis Peak – $200 on Amazon in black or white

The Peak means business, no question about it, and in many ways, it’s closer to a smartwatch than a basic fitness band. It’s got an LCD screen that’s not too fancy but not rudimentary either, displays notifications from synched Androids, and puts out vibrating alerts for stuff like incoming messages, calls or alarms.

Basis Peak

It’s also pretty impressive in the autonomy department, holding a charge for “up to four days”, and is completely water-resistant, not just splash-proof. It’s perfect for swims, as well as runs and whatever sporting activities you can think of, and it even passively measures your heart rate.

Why is it only #5 then? First and foremost, it’s far too expensive. Second, as it can’t decide whether it’s a smartwatch or fitness band, it looks like an ugly cross between the two. And third, the swipe-based interface is just a little awkward to use and get used to.

4. Fitbit Flex – $94 in slate; $95 in black; $100 in blue or tangerine; $130 in pink

It’s Amazon’s number one best seller in health and personal care products, but while we personally love, love, love the Flex, we can’t put it on our podium. It would be unfair to the three medalists we’ll dissect a little later, as it has started showing its age, similarly to Garmin’s Vivofit.

Fitbit Flex

The Flex’s biggest problem today is it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. A forte. A key selling point. The battery life is decent, at around five days, but not the best. Design-wise, the band is sleek and low-key, but perhaps a little too low-key.

There’s no heart rate monitor, the price is fairly steep, and the Android app showing those detailed statistics you all love so much… well, that’s pretty great, but not enough for more than a spot just under the podium.

3. Misfit Shine – starting at $77

Cheaper than ever before, the Shine is very similar to the Flash, but it’s obviously better-looking, more functional and productive. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters deep, and can be worn as a necklace or clip, not just as a watch.

Misfit Shine

The minimalistic interface is perhaps too rudimentary for almost 80 bucks, which is why the Shine has to settle for bronze.

2. Jawbone Up 24 – $70 in red; $100 in “onyx” or lemon lime

No display, no problem? Then you can’t do any better than the Up 24. This thing is uber-cheap, extremely easy to use and master, and highly reliable for anything from running to sleep tracking.

Jawbone Up 24

It also comes with perhaps the world’s best companion Android app, as well as Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal and Nest support. Sure, it’s basic, really, really basic, and uses indicator lights that make Misfit’s gizmos look light-years more advanced.

But because it doesn’t waste energy on a screen or complex LED light arrangement, it can outlast pretty much every other rechargeable fitness band out and about, with 7 days of real-life continuous use. A-mazing!

1. Garmin Vivosmart – $170 without heart rate monitor; $200 with heart rate monitor

It’s a matter of personal preference at the end of the day, and it’s perhaps not fair to compare the Vivosmart and Up 24 or Shine. But if you have the extra money, and want the extra functionality, the Vivosmart is hands down better. A lot better.

Its battery holds a single charge for five to seven days, yet you also get a nice OLED touch screen for email, text message, incoming calls, Twitter or Facebook notifications. It sounds like a smartwatch from that standpoint, and it’s part that, but it’s an activity tracker first and foremost.

garmin-vivosmart

And it does the job stupendously, with its optional heart rate monitor, mind-blowing slew of sensors, personalized stats and goals, sleep observing abilities and record-setting water resistance. The review scores the Vivosmart has been garnering recently speak volumes about the near-perfect execution of Garmin’s simple but inspired concept.

A wearable to tick all the essential boxes of a smartwatch, and leave every fitness tracker in the dust with the best activity-monitoring user experience. Nicely done, Garmin.

Top seven big-battery Android smartphones that aren’t the Droid Turbo

Always at the forefront of innovation when it comes to mobile autonomy, Motorola has done it again, just as Lenovo was closing the device manufacturer’s purchase. They’ve taken the wraps off and commercially released the Droid Turbo, which grabs the battery powerhouse baton right from the hands of the dying Droid Maxx.

Android-Battery

Not all about juice, the 5.2 incher offers top-shelf specifications through and through, including a blazing fast quad-core 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 21 MP dual-LED flash camera and Quad HD Super AMOLED screen.

But the biggest draw remains the gargantuan 3,900 mAh battery, promising an otherworldly 48 hours autonomy despite having to handle such a power-strenuous display/CPU combo. This is hands down the best option for people on the move (like James Franco), and it might be a while until some other phone can come close to the Turbo’s breathtaking cell numbers.

Remember, this also comes standardly equipped with a Turbo charger, capable of reviving the device in 15 minutes so as to endure eight extra hours of continuous use. Incredible!

Droid Turbo

What are we doing here then? Well, it’s only fair to offer Droid Turbo’s rivals a chance to compete. Besides, you may for some reason not dig the Turbo as much as we do. Maybe you hate Verizon. Maybe you just hate exclusives. Perhaps you feel the Kevlar-covered back is too much. Finally, you may have a problem with the pricing of the 5.2 incher.

Here are seven other big-battery contenders ergo, some of which are mighty cheap for what they bring to the table:

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Fine, the Note 4 doesn’t pack a huge battery per se. But it’s huge considering. Considering Sammy’s focus was elsewhere, and considering the phablet is 8.5 mm thin and tipping the scales at 176 grams.

Galaxy Note 4

Above everything, it’s not about size, it’s about what the Note 4 can do with the 3,220 mAh battery. And according to GSM Arena, it can do a lot, lasting a whopping 28 hours and a half in talk time, and scoring an 87h endurance rating.

Incredibly enough, Samsung is modest and officially rates the 5.7 incher’s talk time endurance at 20 hours.

6. HTC One Max – $100 with Sprint contracts; $390 factory unlocked

Again, 3,300 mAh may feel underwhelming at first. But following discount after discount, the One Max has become affordable enough to be a smart buy despite its relatively unimpressive 22-hour drive in GSM Arena’s test.

HTC-One-max

That was on Jelly Bean, mind you, with KitKat likely to boost the figure by at least an hour. Needless to say Lollipop will do the same, when and if it lands on the fingerprint scanner-toting 5.9 incher.

5. LG G Flex – $0.01 with AT&T pacts, $49.99 on Sprint, $460 factory unlocked

The G Flex is the last semi-featherweight we’ll recommend, we promise. The thing is the curved “banana phone” has an ace up its sleeve besides the hefty but not record-breaking 3,500 mAh cell. A 6-inch 720p P-OLED screen that should go easy on autonomy.

Far easier than Quad HD panels, that’s for sure. Engadget says the gizmo took their exhausting video rundown test like a champ, keeping the lights on for 14 hours before powering off. That’s a different benchmark from GSM Arena’s measurements, so the lower number isn’t any less impressive.

LG G Flex AT&T

In fact, it could be more impressive. Let’s just hope LG doesn’t plan on dropping software support anytime soon, on account of the G Flex keeping a fairly low profile in recent months. Once the novelty wore off, we didn’t hear much about it.

4. Lenovo P780 – available at $192 unlocked

Now we’re talking. The P780 is the oldest and least impressive (on the whole) smartphone on this list, but it’s also the cheapest of the bunch. And you can’t beat cheap. Not sub-$200 cheap.

Lenovo P780

The 4,000 mAh juicer promises an outstanding 840 hours (!!!) autonomy in stand-by, and at least 24 hours in talk time. And we actually believe Lenovo. In fact, the Chinese OEM might be playing coy, as P780’s internals should very lightly impact battery life.

You have a frugal quad-core 1.2 GHz Mediatek chip, skimpy 1 GB RAM and, for image displaying purposes, a 720p 5-inch IPS panel. 24 hours is a modest goal, we’d say.

3. Lenovo S860 – $202 unlocked

Packing an identical 4,000 mAh battery as little bro, the S860 is punchier, better-looking and slightly pricier. The 5.3-inch HD display doesn’t sound like a major predicament for the phone’s autonomy objectives, and the 1.3 GHz Mediatek CPU comes with a similar degree of frugality.

Lenovo S860

The 2 gigs of RAM are thus the biggest difference between the P780 and S860, and the latter’s ace in the hole. Officially rated at 24 hours of continuous use in 3G talk time, and up to 960 in stand-by, the S860 can probably reach higher and dream bigger. As far as talk time is concerned, at the very least.

2. Huawei Ascend Mate 2 – $300 factory unlocked on Amazon

It’s hard to describe what kind of backlash Huawei is facing on the heels of its idiotic controversial decision to stop Ascend Mate 2 software support… before it could even start it. Let’s just say the Asian company’s execs may soon wish they never pursued their American dream.

Huawei-Ascend-Mate-2

Regardless of the aging Android iteration the 6.1 incher is destined to live out its miserable life on, Mate 2’s fortes can hardly be denied.

Number one – incredible battery life, courtesy of a 4,050 mAh cell. Two – a low, low price tag unlocked with 4G LTE support. Three – stellar camera capabilities, quad-core processing power and plenty of RAM to go around. Last but not least – screen real estate. So much real estate.

1. Huawei Ascend Mate 7 – up for grabs at $700 on Amazon

Whoa, whoa, whoa, where did this come from? Mate… 7?!? Where are the Mates 3, 4, 5 and 6? Perhaps taking a page from Microsoft’s playbook, Huawei wanted to suggest a major and sudden franchise evolution. Still, skipping four numbers in one go feels a little extreme.

Also extreme, charging $700 for a device from a fairly untrusted gadget producer. Clearly, the ask will be soon enough lowered, but in the meantime, if you’re feeling nutty and have cash to burn, the Mate 7 is pretty darn appealing.

Huawei-Ascend-Mate-7

It’s got a colossal 4,100 mAh battery under the hood, yet somehow measures a slender 7.9 mm in depth. A nice-looking, well-executed fingerprint sensor adorns its rear, and the entire chassis is constructed out of aluminum.

Speaking of phenomenal construction, the metal doesn’t raise the weight bar as much as you’d expect. Yes, 185 grams is a lot, but not too much. Maybe $700 isn’t too much either at the end of the day? Yeah, no, it’s probably wiser to stick to the Ascend Mate 2… for now.

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Battery Life

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Battery Life

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Battery Life

So far, we have talked about the various factors that you have to consider when choosing a Smartphone in the following series of articles:

The last important matter that you have to focus on when buying a Smartphone is Battery Life. The battery is an important piece of hardware because it powers up your device. Without it, you will not be able to utilize its features and enjoy its functionality. So, when choosing a Smartphone, you have to make sure that it has a good battery life.

Batteries Used by Smartphones

Currently, all Smartphones make use of batteries based on Lithium-ion, abbreviated as “Li-Ion” in their technical specifications. You might also notice that the present generation of iPhones make use of Lithium-ion Polymer batteries, abbreviated as “Li-Po” in the technical specifications.

Basically, Li-Ion batteries are cheaper to manufacture as compared to Li-Po. Also, these are capable of storing more energy, have lower self-discharge and do not require priming when first used.

On the other hand, Li-Po batteries are more advanced than mere Li-Ion-based batteries. These come in sleeker encasing than Li-Ion. These feature lesser weight as well, that’s why these are suitable for thin Smartphones. In addition, these have slower aging and more durable compared to the other. However, these are more costly to make and have lesser energy storage capacity than Li-Ion.

Technical Specification

Here are examples of Smartphone technical specifications that mention the type of battery used:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
  • iPhone 5 – Non-removable Li-Po 1440 mAh battery

The values stated in “mAh” stands for the electric charge that the battery has. So, looking at the two examples provided above, you can see that the Galaxy S4 has more electrical charge than the iPhone 5.

Note that it is sometimes indicated whether a battery is removable or not, such as the case of the iPhone 5 technical spec shown above. Also, most of the time, the technical specifications also mention the number of hours that a fully-charged battery can power up the device while idle or in use.

Factors that Decide Battery Life

Be reminded though that the battery technical specification is not the only thing that determines battery life. Here are the elements that can drain your battery faster:

  • Powerful processors
  • Type of screen display (LCD uses more power than LED)
  • High resolution of the display
  • Apps that are being used or running in the background
  • GSM, HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Operating system (Android consumes more power than iOS)

It should be noted that there are many apps that you can use to reduce the consumption of your battery. Moreover, newer GPU’s by Nvidia are now more energy-efficient.

Wrapping Up

This is the last of the How to Choose a Smartphone Guide series. We hope that the articles presented here helped you understand the major technical and marketing jargons related to Smartphones.

For Questions or Suggestions

If you have more questions or ideas that you wish to share to us about the topics discussed here, feel free to email us at [email protected].

Top Seven Android Smartphones With The Most Gigantic Batteries. Bonus: Five Future Contenders

Many smartphone manufacturers claim that battery life is not so important for most users. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I mean, how can you even enjoy a “superphone” when you have to remember to plug it in every evening and, even if you do, there are no insurances it won’t run out on you at the worst possible time?

smartphone battery

We’ve all been there. We let the HD screens, quad-core processors and LTE speeds fool us, we cough up 700 bucks on what’s basically a tiny computer and we end up with a gizmo that starts out capable of holding its own for a measly 10 hours between charges, then drops to eight hours, then before you know it it’s down to six hours.

How long are we going to accept that? I say no more. It’s time to let them know they have to step it up in the battery department. How? Simple, we’ll just buy one of the handful of phones that actually pack decent tickers nowadays.

Here are the top seven choices, selected only based on how ginormous their batteries are.

android battery

Quick disclaimer: Big batteries don’t automatically translate into long lasting phones, so be sure to check out reviews and autonomy tests before going for one of the below. Also, keep in mind that we haven’t taken into consideration devices that are not yet official or can’t be scored in the US at least off-contract. Now, let the games begin:

7. Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Battery size: 3,050 mAh

Type: Non-removable

Claimed autonomy: Up to 16 hours in talk time; 820 h stand-by

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Availability: Unreleased in subsidized form, hard to find unlocked, but available via Negri Electronics for $699.50 (HSPA+ version)

Other strong suits: Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU; 6.5 mm thickness; 2 GB RAM; Android 4.2 Jelly Bean; resistance to water and dust; microSD support; 6.4-inch Full HD screen.

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

3,100 mAh battery, removable, rated at 16 hours in talk time, 890 h stand-by

Galaxy-Note-2-battery

Available with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint contracts starting at $50 through Amazon; also available in factory unlocked version for $494 and with T-Mobile for $0 upfront, plus 24 monthly payments of $24 each

Other strong points: 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen; S Pen support; 16, 32 and 64 GB storage options; microSD support; 2 GB RAM

5. LG Optimus G Pro

3,140 mAh removable battery, rated at 21 hours autonomy in talk time, 550 hours in stand-by

LG_Optimus_G_Pro

Available with AT&T contracts for $59.99 via Amazon, $599.99 outright. Also available through GSM Nation for $549 in unlocked flavor.

Other strengths: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Plus panel; Quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor; 2 GB RAM; microSD support; 13 MP rear camera.

4. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx and Razr Maxx HD

3,300 mAh non-removable batteries, rated at 21 and 380 hours and 32 and 372 hours respectively

Droid Razr Maxx currently out of stock with retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy; only available via websites like eBay for $370 and up off-contract

droid-razr-maxx-hd

Razr Maxx HD available with Verizon contracts for $99.99 via Amazon

Other strong suits: Razr Maxx – thin profile; microSD support

Razr Maxx HD – Kevlar coating; splash resistant chassis; microSD support; 720p Super AMOLED panel.

3. Motorola Droid Maxx (new version)

3,500 mAh non-removable battery, rated at up to 48 and 600 hours of autonomy

droid-maxx-battery

Not yet released, available for pre-orders for $199.99 with two-year Verizon contracts via Wirefly

Other strong points: Large 5-inch 720p display; custom-made Motorola X8 processor based on Snapdragon S4 Pro; 2 GB RAM; 32 GB internal storage; 10 MP rear camera; optimized software (according to official claims); Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

2. Lenovo P780

4,000 mAh non-removable battery, rated at up to 45 and 840 hours autonomy

Lenovo-P780

Unavailable with US contracts and unlikely to be ever picked up by a major carrier, the P780 can be found at a number of third-party Amazon sellers for $340 and up sans contracts.

Other strong suits: Low price (see above); Android 4.2 Jelly Bean; large 5-inch 720p display; microSD support

1. Huawei Ascend Mate

4,050 mAh non-removable battery, rated at up to 32 and 216 hours of life between charges

Huawei-Ascend-Mate

Also unavailable with US contracts (now and for all eternity), the Ascend Mate can be found unlocked on Amazon for prices starting at $450.

Other upsides: 6.1-inch 720p display; Quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU; 2 GB RAM; microSD support; Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

More to come

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Expected out in late September or early October with 3,450 mAh battery, 5.7-inch Full HD screen, 2 GB RAM and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Sony Honami

Also due in October with 3,000 – 3,200 mAh ticker, 5-inch 1,080p display and 20 MP rear camera.

Sony-Honami

Changhong Z9

Though it’s to be manufactured by an obscure brand and is likely to remain China-exclusive, the Z9 is worth a quick mention, since rumor has it its battery will be a record-breaking 5,000 mAh unit.

HTC One Max

Leaked a number of times already, the One Max is tipped to see daylight by October with a 5.9-inch Full HD screen and 3,300 mAh battery.

HTC-One-Mini-HTC-One-Max

Oppo Find 7

This is another phone that might never make its way to American shores, but chances are Oppo will sell it with international shipping by the end of the year. Still mostly covered in mystery, the giant could pack a 4,000 mAh battery.

There you have it folks, seven superphones that are pretty super as far as battery life is concerned and five potential stars of the future. It’s not exactly ideal, but it’s definitely a start and we can all contribute to the progress of smartphone batteries if we give these big guys all our attention. Are you in or are you out?

Huge battery improvements coming to Android 4.3

android-4.3-jelly-bean

Recently Nexus 4 and Galaxy S4 Google Edition users have been given the option to download an early build for Android 4.3, while the mobile operating system update is still Jelly Bean, it brings with it one major key solution: battery life.

For a long time now Android has suffered from poor battery life, with top-tier phones getting around 8 hours max per day. With 1080p screens and quad-core processors, we can see why these phones are likely to suffer.

Android 4.3 may have the solution for this problem however, with early reports indicating the battery life actually quadruples on the smartphone when updated. PocketNow detailed a phone which normally got 4-6 hours now garnered in 25 hours of battery life.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, did apparently bring this up with the Android and Moto X teams. He wanted to make a smartphone capable of lasting longer than a few days, making the user feel like they didn’t need to rush to get it on the charger at night.

We may see the Moto X and other Android 4.3 devices as the first to gain two days of solid battery life. The Droid Maxx has already claimed 48 hours of battery life, if we see the jump to Android 4.3, we may see 72 hours possibly.

HTC One Mini battery life comparison

How does the battery of the HTC One Mini measure up to those of others available in the market, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4, LG Nexus 4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, Apple iPhone 5, Blackberry Z10 and Nokia Lumia 925? These graphs show how.

 

htc-one-mini-battery

 

Standby Time

The HTC One Mini beats every smartphone in the list in terms of standby time. Supposedly, it lasts over 600 hours on 3G, according to the specifications provided by the manufacturer. On the other side of the spectrum is the Apple iPhone 5, which only lasts over 200 hours.

Talk Time

The HTC One Mini, however, does not offer as good a number of hours in terms of 3G talk time. It only promises up to 13 hours and 20 minutes. Leading such category, however, is its bigger sibling, the HTC One, whose battery life reaches more than 16 hours in 3G talk time. The Apple iPhone 5 once again offers a small number of hours in such category.

Battery Capacity

The HTC One Mini does not have a very high battery capacity, offering only 1800 mAh. In the graph, it is found almost at the bottom of the list, just above the Apple iPhone 5, which again takes the lowest spot. Among the smartphones in the list, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has the largest battery capacity, with 2600 mAh.

Basis

The information that appears in these graphs was taken from the specifications released by the manufacturers, instead of actual tests. Therefore, they which may be slightly different from how the batteries perform in actual use, depending on the user’s activities on the handset. Typically, battery life is affected by various factors, such as the kind of wallpaper used, to the use of the vibration feature, charging the smartphone at a particular temperature, as well as screen brightness, among others. These factors, along with the battery capacity, would dictate how long a smartphone battery would last in actual use.

Greenify puts unused apps into hibernation to save battery juice

An app called Greenify *ROOT: Renew my Phone promises to make your phone work as fast as it did when it was still new, as well as save precious battery juice. It does this by letting the user identify unused apps. Then, it sends these apps into hibernation mode to prevent them from consuming battery life. While Greenify is running, users are provided with a list of the apps that have been put into hibernation, the apps that are running, and those which will eventually be put into hibernation after they had been used.

greenify

There are several important caveats, however. Possibly the most important is this: Greenify requires that an Android phone be rooted before it can work, so this is definitely not an app for everyone with an Android device. According to its Google Play description page, the version of Android that is needed also varies from one device to another. Likewise, Greenify needs a background-persistent Cleaner service. It is also worth knowing the background functions that an app needs, since these functions will be unusable when the app is put into hibernation. Greenify specifies the following: persistent background services, broadcast receivers, alarms, widget updates, and push messages. The developer cautions users to avoid using the app on alarm clock and instant messaging apps, unless these are never really used.

As a battery-saving app, Greenify sets itself apart from the other ones that are available in the market, such as Autostarts, App Quarantine, the task killers from various developers, and the Freeze feature in TitaniumBackup Pro. According to the description, Greenify works in a different manner. For one, even if an app has been sent into hibernation mode, a consumer can easily open it again as if it never placed in such state. The app eliminates some of the problems associated with freezing and defreezing apps, manual disabling, and diminished app functionalities.

Greenify is developed by Oasis Feng, a member of the xda-developers forum, who also has another app called Bytes Insight on Google Play.

There are two versions of Greenify which may be downloaded: a free version and a donation version, which asks for a $3 payment. Greenify is available via the Google Play Store as well as Oasis Feng’s website.

via lifehacker

Battery Life Tips: Nursing your battery through a two year contract

With more smartphones coming with built-in batteries, learning how to properly care for your battery is important. You would like your phone’s battery to last throughout your two year contract. A degraded battery may force you to make a fairly expensive visit to a service center or attach an external battery pack. For some devices, neither option is available.

Fortunately, today’s batteries are easy to care for. But their performance can be seriously degraded by relying on old notions.

Will my battery last for two years? If you are the typical user, and you acquire a well built smartphone, the answer is yes. By a typical user, I mean someone who has mobile data enabled and uses a smartphone for two to three hours per day doing various tasks.

The typical modern lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer battery you find in a mobile device should last for 500 charge and discharge cycles depending. Five hundred cycles should be enough to get you through two years. But let us get back to this later.

While manufacturers have favored built-in batteries as of late, a lot of focus has been placed on improving battery life. This has been achieved through the use of more power efficient components, often coupled with larger batteries. GSM Arena’s battery life tests on the Apple iPhone 5 rates it a 51 hours endurance “if you do an hour each of calling, web browsing and watching videos” each day. This is 13% higher than the 45 hour endurance rating for the iPhone 4S. Similarly, the HTC One was given an endurance rating of 48 hours, which is 30% higher than the 37 hour endurance rating of the previous HTC flagship, the One X.

When translating these 48 to 51 hour endurance ratings in the real world, you should expect to get half of this. Network signal strength and ambient temperatures can increase battery drain. Still, today’s modern smartphone should get past the workday with 20% to 30% of remaining battery life. This, plus batteries that are designed to survive 500 cycles, should be enough to get the typical user through two years of use.

Five hundred cycles is more than it sounds. When we talk about a battery cycle, it means a full charge and discharge. So if you charge your battery before it is empty, it will not count as a full cycle. For example if you charge the battery on your smartphone when it drained down to 30%, and then charge it a second time when it hits 60%, and a third time when it drained down to 50%, these three charges counts as only two cycles.

1ChargeCycleImage credit: Apple

Basically, if you usually charge battery when it gets to 30%, it should be good for over 700 charges.

The battery does naturally degrade over time. While the battery is designed to last 500 cycles, it does not mean that the battery will maintain a 100% charge throughout the 500 cycles. It also does not mean that after 500 cycles, the battery will die. After 500 charge and discharge cycles, your battery would be at about 70% of its original battery life. Your phone will still report that it is 100% fully charged, but it will really be at about only 70%. Basically, your battery deteriorates about 30%, gradually, over the 500 charge and discharge cycles.

Given all this, how do we make sure that we care for our batteries well enough so that they still maintain a 70% charge after two years of use? Here are some tips.

1. Avoid letting your battery drain below 20-30%. Partial discharges are actually better for your battery. The old rule that you had to fully discharge your battery, before recharging, applies to old Nickel-Cadmium batteries used in mobile phones years ago. They do not apply to the Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer used in smartphones today.

What degrades Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer faster is discharging heavily. The Battery University has conducted tests which show that the more you discharge a Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer (referred to as depth of discharge) the faster it deteriorates. In short, if you fully discharge your battery once, this results in more wear and tear than charging it twice when it hits 30%.

2DoDTestImage credit: Battery University

I am not saying you should never let your battery go down to below 30%. It is a tool after all, so you should use it if needed for so long as the battery is still alive. But when convenient, try to recharge your battery when it is at 30% or more.

2. Do recharge frequently. Given that recharging at higher levels of remaining battery life results in less wear and tear, it makes sense to recharge frequently.

3. Partial charge is okay. Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer do not suffer from the “memory effect”, so partial charges are okay. If you have an early morning meeting, and you drop by the office for a bit before an afternoon appointment, plugging in the battery for even half an hour will keep your remaining battery level higher at the end of the day.

4. Calibrate once every month or two. While Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer do not suffer from the memory effect, at least not in the same way Nickel-Cadmium batteries do, continuous partial discharges create a condition called digital memory. Your smartphone does not really measure battery life, but really just estimates the remaining charge. Partial discharges decrease the accuracy of the device’s battery gauge. So once every month, or every other month, let the battery discharge to the cut-off point and then recharge. Once fully charged, leave it plug to the wall charging for another two hours. The power gauge will be recalibrated.

These four simple tips should keep your battery healthy until it is time to sign up for another two year contract, and take delivery of a shiny new smartphone.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon BatteryGuru app enhances battery life ‘intelligently’

The Snapdragon BatteryGuru app has finally moved from beta to release, after having been in the former since February this year.

qualcomm-snapdragon-batteryguru

Snapdragon BatteryGuru promises to maximize the battery life of smartphones through an “intelligent” method. The app first takes a two-to-four-day period to observe the smartphone user’s activities and behavior. After this, it makes adjustments in settings that would allow the battery life to be extended without sacrificing the functionality of the device. The app, for example, can turn on or turn off Wi-Fi by taking note of Wi-Fi hotspots. Once the hotspots are identified, it will be able to turn on Wi-Fi only when one is in range of a hotspot. Wi-Fi is one of the factors that drain smartphone batteries because it is constantly trying to look for a signal. After making some tweaks in the settings, BatteryGuru continues to take note of patterns in the user’s activities, and goes on to adjust settings where necessary.

Everything in Snapdragon BatteryGuru’s battery-saving process is automatic. They are dependent on the observations that the app gathers from the smartphone user. Thus, users do not have to worry about making decisions regarding the smartphone’s settings, or trying to remember the various ways by which one can save battery life. The app, running in the background, can take care of these without intervention from the smartphone user.

Snapdragon BatteryGuru is supported by almost all devices running on a Snapdragon processor. It has a file size of 4.3M and requires Android 4.0 or higher in order to work. To date, it has received a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars from reviewers. Among the languages that are supported by such app are Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, German, Italian, French, Turkish, Japanese, and Chinese.

Snapdragon BatteryGuru is available for downloading free of charge from Google Play.

via pocket-lint

Samsung Galaxy S4’s Already Impressive Battery Got Even Better After Latest Software Update

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4, many rejoiced, many got psyched out of their minds, but equally as many got bummed out. Why? Because the thing just didn’t seem like that massive of an upgrade compared with the GS3. It surely didn’t feel like it stepped things up the way the S3 did over the S2.

But when everyone chilled out and looked at the monster a little less superficially, the overall consensus changed from “not a major upgrade” to “still the best Android in town”.

Samsung Galaxy S4 battery

I’m sure you all remember how the S4 kicked both HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro’s asses in our special comparison posts, beating the two to the punch even in departments you’d never think that was possible. For instance, though the G Pro packs a much larger battery than the S4, it’s Samsung’s flagship that comes out on top in terms of actual autonomy.

And guess what, things have just gotten better for the Galaxy S4 from the battery life standpoint after a recent software update. We’re talking specifically about the Snapdragon 600-based version, which considerably boosted its battery numbers in GSM Arena’s very comprehensive test.

The biggest step up is in talk time performance, with the updated S4 lasting a whopping four hours more on a single charge than the “old” phone. The new result, 18 hours and 3 minutes, is still not a record-breaker, but it’s enough to leave the Sony Xperia Z and HTC One to dust and also close the gap to LG’s Optimus G Pro.

Oddly, the web browsing autonomy actually got a dive after S4’s software update, plummeting from 8 hours and 42 minutes to a much more modest 7:24. That’s still enough to top the Xperia Z and G Pro, but it’s considerably behind HTC One’s rating.

Fortunately (for Samsung), the video playback autonomy seems to have improved greatly too, making the software update an overall success in terms of battery life. The new score, 12 hours and a half, puts the S4 in the overall leading pack, just slightly behind Apple’s iPad Mini. Also, that’s 2 and a half hours better than HTC One’s autonomy and an incredible four hours edge over the G Pro.

The GS4’s endurance rating has itself been boosted courtesy of the software tweak, with the 5-incher now promising to hold its own for a neat 69 hours when used an hour per day for web browsing, an hour for video watching and 60 minutes in talk time. And to think HTC One’s endurance rating is just 48 hours…

Via [GSM Arena]