DROID X Wins Victory in Android Battery Shootout

Smartphones are a wonderful invention but they're seriously lacking in one department: battery life. Smartphones are more powerful and can do a lot more than just your regular dumbphone. Hence, the battery doesn't last nearly as long. Manufacturers are always working to improve battery life, and there are steps you can take to conserve power (such as turning off 3G or WiFi when they're not needed), but what phone has the best battery life to begin with?

If you've got your heart set on Android, your best bet for battery is the DROID X, as the device has just come out on top in an Android battery test. Laptop Mag recently pitted eight Android phones against each other in an effort to find the phone with the best battery life. It's safe to say that the results definitely offer some food for thought.

Probably the most interesting find is that phones sporting the latest in screen technology, an AMOLED display, didn't perform as well as those with regular LCD screens despite the fact that they're supposed to consume less power. So if you're in the market for a new phone and just have to have one of those super pretty AMOLEDs, make sure you're willing to give a little in the battery department in exchange for that crisp and vivid display.

Laptop Mag made a couple of settings adjustments to each device to ensure they were all on equal ground. They installed My Settings and Advanced Task Killer on all eight phones (necessary applications for anyone with an Android phone); set the brightness for all the devices to about 40 percent and switched off auto brightness; turned off WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS location, cell location, and auto sync; switched off screen time out, making sure all the displays stayed on indefinitely; switched off Flash and plug-in support in the browser; and placed all the phones in an area with four bars of signal.

So how did the phones fare? Laptop Mag reports that the Droid Incredible, Samsung Captivate, and Samsung Vibrant, which all have AMOLED displays were the worst performers clocking 4:33, 4:43, and 4:44, respectively, on a single charge. The top three were the Motorola DROID 2, the Dell Streak and the DROID X with respectable times of 7:07, 7:35, and 7:42, respectively. Laptop Mag points out that the Dell Streak and the DROID X both have massive screens (5- and 4.3-inches, respectively), proving that a bigger display doesn't always mean inferior battery life.

Right smack, bang in the middle were the nation's 4G sweethearts, the Epic 4G and the EVO 4G. The Samsung Epic did slightly better with 5:34. The EVO 4G was about 7 minutes behind with 5:27.

Source: Laptop Mag

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • iboomer
    I guess I don't understand why they decided to turn off all of the stuff that I run all the time? It's nice the the DroidX has such a long battery life, but what about when I am running my bluetooth, and at a WiFi, cruising the net?

    I just don't get it.
  • tidoubleger
    So the evo lasts 5:27 or -1:26?
  • I'm wondering why the Epic did better than its other Galaxy S brethren... it's pretty much the same phone with the same screen and same processor, but with added stuff like 4G radio and keyboard. Whats going on there?
  • ivan_chess
    tidoublegerSo the evo lasts 5:27 or -1:26?
    I believe that is 5 hours 27 minuets vs. 5 hours 34 minuets.
  • yose3
    my vibrant can last 2 day with out charging playing games watching videos and surfing. when i go to work fully charged when i coem back home is 90% batery
  • exodite
    otacon72OMG I cannot believe how horrible Android is for battery life.It's got nothing to do with the OS really, no current smartphones last very long under the testing methodology used. You did read the source link, right? Notice how they are running a script to open the browser and load one of 60 different sites, stay on it for a minute, close the browser and reopen another of the sites for 60 seconds and so on until the battery died.

    This over 3G too.

    The reason why AMOLED does worse in this test is probably due to many website backgrounds are white, something which requires a lot more power from an AMOLED display than the common black or darker backgrounds of the phone screen.
  • mosu
    to exodite:good point, good understanding.
    a really interesting test would be if they use the same battery on each phone in the same test, at least 3 different batteries from different suppliers (with some kind of adapter, of course)
  • shaneaus
    @otacon72 - LOL!!!! Seriously?!? In the test the devices were running the ENTIRE TIME. My DX runs all day just fine with moderate usage - phone calls, lots of texting, some website browsing, some maps usage, etc.

    If you turned your new BB, prevented the screen from turning of and loaded web site after web site over and over again for five hours.... Bet your BB would have little to no battery power as well. I should know I gave my BB Curve to my wife when the G1 came out.

    My Android device's capabilities kick BB's A$$ coming and going. My wife got the DroidX along with me. She was an avid BB fan and only made the switch at my pushing. Her comment yesterday and again today:

    "WOW, I LOVE MY PHONE! This is the best device I have ever owned!" She said that with some surprise... LOL!
  • ricardok
    otacon72OMG I cannot believe how horrible Android is for battery life.Did you know that your BB isn't exactly in the same league? BB's are phones for users that want to read emails. iPhones for those that want to game (Android is getting there, but not yet). Android phones are for everything those mentioned before do (a little bit from each).
  • os2baba
    nmezibI'm wondering why the Epic did better than its other Galaxy S brethren... it's pretty much the same phone with the same screen and same processor, but with added stuff like 4G radio and keyboard. Whats going on there?
    I think that's a very good point. Unless satisfactorily answered, this puts the findings in doubt.