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HardwareZone's Smartphone Buying Guide Essentials

HardwareZone's Smartphone Buying Guide Essentials



Battery Life & Portability

Running on mAh

Smartphones are essentially miniaturized computers, much like their tablet counterparts. Typically, a smartphone today comes with a 4.0-inch touchscreen, is hooked constantly to the 3G network and runs battery-draining processes like games and media consumption. It is imperative that these portable devices have enough juice to last for a substantial amount of time.

Most smartphones on standard usage can last for at least a full day on a single charge.

While the advancement of technology in this area is slow, it is fortunately picking up. Operating systems such as iOS and Android are built for battery optimization. Furthermore, the adoption of processors based on the ARM architecture are built to improve power efficiency alongside better performance. Existing energy-saving apps and manufacturer-specific presets also help users to extend their smartphone usage.

Nonetheless, this is still highly dependent on how such devices are being utilized. To date, there's been a bevy of smartphones that have performed substantially well even after being battered with a barrage of resource intensive tests. Over the years, we have subjected devices to our battery test, which involves testing a video with a 480 x 800-pixel resolution looping under the following conditions:

  • Screen brightness and volume at 100%
     
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections active
     
  • Constant data stream via email and Twitter

To give you a better idea of how the recent smartphones fared in our tests, here's a quick glance at their performance:

 

Portability

While the battery life is one crucial factor to consider, the overall dimensions and weight also contribute to the portability of the smartphone. A higher battery life is great, but at times, it comes at the expense of loading the phone with more weight/batteries and thus, increases the volume. If portability is an issue for you, the battery life to (weight x volume) ratio is an important indicator for you to look at. Typically, a phone ranges from about 120g to 150g with the heavier and bulkier ones tipping the scales at 170 to 180g.

The numbers obtained from our battery tests can be translated to the portability of the smartphone. This is achieved by calculating the ratio of the battery life to the (weight x volume) of the smartphone.

In this situation, a higher number translates to a better portability index, given that a higher battery life with a lower (weight x volume) index gives a higher ratio.