If you even loosely follow my articles, you probably know that I like to complain. I'm decent at settling and being content with most technology despite all of the pitfalls I encounter. But there is one subject I cannot seem to iterate enough. I certainly don't mean to beat a dead horse, but the topic of battery life just isn't talked about enough.

My technological journey began with BlackBerry. Though they remain behind the curve in today's market, they are still renowned for excellent battery life. Regardless of what model you choose, you (given optimal conditions, i.e.: decent cell coverage and not 100 degrees below 0 outside) should easily be able to make it through a full day of use. The newer models appear to be slipping a bit, but making it a full day is still easily done.

Even the iPhone has somewhat respectable battery life. I used the CDMA iPhone for a few weeks and generally had no problems lasting through the day. I've heard from Aaron and several other colleagues that the GSM model tends to have slightly more stamina, but it still doesn't quite amount to that of RIM's dated devices.

Where this issue truly takes the spotlight is on the platform that swept the worldwide mobile market off of its feet. With openness, heavy application support, and being the most affordable way for manufacturers to get their hardware on the market in record time, Android's ascent to the top was in what felt like the blink of an eye. Thanks to Android's Law, said manufacturers now have the ability to cram all sorts of advanced technology into phones. Faster processors, bigger displays, surround sound speakers, 3D cameras, and every other gimmick in the book has debuted on some device at one point or another.

In cramming all of this tech into the phones, something has to give in the process. That something is battery technology. This specific technology is at a standstill and – in the mobile realm – really hasn't improved over the last decade.

But let's be honest here, the battery is the most important piece of technology in the phone. Without it...you have a lovely, expensive, and useless paperweight. It's a super fast sports car with no gas.

My point? Regardless of what cool features next gen phones may bring, without better battery technology, it's essentially going to be useless. I would rather have the ability to tweet, text, call, and browse the web all day over having a 3D display or cameras, a biometric scanner, or the ability to pay via phone (which you can't do if your phone is dead).

Take the ThunderBolt for instance. It has the fastest data experience on any mobile device to date, a big, bright display, and an awesome loud speaker. All of this is great. But the battery life took a big hit on the TBolt. I have had to tweak and mod nearly all aspects of the device, and I still have trouble making it through a full day with moderate use. I know many of you will defend the ThunderBolt to your grave, stating that you get exceptional battery life. But the truth of the matter is, the majority of users don't.

It's devices like the Nokia E6 that really make me despise my Android phones solely for the pitiful battery life. In a promotional video for the E6, it claims to have a month of standby time and 14 hours of talk time. The projected battery life of the myTouch 4G, the Android phone in which I've experience the best battery life yet, is 10 hours of talk time and 18 days of standby time.

A full day's use – out of box, without having to mod your phone seven ways 'til Sunday – should be the industry standard. While some aging platforms like BlackBerry and Symbian may be struggling to keep their head above water in this viscous market, they continue to offer astounding battery life and keep focus on what is truly important, ignoring most of the bells and whistles. Eventually, these platforms will catch the competition and just might offer that battery life we've all been longing for on a modernized mobile platform.

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC ThunderBolt

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27 Reactions to this post

"Will manufacturers who focus on battery life win in the end?"

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L.c. Tooflyforafullname Carter
L.c. Tooflyforafullname Carter Easy fix manufacturers need to have some sort of solar power option like watches and calculators. Really how hard can it be to increase battery life.
John Skelton
John Skelton To be honest as long as my phone can make it through a full day its fine. I like my HD7 because it can do this along with WP7.
Ryan DeClue
Ryan DeClue And just so everyone knows, there is a seller on amazon.com that has 3500ma battered for the Evo, with battery cover, for 15 bucks.
Ryan DeClue
Ryan DeClue Nope. Plenty of charges to go around.
Naj Khan
Naj Khan apple
Matt Finzel
Matt Finzel IPhone doesn't have the greatest battery life in the end, either. With the people complaining about the EVO's battery life, just turn to common sense; it has a huge ass screen, a big processor, and an operating system that uses way too much bang for its buck. I suggest that everyone should turn to lower-end Android phones, well I shouldn't say lower end, lower in size. A great example would be the HTC Aria, because it's small, has a lower sized processor, and makes a great phone for a person, either leisure or corporate wise.
Michael Higginbotham
Michael Higginbotham they have got to if they wanna surpass iphone.
David Hilgendorf
David Hilgendorf My droid X is not that bad with battery life. I'm hoping in the future will be able to just walk in our homes, cars or establishments and phones start charging without needing to plug in.
Anh-Tuan Le
Anh-Tuan Le Battery capacity is the bottleneck for lots of developing techs - mobile, solar, wind, automobile, etc. Hopefully some genius from Caltech or MIT will figure this out.
Rickyo ODaniell
Rickyo ODaniell No problems with my EVO and the big 3500 mAh Seidio, but the cell companies need to focus on that solar technology that charges your phone when you put it down. We need more and affordable solar everything. It can happen.
Marcus NinersEmpire
Marcus NinersEmpire Yal just Dnt know how to use ur fone rite I get 10-14 hr on my evo and I'm not even using da extended battery for it to just da standard. I have WiFi on 24/7 tex hella on da internet to
Rob Woods
Rob Woods We want Noah!!!!!
Austin Flynn
Austin Flynn my droid 2 can do all day ending it life at 10pm I manage my battery making sure I use it only when I need it but from moderate use I can go 8 hour with internet but today I woke up at 5 and my battery is at 20% from using it alot pandora running like all day, facebook, other thing its not bad and if it is buy an extended battery (i dont have one) and quit crying about the iphone ,even though that's prob what ill get next if a good phone like the sensation comes onto verizon then ill get that but leaning towards the iPhone 6 in feb of next year
Javier Segura
Javier Segura Totally agree, that's why I will keep My iPhone for a long time. Android is free for for manufactures yet they still charge more for high end devices then apple who makes it's own hardware and software or Microsoft who charges for the use of WP7 and still the battery is a joke. I'd rather pay $200 for an iPhone or WP7 phone that I will be able to use all day than an Android that'll turn into a brick after 2hrs of moderate use.
David T Whealdon Jr.
David T Whealdon Jr. Battery life is the future of everything. In phones it is the major limiting factor. Features are nice, but if you have to charge your phone 3 times a day it is major inconvenience. We need better batteries for everything from phones to cars to whatever. It's the future.
John Zanatta
John Zanatta What is unfortunate is that a phone can come from the factory with all the carrier added options (crap), and it will have atrocious run times. Flash a custom ROM and kernal and what do you know, you improved battery life by 25-40%. Why can't they come like this out of the box?
Robert Knight
Robert Knight Its the manufacturer that will have a Stable, Reliable, Secure OS & good battery life. They will win. We also have to take HP into account, they will be installing WebOS on every pc next year. So there will be easy integration for phone, tablet & pc. We have a lot to look forward to, from this summer to next summer.
Aj Green
Aj Green Yeah, instead of focusing on the stupid 3D gimmick, they need to focus on the battery life. My next phone is gonna be a iphone just cause of the bettery life.
Gary Optional Bunch
Gary Optional Bunch i think itll win if they dont just focus on the battery, the only ones who will find use of a long battery would be the most usefull and fun phone. Cant find use of a long battery in a phone ull hardly use. So basically if u sacrafice apps and features, for more talk time, it wont do well.
Jacob Stroop
Jacob Stroop Yes.
Bethany Whaley
Bethany Whaley Yeah the thing about looking at the quality of the phone over the battery life is this - I have a pretty great phone. HTC evo. It's got a lot of great functions with few glitches. But when its dying after approximately FOUR and a half hours of being charged, my screen brightness is turned almost all the way down, and I have a task killer constantly shutting down any program that might be running and killing the battery, it becomes a little frustrating. I can now honestly say I'd take a phone with a long battery life over a phone with a lot of awesome options.
Joshua Castro
Joshua Castro I don't think he is talking about size...
Andrew Tsukuda
Andrew Tsukuda They might but probaly not without better os's to run on
Kenneth Torres
Kenneth Torres HTC=great build, horrible battery... Gonna buy a 1600mAh battery for my inspire 4g.
Eduardo Sanchez
Eduardo Sanchez No they won't
Joshua Castro
Joshua Castro They should But they Won't
Esa Edvik
Esa Edvik I'm hoping that reviewers who understand more than just to compare battery sizes will prevail in the end. It's not the car with the biggest gas tank that'll win the fight.

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