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Late last week, HTC held their Frequencies conference in Seattle and our fearless leader, Aaron Baker, made the trek to the Emerald City. There, he learned that the Taiwanese company will finally be moving away from physical keyboards. Oddly enough, there were more people upset to see horizontal QWERTYs than one might think.

After writing about the death of the (mobile) keyboard and asking if anyone was upset to see them go, I received quite a few comments and Twitter replies from readers saying they would be upset if there were no more physical keyboards. One commenter said, "This guy [himself] likes the keyboard and will probably never buy a phone without one."

It's worth noting that HTC recognizes there is still die-hard support for physical QWERTYs, and it's safe to say horizontal sliders aren't completely dead ... yet.

During Frequencies, though, yet another interesting tidbit came up. Bjorn Kilburn, HTC VP of product strategy, said that HTC has been doing some research, specifically in the battery life department. HTC found that consumers prefer thinner devices over thicker phones with better battery life; thus, they have decided to shelve their plans for phones with cells in the 3,000mAh range.

Initially, I just brushed this off. More or less, it's exactly what you would expect to hear from a company that recently decided to dedicate a little more time and effort to their hardware design, materials and quality. It's also worth mentioning that HTC did say they were still focusing on improving battery life. But as I've explained before, simply cramming more milliamperes in a phone can cause as many problems as it solves. Instead, HTC will be focusing on using a new battery technology and "improving the way software uses battery power," says our own Alex Wagner.

After the Huawei Ascend P1 announcement at CES, which ousted the DROID RAZR as the thinnest smartphone on the market, I can definitively say that I am not at all worried about having the thinnest phone on the market. It was that moment while sitting in that conference room in the Venetian Hotel that I realized exactly where the next arms race would be: who can make the thinnest phone with the best specs.

Don't get me wrong. Thin is good. And chunky phones are something that simply should not happen anymore, no matter what.

Nearly a week later, after yet another super thin phone has slipped security and landed on the Internet, I've had a very slight change of heart about larger batteries. Early this morning, Engadget's Chinese site stumbled upon a picture of the latest phone by OPPO, a Chinese-based electronics manufacturer. The phone, which closely resembles a larger, squished iPhone, measures only 6.65mm thick. For those keeping count, that's 0.03mm thinner than the Ascend P1 S.

Honestly, it's silly. Why would anyone care that this phone – or any other phone, for that matter – is negligibly thinner than its counterparts. Where other spec races have benefited the industry in one way or another, the race for the thinnest phone is superfluous. Most smartphones are thin enough as it is – 7mm to 10mm should be plenty thin. Any thinner and fragility and comfort in the hand become a concern.

I'm not sure where or how HTC conducted their study and came to the conclusion that consumers prefer thinner phones over those with larger batteries, especially considering there are only two phones on the market with larger batteries – DROID RAZR MAXX and Galaxy Note (which I don't really count because of its physical size). Aside from those two, the only "larger batteries" in the industry are removable, extended batteries, which are almost always an eyesore. It's definitely possible that a large number of the consumers who were part of HTC's research misunderstood "larger batteries" for those unsightly, chunky extended batteries rather than thinner, built-in, non-removable batteries.

I know there were quite a few who were upset to learn that the HTC EVO 4G LTE will actually come with a 2,000mAh battery instead of the rumored 2,600mAh. And to be completely honest, I would rather all of HTC's One devices have at least 2,000mAh batteries, if not larger. When you consider the DROID RAZR MAXX (9mm), which nearly doubles the battery capacity of its next of kin, the DROID RAZR (7.1mm), while only adding a mere 2mm to its thickness, the extra juice is definitely worth the only slightly noticeable extra thickness. I'm sure few would disagree or complain about one or two extra millimeters that nearly double the battery life.

What say you, folks? Is utter thinness what's most important to you? Or would you trade a few millimeters for a full day of battery life? Likewise, is the added charge time that's associated with larger batteries an issue for you?


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97 Reactions to this post

"Do you favor a phone's thinness over battery life?"


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Ibnul Sharar
Ibnul Sharar N.E.V.E.R.
Avi Rava
Avi Rava Both!!!!! And it's possible.
Sanchez Edgardo
Sanchez Edgardo batería
Scott Bitters
Scott Bitters Battery life all the way
Duane Kohn
Duane Kohn This is the dumbest thing I've heard all week! Who ever did the test posed the question completely wrong. No one wants a physically bigger bulky batt. But I'm sure 99.9% of smartphone users would love a battery with greater(bigger) capacity! Please HTC, your gonna lose out if you don't get with the program!
Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz Jon it has had bad battery life. and no it wont solve your problem because what if people like something else like a blackberry or other phones. anyways battery life on my captivate is good I am actually careful on what i put on my phone and what i do with my phone and lasts me through the day and through the school day. There are actually some apps that can help u save battery life like a toggle to turn OFF 4G! I am very careful on what i do and what i put on my phone and have pretty much had great battery life with the phone. Battery life for me is not an issue i prefer a thin phone.
Jon Boino
Jon Boino Problem solved for all... get an iPhone. Thin phone, easy to use and great battery life.
Kevin Kaufman
Kevin Kaufman battery
Kevin Naira
Kevin Naira That's what she said
Dan Bittner
Dan Bittner I could care less about the thickness. I want my phone to last all day. Just like my galaxy note. Lasts all day Italy great
Tony Drake
Tony Drake hell no a phone without a battery is just a deadly weapon with a pissed off owner now that the battery died
Cristian Henriquez
Cristian Henriquez No
Anthony Gomulka
Anthony Gomulka Hell no! I love my galaxy nexus with my 3800mah battery and a sedio case. always feel it in my skinny jeans, don't mind it. 18 hours of battery on a good day. :)
Hubert John Abiera
Hubert John Abiera Hellz nah
Carl Joseph Bialorucki
Carl Joseph Bialorucki Battery
Hunny Dang
Hunny Dang battery
Linda Strasser Hale
Linda Strasser Hale Battery
Shawn Davis Dunne
Shawn Davis Dunne Battery
Jay Stonie
Jay Stonie And the winner is...(drum roll)... "Battery Life"
Brian Goggins
Brian Goggins Ummm Razr Maxx is thin with a great battery life.
Billy Beard
Billy Beard Battery !!!!
Tony Abiama
Tony Abiama Sign me up for better battery life
Joel Diaz
Joel Diaz Let me clear my throat for this one cuz its gone be an easy one to answer............... NOOOOOOOO!
Xtian Medina
Xtian Medina battery life..or maybe both:)
Erman Guido
Erman Guido Battery life over everything!!!
Curtis M. Cook
Curtis M. Cook Definitely prefer battery life.
Natalie Erickson
Natalie Erickson The thinness is not going to make the phone work
Mark Fisher Jr.
Mark Fisher Jr. I'd rather have long time battery life over thin.
Jennifer Mullen
Jennifer Mullen Why cant we have both? Gs2 epic thin and in my opinion has good battery life
Natalie Erickson
Natalie Erickson Nope
Fernando Teixeira
Fernando Teixeira Of course not!
Shawn Poling
Shawn Poling Battery I like
Fernando Diaz
Fernando Diaz Battery life...the Note is a great example..not to thick and huge battery.
Rodger Samiie Myers
Rodger Samiie Myers Its a mobile phone....keyword mobile....as in not plugged constantly...
Joernie Berrios
Joernie Berrios I-PHONES are for Girls and Old People
Joernie Berrios
Joernie Berrios Lets see what the Galaxy s III brings to the table
Mihkel Sarapuu
Mihkel Sarapuu No!
Sean Watson
Sean Watson No not even a little bit. Tho my phone is thick and still has bad battery life , the HTC thunderbolt, and yet I still love it and can male the battery last ok. So maybe I'm not the person to ask lol
Mazin Nasir
Mazin Nasir NOOOOOO
Dominic Jessup Reid
Dominic Jessup Reid What is HTC smoking, crack?!
Jared Augerot
Jared Augerot There is a point where it would be too thick, like the Galaxy Beam. (The projector phone) don't get me wrong the phone is incredible. But I would rather have some thickness and more battery life.
Chris Stec
Chris Stec Battery fool!
Joseph Lopez
Joseph Lopez That's like measuring a man, size vs. how long he last during LOL I'm going to go with size! Only because i remember when i had the Sidekick 1, it felt like a brick in my back pocket.
Aaron Holm
Aaron Holm extended battery on my galaxy s2, I dont mind a little bulk, not having to charge this for 2 or 3 days is nice
Chris Glade
Chris Glade I could care less about thinness. Thinness won't help me when I need to make an emergency call and the phone's battery life expired
Brian Richards
Brian Richards Battery.
Jordan Apple Guy Barber
Jordan Apple Guy Barber Battery LIFE!!!!
Lewis Fang
Lewis Fang I would absolutely prefer to have a better battery life.
Jason C Kingry
Jason C Kingry No way! I like "battery life" over thickness of the phone. Besides with today's technology its not like the phone will be the size of the "bricks" or bag phones of "yesterday" lmao!
Ron Clair
Ron Clair No. One of the most important factors for me is a battery which is user-replaceable/user-swappable.
Moises Miranda
Moises Miranda Never
Javier Sanchez Ojeda
Javier Sanchez Ojeda Gotta have both
James Hrivnak
James Hrivnak considering that my HTC Evo got called a walkie talkie today due to the Seidio extended life battery, not at all
Carlos Nava
Carlos Nava A phone with a 2500 mAh battery and up is the perfect phone ...
Micca Koster
Micca Koster I would rather have better battery life. Thinner phones aren't that great. When you drop it its all over
Santos Jaco
Santos Jaco uhh battery life should not be compromised just to make the phone thin...thinness isn't the problem.
Johnny Makris-munoz
Johnny Makris-munoz Why is this even a question?
Rick Conrad
Rick Conrad What's the purpose of a "smart cellphone" if it always has to be plugged it?? Isn't that the same as a land line house phone with a computer sitting next to it lol. There is NO excuse with today's technology that cellphones can't last 3 or 4 days with heavy use and still be thin.
Arvydas Gr
Arvydas Gr NO. Better Battery life is much better
Joel Madison
Joel Madison Thin to win baby! I can always charge my phone when needed. What a concept!
Akash Sukhija
Akash Sukhija No thicker phones look better too... The sensation, iPhone(Battery Sucks Though)
Kong Yang
Kong Yang No. Bigger battery > thinness. They can add 1 or 2 mm to the thickness and still be considered thin.
Larry L Roe
Larry L Roe Yeah
Memo Mrtr
Memo Mrtr Battery life obviously !
Tum Bla
Tum Bla why cant i have both
Tobi Rascovez
Tobi Rascovez Thinness is convenient. Battery life is essential. Thinness doesn't matter any more, does it? It can be as thin as a sheet of paper, but if the phone itself is 5 inches wide... still couldn't fit into a pocket or a side bag. Yes, it's easier to hold than thick ones but how long can you hold onto it for the whole day?
Rebecca Benson
Rebecca Benson Battery life wins every time. Love my iPhone 4S but since the last update my phone is dead by 7pm. Anyone else have this issue? Any ideas how to extend the battery life?
Dietrich Brown
Dietrich Brown Nooooo
Wong Jia Jun
Wong Jia Jun battery~ some thickness needs to be there in order to be comfortable on hand~
Samuel Cummings
Samuel Cummings While I like a thin, sexy phone, I'll take the biggest freakin' brick you have if it means extra batt life.
Reese Woodson
Reese Woodson I rather have a thicker phone with better battery life, personally. What's the point of having a nice phone if it doesn't last long?
Anthony V Cannata
Anthony V Cannata Battery life just bought extended battery for T-Mobile G2 & love it
Joshua Carrero
Joshua Carrero I rather have a big ass phone that will last me a whole day ..
Frank Porter
Frank Porter this should be a no-brainer but I'll answer anyway. Hell not I don't need to have a phone the thickness of a sheet of papaer if it's not going to last more than 4 hours. Give me a phone that can at least last one full day or day and a half and I can deal with a bit of bulk.
Miles Richardson
Miles Richardson Battery, Then Unlock And Make It LAST LONGER!
Natalie Guida
Natalie Guida I would rather have a phone with a good battery any day. I think that is what the industry should focus on improving, not worrying about how ridiculously thin the phone can be.
Marc OKelly
Marc OKelly battery life duh
Ashley Cha
Ashley Cha Battery first!
Dina Krupen Epstein
Dina Krupen Epstein Battery has become the most important to me...
Steev Adelesthirdchin Convery
Steev Adelesthirdchin Convery No!
Jaret Miller
Jaret Miller If you trade any more battery life you wont be able to take it off the charger without drying....
Matthew Fleisher
Matthew Fleisher I have an extended battery in my EVO and it still fits in pants or shirt pocket just fine. If I see "...thinnest..." anywhere in a phone description I'll just keep shopping.
Chen Ming Liang
Chen Ming Liang thin, long battery life and removable. perfect
Eldon Ong
Eldon Ong if the battery can last for 1.5 days without charging. then yes.
Balakay Austin
Balakay Austin battery over thinness anyday
Luke Wooldridge
Luke Wooldridge No
Alex Villalpando
Alex Villalpando ya I'm with everybody else i own the razr and i honestly liked having extended batteries with my other phones and had it a tad bit more chunky than super thin
Aravind Mohan
Aravind Mohan thinner n wider high capacity batteries that suits the slimness are better. ..lol..
Ahmed Hassan
Ahmed Hassan battery life of course . i dont care about thickness
Chris Hagood
Chris Hagood Battery life. If I cared about having super-thin, light phone, I'd go back to a flip phone.
Christopher Gronde
Christopher Gronde What's the point of a thin phone with a dead battery?
Kiano Pass
Kiano Pass HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO htc is stupid, I value BATTERY LIFE OVER THIN CAUSE THERE IS A THING AS TOO THIN BUT NOT TOO MUCH BATTERY LIFE
Marcus Thurston
Marcus Thurston God no. I need a phone to able to fit comfortably in my hands and not fall out. I'm all for big phones
Susie Tracey
Susie Tracey No I prefer better battery life!
Kevin Tan
Kevin Tan There should be balance between both actually.
Yasu Hsu
Yasu Hsu No! ...and I don't like non-removable battery either!
Engr Ahmad M. Malik
Engr Ahmad M. Malik battery life first




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