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Featured Editorial: Dear HTC, Where’s My Battery Life?

November 18, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

There’s been a developing problem when it comes to HTC and their devices, over the last year they’ve brought out some seriously good hardware, there’s no denying it. However, this brilliant hardware is often backed up with tiny sized batteries. Now, I’m at expecting the company to bring out massive sized phones that last forever on a single charge but, after the recent announcement of the Droid DNA, with a 1080p 5-inch display and a…2020 mAh battery, it’s clear that HTC have a problem on their hands.

For me, as an owner of the original One X in International form, with the Tegra 3 quad-core and an 1800 mAh battery, this is becoming a big problem for me. Of course, working from home means that I have little excuse to leave the house on anything less than full battery and while I stand by this theory, it’s something that I shouldn’t have to adopt, no matter what phone I’m using. We might still be using the same battery technology from the dumb phone days but, if the answer is to put more battery in your phone then you know what, HTC should put more battery in their phones.

Yesterday, for example, I was out of the house in the afternoon for an errand and I took my phone with me, I had 75% of battery left on my phone. Around the area I live is some pretty good 3G so, I was checking the feeds and checking in on things as I was out. I wasn’t even out for that long and yet, I came home with 6% of battery. This was through just browsing the web and some app use, all 3G based of course but, WiFi was off, Bluetooth was off and I had brightness as low as I could take it.

Color me unimpressed.

Certainly, when I got home it was just a matter of plugging the phone in and then charging it back up but, in all seriousness, HTC should have put a bigger battery in this. The AT&T version has a 2100 mAh battery and while 300 mAh doesn’t seem a lot, when you’re dealing with screens of this size, every little helps. My Dad has a Galaxy S III, the international version with the quad-core Exynos, and Samsung saw fit to put 2100 mAh in that phone. It’s also removable and no thicker than the One X so, what gives HTC?

The Droid DNA is a stunning phone and with a resolution of 1080p on a 5-inch display it’s certainly worth putting up with the extra screen size. Then there’s the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, the same CPU at the heart of the Nexus 4, which is a stunningly fast CPU and said to be the most power efficient CPU out there. Yet HTC still saw fit to throw in a measly 2020 mAh battery. Do they really think that this is going to get anything more than 6-7 hours on daily, light, use? Perhaps it was Verizon who held them back to push the Droid RAZR MAXX HD? Well, the Butterfly J in Japan – basically the same phone – has the same battery.

I really don’t know what is wrong with HTC when it comes to battery life, it’s not as if they can turn around and tell us that Sense is battery for your battery than stock Android because it certainly isn’t. In fact, it’s more than likely worse. It doesn’t matter how much they do to the kernels that they ship with these phones or whatever special modes they throw into Sense, until HTC realize that the consumer is more than happy to take a thicker phone with a bigger battery, road warriors will continue to avoid their phones. There’s little reason for HTC to not produce thicker phones with bigger batteries either. Sure, the race for the thinnest phone is something that will continue but, when it comes down it, it’s a much better brag to have phone that lasts longer than how it fits in your pocket.

C’mon HTC, I love your phones and the One Series has been really quite good but, you’re killing me here. All I want is a modern phone with a modern sized battery and until you guys can do that, then I’m afraid we’re going to have to part ways.