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Thread: n900 battery results. Compared to E71 at idle

  1. #1
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    n900 battery results. Compared to E71 at idle

    FYI: I posted this on the maemo.org (fanboy-only) forum:


    For those who are familiar with the E71, it probably has the best battery life on the market. Uses 1500mah BP-4L.

    I ran some tests to compare the E71 and n900 battery usage, both pretty much idle, almost no screen usage, few mins phone calls.

    Results:
    E71 = 60 hours to get to 30% left
    N900 = 24 hours to get to 30% left

    Since both are idle and no screen usage, the n900 less battery life is not because of screen or running apps. Either the GSM radio is more power hungry or Maemo needs more optimizations in its background processes or idle state. Or what "black magic" is the E71 doing?

    Test case:
    - N900 completely stock. No apps ever installed. Has gone through 4-5 recharge cycles before this test
    - no 3G. GSM only
    - no WIFI whatsoever
    - no Widgets
    - screen on lowest setting on both units
    - N900 automatically connect to At&T internet 10 min interval
    - Both running Nokia Messaging with gmail,yahoo,hotmail every 30 mins.
    - Both constantly connected to gtalk+skype (E71 uses Fring). So the internet is constantly connected on both devices.
    - max 5 mins screen usage (only to check battery + take 5 mins of calls)
    - each day involves 40 mins underground with no reception

    E71
    -----
    day 1: 09:30 -> 09:30 => 70% free
    day 2: 09:30 -> 09:30 => 50% free
    day 3: 09:30 -> 21:00 =>30% free

    N900 (repeated 3 different days, same usage, same results)
    ------
    day 1: 09:30 -> 09:30 => 28% free

    Outside these tests, I notice if I use the device ontop of the above usage with (again with no 3G)
    - 30-40 mins web surfing
    - 30 mins bluetooth music
    - 10 mins misc playing around with the device
    The battery is more like 09:30 -> 00:00 => 25% free
    With the current battery life, I'd be very wary of moving to Tmobile and using this device on 3G and lasting 09:30 to 00:00

  2. #2
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    Though I didn't submit it to the detailed test cases you did, I can say--without a doubt, the battery life on the N900 I had (yes, past tense) was miserable compared to the E71. Worse, the E71 was using 3G, and the N900 was not. (Though I did try it with 3G, and quickly ceased using 3G due to even worse battery life.)

    My opinion was the the N900 is going to appeal to a very specific niche at this point in time. Primarily, tech people who are early adopters, and don't mind working around quirks. Though I fit the first two criteria, the last was too much for me.

    Joel

  3. #3
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    Do you know all the firmware / program versions for both the e71 and the n900? These make a big difference, as I can drain my E71 on fring in under 4 hours.

    It's a good general test, but I think you get a little too specific when comparing running apps. Fring and any auto update services can drastically alter batterly life depending on version and options.

    So as a non apples to apples comparison, thank you. However, I am on ovi, msn, aim, skype and sip(gizmo) and usually last 10 hours until low battery warnings in NYC on Tmobile 3G.

    My E71 lasts 2 days with email/calling/sms and other random stuff on At&t 3G.



  4. #4
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    Firmware and application version mean nothing in the context of battery life, in my opinion. It is the user experience that means something. Though I cannot speak to the OP's rationale, I can say that my own rationale is that I want the device to last as long as it can on a charge--doing the things I normally do with my device.

    So, if one uses Skype, and the other uses Fring, and this is done because one doesn't have native functionality with the same application, the use case is still valid. The same would be said with an email client. If I have to use brand-X on one handset, but must use brand-y on another, only because one support IMAP better than the other, the use case is again valid.

    Joel

  5. #5
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    I wanted to see if the poor battery life was due to bigger screen or high cpu usage (more powerful apps).

    Clearly, the screen or the CPU is not to blame. I think the GSM radio is not efficient or needs major optimization as other claim similar "wifi" tests to last up to 3-4 days.

    I guess there's hope its a software optimization issue that is going to be fixed.

    The fact that Nokia couldn't put the BP-4L into such a brick phone is quite pathetic!

  6. #6
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    It's the software. This is the first iteration of the NIT's to require a GSM stack, coupled with the fact that it has to be completely daemonized to get hammered on by numerous applications through DBUS and the currently available Fremantle stuff really hasn't been coded from scratch, it hasn't been optimized for cellular packet data.
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