Now would you look at that; you can now talk non-stop on a smartphone for a good 12 hours. It’s an impressive feat for a technology that’s usually known for switching off prematurely. But is it good enough?
Our lab testers have been busy looking at smartphone battery life, and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has taken the crown for stamina when it comes to making calls on 3G.
With a longevity that would make even my old brick mobile phone shake in its well-worn boots, the Samsung Galaxy S3 kept going for 726 minutes. It only just pipped the also recently released HTC One X to pole position, which kept it up for 635 minutes before passing out. And both beat the iPhone 4S, which huffed and puffed in at 467 minutes.
Battery life on call, on apps and on the internet
I’d love say how impressed I am, but am I really? I’ve moaned about smartphone battery life before and although my HTC Incredible S wouldn’t be able to keep up with the iPhone, I’m still not convinced that I’d be shouting about the stamina of my new Samsung Galaxy S3. More often than not I bet I’d be plugging it in once a night.
Why? Because, unlike my chatty mum, I’m rarely a caller. It’s rare I’ll get on the blower to chat to someone over the phone. And it’s not because I’m afraid of my HTC dying, it’s because I use my smartphone for texting, apps and web browsing. It’s the latter two that zap my battery life.
This is where my previous moan about smartphone battery life on Which? Conversation falls down. I had championed the week-long battery life of my Nokia, but that phone didn’t have apps or let me browse the net. It’s something commenter Rene called me out on at the time:
‘Stop moaning, if you want your battery to last for a week, switch off all the cool features that were unavailable years ago. Do not surf the internet, don’t listen to music, do not read books, no trawling through the apps store or iTunes. Talk and text, that’s it. Your battery will last.’
Fair point Rene, you’ve got me there. But isn’t there an option for both? The Samsung Galaxy S3 is so thin, you’d probably find it slipping down the back of your sofa. Why can’t we have something chunkier that packs a beefier battery? It’s what Tony Crackett called for:
‘Why oh why can’t we have a choice between slim phones with limited battery and fatter phones with longer battery life?’
And why not have a smaller screen than the S3’s 4.8-inches. Perhaps it’s my girly hands, but I find it a challenge to hold it comfortably.
Do you want better smartphone battery life?
By now, manufacturers should know battery life is something we care about (89% of you voted that you’re fed up with short battery life in our poll last year), so if they could crack that chestnut and give us something that lasts like a trooper, even if it makes concessions in other areas, they could be on to a winner.
Motoroloa’s Razr Maxx is said to have the going power we’re after, with a reported 21.5 hours of talk time. It’s only just arrived in the UK, so its claims are still to be put to the test in our labs. Until then, Samsung can call someone else about its 12 hours talk time.