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GSMArena feature lab: Introducing our new battery life test

You’d be surprised to know, battery life tests are the most time consuming and the most criticized articles that we do. And in the same time, they are of high interest to the readers. The previous iteration of our battery test required that we have the phone around for at least a week after the reviewing routine is over. It included many different tasks, which took quite a lot of time and meant that the tested devices couldn’t be used for anything else for days in a row (so that the test is as controlled as possible).

And with so many tasks involved, many of you found it hard to compare our testing scenario to their typical usage. It was hard to persuade those of you that never give their smartphones a rest that it’s possible to use a phone for two days without recharging it.

So, before giving up the idea of making battery tests completely, we decided to give it one more try. We introduced some changes to the test, which will hopefully be to everyone’s benefit. We reduced the number of tests and left just those that are both relevant to the largest number of users and the easiest to automate. That way we’ll be able to perform the test on more devices and give you more results to compare.

From now on, we’ll be giving you four numbers for each tested device. The first three will tell you how long does it take for a phone to go from full charge to empty, while performing each of the three basic tasks included in our test – making calls, browsing the web and playing video. You should note that we stop the video playback test at 10%, rather than when the phone switches off, as most smartphones refuse to turn on their video players beyond that point.

The final score in our new battery test is the most important one. It tells you how long would a smartphone need to go from a full charge to no charge if you played 1 hour of video, did 1 hour of calls and browsed the web for 1 hour over Wi-Fi for every 24 hours of stand-by. In other words, that’s the total endurance of your phone if you used it for three full hours each day.

The first smartphone to take on our new test course is the Nokia N9 – you can see how it did in this post right here. There are more to follow.


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