Let’s face it, battery tests are long and tedious. They’re also quite hard to time correctly as mobile phone usage varies quite a lot. But that’s not the reason why over at GSMArena we rarely have something specific to say about battery life in our otherwise detailed reviews.
Enter time constraints. The thing is, we rarely have the test units at our disposal long enough to properly test the battery life without interfering with our reviewing routine. In those cases the reviewers try to evaluate the battery performance based on their subjective feeling and experience rather than anything else. Not that can’t be correct. And we don’t pretend it is.
With the HTC HD2 we are using a retail version (unlike all the many pre-production units that come our way) and we had the opportunity to take our time and test the battery life properly.
Let’s start with the movie playback. Back in July when making the Samsung Omnia HD review we were impressed by the ability of the handset to play standard resolution XviD video for 5 h 30 min straight on a single battery charge. Well, the HTC HD2 runs Windows Mobile, it’s got the 1 GHz Snapdragon and a bigger display to worry about. But as you’ll see, though lower, the result of HTC HD2 is higher than what we expected. Here it is:
Movie playback test result – 4 h 30 min
Getting 4:30 hours out of it (though in Flight mode) is quite good actually and a lot better that what we expected, considering the hardware differences between HD2 and Omnia HD. BTW, on a personal note, HD2 might not be your first choice for watching movies on the go. The big screen size is a plus, but also help you to see the limitation of the 65K color restriction in Windows Mobile. Even more, the blacks are not as deep as I’d like them to be.
For our next test we left the smartphone idling at one of the setting screens (light gray background, if you’re getting technical) again with Flight mode on. What we got out of it was:
Backlight stand-by test results – 11 h 50 min
Again, better than what we expected, but what does the test mean? First, it means that fears the big display will deplete the battery quickly are unfounded. And secondly, if you like reading e-books on the go, the HD2 wont let you down.
Now that we’ve got that cleared, we come to the most important battery test – the one simulating real life usage.
Real life battery test results – 52 hours operation time (on 3G), including all of the following…
- 40 minutes of voice calls
- 30 minutes of web browsing
- 30 minutes of guided navigation (CoPilot)
- 50 minutes of video playback
- 2 hours of music playback
This time our initial expectations were not exceeded, but still the results are not bad at all. The HTC HD2 will survive even the busiest day and most of the time even power users will charge it every other day.
Side note – all test are executed with display brightness set to 50%. The HTC HD2 display is quite bright and 50% is more than enough for perfect visibility in all indoor conditions. If you plan to watch movies in a darker room you might go with an even lower brightness level – say 30% – to keep your eyes from straining and have the blacks as deep as possible.