Battery Life and Charging

First things first, the Lumia 900 has none of the charging issues or problem behavior that initially plagued the Lumia 800. In the course of our battery life testing, I’ve repeatedly discharged and charged the phone completely and the Lumia 900 charges up from completely empty like a champ. It seems those initial growing pains are now squarely behind Nokia.

In addition, Nokia has gone with a compact 5W charger (5V 1A) that the Lumia 900 takes full advantage of during a charge cycle - I repeatedly saw the Lumia 900 draw over 800 mA during the charge cycle in its diagnostics menu, which is awesome. One of the things I’ve seen requested a lot is also measurement of just how long devices take to charge from completely empty - I measured the Lumia at almost exactly 3 hours with repeatability, using the supplied charger. The Lumia 900 uses an internal 1830 mAh, 6.77 Whr battery which is about what you’d expect for a device which includes a 4.3" SAMOLED display and LTE.

So how does battery life fare on the Lumia 900? To find out, I turned to our regular suite of battery life tests which consist of pages loaded endlessly until the phone dies, with the display set as close to 200 nits as possible. In the case of the Lumia 900, this actually ends up being the max brightness setting (WP7 offers three settings and auto). Due to time constraints, I haven’t run the WiFi page loading test, but have run the cellular tests over both 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE.

Cellular Talk Time

Web Browsing (Cellular 3G - EVDO or WCDMA)

Web Browsing (Cellular 4G WiMAX or LTE)

When it comes to web browsing, both the 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE results end up being pretty close at around 4.4 hours. This tells me that we’re pretty much dominated by the display’s power drain in that neighborhood. The web browsing tests tend to be pretty brutal on AMOLED devices to begin with, partly because we’re dealing with black text atop a white background. In practice I feel like the Lumia 900 does subjectively a lot better than these results really would lend you to believe. If you can believe it, we actually haven't formally published any AT&T LTE device results yet, so the Lumia 900 is our first.

In addition I’ve also run our hotspot tethering test on 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE, which consists of four tabs of our normal webpage loading suite alongside a 128 kbps MP3 internet radio stream all loaded on one wireless client.

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (3G)

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (4G)

The results of the tethering test demonstrate just how taxing constant connectivity can be for the current crop of 45nm basebands, and the Lumia 900 does pay the price for having a relatively hungry one. Our testing was done in good AT&T LTE and HSPA+ coverage, and interestingly enough the results are pretty close for the two air interfaces at around 3 hours. Jumping onto LTE and running the same test incurs a half hour hit.

WP7.5 and Preloaded Applications Performance Analysis
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  • jmcb - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    You arent the only one. If I wanted a smoother, more fluid OS I would get an iPhoen or WP7.

    I need, want a lil more than that from my phone. I;m a function over form guy. Right now Android fits what I want more.
    Reply
  • snoozemode - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    For me the biggest issue with WP is the resolution, I mean 480x800 on 4.3" is crap, at least for my eyes. Can't understand why Microsoft haven't included support for higher res in a separate update. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    To me, it all seems like they want to make Apollo phones look that much better in comparison, so they aren't letting Mango ones get close to the best specs. Reply
  • babstra - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    the resolution of professional graphics monitors is ~100dpi. the lumia 900 resolution is 200+ dpi.

    'nuff said.
    Reply
  • snoozemode - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    You don't hold a 27" in front of your face. Enough said. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    You don't lose out on much though. 480x800 does this particular phone justice. Reply
  • jmcb - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    I agree with this too. The resolution isnt that bad. Its the screen technology that will make a difference.... lcd, amoled, pentile or non pentile, etc. Reply
  • jmcb - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    lol...exactly. I hold my phone ALOT closer than a monitor. Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Very funny. Reply
  • Kjella - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    I checked here in Norway, the "$99" phone costs 4495 NOK without a subscription, for comparison the iPhone 4S is 4890 NOK. Guess they're planning to make a lot back on that subscription, either that or Microsoft/Nokia is funding one helluva campaign to stay relevant. Reply

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