The HTC One S has an internal 1650 mAh 3.7V nominal battery, which works out to a capacity of 6.1 Whr. That’s smaller than the 6.66 Whr battery (1800 mAh, 3.7V) in the HTC One X / XL, but still pretty big for a phone of this size and thickness. The question then becomes what battery life is like on the One S, and to test I turned to our current smartphone battery life tests which I’ve described before. The web browsing tests consist of a few dozen pages which are loaded every 10 seconds with the display set at precisely 200 nits (using a meter) until the phone dies - this is done over WiFi and cellular data. The tethering test consists of a single client notebook attached to the device using its onboard WiFi hotspot function, and four tabs of our page load test alongside a 128 kbps streaming MP3 station are loaded on that notebook until the phone dies.

Battery Capacity

I should also note that the One S T-Mobile and International results differ somewhat because of the difference in air interface - the T-Mobile variant is on that network’s DC-HSPA+, whereas the One S International I had to test on AT&T in an 850 MHz market (Pinal county) where AT&T holds an 850 MHz license just north of me. Where I live, AT&T is only PCS 1900 MHz.

Remember that DC-HSPA+ is aggregating together two 5 MHz wide WCDMA carriers on the downlink which in theory should require more power from the power amplifiers per unit time. The age old question, however, is whether the increase in throughput can result in the system both achieving a higher data/time rate, and suspending quicker, thus saving some power. Some of the One S International results are also absent because of my limited time in 850 MHz AT&T markets.

Web Browsing (Cellular 3G - EVDO or WCDMA)

Web Browsing (WiFi)

Cellular Talk Time

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (3G)

I’ve had requests to measure charge time on smartphones, and thankfully the One S makes this possible with the charging status LED. I measured 1.533 hours required to charge the One S from completely empty to full using the supplied charger; this is a pretty speedy charge time compared to some of the other devices I’ve reviewed as of late. I’ll spare everyone the usual rant about USB charging spec and using the right charger that implements the appropriate data pin impedance.

While the One S has basically the same 28nm dual core Krait SoC as the One X (MSM8960 and MSM8260A differ in baseband), the One S also has to deal with a relatively power hungry SAMOLED display. We’ve shown before that this combination suffers in our battery life test especially because our test pages all have white backgrounds.

In day to day use with the One S on auto brightness, I have to say that I’ve never been want for more battery life at all. If you look at the web browsing test, the One S is just a half hour short of the iPhone 4 result. I’d say that’s pretty impressive. If you’re on a One S (or any AMOLED phone) and trying to eek some more longevity out of the device, as always my suggestion is to lower display brightness and set a black background on the home screen, which is what I do with all my AMOLED phones. 

Physical Impressions and Cases Performance
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  • flashbacck - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I have a T-mobile One S. I've noticed (and would be interested in hearing what other people have experienced) that battery life is destroyed if you turn on the "best wi-fi performance" setting in the wi-fi > menu > advanced menu. Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    That should be the settings that leaves wifi on all the time (disables sleep). That would destroy battery life for any device. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    My SGS2 runs with that I always get comfortably through a day of medium to heavy use. Since my 2000mAh battery upgrade, I could maybe approach 2 days but why bother? :D Reply
  • dxkj - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    It pulls ahead for "some reason". I believe that reason is the quad core is on the international version and the 2 core is on the US version Reply
  • sunsetsam - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Article says "sealed battery", chart shows "Removable". Pretty sure it's sealed, and if so, that's a deal killer. Really like my Sensation and was looking to upgrade, but sealed battery, no deal. Reply
  • Tomsgate - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Generally a nice device, but be aware that many times many users, including myself, are experiencing a SERIOUS ISSUE whenever carrier signal is weak: The capacitive Home Touch Button then tends to press itself. When in an app or on the home screen with or without the finger near the home button it seems to spaz out as if the home button gets pressed in quick time succession.
    Basically, you then completely loose control over your phone. Just google "HTC one S touch home button issue" and you'll see plenty of posts and videos about it.
    This issue has been reported to HTC by many users for several months now, but no patch or update has been released now as to address the problem. So keep this in mind if you want to purchase this device... You have been warned.
    HTC, please take position and FIX THIS ISSUE! Thank you...

    Other issues on this phone (personal experience):
    - HTC Task widget duplicates tasks by itself, up to X times
    - Connectivity issues, phone suddenly switches between 3G and HSPDA permanently, resulting in extremely slow data connection
    - Sync issues with contacts (ICS issue)
    Reported issues:
    - Black metal coating chipping off on black edition
    Reply
  • Karl1 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    HOME SCREEN BUTTON ISSUE!

    In many ways this phone is excellent, but it has a huge design flaw and becomes almost useless in areas with poor reception.

    No point describing it in detail here, just google 'home screen button issue'. There are hundreds of people reporting the problem and receiving precisely zero support from HTC.

    Obviously not every handset seems to be affected, but I have had two that were (replaced the first one), and the spreadsheet listing those affected is growing daily. Worse, the problem seems to take a few weeks to develop (so you will be outside your cooling-off period and will not be able to return it), then becomes increasingly bad after that.

    Seriously, think twice before buying this phone. If I knew what I know now I would not even consider it. I certainly will never buy an HTC again.
    Reply

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