Faster Browsing, but a Quarter Less Battery Life

Our web browsing test is slightly different from what we ran in the iPhone review.  We used a total of 7 web pages, but of much larger sizes than our first test.  The first page was simply a counter page, the second was our review of the Core 2 Duo E6750, followed by our article on AMD's Phenom introduction, an excerpt from our Quad FX article, our entire iPhone review, an article on Intel's Turbo Memory and our entire AMD Radeon 2900 XT review.

Each page was loaded by the browser and was set to forward to the next page (in the above order) after 10 seconds; the screens on the phones were set to remain on constantly, with the Blackjack set to brightness level 3, and the iPhone set to approximately 30%.  All backlight timers were disabled.  Bluetooth was enabled but not paired to any devices.

The web browsing test gives us our first indications of the increase in power draw of 3G over EDGE:

Web pages loaded a lot faster, but the Blackjack's battery was drained at a faster rate as well.  With 3G enabled, the Blackjack lasted 2.75 hours and with it disabled, over 3.5 hours.  Neither time is particularly great, but the impact of enabling 3G was significant: battery life was reduced by almost 23%. 

The situation with Wi-Fi vs. EDGE was completely different, while on Wi-Fi the iPhone lasted longer than on EDGE.  The improvement in battery life was just under 25%, giving us an extra 85 minutes of usage on the iPhone.  Note that all of these tests were with excellent signal strength, and battery life is negatively impacted by hopping between cell towers or working with weak signals; regardless, the results here should apply regardless of the situation. 

At least based on these initial results, it would seem that Apple's Wi-Fi implementation is a no-brainer: you get better performance and better battery life.  It definitely doesn't have the convenience of 3G, but if you find yourself using your phone in areas where Wi-Fi is prevalent then it makes a lot of sense.

Manipulating 3G on the Blackjack Still an Impact while Mostly Idle? The Email Test


View All Comments

  • jellinek - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Does the h.264 implementation on the iphone vs. the likely flash-based version on the blackjack impact this at all?
    Quicktime playback over the web (trailers set to loop?) might be a better way to determine EDGE/3G/WiFi battery life.
  • MrJim - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Anyone know if they will add MMS-messengering in iphone? Reply
  • GlassHouse69 - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    fuck iphone.

    that's all I have to say.

    stop reviewing it. it is lemming equipment that is overpriced and hobbled with a beautiful screen. feels like 5-6 years ago Mac intellect at use. get great graphical images, get stuck in the mud hardware, hobble it all somehow, charge 1000 dollars more than you need and bam, lemmings jump. wee!
  • DavenJ - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    I guess this guy isn't going to buy an iPhone. Reply
  • Shark Tek - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Yeah I bet that he can't buy it. Reply
  • puffpio - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Is there a way to get this higher quality youtube feed for computers?? I'm tired of their pixelated crap. Reply
  • dacramer - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Who cares how LONG the battery lasts when loading web pages. The real test is how many web pages the battery can load per charge. Even if the battery lasts half as long over 3g, it surely must load more web pages. Is it more than double? 3g may not be so bad with regards to battery life with this taken into consideration. Reply
  • Icehawk - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    I think the exact same thing - the more important metric is how many pages you can load not how long the battery lasts with constant clicking. Reply
  • Araemo - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    "The biggest impact of all is, surprisingly enough, talk time; with 3G enabled, the Blackjack's talk time is cut in half, with absolutely no benefit realized from the higher bandwidth standard."

    Do you want to know why 3G is the default for talk time as well as data transfers? 3G has more bandwidth per cell tower, and talk over 3G uses the same total bandwidth as talk over GSM.. but since 3G increases the available bandwidth, you use less of the cell company's resources if you're talking using 3G instead of GSM. So battery life be damned, AT&T wants to make more money. ;)
  • cosmotic - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Your graph on the talk time page shows the iphone using wifi. Shouldn't that be edge? Reply

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