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
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  • Tegeril - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    No, because EDGE is disabled for data during voice calls and Wifi remains on. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - link

    Well, explain that to me how was I talking with a friend and browsing DT at the same time with my nokia now ?

    Even the good old GPRS allows for simultanious data/voice scenario, that is actually one of the points of the packet-based technologies.

    If you have standard 4+2 GPRS/EDGE timeslots available you just have the bandwith during call reduced to 3+1 scenario as voice requires 1+1 slots for its operation.

    The other thing is if you have phone bad enough that manufacturer disabled/did not implement this functionality...

    Even my P800 form 2003 coud do that FYI..
    Reply
  • DavenJ - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    No he's right it should say EDGE. Phone calls can only come over the EDGE network and not through Wifi. This is a measure of talk time which would mean a phone call. It would be nice, however, do have VoIP through Wifi for those cases where your either roaming or in a dead spot. Reply
  • michael2k - Saturday, July 14, 2007 - link

    It's not a typo, you misunderstand the test.

    It's talk time with a broadband connection turned on. You can, theoretically, turn wifi off during talk to extend the iPhone life, but for a comparison between 3G and WiFi battery life they were talking with, respectively, 3G and WiFi on.
    Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    WiFi for voice would be very nice. They could even charge me the same minute fees/bucket. There are plenty of homes with very good wifi coverage but crappy wireless cell coverage... works almost like a signal booster.
    Reply
  • Ataraxia - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    I'm pretty sure you guys are all wrong.

    The iPHone has just enough features so people will go out and buy it in rabid frenzy, while the next iteration (in probably 6 months) containing 3G, Thinner/Lighter, etc will push people like ME to buy it (The educated consumer, who really does know how backwards the innards of an iPhone actually is), plus everyone who bought the first generation will dump theirs for the much faster data transfers and buy a second gen iPhone.

    It's all about business and the $$
    Reply
  • BigLan - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    I wonder if the iphone youtube results are so good because the device buffers the video. It could be that you only download the file once, then play it back from cache. Could you maybe repeat the test with different clips every time to see if this is the case?

    Also, are you saying that youtube clips on iphone/wifi look better than on a desktop?
    Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    If Apple simply went with a user-replaceable battery, most of this problem (not the space issue) would go away. I'm not in the market for a cell phone, but that one point (the battery) drops the iPhone out of the competition for me. Reply
  • Shintai - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Why would anyone, atleast outside the US mobile network, get an iPhone? Its 3-4 years behind atleast.

    Take a cheaper nokia n95. You get gps, video calls (DVD quality, 30fps), TV, msn, 5Mpixel cam, MMS, 3Mbit internet, longer battery life and so on. On a 3.5G network for less than an iPhone.

    The iPhone is like buying a 800Mhz P3 in a fancy design today. Inferiour products for extreme prices. The last sucker aint born yet.
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    N95 is not cheaper buddy. I dropped $750 on mine. Reply

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