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

  • tuteja1986 - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    well if someone would just copy the user interface they could sell craploads of phones. Take the heat for a clone but who cares as you will benefit by alot of sales. Reply
  • halfeatenfish - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Just like with every other Apple product, the iPhone is for people that value the experience over the specifications. My phone can do all the iPhone can (feature-wise) and more... but I hate using it. As a matter a fact, a great deal of my features go unused b/c its too much an ass-pain to get to them. Same story with my XP machine over my Powerbook... My Win box is faster, etc... but I hate dealing with it.

    It reminds me of the difference between a Subaru and an Audi. Similar performance, but huge price difference. In one you to holler on the freeway, in the other, you speak. One has you tired after long trips, the other has you wanted to take longer trips. Etc, etc, etc

    The point is... for a whole lot of people, spec's alone are just not enough.
  • AlexWade - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    America is 3-4 years behind in all cell technology because our government believes competition on standards is a good thing. Obviously, it is not. Every network has dead spots, a problem we wouldn't have if there was only 1 cell technology like Europe. Reply
  • bigboxes - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    You're right. We should all be on CDMA in North America. CDMA is faster and better than GSM. That would solve all our problems. Thanks for pointing that out! Reply
  • Zaitsev - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    You mean its feature set is 3-4 years behind, but has a completely novel user interface. It's certainly not "best bang for your buck," but that's not Apple's goal in the first place. Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Friday, July 13, 2007 - link

    Battery life was the problem .. well no iphone sales in Australia as we are 3G. Reply

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