Battery Life

There’s no other way to put it: the EVO 4G has terrible battery life. It’s worse than the iPhone 3GS, worse than the Incredible, worse than the Nexus One and far worse than the iPhone 4. If you travel at all, this is not the Droid you’ve been looking for. All of our battery life tests were run from a clean boot with no extra apps downloaded/installed in the background. We didn't forcefully remove anything that shipped on the device however. This is representative of the out of box experience you'd get from a brand new EVO 4G. WiFi and 4G were disabled unless they were in use.

Battery Life
  HTC EVO 4G Apple iPhone 3GS HTC Droid Incredible Google Nexus One
Wireless Web Browsing (3G) 3.58 hours 4.82 hours 2.83 hours 3.77 hours
Wireless Web Browsing (4G) 3.58 hours N/A N/A N/A
Wireless Web Browsing (WiFi) 7.77 hours 8.83 hours 5.23 hours 5.62 hours
3G Talk Time 3.95 hours 4.82 hours 5.82 hours 4.67 hours
H.264 Video Playback 3.63 hours      

Continuous talk time is just under 4 hours. Wireless web browsing? 3.5 hours. The latter is actually surprising given that I measured 3.5 hours on both 3G and 4G networks. According to Sprint when the phone is stationary, power draw on both 3G and 4G should be relatively similar. When searching for a 4G signal however the battery life should be considerably worse, which is why many EVO owners resort to turning off 4G when they don't need it.

Video playback is also pretty bad. While the display is great for watching movies, even in airplane mode with the display cranked all the way up the EVO 4G only lasted 3 hours and 38 minutes in our H.264 playback test. That's not much better than most notebooks.

WiFi web browsing is actually realy good, at nearly 8 hours if you can stay off the cell radio you'll actually do just fine with the EVO 4G.

Performance Final Words
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  • thesafetyisoff - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - link

    This article needs to be re-written after the system fix for the Evo that occurred yesterday. The over-the-air system update released on June 30, 2010 fixes the battery life issue. Really.

    After buying my Evo, I initially had the same problem with battery life: Even using task killer aps, the phone would drain at least 15-20% of battery power EVERY HOUR. I'd plug it in overnight and it was half dead by the time I got to my office, completely dead by lunch time. I had to get an extra charging cable for the car and the office, and it would still run out of juice if I had to be in a meeting for an extended time. And forget about airline trips entirely. To make matters worse, my phone started hanging up and spontaneously rebooting, so I couldn't even use it when it had battery life. I was about to return it when I heard that a system upgrade was pending.

    The update fixed EVERYTHING. No hang-ups, no reboots, and a full charge went over 14 hours with moderate use. I don't know why htc initially shipped the phones without this fix, but the problem is now gone.

    Long live the Evo - on a single charge!
    Reply
  • worldbfree4me - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - link

    Great to see a non-biased and impartial article! However, I do wonder that if this review would have been done post Sprint update, would the results have been slightly better with regards to the battery test. Battery life for me personally has not been a problem for me due to me having a charger at the Office, in the Car, at Home and a Battery pack that is used when traveling that can power 2 USB devices. Also, it is a well known fact that the Stock Android UI weighs less than the HTC Sense UI. This could be why the N1 is consistently faster then the Incredible and the EVO. I suspect FROZEN YOGURT aka 2.2 should close this gap somewhat. Overall, I feel that each of the aforementioned phones is very close in terms of overall performance. Reply
  • rf40928 - Friday, July 2, 2010 - link

    Maybe the review for the iPhone 4 wasn't complete yet..
    but its funny how the Iphone 4 review that Anand did proves
    Iphone 4 on a "slower" 3g network is consistantly faster then the Droid on a 4G network when it comes to the web .. I guess 4G's Peak performance is theoretically better.. but are Sprints 4G average 4g Speed numbers better then ATT's avg 3g speeds??

    it would seem not..
    Reply
  • topgun966 - Saturday, July 3, 2010 - link

    I noticed you said that there is a 5gb cap on 3g. That's incorrect with the Evo. Evo plan has a $10 premium which nulls that cap. The Evo is true unlimited both 3g and 4g. Great review otherwise. Reply
  • OzzieGT - Friday, July 9, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the honest and detailed review. It's because of this review I feel better about waiting for the Samsung Epic. A little smaller, also a good screen and the Swype keyboard are making for a very interesting package... Reply
  • VIDYA - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Samsung and nokia will remain in the future with the mature platforms and technology while the USA based companies will be eager to run and fall down before learning to walk or simply take stride....... 4G by HTC and SPRINT is a joke or a watered down format war. Reply
  • Announcer - Saturday, October 9, 2010 - link

    My business partner and I travel between Dallas/Fort Worth and the SF bay area. I have the Sprint HTC Evo and he had the At&t Iphone 4g, The Evo 4G blows away the Iphone in the Dallas metroplex area and holds its own in the SF bay area. When I am in the Dallas tethered to my Evo with my laptop I get 6 Mbps and just surfing with the Evo everything loads faster than the Iphone on At&t. Sprint 4G rules! I did have At&t a few years ago and the customer service was horrific. I got a sprint air card and was grandfathered in on the unlimited usage. I did have a At&T HTC Tilt phone and tethered it to my laptop. The speeds on At&t were abysmal then I got the sprint aircard and went from 400kbps with At&t to 1700 kbps with sprint. Needless to say my partner paid off his At&t contract, sold his Iphone and now has a Sprint Evo 4G. Reply

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