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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  • flurrball - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the review Anand!

    You've convinced me to at least wait and see what the Droid X will offer to compete with the other smartphones. I'm really looking to get off the Apple/AT&T rapetrain, but not eager to sign a two-year contract and be unhappy again.

    Can't wait for your Droid X review!!
    Reply
  • Sf ted - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Anand, great review as always. You're a master of the details. I do have a suggestion that could change your mind about loving this device. The recent update increased my battery life an order of magnitude, elimanated the unsensitive Pp touchscreen and now reacts to my slightest of touches. You might have a much better experience after the update. Cheers! Ted Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Does anyone make an oversized battery that adds an extra 10-20 Wh? Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    You mean this thing can not play an Xvid encoded avi file out of the box? 512x288 and 576x320 are my most common resolutions. Reply
  • Screammit - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    the default android video player will not take Xvid, but there are a number of apps hitting the market that likely do/will. RockPlayerBase is one that comes to mind Reply
  • totenkopf - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    In the dimensional comparison table please take all inch measurements to the hundredths place (evo is 4.80", iphone is 4.54", etc.) and keep the trailing zeros in this case. It's just the right thing to do... and because when my instructor said 10 years ago in highschool that someday I would use this knowledge, I'm pretty sure that today is the very day she was referring to... how fortuitous. Reply
  • echtogammut - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    I have been using the phone for about a week now and have found the battery life to be less than my old iPhone, but not a real issue. So far with fairly heavy usage, web (no 4g), regular GPS lookup and moderate phone usage (I run my own business), it takes nearly 2 days for it to completely discharge. One thing to note, I charged my phone for 8 hours after getting it, totally discharged it and repeated this processes twice. I always charged my iPhone at night and I plan on doing the same with this phone, so like I said battery isn't an issue for me. Reply
  • Trebus - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Nice review, as usual.
    But please learn how multitasking works on Android, this seems to be problem of many reviewers on the internet :-)
    If you long press the Home button, it is not task manager, there are simply 6 last used apps. Some of this apps may not be running at the moment.
    For start I can recommend this article about Android multitasking:
    http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/04/mul...
    Reply
  • austonia - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    I believe Premium Data gives you true unlimited data on 3G and 4G, although unlimited 3G is an unadvertised feature. I'm guessing they don't want a flood of extreme bandwidth hogs.

    http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/33866?tstar...

    I'm past 5GB this month on 3G and it doesn't show any additional charges at sprint.com where i can see a near-real time summary of my bill. I download 6GB over 3G in one night (200-300 KB/s) so it would be easy to crack 100GB/mo if motivated.

    Tempted to see just how far I can push it. ;)
    Reply
  • Adul - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    I long since had my EVO 4g Root and running one of the many custom roms for it (DC3.2.0). I notice considerly improved battery life and put it to the test with a mix of browsing, installing apps, loading a new rom, and phone calls. Had it off that charger from work at around 4:30, drive to a friends house with wardrive running in the background. Got there and showed a few things on the phone that they did not have on his EVO. Left around 10 PM and made it home near 11. I have about 10% battery life left.

    Plus there was an update pushed and pulled out yesterday that address some battery life issues which is partially to blame on HTC background tasks.
    Reply

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