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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  • Adul - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Any another thing.,,
    EVO owners I suggest you try the swype KB.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnQts9NUnL4&fea...
    Reply
  • alainiala - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    While I agree that 99% of the time, Sprint's apps are beyond useless, I have found Sprint TV to be fantastic during this World Cup season. I can catch games over 3G or 4G while away from home. In fact, I watched USA vs Ghana from a coffee shop over 4G and the experience was fantastic. Smooth playback with only a very occasional hiccup that would clear itself up after a second. Now that both of the teams I've been rooting for have been eliminated, Sprint TV will go back to being useless. Reply
  • Zebo - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Great review Anand. Good things come to those who wait, right...:P

    Evo is a non starter for me since I spend at hours on the phone each day and in the field and battery life kills it in addition to poor screen outside.

    Looking forward to iPhone review on battery life and outdoor capability.:)
    Reply
  • sapient2k7 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    One thing not mentioned in the article while comparing plans is the fact that Sprint Navigation is also free on EVO with the plan. Sprint family plans are also much cheaper than any other carrier.

    Personally I like the sprint apps, Sprint TV, Sprint navigation and the Nascar app are great. On an EVO Sprint TV looks great much better than my PRE. However, I am waiting for the next version of Palm PRE before making a jump :).
    Reply
  • docmilo - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I'm dealing with the issue of Evo on Sprint's poor coverage and finding a phone the wife likes as much as the Evo. Motorola's version of the 4.3 inch screen the Droid X is out on July 15th. Any info out there on this device? I would prefer to stay with Verizon. The Droid X doesn't have the front camera and the fancy kick stand my wife really likes.

    We took the Evo on a trip to Leavenworth a few weeks back and rarely got signal. Yesterday we were off to the Seattle Aquarium and I popped out the Evo, turned on Sprint Navigation and if I didn't know where we were, we would have been lost. Sprint Navigation was off a couple of blocks.
    Reply
  • adam7425 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    You(and others, including Engadget) have described Sprint's $69.99 plan as just giving you 450 minutes and unlimited messaging/data. A little more clarification would go a long way. The 'Everything Data - with ANY Mobile, Anytime' plan gives you Unlimited talk to any cellphone on any network. The 450 minutes only apply to landlines. For some people thats all the unlimited they need. I myself have months where I don't use a single one of those minutes. Reply
  • adam7425 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    You should point out that sprints 450 minutes are for landlines only. Any cellphone to cellphone is unlimited. Reply
  • sssbbb - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - link

    on Performance page: "Zotac XBOX HD-ID11" -> "Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11" Reply
  • steeda1974 - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - link

    I personally own this phone. After around 10 days, the battery life got extremely better. Has anyone else experienced this? It went from around 4 hrs max with everything running. I would highly suggest to turn GPS, 4G, and WiFi off when your on the move or at work. This has increased my battery life to around 12-18 hrs. And to anyone that says they need to have 4G on to watch flawless TV, who the heck watches TV on a 4-5in screen for more than 30 minutes at a time? I would just go upstair or downstairs and watch it on a Flat Screen TV instead of this smaill screen. If I'm wrong then I apologize but I think everyone is with me on that one. As far as the UI being a little shaky, who really cares, its hardly noticeable and its just a phone that is mearly played with for over 10 secs at a time. The phone is the best thing that I have personally come across in 2-3 yrs. For all that get this phone, immediately save contacts to google account as soon as you get it. This is the only way to get back your contacts from Sprint at this moment. Reply
  • steeda1974 - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - link

    I personally own this phone. After around 10 days, battery life got much better. I would suggest turning off WiFi, bluetooth, GPS, and 4G when on the run. GPS will automatically turn on if you use navigation. UI is smooth, I do not notice any lagging at any given time. I'm sure if you pay attention all day long, you would find a problem or lagging at times. But its not that big of a deal compared to all other phones at the moment. Its been the best thing to come along in around 2-3 yrs. I love it!! Plus if your using it as a mobile hot spot, dont you think you would plug it into a USB connection from the device that you are using and turn 4G on? Just me personal opinion though. Reply

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