Battery Life

With everyone sharing the same base hardware and software there are only two items that will ultimately impact battery life between vendors: screen type and battery size. The pecking order is pretty easy to follow. Smaller LCDs will be the best on battery, larger Super AMOLED screens will be the worst. The battery scale is even easier to define: bigger is better, but heavier.

We’ve been testing three Windows Phones: HTC’s Surround, Samsung’s Focus and the LG Optimus 7. The HTC and LG use standard LCD displays, while the Focus uses the same type of Super AMOLED screen we saw in the Fascinate and Epic 4G.

The LG uses a 5.55Whr battery compared to 4.55Whr on the HTC Surround. As a result LG gets the best battery life out of the three with the Focus coming in last due to its Super AMOLED display.

Microsoft mandates three discrete display brightness settings on all phones: low, medium and high, coupled with an automatic brightness mode. The three phones delivered very different levels of brightnes at each setting:

Brightness Comparison (White Point)
Phone Low Medium High
HTC Surround 10.4 nits 183.1 nits 405.7 nits
LG Optimus 7 130.4 nits 259.1 nits 381.2 nits
Samsung Focus 61.9 nits 143.1 nits 234.3 nits

 

Brightness Comparison (Black Point)
Phone Low Medium High
HTC Surround 0.03 nits 0.39 nits 0.88 nits
LG Optimus 7 0.28 nits 0.56 nits 0.82 nits
Samsung Focus 0 0 0

Overall battery life of these Windows Phones ranges from average to above average in the case of the LG Optimus 7. The use of Qualcomm’s 65nm SoC definitely doesn’t help battery life, but Microsoft appears to have done a reasonable job with power management.

The first Windows Phones won’t be in the same realm of battery life as the iPhone 4, but it’s a reasonable starting point. Given a normal/light workload you can easily make one of these things last a full day on a single charge, but heavier users will probably find themselves charging once in the early evening. As with most aspects of the platform, we need to see significant improvement in the next 6 months for Microsoft to be taken seriously. Luckily for Microsoft, where it is today isn’t a bad place to be.

The Windows Phone 7 Connector for OS X The First Phones: LG Optimus 7
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  • Crono - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    A lot may not have been taken from the Kin One and Kin Two, but the square, multi page Start is the same concept that was implemented in the Kin phones.

    Looking forward to moving from my Kin One to the Surround. Microsoft is offering 3 months free Zune Pass for those who sign up to be notified about preorders.
    Reply
  • heelo - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    You might be the only owner of a Surround.

    That thing has a "value proposition" that I'm really struggling to relate to.
    Reply
  • peter7921 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I have to give recognition to Anandtech for another great review. I have been looking for a detailed review on WP7 and you guys delivered. Not only is it extremely informative but it's also very well written. I read through it all, not once feeling bored or skipping ahead.

    These types of articles are the reason Anandtech is my first source for all things tech!

    Keep up the great work guys!
    Reply
  • Confusador - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    OK, wow. I mean, even by Anandtech's unusually high standards that was intense. Just one thing I'm not clear on, though... am I reading this correctly?

    "WP7 calls presents its browser user agent as “Mozilla/4.0 ...""

    If that's correct we've come a long way from the days I had to have Firefox masquerade as IE to be effective.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    IE has *always* done this, including on the desktop. IE6 reports as as Mozilla/4.0 too. IE2 also did it (a different version of Mozilla, though). A quick search didn't turn up IE1 user agent strings, but I assume it also did. Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Remember back when IE was introduced, Netscape was king. Netscape is based on Mozilla. That's the only reason it's in there - so pages made for Netscape would load correctly in IE. Reply
  • arturnowp - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    IT seems strange that WP7 cannot pass test, has very slow JavaScript engine but still pages are fluid and displayed porperly. Maybe Microsoft renders pages remotely and serves them to the phne? Reply
  • UCLAPat - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Wow! After reading this review, it makes all the other reviews look like previews. Definitely going to be considering WP7 when it's time to upgrade my phone. Still have time to burn on my current 2 year contract. By the time it's up, LTE should be up and running and Verizon will probably have a WP7 device for us to consider as well.
    Apps will come. But they're not a huge part of my life anyway. I want a rock-solid core experience for a phone. A smartphone has to nail the basic experiences first (calls, messaging, calendar, etc). I never liked the main screen completely filled with app icons. That reminded me too much of my old desktop computer before I cleaned up the desktop.
    Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    But very detailed... tells us pretty much everything anyone can ask.

    Thanks...

    While I'm not exactly PRO-MS... its good to see good design.
    I still like Google's a bit more and its shortcoming are easy to spot. Hopefully Android 3.0 will improve on its weaknesses.

    The icon / naming is well thought out and is used by others... including Apple, but not on a phone.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    "...displays up to 8 tiles of people you’ve either recently communicated with or whose profiles you’ve viewed/stalked."

    LOL.
    Reply

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