Battery Life and Charging

First things first, the Lumia 900 has none of the charging issues or problem behavior that initially plagued the Lumia 800. In the course of our battery life testing, I’ve repeatedly discharged and charged the phone completely and the Lumia 900 charges up from completely empty like a champ. It seems those initial growing pains are now squarely behind Nokia.

In addition, Nokia has gone with a compact 5W charger (5V 1A) that the Lumia 900 takes full advantage of during a charge cycle - I repeatedly saw the Lumia 900 draw over 800 mA during the charge cycle in its diagnostics menu, which is awesome. One of the things I’ve seen requested a lot is also measurement of just how long devices take to charge from completely empty - I measured the Lumia at almost exactly 3 hours with repeatability, using the supplied charger. The Lumia 900 uses an internal 1830 mAh, 6.77 Whr battery which is about what you’d expect for a device which includes a 4.3" SAMOLED display and LTE.

So how does battery life fare on the Lumia 900? To find out, I turned to our regular suite of battery life tests which consist of pages loaded endlessly until the phone dies, with the display set as close to 200 nits as possible. In the case of the Lumia 900, this actually ends up being the max brightness setting (WP7 offers three settings and auto). Due to time constraints, I haven’t run the WiFi page loading test, but have run the cellular tests over both 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE.

Cellular Talk Time

Web Browsing (Cellular 3G - EVDO or WCDMA)

Web Browsing (Cellular 4G WiMAX or LTE)

When it comes to web browsing, both the 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE results end up being pretty close at around 4.4 hours. This tells me that we’re pretty much dominated by the display’s power drain in that neighborhood. The web browsing tests tend to be pretty brutal on AMOLED devices to begin with, partly because we’re dealing with black text atop a white background. In practice I feel like the Lumia 900 does subjectively a lot better than these results really would lend you to believe. If you can believe it, we actually haven't formally published any AT&T LTE device results yet, so the Lumia 900 is our first.

In addition I’ve also run our hotspot tethering test on 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE, which consists of four tabs of our normal webpage loading suite alongside a 128 kbps MP3 internet radio stream all loaded on one wireless client.

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (3G)

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (4G)

The results of the tethering test demonstrate just how taxing constant connectivity can be for the current crop of 45nm basebands, and the Lumia 900 does pay the price for having a relatively hungry one. Our testing was done in good AT&T LTE and HSPA+ coverage, and interestingly enough the results are pretty close for the two air interfaces at around 3 hours. Jumping onto LTE and running the same test incurs a half hour hit.

WP7.5 and Preloaded Applications Performance Analysis


View All Comments

  • Beerfloat - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    Yup, I guess there's always a next best thing around the corner in the tech industry. Krait is pretty cool. But then, A15 bundled with a fast SGX or Mali GPU will be cooler still. Tegra 3 does have the benefit of the low power 5th core, plus, for right or for wrong, Nvidia always seems to bring the little extra member benefits. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    True, but the Krait version of the One X isn't that far away, compared to A15 and all that. The Krait One S is already shipping. And Nvidia's fifth core doesn't help it against Kraits battery life, look at the One S with Krait, it gets significantly higher life (to be fair, some will be the screen, but still). Tegra Zone optimizations apart, Krait is nearly uniformly better. Reply
  • jed22281 - Sunday, April 08, 2012 - link

    typical moronic response. Reply
  • ecuador - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    If more people got their hands on the N9's it would not be a dead OS. Even people with the latest iphones are amazed when they try out the N9, something I have never seen with, say, an Android phone.
    That's why I complain about tech sites not trying to give the N9 the chance that Nokia did not want it to have - it is (was?) by far the most promising mobile OS (not to mention the most open).
  • jed22281 - Sunday, April 08, 2012 - link

    Maemo6x (meego-harmattan) used by the N9 is far from being the most open.
    Tizen & WebOS are far more open, even Android is arguably....
    If it had been given time to evolve into real MeeGo* it would've been w/o question.
    There's MeeGo derivatives floating about still (MeR + Nemo/Plasma etc)
    But they're more underdeveloped than they would've been, had resources not been dropped hugely in the past 14mth.

    *which would've completed by July 12' at the latest w/the 1st x86 phone, after the 3rd Harmattan ph started reaching shelves.
  • jed22281 - Sunday, April 08, 2012 - link

    typical moronic response. Reply
  • Tujan - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Excellent article about a cell phone from !

    With the exception of memory bandwidth this is certainly a great little computer radio phone.

    "Waiting is never easy" <- catchy. !
  • Origin32 - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    And of course half of the comments are about Android phones being slow. Yes, the UI is less smooth than iOS of WP. But I really don't care about that and I can't be the only one. In my humble opinion functionality is king, and whether my homescreen renders at 20fps or 60 doesn't really matter. Android has some great features that I am yet to see in iOS or WP. Having borrowed an iPhone for a couple hours I already found it to be incredibly constraining and the lack of a back or menu button annoyed the crap out of me. As for WP, I played around with a Lumia 800 for a while but all the sidescrolling in the homescreen and in apps was very confusing. It made the display feel too narrow.

    Plus, I bet you'll all be glad we have quadcore smartphones when they've become so fast you can ditch your laptop, but of course most of you never even considered that :)
  • valhar2000 - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    People around here keep talking about the superior feature set of Android. What are these features that other phone OSs don't have? Reply
  • Beerfloat - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Well, HD screens for one. Grown up DPI-independent rendering for another. A choice of different form factor devices to suit various usage patterns and budgets. Multiple software stores, an enormous amount of apps, close integration with Google services (if so desired), wonderful customizability, the most straightforward interaction with other devices like PCs (it's just an USB disk drive, plus it talks CIFS).

    But oh well.

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