Battery Life

Using the iPhone you already know it's not going to last very long on battery; I didn't have enough time to run the full suite of battery tests, but those that I did run will give you a good idea of what to expect.

The first test is a strict email benchmark. I created a gmail address and signed up to receive all of the latest postings from some of the most popular newsgroups through Google Groups via email. The end result is a mailbox that gets over 5000 messages a day, and a perfect worst case scenario email test.

All three devices were run on the Edge network to be the most balanced, but keep in mind that the Blackjack supports 3G and the iPhone can run over WiFi. Bluetooth was enabled during the test, but remained unpaired with any devices.

The Blackberry Curve was the only device out of the three that could receive emails instantly, and it did so much faster than either the Blackjack or the iPhone. Both the Blackjack and iPhone automatically checked the mailbox at 15 minute intervals, but in actual email download speed the iPhone was clearly faster than the Blackjack.

Battery Life Test - Email

Battery life for email was a clear victory for the Curve, lasting just over a full day doing nothing but checking emails. Keep in mind that all three devices were set to their silent profiles, meaning that the Blackberry was constantly vibrating as it received multiple emails each minute.

The iPhone more than measured up to Apple's own estimated 6 hour battery life during Internet use, lasting 6 hours and 53 minutes. The Blackjack on its standard battery came in last at a bit over 5 hours. From our experience, the extended battery would probably bring the Blackjack up to the iPhone's battery life.

It's important to note that these tests are best case scenario as I'm not walking around town with the phones while testing them, which would be far more stressful on battery life. That being said, the Blackjack and iPhone simply don't cut it for high volume email devices, there's just no replacing the Blackberry. For casual email though, either will work fine.

Our other battery life test is strictly web surfing; we loaded a series of nine web pages stored on a local server and looped the test until the batteries ran down. The screen was left enabled on the Blackjack and iPhone but we couldn't force the Curve to do the same, so its results are slightly inflated by having a screen that went to sleep after the first 30 seconds of use.

Battery Life Test - Web Browsing

This time on WiFi, the iPhone comes in closer to its estimated 6 hour internet battery life. Again, you're looking at best case scenario battery life; watching a lot of videos on YouTube will run the battery down

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  • icruise - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Excellent review that (surprisingly, given that this is a very tech-oriented site) "got" what the iPhone is about. It may not be the perfect cell phone, but it's certainly an amazing one, and the first really fresh take on the concept that we've seen in a long long time.

    One quibble, however. The review states that Yahoo charges $3 a month for push email support. Yahoo does in fact provide free IMAP push email to anyone using a Yahoo Mail account on the iPhone. However, there appears to be some issues involved in the implementation and I couldn't find any mention of using push email with Yahoo in the Apple documentation, which may be why the reviewer didn't realize this.

    It seems that if you have any other email accounts active on the iPhone, push email doesn't work reliably. It may take quite a while (many minutes) to show up. I tested this on my iPhone and when I had my Yahoo Mail account as the only active account, messages sent to it showed up pretty much instantaneously. When I enabled the other accounts, that changed, whether I had mail checking set to "manual" or a special interval. So in short, I think the iPhone's push capability is there, but they haven't quite ironed out the bugs. Hopefully they will do this soon with a software update, and also enable push email for .Mac mail as well.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, July 7, 2007 - link

    How bout horizontal/landscape mode for the keyboard? With all this talk about fingers not being small enough for crammed keys, I'm blown away this wasn't addressed. Based on the aspect ratio of the keyboard in front of me, and the aspect ratio of the iphone, I don't see why you'd possibly want to type in portrait mode. Reply
  • ViperV990 - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I'm curious if (a web-based multi-protocol IM) works on the iPhone. Can anyone please give this a try and report back? Reply
  • Icehawk - Monday, July 9, 2007 - link

    Great article, I really hadn't read or watched too much on the iPhone so it was nice to see it all laid out clearly.

    Sadly the phone, like my Tivo S3, is missing some very basic features (voice activation?!) and has some weird ergonomic misses.

    However I think this is a big deal, if the interface is as much of advance overall as it sounds that is big. IMO the next major advance computing (and these MFDs by extension) is the interface - we are still using pretty much the same paradigms as 20 years ago.
  • Calista - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    Hi Anand!

    I would like to know how you judge the value of the iphone. We fully understand that you find it an awesome device but it's no denial that it's also a fairly expensive and $600 will buy you both a normal feature phone (2MP cam and the rest) and a well-working internet-tablet like the Nokia N800 - which by the way support up to 16 GB of memory, carry a screen with higher resolution than the Iphone and support Skype. It's another device to carry for sure, but only another 200 grams and it can be left safely in your home when doing things more ..action-packed than sipping coffee at Starbucks.

    Quite frankly, I would feel fairly uncomfortable carrying a $600 device in my pants all the time.
  • Justin Case - Friday, July 6, 2007 - link

    I'm sure you realise there's an obvious joke lurking in that last sentence... ;-) Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    Any chance of a comparison with the Qtek 9000 or Nokia's N700...? Reply
  • 2ManyOptions - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    Why the hate? Its not something which you can totally reject or totally throw like trash ! It does look good when compared to it's competitors.

    The price tag for the iPhone is an individual's concern. If he/she thinks spending 700$ on iPhone is cool, so be it, i wouldn't lose anything !! Does that mean the person who bought an iPhone is stupid?? I wudn't agree with that, its his money n his idea of fun n spending.

    I would like to buy something like an iPhone but not unless its below 250$ or something like that...And maybe something new, something better than iPhone will pop up by then.
    Good marketing by Apple though.
  • Koing - Wednesday, July 4, 2007 - link

    to pick the 4GB instead of the 8GB version! :P Reply
  • aGoGo - Wednesday, July 4, 2007 - link">HTC Omni

    If Steve was holding this phone a million idiot will be standing in line from now till October :p

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