The more and more tasks we are able to handle with our smartphones, the more straining it is to the battery. When cell phones were just a simple phone, they can stay active for days, or even weeks, on a single charge. But now, we use our phones as a calendar, to play media, send email, keep up with social networks, and take and store pictures and the battery can barely last for a day.
Not all smartphones have good battery life, and there’s nothing worse than being away from home and having your phone suddenly die. There are products out there to help this situation, like portable battery chargers and cases that add extra life. But is it enough to take away the concern? We put this question to our writers, asking them how important battery life is on smartphone choices.
I’m an Apple fangirl, so I’m always going to have iPhones. I wouldn’t change to another smartphone just because of battery life. I’m not even sure what it would take to get me to switch away from the iPhone. Luckily for me, my iPhone 5 has good charging time. I can plug it in and have it fully charged in an hour, and it generally lasts me throughout a whole day without dying, unless I have the GPS on or am watching a lot of media on it. However, my son’s Android seems to always be dying. He often carries a charging cord with him to charge it while he’s gone. Yet he likes his Motorola phones and doesn’t want to change.
Emmanuel agrees that battery life is important, but it’s “not a deal breaker.” If an “amazing smartphone doesn’t have the battery life to cut it, then I will look at battery packs.” He finds it a “nuisance” to have to deal with battery packs, but has had to do this (and doesn’t mind doing it) with some “amazing phones with subpar battery life.”
Battery life isn’t a big concern of Trevor’s. He doesn’t even consider it when he’s buying a new smartphone or tablet. He realizes, though, that his usage is vastly different than it is for most people he knows, so “the best I can do is take the battery life for the average person and cut it in half.” If the need arrises, he will use apps such as JuiceDefender or purchase additional batteries.
Battery life is definitely something Ruji considers, but it isn’t a major factor in her buying decisions about smartphones. She currently has an LG Spectrum that has terrible battery life. “Even if I’m not actively using it, it won’t make it through a day.” It can die after just a few hours of occasional use for Google maps or web browsing. She carries a charger with her when she leaves and has also purchased extra batteries. Still, battery life will be factored into her next phone decision, but if she finds a nice one with with poor battery life, she’ll just keep up with her current routine.
Damien is very conscious with how he uses his phone and makes sure that his battery doesn’t run flat on him. He also have a portable battery pack that he brings along when he doesn’t have access to the power outlet for a long period of time. When buying a new phone, the battery life is of the least concern to him and doesn’t affect which smartphone he is getting.
Miguel looks at this question very pragmatically, knowing battery life is “paramount only to those who need to spend lots of time away from an outlet,” and since this will happen to everyone at some point, it has to have some importance to everyone, at least to some extent. However, he feels the most important consideration when choosing a smartphone, especially people who don’t have to go through battery problems often, is “the durability of the phone as well as its response time.
It seems the writers all agree on the level of importance of battery life when choosing a smartphone. It should never ever be the most important reason when making a choice, but it does factor in. Since there are so many items on the market to help with battery life, there will always be more things to take into consideration when making that choice.
What about you? Does the battery life affects your purchase decision?