I’ve been using the Nokia Lumia 800 for almost 4 days now, full time. Two of those days have been weekends so I’m not quite ready to give a week’s full summary yet. However what I can tell you is to set your expectations on the Lumia 800′s battery.
This should be nothing new to you, or anyone else who’s been using smartphones for the last few years, especially Androids. However, if you’re accustomed to your Nokia N86 lasting for a good few days, or your old Nokia N95 getting you through 1.5 days on super-heavy-use, do stick those expectations into the gutter.
On a full charge, with a nigh-on-full-time usage model, I’ve had the phone quit on me completely at 11pm. This is a heck of a lot better than some other devices, but still. It’s a sign of the times.
It’s not a dig at Nokia. Indeed anyone reading this thinking carefully about buying the Lumia 800 will, I’m sure, nod quietly at this post. It’s what we all thought.
Unfortunately in today’s world, “smartphone” means “shit battery” (along with a qualifier, “If you actually use the phone”). The Lumia, like the iPhone and my Nexus S will happily sit for a full day doing nothing and retain a nigh-on full charge.
I think I’m not helping things by having a Google Mail account and an Outlook account activated. Plus I should probably stick the various location tools to the ‘off’ mode.
However this is not the answer.
The answer is for smartphone vendors to stop the thin obsession and start the battery obsession.
You, dear vendor, might think that battery is no longer a key consideration for consumers. You’re wrong. Just because the Galaxy SII is being flogged in its millions and that users therefore need to start re-charging by lunchtime, this does not mean it’s not a problem.
At some point, a vendor will deliver a thicker handset to market that lasts for 1.5 days guaranteed, with heavy usage. Or 2 days. Or more. And at that point, it will make every other smartphone look lovely-but-impotent.
Worse, it will make the owners of all other smartphones look like tossers.
Tossers, because, at the end of the night, when you want to phone a taxi, your 800 Euro super-smartphone is useless if the battery has already gone through the ‘RED’ flashing panicky almost-out-of-power phase and into the dead phase.
The one argument that kills every other ‘my phone is better than yours’ argument is battery. When you’ve a reasonably level playing field like the Lumia, an iPhone, a recent Android (i.e. all fairly decent, all fairly good, all with nice UIs etc), then it’s all about battery. And no one wins, at the moment. Even the BlackBerry Bold 9900 doesn’t quite come up to scratch in the battery stakes.
So please, one of the vendors, please try this out. Can you imagine if Samsung released the following devices:
- Samsung Galaxy SIIIS (where the ‘S’ stands for standard battery) — less than 1cm thick
- Samsung Galaxy SIV EBL (where ‘EBL’ stands for extended battery life of 3 days minimum) — less than 1.5cm thick
Which would you pick? Well, you’d want someone to actually verify that ‘EBL’ actually means something. But very quickly I think a lot of people would be plumping for the second version.
You’d need your head examined to go for the thinner-but-shitter version.
We’ve got over the ‘my god it’s THIN’ experience, haven’t we?
Thin, for any sensible chap, now means ‘really shit battery’. Agree?
(Note: Or, could somebody please invent some proper mobile battery technology?)