Batteries really aren’t good enough yet

There are a lot of things pushing me toward buying a piece of shit simple handset. I’m seriously considering buying a really simple S40 Nokia handset, or maybe a Sony Ericsson (if I can put up with the lack of decent contact and calendar synchronisation).

I want a phone that works when I need it to.

I want a phone that people can hear me speak on, unless my signal strength is shot to shreds. If I have more than 2-3 bars out of 5, I expect the other person to hear me properly. The fact that most folk can’t hear me speaking on my vodafone Blackberry Bold is rather worrying.

But by far the biggest arse with being me is that I like to buy new stuff. Bleeding edge stuff. That runs down batteries like no tomorrow.

Case in point today at Future of Mobile. I left the house with the following devices fully charged:

– Vodafone Blackberry Bold
– T-Mobile Blackberry 8800
– T-Mobile UK G1
– T-Mobile N95 8GB (that doesn’t ‘do’ data)

By 8pm the Bold was screaming red. BATTERY LOW was constantly flashing up. It was so annoyed with me for using it, it decided to flash yellow every few seconds to remind me how shit the battery is. That’s not even a full sodding day’s usage.

Not to worry. I’ve got the G1 handy.

But that’s a world of pain. Despite NOT Using it at ALL today, I took it out at 830pm to find that it had 21% battery left.

To be clear: I have not used it. I have not DONE anything with it. Sitting idling with the odd email update has flocked the majority of the battery.


My 8800 Blackberry is on 95% power. So at least I still have a handset that I can use.

I think I need a rethink.

I either need to take a leaf out of the books of other MIR contributors such as James Whatley, Dan Lane and Ben Smith, and carry a Proporta or other such mobile charger around.

That really annoys me.

Or maybe I should faff about with multiple device batteries?

Hugely disappointing, given the cash I’m blowing on these devices.

Maybe I should chuck everything else and just use the Blackberry 8800?

[ Written using the rather limited keyboard on my Vodafone Netbook connected via Voda GPRS on the 2245 to Southend Victoria… so there might be quite a few stupid tpyos. ]

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

10 replies on “Batteries really aren’t good enough yet”

I'm finding the N95 battery is alright really – I do cane mine massively – but there have only been a handful of occasions where it has been totally and utterly dead.

Ooh and for those occasions where I am totally out of charge – I've picked up from the states something similar to the Proporta, but a bit cheaper, and it can solar charge too….. Will review it on my blog when it arrives (had to pay a sodding customs charge on it today – *sigh*)

Ewan, the big problem with the G1 is that you can't turn off the email (or at least I haven't found how yet). So even if you don't look at it it's draining away the battery massively just by being on – useless.

Being always connect and synched is great – but I have to choose there would be times that I would pick battery over connection – like when I'm sat listening to you rant about the industry at Future of Mobile. So I should be able to choose to turn off the email and conserve battery.

In an ideal world of course I shouldn't have to, but …

You know what, and this really guts me, when i talk to friends who have Sony Erricson phones not one of them complains about battery life… Yes they aren't as cool as Nokia or BBs or the G1, yes the text input is terrible BUT, if you want a rock solid (drop down the loo and still work level) NORMAL PHONE where the battery can last a couple of days… there's your answer. I know the answers you'll give, they don't really do email, they're J2ME based so have no particularly worthy 3rd party applications etc etc – agreed. But for making calls, texting and being an alarm clock (the western worlds most important features) they work brilliantly…

agreed im loving my E71 and the battery lasts a min of two days
and thats with me pushing three email accounts (one with alot of traffic)
constantly usign the gps and data
listening to music and watching videos.

its actually quite hard to totally run it down. which iI've been trying to do for the first few charges
it seems to stay on one blip forever

Nokia 6310i. Something like 17 days worth of standby.

A top tip – for any phone – turn the brightness of the screen down and set it to switch off after a few minutes of inactivity. Boosts battery life a great deal.

Nokia 6310i. Something like 17 days worth of standby.

A top tip – for any phone – turn the brightness of the screen down and set it to switch off after a few minutes of inactivity. Boosts battery life a great deal.

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