Smartphone Battery Life Improves Only 1 Percent Annually

If you’ve wondered why that new 4G smartphone’s battery seems to always be drained, consider this: Smartphone processing speeds, operating systems, and other features are constantly and rapidly improving. But the life of smartphone batteries is increasing by just 1 percent per year on average, says Carl Howe, a Yankee Group vice president.

The disconnect means that we’ve got plenty of sexy, powerful smartphones from which to choose. But we have to use them sparingly on the road, lest we not be able to use them at all because the battery has expired.

Howe was interviewed for today’s Wall Street Journal story “Fast Phones, Dead Batteries.” The article explains that 4G service is the “main culprit” of 4G smartphone dead batteries. Because 4G service is spotty, smartphones must constantly search for a signal, which quickly sucks battery juice.

Of course, 4G isn’t the only cause of battery drains. Large color screens, GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi can also cause smartphone batteries to lose their charge quickly.

It will be interesting to see how Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note, coming to AT&T on Feb. 19, does in battery tests. The smartphone/tablet hybrid, with a 5.3-inch screen, comes with a 2500 mAh battery, compared to the 4.5-inch screen Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket’s 1850 mAh battery.


Wall Street Journal, Samsung Galaxy Note, smartphone batteries