I’m not into smartphones and the like in any way, I don’t read about them, don’t like to use or see people using them and usually don’t care about this kind of thing. Now that I got one, I feel confirmed in my attitude towards this topic.
So I recently got a smartphone from my employer after making it through the qualifying period. I had a sort-of-smart-phone before, a Nokia N900, but this time, since I am supposed to use and test the companies “app”, the choice was either iOS or Android. Since I’m not exactly an Apple fan, I went with the lesser evil and chose the Android platform on a Samsung Galaxy Xcover. I chose this “outdoor” phone so it doesn’t quit its job just because being in my backpack when riding my bike in the rain …
But anyway… when I first got the device I played around with it and it mostly complied with my needs. I was able to import contacts, sync calendars, use it as a USB storage device (on linux(!)) to transfer stuff and the like. After charging for a couple of hours, it was at 100% and that was it for that day, I went to sleep.
The next morning the thing’s battery was down to 50%. And it had done nothing for 7 hours. Well, that’s what I thought it had. Apparently, since I had installed the facebook app, it automatically checked facebook for updates every couple of minutes. Since I configured a gmail account on it, it also checked for new mail every now and then. It probably also checked for software updates, weather reports and whatever news there might be. In order to do so, each time it needed to check for $something, it connected to my wireless network and apparently, that uses a lot of battery.
After several hours of fiddling with the damn thing and even installing an “app” that disables all network connections whenever the screen turns off (which I consider impossible to do comfortably using the built-in configuration tools), the device now doesn’t need charging for about 2 days, depending on the actual usage of the phone (like making calls and maybe writing a text message now and then).
So I thought “well maybe it’s this very phone has this kind of problem with battery runtime”, but talking to friends and colleagues about this I get the impression it is considered normal that a phone does not run longer than a day without charging. Some people even carry around a battery powered pocket charger or a spare battery. What the fuck?! I consider this a extremely rediculous device behaviour and a massive step backwards compared to older phones I had. The first mobile I owned, a Siemens S25, was already able to go through a week of standby time. And that was 12 (read: twelve!) years ago!
Thinking about all these robots I see in trains apparently not being able to do anything but stare at their bloody miniature screen… Call me old fashioned but if I didn’t get this thing for free, I’d certainly not have a “smart” phone that does a lot of things I didn’t tell it to and makes it very hard to make it not do those things. I’d rather have a dumb phone with long lasting battery.