Several folks have asked me directly how using my EV-DO modem affects the battery life on my Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium. I’ve been hopping around with the device for a few weeks now and although I haven’t done any scientific benchmarking, I can share some information. I’ve found the overall battery life to be excellent, but of course the Q1UP comes standard with a 6-cell extended battery. I also have a fully-charged spare with me and based on my short usage history, I’m still convinced I could work all day. Ten to twelve hours isn’t a stretch with this setup.
This weekend, I had to run my son to a two-hour Little League practice. Most parents drop and go, but Tyler’s league is about 30 minutes from where I live so I always stay. I watch when I can, but the teams are on multiple fields running different drills, so I can only get a glimpse here and there. As a result, I always have a UMPC with me so I can catch up on e-mail, work, and more.
Tyler’s practice this past Saturday was from 4pm to 6pm, which was prime viewing time for the Masters golf tournament. Once we got settled in at practice, I fired up the Q1UP with a fully charged battery and used my USB727 modem to stream live video coverage. Since it was late afternoon, the sun was low but still bright. I’d never say the Q1UP has an outdoor-viewable screen, but I was able to view it reasonably well. I had to turn the brightness all the way up for starters. The bleachers I was seated at had the sun to my back, so my body provided a little shade for the screen as well.
I used the Q1UP for just under an hour-and-three-quarters; Windows was reporting that the battery was at 62% when I shut down. I realize that this isn’t an exact measure of battery life, but it’s a usable indicator. That means with the screen at full brightness and the EV-DO modem going full-time to stream video, I used just over one-third of the battery in 1.75 hours. I also realized later that I didn’t shut the Bluetooth radio down, although I’d expect that to only have a marginal impact.
This scenario is probably as intense on the device as you can get. I usually have the brightness set at 40% because it’s plenty bright enough inside at that level and doesn’t waste any additional energy. Video streaming at 960 x 540 is also taxing to the hardware configuration I have as well. I essentially consider this a "worst-case" type scenario that uses the most battery power in the shortest time.
My take away: if I was doing heavy-duty work on the Q1UP over EV-DO (inside, not outside), I should be able to get at least 5 hours of battery life. I would rarely stream video the whole time since that’s not work (and likely against my TOS with VZW) so I’m still confident that my two-battery solution can be used for more 10 hours, even with a USB EV-DO modem.
As an interesting sidenote: that 1.75 hours of EV-DO usage chewed up 280 MB of bandwidth. If I did that every day for a month, I’d likely
come near cross over the 5 GB limit that Verizon Wireless imposes. Glad the Masters is over.