Android Central

We'd never turn down more juice, but is 2500 mAh on a 5-inch device really that low?

Yesterday we brought you the first photos of HTC and Verizon's 5-inch, 1080p Android smartphone, codenamed "DLX," along with a full list of specifications. By any standard, the DLX is a super-high-end phone, packing a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU -- generally considered to be the fastest SoC around -- and the highest-resolution phone display available, in the form of a 1080p SuperLCD3 panel. Throw in Verizon's 4G LTE network, and you've got an awful lot of telephone.

One area that's easy for some to find fault with, however, is the battery. Read on to find out why.

The DLX is said to have a 2500mAh battery, according to leaked specs from Football. So it's all you've got when it comes to power. The trend towards non-removable batteries is nothing new, and in HTC's case, they've been moving towards a different internal design for their phones, starting with the new Windows Phone 8X and 8S. The new process involves sandwiching the battery between the PCB and display, allowing for larger batteries and thinner devices. But that battery placement means it's not user-replaceable. Conversely, manufacturers are often able to conjure up slimmer handsets if they don't have to worry about fitting removable battery doors into their designs. We don't yet know if the DLX uses that design, but it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

As for the charge itself, it's amusing to see how quickly we've become accustomed to huge smartphone batteries.  A couple of years back, when HTC released the Desire HD, it shipped with a 1230mAh battery. A year later, we were wowed by the 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note, which required an unusually large 2500mAh unit to power its 5.3-inch screen. Since then battery sizes have crept up, and it's not uncommon to see 2000mAh or more in the average high-end smartphone.

But the DLX's battery is still well above the smartphone average, assuming the 2500mAh spec checks out. Even the LG Optimus G, which uses the same quad-core Snapdragon chip, packs a 2100mAh battery. Same with the Nexus 4. Clearly, it's possible to run a high-end, quad-core chip on an "average"-sized smartphone, even with LTE on-board.

But there's the question of the beastly 1080p display -- surely all those extra pixels should take a toll on battery life? Well, the main component being taxed is the GPU, an Adreno 320 unit , that's almost twice as fast as the Adreno 225 chip found on most dual-core Snapdragon S4s. The Adreno 320 is rated or resolutions far above 1080p, and boasts improved GPU efficiency thanks to Qualcomm's "FlexRender" tech. This allows the GPU to intelligently switch between tiled and direct rendering modes depending on which is the least wasteful. Qualcomm chips are known for their efficiency, and based on what we've seen of quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chips so far, we don't doubt the DLX's ability to handle 1080p without breaking a sweat.

Our suspicions about the S4 Pro are backed up by hands-on reports, too. After we posted our DLX photos, industry insider blackmannx dropped by the Android Central forums with a few thoughts of his own on the phone. He called the processor "quite battery friendly," noting that a full 12 hours of heavy use may be optimistic, but 8 or so was achievable, in his experience. That's in line with other high-end smartphones.

Android Central

Whatever your opinion of the DLX and its specs, the battery is sure to outperform that of its Japanese cousin, the HTC J Butterfly. The Butterfly packs a 2020mAh battery, trading almost 500mAh of charge for a thinner chassis design. That's probably down to individual carrier preferences -- presumably, Japanese network KDDI AU wanted a thinner handset at the cost of battery life. (You can clearly see differences in the chassis design in our DLX photos, particularly around the back of the device.)

For their part, it seems Verizon has sided with battery life when it comes to its DLX, and in our opinion that's got to be a good thing.

More: This is the Verizon HTC DLX

 
There are 60 comments

Oh no! The battery is not removable! The world is coming to an end! Lol

technomom says:

8 hours of usage sucks, particularly when traveling or presenting/sitting at conferences.

I easily get 12 hours out of my Galaxy S3 and can carry a spare if I'm away from power that long.

Maybe the world isn't coming to an end. But I have a choice and I'm always going to go with the reusable battery choice so long as the 24-48 hour battery is elusive.

I was trying o make light of the thread of over 180 posts arguing about a battery. I mean, c'mon. I think we are too much of nerds for our own good :)

TenshiNo says:

"...too much of nerds for our own good"

LOL +1

BroodjeBami says:

8 hours of usage does indeed suck. However, AC clearly stated that the device would last 8 hours on HEAVY usage. My Galaxy Nexus lasts the whole day, but on heavy usage I can burn it down in 5 hours.

I would kill for 8 hours of battery life. Only getting about 6 :(

ONE user posted on the forums about 8 hours use. I would hardly call that 'clearly stated'.

Another thing that will suck is when Verizon gets it's hands on this device they will disable it with it's crappy bloatware and render it useless. If they thought enough to give it 2500mAh they could've done 2800mAh or 3000mAh. Htc still hasn't learned there lesson. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for me..

squiddy20 says:

"they will disable it with it's crappy bloatware and render it useless" Which the user can disable themselves at any time by going into Settings>Applications, selecting the app, and hitting that big button at the top marked "Disable". OMG that was so hard.
-__-

crxssi says:

Is it "non-removable"???

People said that about the Evo LTE. Guess what- it most certainly *is* removable and takes only about 5 minutes to remove and replace (remove a small cover, remove two screws, remove back).

I am not saying this will be the case with the DLX, but there is a difference between a non-quick-swap battery and a non-user-serviceable one.

larrytxeast says:

Maybe other people don't think non-replaceable batteries is a big deal, but I do this very moronic thing called THINKING, and I know better. Batteries should be user-replaceable, period, for every device on the planet, even $2 watches (which, in fact, tend to have user-replaceable batteries in my experience).

In fact, I believe it should be **required by law** that ALL devices have user-replaceable batteries, no matter what changes have to be made for that to happen. Make it happen, PERIOD. I'm not for government meddling in the marketplace as a general rule, but ABSOLUTE capitalism is taking it too far as well. SOME regulation is needed. In this case, they need a regulation that MANDATES that batteries will be user-replaceable. I don't buy this nonsense that we need to have permanent batteries to make the device decently slim. That's just hogwash.

DSaif says:

Galaxy Note II has 3100 mAh.. It has 1080p display, I don't know if 2500 will be enough

Jordan2348 says:

Galaxy Note II does not have 1080p it's 720p it's actually slightly lower than original Note

cjbrigol says:

I know you're not complaining, but why are people complaining about less PPI on the note 2? My FORTY TWO inch tv has the same amount of pixels and looks pretty damn good, even when I sit close to it. I'm sure the screen on the GN2 will be amazing.

The point DSaif was trying to make was the Galaxy Note II has a higher battery capacity despite NOT pushing 1080p. The question posed being is a reduced 2500 mAh battery enough when you factor in the increased resolution of the HTC DLX.

Obviously there will be improvements in efficiency due to the updated hardware in the HTC DLX but the impact this has on usage in the real world remains to be seen.

crxssi says:

It is also not running the S4Pro CPU/GPU, now is it? You can't compare unless the CPU/GPU and screen technology are all the same.

reidoreilly says:

yes!!! Finally Verizon gets it, to the majority of consumers bigger battery > slim phone. It only takes a few mm to double your battery size, and ill take a 10-12mm phone over a 7 or 8mm phone everyday if it means bigger battery. To the people who try to act like 2-3mm is a huge difference, then I suggest you go get a ruler and see just how small 2-3mm are.

icebike says:

This!
Phones are thin enough. Please stop chasing thin. Form follows function, not the other way around.

svinyard says:

A good engineer^

TenshiNo says:

Exactly.

This is a shortsighted statement. "Chasing thin" allowed manufacturers to double battery size over 4 years while keeping phones as thin or thinner than they were then.

A drive to shrink overall size allows for a larger screen in less overall area. A drive to thin phones makes larger screens easier to grip and removes unnecessary weight that can actually increase the chances of drop damage. Finally, as stated above, by fitting more into less you can increase the size of the battery with less impact to thickness and weight compared to its predecessors.

nickacs says:

About as long as your pee pee... HAHAHAHAHA

comraderudy says:

agreed, this is definitely PLENTY of battery for daily use... for the first year or two. then, if we haven't bought the next shiny thing, we'll be stuck trying to rip our phones apart to replace a battery that just doesn't hold its charge anymore.

this engineered obsolescence BLOWS. i want to buy a device that can still have SOME USE 2-5 years later.

mstrblueskys says:

Hey, in this rapid changing tech world, we're lucky we can get 2 years out of a device! I gladly gave my HTC Hero up for the EVO 4G LTE. Hopefully in 2 years I'll be able to make another completely insane upgrade again! :)

And I'm sure you'll still be able to use the battery 2 years from now! I'm lucky that I have a job that allows me to either be at a desk or in my car. I don't think my battery has dropped below 40% in the last month except when I spent all day at Austin City Limits taking pictures and videos and searching for service. If you have a good habit of keeping it plugged in when you can, battery life shouldn't be an issue ever!

Wow, soapbox much? Sorry!

comraderudy says:

haha, no worries. i'm among the worst offender when it comes to ripping through devices but when i sell my old devices (or hand them down kids, nieces, nephews...) i want to make sure they work as well as when i bought them.

today's rechargeable batteries will only charge and discharge so many times. that being the case, i would much rather have a slightly thicker phone and rest easy that i can replace that battery with ease when it ceases to be as efficient.

but yeah, i tend to keep my phone plugged in at the office too. hehe

mstrblueskys says:

Awesome, and yeah, I don't know if I want an actual phone much slimmer than the one I have even if they made one. Give us mA!

TenshiNo says:

+1 ^this

I had one of the old MotoRazr flip phones back in the day, and I *hated* it. It was *so* thin I couldn't hold onto the stupid thing.

randyw says:

Still have mine in my nightstand, an unlocked V3i. Still looks like new and works fine.

acey_zero says:

+1

Also, I tend to overclock my device when it starts aging a bit to give it more life, but this uses battery even faster. Without a replaceable battery I don't know if this would really be doable.

codiusprime says:

I want this phone, please release it Verizon/HTC. The batter is plenty big I think and even if it's not I've lived with a GNex for the past year, I can deal.

Synycalwon says:

Frankly, I don't care how much more efficient or battery friendly the hardware may be or that the battery capacity is larger. I want the CHOICE of having extra batteries at my disposal to just swap and go at any given time. I simply don't care to ever tether my phone to a charge unless as a last resort.

osubeavs728 says:

You do have a choice, you can get a different phone. Non removable batteries may not be for everyone, but that's why there are other phones on the market.

The problem being if people continue to blindly buy phones with non-removable batteries the industry will completely move in that direction. The fact that it increases handset sales as phones lose the ability to retain a charge... I would wager the majority of smartphone owners do not even consider the battery in their phone which is great for manufacturers but not great for power users who need the option.

bp3dots says:

"Blindly?" Some people prefer the size and power benefits of built in batteries. And they do very well with retained battery life, iPhones are perfect examples. (So are the RAZR / MAXX but newer, so not as much long term data) Plenty of people keep them for 2 years or longer with no noticeable loss of duration. Just because a lot of people don't bother to carry extra batteries and would prefer the other benefits doesn't make them blind.

Power users can also use portable chargers, so they won't have to be tied to walls with traditional chargers. IMO, it's a smarter option, with many inexpensive ones that offer 2 batteries worth of power. (I know, I have one myself - even though I could use extra batteries with my GNEX)

Yes, "blindly". You have fallen into the trap of equating users of this site with the majority of users in the general public. How many of those people think for a second about whether the battery is replaceable let alone even consider issues like mAh?

As for portable chargers they are second to batteries in terms of cost, size, portability and convenience.

osubeavs728 says:

So you obviously know that the users on this site do not represent the majority of users, so why would you think manufacturers would cater to your needs? They're not chasing a niche market, they want majority share, they want to take down Apple.

So you obviously know your initial comment was futile as the number of removable battery options will continue to diminish due to market trends and the majority of users being blind to the issue?

Regardless of thinness, most LTE phones should be required to have a decent sized battery. Coming from a Droid Razr, I can't simply keep this phone on 4G even on standby throughout the day. In order to get more juice out of my phone I have to downgrade to 3G.

And apparently all ICS running handsets were officially removed that feature from Verizon so I have to bypass using an app.

As I said, to avoid this issue we'll need to have all future handsets equipped with a decent battery that are slated for LTE carriers.

bp3dots says:

You should be able to turn off your 4G in the settings under mobile network > network mode.

I was able to when running gingerbread but I think it was a move Verizon played to avoid load on their 3G network.

st_7 says:

I wish you would have touched the issue of cellular modem(LTE) is not integrated into main Qualcom S4 (quad-core) chip as is the case with S4 dual core chips(which have LTE modem is integrated in to the main chip), this point is raised by a user in the comments section of previous HTC DLX images post. We like to hear more on this issue generally on S4 quad-core chips

TenshiNo says:

Are you certain of this? I know this was the case a year ago, but I think the newer S4 Pro (which this phone is likely using, as is the Optimus G) does incorporate the LTE radio on the SoC.

Rob White says:

Frankly, my Rezound has serious battery drain. I'm lucky to make it thru a workday with the 2750 mAh extended & the fat cover attached. I've turned off most of my apps that sync (which really defeats the purpose of a smartphone in my opinion) & cut way down on the checking emails, using Google Reader, & even my old standby Google Listen. I feel like I've gimped the phone to keep it from dying everyday. I've swapped it out, factory reset, uninstalled apps etc etc etc. Unless HTC has figured out what causes this drain in their devices, & I've read enough to determine it's fairly common on HTC hardware, no battery of any size less than the Droid Razr Maxx is going to be adequate.

TenshiNo says:

I have an HTC Evo3D that easily gets me through 12hours with moderate/heavy use. And that's with me leaving the WiFi and Bluetooth on 24/7.

A couple of things to check:

1) If you leave the WiFi on, and you're on WiFi most of the day, go into the advanced WiFi settings (hit "Menu" on the WiFi settings screen) and set the "sleep" to "Never". The default on a lot of phones is to switch the WiFi to sleep mode after 15 minutes, which sounds good, but in reality the 3G/4G just kicks back on which uses even more juice. But, if you do this, also make sure to turn off the "Notify me of WiFi" setting, or your phone will scan for an available WiFi *all* day long :)

2) Check your screen brightness. A lot of people walk around with their screen on full-brightness 24/7 and on these large-screen phones that is the single biggest battery drain. I used to hate using auto-brightness, but then I discovered "Lux" in the Android Market (Play Store. Whatever). It's a more intelligent auto-brightness app that you can actually "program" how bright you want the screen to be at each detected ambient brightness level. You can even control how often it polls the light sensor to adjust the screen brightness. You can find it here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vito.lux

Or the free version to try it out, but you can't set your own custom light levels the same way: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vito.lux.free

Other than that, just double check your sync settings. By default the Facebook app syncs like every 15 min. I turned mine down to 2 hours. Same with email. If you can get push, it will depend on how vital the account is to you, but I have mine set to like every 6 hours after work, and my old AOL account just updates every 8 hours or so, and both update if I open the Mail app.

mjoforiam1 says:

Uber, You took the words right out of my mouth! I as well come from the Rezound, and I also had the dinc. HTC phones suck on batteries. I experienced everything you went through turning off everything data wise to get through a day. I guarantee this DLX will not last 8 hrs. They always give these numbers from laboratory conditions. I recently sold my Rezound and purchased a Droid Maxx(not HD) and it's like a weight has been lifted from me, I travel around all day, talking on and off, navigating, pod cast listening, camera usage, etc... and I still have significant battery left at the end of the day all without even being plugged into the car charger(which I wouldn't even dare to do with my HTC phones especially if I was using navigation, pod casting, etc..) Just plug into home charger at night and I'm good to go for the next day! I will never go back to batteries less than 3300mpa unless they do something magical to make these phones work on less. It's Motorola all the way for me from now on until something changes. I think the camera on the maxx was almost just as good as the rezound. Stills were better on the HTC, but image quality on video was equal and video sound quality is much better on the maxx. Speakerphone sound, talking sound and bluetooth is better on the maxx. Thinking of going for the maxx HD soon. Might wait until JB comes out on it.

cozzy123 says:

Also those portable charging packs are an option. I have a little mini one that charges up my phone about 40 percent. We also can do the whole lower the brightness on your screen thing if your worried about battery life.

Or alternatively we could spend 10 seconds switching batteries...

bumpandrun says:

+1

bassdelux15 says:

I get about 10 hours on my Gnex on the stock battery with moderate to heavy use. I still carry a spare battery with my every where.

jayray78 says:

My Thunderbolt is absolutely horrid on battery life, but I rarely carry a second battery with me, even though I have the option. The extended batteries just look awful, so I refuse to use one.

With the DLX and Note2 coming to Verizon in the next few months I'm sure I'll be in the store taking a lot of hands on time to determine which I will go with.

Also, since my N7 is always with me, I constantly have a 4325 mah battery to use also. OTG win.

Mobius360 says:

I give props to Verizon for going with a bigger battery. 2500mah seems much more reasonable than the Japanese version of this device. We are spoiled by the RAZR Maxx and the thinness of that phone but giving a 3300mah battery, it's pretty impressive no matter how you look at it. I mean the GNote 2 has a smaller battery and it an extremely larger phone.

I can tell you I could care less about usage, heavy usage, light usage. I want to see average on screen times. On my Gnex still not using LTE I get 4+ hours on the 2100mah battery and a little less obviously of the 1850mah one. At my work I could burn through the battery in 2.5 hours of screen time because of a poor signal. This is why I prefer removable batteries. With technology improving though I think I can use one of these newer more efficient devices but I still want as big as battery as possible.

While we are on the subject a quick glance to the sidebar reveals:

What's the most important feature in your next Android phone?
- Battery life 37.97% (3,532 votes)

ioo says:

I get an easy 20 hours out of my DInc2 with 3500 mAh extended battery.

Wont even think about buying a phone that doesn't have an extended/over-sized battery available.

vinny jr says:

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a 3500mah battery and is extremely developer friendly, that is my new phone without even hesitating. There is just no way this HTC beast with fantastic specs will see more that 6 hours with above average use. What a freaken shame, what is going on inside these asses heads, make a unbelievable phone and leave out one of the most important features in an Android phone, battery juice. Why not make the phone just a little thicker so you can give the phone adequate battery power. Too damn bad, this is a fantastic phone but the Note 2 is my next device. It has all the great specs that this phone has, the display may not be quite as good but it is beautiful to say the least, yes the Note 2 along with every feature I could want in a phone including ext storage and unlocked boot loader makes it a no brainer. The Note 2 will have all kinds of accessories just like the SGS3 does. This One phone will not have the accessories like the Note 2 will have. This phone could have been so great, maybe it will surprise me but I doubt it, after all the talk about the lack of battery power, the worst issue IMO is the locked down tite boot loader that makes the phone very unfriendly to the dev community. I hope I am wrong about this phone but the Note 2 is my next phone to go along with my SGS3.

Mobius360 says:

Note 2 is a 3100mah battery.

Gearu says:

'Enough' battery is not enough. After smartphones really took off some years ago, manufacturers started creeping up the screen sizes and resolution, but also equally the battery, unfortunately, the batteries were always insufficient to begin with at that point, so customers are always going to be on the back foot unless manufacturers do the right thing and provide a bigger battery.

We always see talk of new, cutting edge cpus with special designs and systems that make them more energy efficient than before while adding cores or ghz or whatnot, this is absolute rubbish and has always been proven so, not sure who they're trying to kid.

The Galaxy S2 (4.27 inch, 480x800 display, 1.2ghz dual core) shipped with a 1650mAh battery, which wasn't good enough, Samsung later offered a 2000mAh battery with bigger door to accomodate, this should have been on the phone in the first place, and gets the job done.

Now this year with the S3, they double the cores, up the ghz, up the screen size to 4.8 inches and 720p, and wanted us to believe 2100mAh was going to be right... please, dream on.

randyw says:

My Gnex has the 2000 mAh battery I put in a week after I got it and I get a full day and change. But then I use it moderately. And still have the original battery to use as a back-up if needed. I just do not care for not having the option to get an extended Battery. Which I have done for all my Android Phones.

Nev says:

I'm pretty confident that the battery in this will be adequate. I just read Jerry's review of the Optimus G, and while I know it's an entirely different bird, he said he was able to squeeze out 26 hours, on wifi, between charges...and yes it was with a slightly smaller screen...but this is rumored to have a bigger battery, but using the same processor. I'll wait to reserve judgement until it's released and put through the paces.

badbrad17 says:

2500 is a border line size no matter how you slice it. When the note 2 and Motorola phones are stepping up its hard to think HTC couldn't try harder to address the number one requested feature by users.

CalebW07 says:

If I ever switch to verizon (I don't think I will though) I would probably get this over the new Motorola HDs I am not a heavy enough user to need a maxx and heck this is ten times better than what I use now simply because its android (I sadly still have an iPhone 3GS). I can't wait to get away from this phone and apple in general...