How long does your smartphone last in ‘MID’ mode?

Updated on 16 January 2009 by

I think it’s fair to say that if you use a smartphone like a MID, it isn’t going to last long. My N82 lasts for about three hours; less if I’m using 3G. The iPhone, about 4 hours under heavy use and the Android-based G1 seems to be even worse. The fact is that radios and processing take energy and although your smartphone will sit doing nothing for days on end, once you start using it connected over Wifi or 3G, the clock starts ticking.

There are ways around the problem and, to a certain extent, you can change your usage pattern to help the situation. Picking up emails, sending a few messages and then disconnecting is common practice but it’s not exactly Web2.0 is it! If you want to stay connected and keep services open for real-time internet applications you’re down in the battery-life danger zone. There are a few exceptions of course in the smartphone world but on the whole, it’s only because the battery is big. The Nokia E90 has a  5wh battery. The Athena has an 8wh battery.

I’m not saying that smartphones are poor, I’m just saying that we’re moving to the point where both smartphones and MIDs are requiring big batteries for hardcore web use and that means that fitting them in your pocket becomes a problem.

Do you use your smartphone in an always-connected and active mode? If so, what is your experience. Have you had to reduce your internet usage to preserve battery for voice usage? Do you carry spare batteries. How about a spare phone? Or do you just wait until you are able to pull out your laptop? Let us know about your smartphone battery life experiences  in the comments below. Oh, one last thing. Check out this monster battery pack for the G1…It’s as big as the battery in an Aigo MID and makes the G1 almost as big as an Aigo MID!

g1ext

Source: seidioonline. Via Crunchgear

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51 Comments For This Post

  1. Joao Oliveira says:

    Never tried to use any smartphone in allways on mode. I think i would lose my mind :) Its not easy to surf around in those devices.
    I sometimes give a hard use on my iphone and it lasted at least a day (i dont think iphone even has a allways on mode it disconnects from the internet the seconds there’s nothing to do). iphone is ok but the keyboard software kinda ruins it a bit, because it can take ages to type anything. If it had a decent keyboard software or a real keyboard, support for flash in safari and real document support (attachments etc…) i really could reallu use this as sort of mid.
    To me the worst of all are Windows Mobile devices. Even with lots of software available is still impossible to do any serious internet on them. Browsing sucks, even with the new opera. messaging like msn, etc, is ok but nothing ipresive. Digital Cameras on these devices are always the worst piece of crap they can find. The only good thing is PIM management but thats it. Regarding battery life. All the devices i had sucked. For exmeple the HTC Touch diamond with hard internet used lasted me a little more than an hour?!?!? and the device was HOT as hell! Had a chance to test the new Touch HD and it can get up to maybe 3 hours but still so hot that you start to fill uncomfortable holding it.
    I will make some tests on my n82 and let you know how…

  2. AlesE says:

    I don’t really use my smartphone (HTC Diamond) as a MID. I use it as a phone and PIM/PDA. I don’t have it set to “real” push sync, insteaad I have it set to sync with Exchange every 2 hours (every 4 hours after work) and that’s just fine by me. I don’t use diamond much for browsing basically for two reasons – the Opera on default firmware sucks and I have my MID (HTC Advantage) for that – but I still use Diamond occasionally when it’s the only device I have. As for battery life – I go through my day quite comfortably. On the normal day with some calls, syncing, PIM stuff, maybe some browsing I usually end the day with around 20-30% battery left, not great but about the same as with my other WM phones since 2004.
    As for my Advantage – I have same syncing pattern as on diamond, but I use it for browsing much more and I have to say it’s good enough, but I do have a spare battery just in case…

  3. EC says:

    See this is why I never bothered to get the 3G iPhone, well also the fact that it wouldn’t work on my Tmo USA service (well no 3G anyhow). It gives me a full days worth of service even with having Skype running through Fring, but yeah i do use the messenger services on my other (qwerty!) phone so I guess I am cheating then. I guess to be honest if I’m heavy on the Fring thing AND take pictures as I did at CES it won’t go more than 6 hours, I do however have the push email activated and get like 200-400 emails in per 24 hours, don’t reply to any of them (hardly) on the iPhone though (another cheat I guess).

  4. Corrupted Mind says:

    Chippy, I don’t get the experiment. I have a N95 (8GB) and my Gmail app is open all day and G-Reader is open all day, save for lunch when I also browse casually. It also handles about 5-6 long calls a day and I reach home in the evening with 3 bars. Also, why would you prefer wi-fi to OTA if you’re on a 7.5 3G plus voda network. I imagine that the speeds I get from my 3G connection are faster than my work place or local starbucks could offer up. Unless of course my N95 isn’t classified as a smartphone.

  5. EC says:

    But are you using anything that is CONSTANTLY requiring 3G data?

  6. EC says:

    Some not so fresh tests of the N95 on the US AT&T network indicated 3 hrs 43 mins
    http://www.wirelessinfo.com/content/Nokia-N95-with-3G-Battery-Tests–Talk-Time.htm
    with 3G actually being USED constantly…I think that’s what Chippy is talking about?

  7. Chippy says:

    Yup. MID-Mode, in-use.
    I can leave a browser open all day and even email open all day in imap idle mode on the N82 but try, for example, running IM. Or a great one to kill the battery life on N-series is to enabled sportstracker to send data to the Nokia servers. Connect via 3G and your battery life is gone in 120 minutes. Robert Scoble, the blogger, gets 45 minutes out of an N95 when sending live video and has to carry multiple N95’s and battery’s.

    Steve

  8. EC says:

    “…but try, for example, running IM”

    See thats one thing where I love my Sidekicks (well I use one but have owned many now) I have AIM, MSN and Yahoo messengers open 24/7 and USE them during they endless, and never have I run out of battery on the Sidekicks due to the IMs and they have it open ALL the time, you can basically login/logoff but the app as such is open as are ALL apps on the Sidekicks, beats me how they do it.

    But it is in fact the only mobile device I’ve found that is able to handle MORE than a full day and have LIVE IM capabilities!

  9. Jiang says:

    I love my t-mobile dash, a Windows mobile device. Browsing is great. Typing is fast. It’s actually operating like a phone.

  10. EC says:

    The HTC S620 (Tmo Dash) is indeed a great device for it’s size, though the keys aren’t really up to size for me, I quite ok with all the Sidekick keyboards though. Have I ever mentioned that before? Nah! :)

  11. EC says:

    Popular topic this “battery backpack” for your 3G phone :)

    http://i.gizmodo.com/5132419/fastmac-iv-iphone-charger-and-backup-battery-lightning-review

  12. Fixup says:

    A smartphone is about how handy it is, giving your quick access to your data anywhere you go. If I need to do hours of work, I’d do it on a computer with a touch-typable keyboard. Except things like the UMID M1, thumb MID has no future as they don’t do any better than a smartphone like HTC Diamond/Pro/HD and hassle to carry/use.

  13. EC says:

    Mr Xin,

    Your comment is very subjective, and in fact MOST of my posts on this very blog are done on Sidekick’s thumbboards as well as 99% of my 200-400 emails (no not chatting with friends but running a business) are from that very keyboard.

    You might want to look around a bit more and see how many people actually do REAL work on things like Blackberries to OQOs just look around there’s crackberry forums there’s OQOtalk forums oh hey you know what there’s even a President to be :) who apparently will be working to some extent from his “approved” smartphone.

    Now the fact that YOU option for a “touch-typable” keyboard I don’t believe will determine the outcome for UMID M1 or any other thumb board equipped device.

    Once again your comment “they don’t do any better than a smartphone like HTC Diamond/Pro/HD and hassle to carry/use.” is 100% subjective and not really talking about the DEVICE(S) as such but YOUR ability to use, experience with and like/dislike for them, THIS country IS a free country and you can chose whatever keyboard you want, but a device doesn’t become better or worse just because you say or feel so. Just like an automatic or manual car is not better or worse depending upon the driver’s ability to drive a manual or automatic vehicle.

    If you don’t like or can’t use thumb boards efficiently I would say that is a different topic, and I don’t really see this topic even talking about DATA INPUT from a keyboard specifically but talking about 3G connection and battery time.

    I strongly believe that the majority of people who visit this site are looking to do as much as possible for as long as possible of what they can so far mainly do at their desktop/laptop only.

    As for thumb boards don’t limit it to the HTC keyboards, though I acknowledge the HTC products as being one of the most common mobile devices around I consider the HTC qwerty keyboards (and I put the Compal/Aigo M528 ones in that category too along with Nokia E90) to barely pass on useable for a mobile device. A good qwerty keyboard on a mobile device needs to have SMALLER keys (yes you read right SMALLER) like the OQO, Blackberries, HP phones, Treos, and yes an HTC device by the name S620 (Tmo dash) already mentioned qwerty here. There needs to be SPACE between the keys so you can FEEL where the buttons are this will enable you to touch type faster than on a regular KB if you practice enough :)

  14. EC says:

    “If I need to do hours of work, I’d do it on a computer with a touch-typable keyboard. ”

    Less than a year ago you stated:

    “I use my Moto Q 99.99% of the time for web (OperaMini4.1) and email (gmail). The 0.01% of the time is when I really need a PC for such as remote desktop………If you really need a PC that’s truly pocketable, with a usable keyboard”
    http://forum.brighthand.com/showthread.php?t=256826

    I’m confused, do you touch type on your Motorola Q or/and OQO?

  15. EC says:

    Also from that thread it would appear you have some SERIOUS discontent with Korean(s?) products/design in general, is that why you say the UMID M1 will have no future??

  16. jpmatrix says:

    that question deals with the main problem for an always-on device

    today you must buy extended batteries for your smartphone, and you must charge it wherever it is possible, if you don t want to be out of battery at the moment you need the device ;) moreover for that last situation where you forget to charge your device, you must buy an additionnal portable battery pack…

    Here is what a day with my device looks like : i have an extended battery (3180 mAh from HP) for my HP iPaq 614c; i use imap idle with Profimail to get my emails live, and SyncMyCal to sync contacts and calendars with google. Sometimes i launch PockeTwit to have live twits. Sometimes i launch Shozu which enables me to upload live geotagged photos to Flickr or mailing lists. Using gps is a also a battery killer. and sometimes i launch Pocket Informant to access my PIM data, and enter new ones.

    but i would like to do much more with my device with some always on applications:
    -launch some multi IM clients, Fring for example
    -launch Skype to be voIp reachable
    (fring enables me to be also reachable via a SIP account)
    -use my ipaq as my main MP3 reader (actually now i use my PSP…) and use stereo bluetooth to get rid of damned cables ;) but bluetooth is also a battery eater…
    -read ebooks with ebook reader (with mobipocket) in transports
    -use my iPaq to read my social networks sites and post to them (Shozu is yet a great tool for that)
    -games , mainly poker (pity all poker sites has only symbian clients…)
    -multimedia reader, to look videos on youtube or divx qvga re-encoded tv series ;)

    the main objective of all that being to reduce the number of device owned.

    in 3 weeks i’ leave France for 2 weeks holidays, and i m still wondering which device i’ll bring with me ;) (i would like only one)

  17. EC says:

    >today you must buy extended batteries for your smartphone, and you must charge it >wherever it is possible, if you don t want to be out of battery at the moment you need the >device

    Well I have to say though with charges be it auto, USB or outlet charges at the size and price they are AND batteries being very affordable (compared to UMPC/MID batteries) and small enough to fit in any pocket there’s really ways around these things quite easy for those really “in need” when it comes to smart phones, no?

    >-launch some multi IM clients

    As I stated above I don’t know how Danger/Sharp/Tmo does it but they Sidekick beats anything out there when it comes to this!

    >-launch Skype to be voIp reachable

    For chatting or to receive/make calls, if the latter there are ways around that like SkypeOUT (unlimited you can get now for a year for nice prices, and then just let your mins tick from your mobile, yes there is a potential cost involved but…)

    >-use my ipaq as my main MP3 reader

    Yeah I think it’s the BT part that kills it right there :(

    >-read ebooks with ebook reader (with mobipocket) in transports

    That should draw next into nothing, no?

    >-use my iPaq to read my social networks sites and post to them (Shozu is yet a great tool for that)

    Can’t you use email for that meaning you wouldn’t have to go TO a website but actually let the various services send you emails WHEN there is an update. I used Shozu myself on the iPhone for the UMPCportal pics from CES and it was neat but I understand there is an email option for this too?

    >-multimedia reader, to look videos on youtube or divx qvga re-encoded tv series

    Now here you go that’s where your battery is going LOL :)
    See this is why I end up having TWO (if not three) devices as each one performs certain tasks, and while I’m no gamer nor that much of video watcher I do interact very much with the web on the go, and well it just ends up being best to have multiple devices, this obviously helps with my battery needs too…

    Bring ALL devices oh prepare to strip to almost naked when you enter the airports LOL.

  18. fab says:

    guys…do you really need full online mids or smartphones? in which part of the world do you live that you’re treated so bad you need to be online on such a small device the entire day? it is not really meant to do that. if you need to be online for 5 hours to do browsing,emails…that’s called WORK! and you’ll most probably do on a real computer. why such a small device. on a blackberry you get your emails all the times, you get phones calls, why also msn, skype, icq, facebook…don’t you have 2 min without having to answer all those messages?

  19. EC says:

    >guys…do you really need full online mids or smartphones? in which part of the world do you >live that you’re treated so bad you need to be online on such a small device the entire day?

    I’ve been online in one form or another with the help of mobile devices now for some decade an a half or so, and resided in three different countries on two different continents with three very different social and economic conditions, I’ve been as much online in ALL of them. So not sure how “part of world” has anything to do with this, nor how the “treated so bad you need to be online” comes in? These are choice we make for our own reasons in many of our cases it has to do with our profession(s).

    You might be surprised to learn that the % of population that is online be it mobile or not is in many cases a lot higher in certain so called “developing” countries than in what are called developed ones.

    How about you where in the world are you that you’re treated so fantastically that you do NOT have need for being online? Or did I misunderstand something? :)

    > it is not really meant to do that.

    Oh? Are we talking from a legal aspect here? From a design aspect? What? Can you elaborate please a little what you mean by “meant”?

    >if you need to be online for 5 hours to do browsing,emails…that’s called WORK!

    In the free part of the world (I guess most of us here believe we are in such a part!?) I guess we are free to spend whatever time we can/want/feel like on the web be it work, social, gaming or what have you? My wife spends more than that sometimes in live video calls to some of our relatives on other continents, can she do that, is she allowed to? :)

    >and you’ll most probably do on a real computer.

    AAh not me, I spend somewhere between 10-20% of my working time at what you call a “real” computer, in my case its a Mac Pro desktop. Yeah kind of stupid isn’t it that my most expensive computing equipment I use the least LOL. But back to the point if I wasn’t looking to do MORE or MORE EFFICIENTLY what I already do on a MOBILE COMPUTING solution I would NOT BE ON THIS SITE!?

    It really puzzles me if not borderline bothers me that there’s people coming on to this site complaining, deciding what/who/where mobile devices be it MIDs, UMPCs or smart phones or any other similar device can/should/or are meant to be used. Rather than trying to avoid using these devices I think those who make up the TRUE FANS of these sites including the people behind this and other associated sites are ALL ABOUT doing EVERYTHING from a mobile device, just check out MIDMOVES.com to get a better perspective of that or Chippy’s own post (with the Horse picture) of how some of us (call us fanatics if you want) are trying to “push the limits” as it was. That is as I see it where this whole topic comes into the picture too as one of our major enemies right now are batteries, and their capacity or lack thereof!

    I mean we can do live pics, live streaming video and upload or stream it live, including have exact pin pointed where we are with GPS but there’s really no battery technology to keep up with it all. THAT’S THE POINT, right??

    >why such a small device. on a blackberry you get your emails all the times, you get >phones calls, why also msn, skype, icq, facebook…don’t you have 2 min without having to >answer all those messages?

    I feel this becomes a social/ethical and whatnot question rather than a technical one (which I feel this site is all about at least up till now?). When it comes to what one SHOULD/COULD do for personal health, relationship, family responsibilities etc etc I believe these are all questions discussed/debated and posted on a huge number of (OTHER!) sites out there, and they are all legit topics and questions that all of us who are (addicted?) to these devices face and they do pop up between the lines especially in the videos or podcasts posted by UMPCportal if you have watched/listened to them. They are facts of life. However I personally feel this site is NOT the place to debate them. If I am wrong, please others correct me?

    I feel this and other sites that links to this site or vice versa is all about pushing the digital mobile communication possibilities and era to the NEXT level, seeing how/what one can do even more efficiently while not at a desk.

    Now to stray off from what I just expressed, I will share some of my own personal experience, as a self employed person I take care of just about everything in our now international company, Some years ago this would mean I got up and started working (at a desktop) through the 500+ emails (not including spam) in my inbox, now when it was time for lunch I was about half way through them, but during those hours roughly the same amount I had replied to had come in again. So at one point I decided “that’s it” I need a LIVE EMAIL solution, this meant that yes I do reply to emails in a fashion most people use IMs (ask Chippy :) he’ll tell you :)) but I never really have any “unanswered emails” in my inbox ok well I’m lying people come by my desktop and they see the “29.441 unread emails” and I go, oh no that’s not true those are just for archiving (CC) purposes, they are all replied to LIVE :). So while my mobile solution might seem as handcuffs to some, it is actually the opposite, if some contact of mine sends me an email at 10-11pm (22-23) my time I reply live and get it “done with” don’t have to wait till the morning and things move on many times a day or two faster than the alternative of me replying when they are asleep and vice versa. This has enabled me to be on the “cutting edge” within my field and get praise from both customers and contacts on how quickly things can get “done”.

    Now yes for personal reasons and family responsibilities, and to maintain some sanity I have had to draw the line somewhere, so nowadays there are certain rules I’ve setup for myself as to when and who I do and don’t reply to. But bottom line is I am available any time LIVE whenever my eyes are open for good or for bad.

  20. fab says:

    are you a writer?

    i was just kidding with “which part of the world” and not literally. the same goes for 10+ hours battery life on a netbook. what i meant is, are you spending 5 times a week, 8 hours per day as WORKING time sitting in front of a smartphone? of course i have a portable device too which is obviously always on, but if you really need to write long emails and write articles or spreadsheets or access databases etc, this is not something you would do on a MID. and if you do it would be an exception.

    i was absolutely NOT against any kind of culture or world region. i was talking about mobility. i’m sure you’ll do a lot of work on these devices, but is it really the main part of your work to sit 10 hours in front of a blackberry and write emails?

    i mean, if we have already computers where you can do actual productive work, why would we want the perfect MID or smartphone to do the same in a small cramped technical device. it’s just not human, well, less human friendly than a big keyboard and screen.

    everybody is free to chose what he wants and how he or she works, this is a discussion as Steve started it. it’s neither bad or good, just to find out how people see the things and how they would like them to be.

    as i’m working for a software company, most of the people i know laugh about netbooks or iphones as they are just stripped down would-like-to-be-a-great-device. these MIDs, UMPCs, NETBOOKS etc are devices used NEXT to your main computer as a second device for the mobile part of your life, but not the main part. the majority does that. there are exceptions, but they are minority. do we think that people here on umpcportal are the majority of tech enthusiasts? come one guys, wake up, we are the BIGGEST minority.

    so bottom line, personally i think companies don’t bother with high tech in small devices unless you pay them, but the majority won’t want that. i am not willing to pay 2k usd for a smartphone that can be online for 2 days just because of IM and email. in those two days i will sit mainly in front of a pc. so will most people and won’t buy expensive gadgets.

  21. EC says:

    >are you a writer?

    Well I guess that depends, no I do not publish anything, but since most of my “work” a lot of times mean “writing” on my thumb board and that results in financial profit I guess it depends upon how you look at it :)

    >5 times a week

    5 “times” or five days?

    >8 hours per day as WORKING time sitting in front of a smartphone?

    Well typically my working hours as any self employed individual (and I’d say bloggers fall under that too) will tell you we don’t usually get away with your “normal” eight hours of work days, now are we or someone else to blame that’s a different story but no it’s a lot more than that. As for “sitting in front of a smartphone”, no I do not “SIT” nor am I in front of it, if anything behind it, if/when you see me moving around the first thing you’d see coming around a corner would def be my hands and my smart phone, so I am BEHIND it if anything, but most of the time ON THE MOVE doing anything (yes anything and I will not go into detail explaining that but I mean just about anything) I do during the awake hours of my day is done “attached” to my smart phone devices, ask JKK and Chippy they’ll tell you :)

    >of course i have a portable device too which is obviously always on, but if you really need >to write long emails and write articles or spreadsheets or access databases etc, this is not >something you would do on a MID. and if you do it would be an exception.

    What is a “long” email? As I have already stated I PREFER thumb boards to “regular” keyboards, and I am faster on them, on the device I am most comfortable with I do not even look when I type, I have taken notes from 3 day long meetings that lasted each day from morning to evening, and don’t look at the screen or thumb board almost at all. Are you familiar with Google docs and similar features? I used spreadsheets from there when I was at CES live to interact with. Accessing and interacting with databases or spreadsheets is no problem, but then again I am not an accountant. You’re not specifying what you want to do with your access to databases or/and using of spread sheets I do both on a daily basis with my mobile devices and solutions. As for a MID/UMPC I would do it even more efficiently. I would be an exception? Exception to what? The rule? What rule? I think what a lot of people making comments like this are doing is closing their minds to the changes going on out there, and love it or hate it but here’s a fact for you North America(ns!) are EXTREMELY conservative to adopting any and all technology. Just ask ANY individual that has LIVED in North America for some amount of time, and that did NOT grow up in NA, he/she will I feel tell you plenty of things that they just can’t comprehend why it’s done like in the 1900’s if not 1800’s (when it comes to banking for one!). So please don’t determine that the whole world does something just because NA perhaps does something in a certain way. In fact USA is about 20 yrs in certain aspects and 50 yrs in other aspects BEHIND on using technology in every day life! Exception, you know what you reading/being on UMPC portal is an exception to the majority of computer interested people in the world. You reading/visiting ENGADGET is an exception to everyone who is using the internet. Everything is an exception to SOMETHING! Just think outside the box for a while there’s more to the world than a little bubble!

    I hardly ever sit when I am typing on my devices, I am on the go, one reason I actually prefer NON touch screen devices to some extent or devices that allows you to interact completely without using the touch screen if you so want to since a small screen with touch is not very easy to use on the go due to the lack of precision when you’re in motion!

    > but is it really the main part of your work to sit 10 hours in front of a blackberry and >write emails?

    Once again I will repeat my own words, please think OUTSIDE YOUR BOX, do you think BB and Smartphones were made so that you can SIT around and type on them?? NO they were made to be able to do these things ON THE GO, in my case literally when you’re on the move, this is so common nowadays that plenty of places are starting to enforce laws prohibiting such activity for instance behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, why do you think that is? Because it has become commonplace!? I’m sorry but where have YOU been the past decade or two (depending upon what part of the world you’re in :))

    >i mean, if we have already computers where you can do actual productive work, why would >we want the perfect MID or smartphone to do the same in a small cramped technical >device. it’s just not human, well, less human friendly than a big keyboard and screen.

    So what you’re saying is why would someone want a portable MP3 player because surely you can NEVER get the same sound from a pair of headphones as you could from high end HiFi sytem and speakers right? Why would someone want a small cramped device that they can take with them jogging with something you’d have to stick on or even INTO!? your ears when you can just sit down in a leather chair and enjoy a full nice stereo system with nice rich sound with nice subwoofer etc…..right? Well ask the jogger who loves his iPod? Ask the mobile blogger who just blogged live from CES with her newly got Sony phone, just look around and take it in what’s happening, oh maybe that’s the problem, your stuck in your cubicle and all you see is what your cubicle neighbor is doing, well been there done that for a decade and well I’m not doing it any more, but even when I did I was mobile computing WITHIN the facility and during my business trips in fact that’s where my first initial love for mobile computing took off as I was tired of carrying a darn so heavy full laptop I turned to HP OmniBooks and HP Jornadas, that was back in the day now…

    >everybody is free to chose what he wants and how he or she works, this is a discussion as >Steve started it. it’s neither bad or good, just to find out how people see the things and >how they would like them to be.

    Fair enough but somehow this doesn’t sound like the same person who started his replies in this post with:

    “guys…do you really need full online mids or smartphones? in which part of the world do you live that you’re treated so bad you need to be online on such a small device the entire day? it is not really meant to do that.”

    That sounds very judgmental to me, but maybe that’s just me? I mean if you want to have a debate about what/if anything can be done on an UMPC/MID/Smartphone vs. a real/full desktop/laptop that’s fine but did you notice the name of this site? It’s UMPC PORTAL, meaning you’d assume the people attracted to this site would already be on a certain perception of such mobile computing. BTW this brings to mind the blogger TNKGRL http://tnkgrl.wordpress.com/ if you dig enough in her blogs and info you will find that she is a software developer for a company making games and that she did quite a lot of that work on her OQOs 01, 01+ and 02.

    >as i’m working for a software company, most of the people i know laugh about netbooks >or iphones as they are just stripped down would-like-to-be-a-great-device.

    Well that just answered my question about cubicle above :) speaks for itself. I’m not sure what software company you’re working for but here’s a bit of advice, if your company is not involved with any way with the netbook or smartphone industry in ANY WAY nor have any such plans, you might keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities, because such “sluggish” oldschool type of mentality will not cut it in the economy atmosphere we’re heading into, you might laugh at my words now but that’s fine that’s your right. :)

    >the majority does that. there are exceptions, but they are minority.

    Exceptions and minority in your cubicle land, but hey there’s life outside the cubicles! :)

    > do we think that people here on umpcportal are the majority of tech enthusiasts? come
    > one guys, wake up, we are the BIGGEST minority.

    What defines an enthusiast in your book? A person working for a SW company sitting in a cubicle and laughing at new emerging technology that is emerging at such speeds that he probably already missed that bullet train? Not in my book, the enthusiast are people like those running this site who will go sleepless, uneaten etc etc only to get the most tech info about the devices they long for, ok you might say that’s fanatics, fine call us that, I’d rather be called that than something else :)

    >so bottom line, personally i think companies don’t bother with high tech in small devices > unless you pay them, but the majority won’t want that.

    Sorry I don’t follow at all, who is the “companies” in your statement your SW company who employes you and most likely decides what laptop and smartphone you get and what you can do with it and what you can and can not put on it? Sorry I never lived by those rules, not even in the corporate world, they got to pay my bills, but if they wouldn’t get me the HW I wanted, I bought it myself!

    > i am not willing to pay 2k usd for a smartphone that can be online for 2 days just because of IM and email.

    Sir those smart phones that can do that now only cost $99 :) unless you want a close to top of the line UMPC called OQO 2+, where HAVE you been, seriously for the past five yrs!? :)

    > in those two days i will sit mainly in front of a pc.

    I feel sorry for you but I guess you’ve made your own choice I can’t help but bring to mind a few words I heard recently ” that you’re treated so bad”, I feel that is really getting treated badly to have to sit in front of a PC (or mac for that matter :)) for such a long time! That’s why I love to be on my ULTRA MOBILE PC solutions!

    >so will most people and won’t buy expensive gadgets.

    But then we’re not most people.

    Most people so you’re talking MOST of the 6.7 or so billion thats what “people” would mean right now. Well yeah there’s some 800 million or so registered cars around, another around 850 million computers there, but interestingly some one BILLION internet users, why because a good portion of internet users do not have a computer, see what you can learn when you look outside the cubicle and the LARGE world. Also for the past couple of years or so more laptops have been sold than desktops, see a trend? Well how about this figure 2.7 BILLION mobile phones, these are almost two year old statistics at that and note this:

    “You might be tempted to think those access via a personal computer, yet already in China, Japan and South Korea the majority of internet access is via mobile phone. In total over 750 million people access internet content via a mobile phone today”

    http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2007/01/putting_27_bill.html

    So while you sit “locked up” in your cubicle at your SW company laughing at the people with thinking their MIDs/UMPCS and even smart phones are actually real tools, the world is changing out there, and you didn’t even notice it! By the time your friends stop laughing it will be TOO LATE just as the stubborn and way conservative US automotive industry now on it’s knees only seeing the next month thanks to tax payers billions!

    If you’re of any YOUNGER age (as I’m guessing you might be?) do yourself a favor go and live/work for at least a year somewhere in another country pref another continent from where you are just so it can help you get a broader view of what’s really going on in the world!

  22. jpmatrix says:

    i don t think that being at work or on holidays or else is the question here. we are talkng about using the features of the +500 euros device you have bought :) or else we would have bought a simple phone, not a SMARTphone ;)

  23. EC says:

    Though yeah neither of my smart phones I carry with me currently costed me 500 nor 500 USD (each) even without contracts, I’ve certainly owned many smart phones that have been in the 700-1000 range, all gone relatively quickly as none of them served me as I wanted.

  24. Will says:

    Depends on your definition of “MID” mode. I’ve been swapping back-and-forth between my Samsung i780 and Nokia 6220 to get a feel for both platforms.

    For general browsing (90% of my web use), I tend to use Opera Mini as it is fast and easy on the battery due to its low CPU utilisation and minimal data transfer. For more complex sites like internet banking, i use Opera Mobile 9.5 on WM6 and the default browsing on S60.

    Both phones are always connected to an Exchange server with push email from 8am-8pm.

    I use TomTom on the Samsung and Nokia Maps 3 on the 6220. I have an office job so I rarely use navigation during a typical work day.

    I often keep Skype and Live Messenger open on the Samsung.

    The Samsung would usually last a day depending on how many phone calls and how much browsing I do. It comes with a spare battery out of the box so its generally not a problem.

    The Nokia would also normally last a full day.

    Would I buy a dedicated MID? Probably but not because I need it…. I’m a geek and I feel the need for new toys on a regular basis! I’ve got my eye on the next Nokia IT due sometime this year.

    What I would really want (and would find most useful) would be a high-end smartphone with a large battery. A slightly thicker and larger Touch HD with a 600 MHz Cortex-A8 or equivalent CPU and at least a 2000mAH battery.

  25. John says:

    If I leave my G1’s Wifi and 3G off, it can pretty much last me all day. And I do use it, pretty much, as a MID.

    In that time, I’m typically reading Google Reader (2 hours just for that, spread out through the day), doing Gmail, some web browsing, text messaging, and usually doing some note taking and todo list management when I’m in meetings.

    About the only things I’d do on a MID (like what I used to do on my N810) that I don’t do on the G1 are IMs and VNC. Those probably WOULD alter the drain rate, but otherwise it does fine filling in the role that my N810 used to. Except that Gmail and Google Reader have some feature gaps that, even if it weren’t for the screen size, still have me going back to the Samsung Q1 Ultra and my desktop. Otherwise, it does just fine as a MID … if you’re ok with EDGE speed.

    USUALLY I will charge it in the middle of the day, and between meetings, but even on days when I haven’t, I can barely make it through the day. More batter WOULD be nice though. Especially having enough battery to add Wifi adn/or 3G to it’s all day capabilities.

  26. EC says:

    >If I leave my G1’s Wifi and 3G off, it can pretty much last me all day. And I do use it, pretty >much, as a MID.

    Interesting you would say that, as an idea (and I’m sure Im not the only one who’s had this idea) that these devices that are 3G capable, should have an option where you could switch the 3G on kind of like what you do with roaming between carriers. It could be manual/semi manual/ automatic. So what do I mean by that well there’s plenty of things that really there’s no need for battery draining 3G such as your normal interaction with the internet such as normal (no huge attachments) emails and IMs etc etc, it’s only when you need more data such as audio stream (which to some extent even works just fine over EGPRS speeds) or/and video stream/downloads, or say VOIP. But for things we typically have been doing on a common bases up until 3G became somewhat commonplace it could be handled on slower technologies thereby saving what I think 30-50% of your battery. Since you really wouldn’t know if that “Hey what time is that….” email or IM came over 3G or not!

  27. gurry says:

    I dont surf all day (full 8hours at work) on my Touch HD but I do hammer it – several chunkc of 3G usage during a shift at work. Some days a full 2 hours at a time surfing and I get about a day out of the battery. That also includes mp3 usage and watching movies on the commute to and from (1hr 30 each way)
    My n95 lasted about 4 hours on this pattern so I ended up carrying a spare battery AND bring ing a spare charger to work. The N96 improved as the battery lasted nearly all day. But the odd extended 3G session of Wifi soon killed off the battery and I ended up carrying 3 spares just in case.
    Same deal when I had the Iphone. apply wifi or 3g to the ‘other’ functions that are staples of maodern life (tunes and movies and the odd game or three) and the battery is soon oblitorated.
    My work bag is like an explosion in a spaghetti factory with all the USBs and mains chargers in there (I also carry an Archos 605 for long shifts for my media needs )

    Ive had a range of devices (umpcs – oqo1 oqo02/e2 asus r2h everun Aigo Mid handsets – Iphone hermes tytn vario n95 n96 palm trio to name but a few) each have pros and cons and each was replaced as my needs changed but there isnt one single device that is a cover all for my needs.

    I have now returned to the ‘fold’ of the ppc and have resigned my Aigo to ebay. for quick doc creation to watching movies and net experience the PPC for me is king….in the short term. Long trips or extended periods I personally favour seperate devices. I would run 2 devices similar the the way the shift works as in it has the ppc side and the pc side – it just forces you to sync constantly files etc or swap memory cards (not such a hardship)

    All that being said I am very excited about the oqo 2+. my msi wind runs like stink on xp and, notwithstanding any serious processing requirements (video converting etc), does everything I need but the form factor for me is too big so oqo size with a decent spec under the hood ticks all my boxes.

    Well thats my 2 cents for what its worth

  28. EC says:

    Gurry,

    Thanks for your input I always enjoy a lot to hear others, who have actually had a number of devices and actually use(s/d) them in real life situation, share what they’ve come down to as their kworking solution”, so thanks!

  29. Chippy says:

    Gurry.
    Interesting. Thanks for that.

    So the Touch HD lasts all day. It’s got a 5W battery so, compared to my N82, it’s got great capacity. However, it’s the internet that’s killing your battery. Your 2-hours 3G surfing per day is 70-80% of your typical days battery use.

    I think it’s fair to say that you can’t get a reasonable, high speed, promptly-rendered web experience for under 2W at the moment. If you take the screen up to 4.8″ it would be about 2.5W on a smartphone. On a 4.8″ MID, it’s about 5W at the moment (although the rendering speed is about double so, in theory, you wont be connected for as long to get a fixed task completed.)

    For any device, 10Wh is the entry level battery capacity on any device. Be it smartphone or MID and that means one thing….size. Its arguable that you can’t actually design a device on any platform that would comfortably sit in a pocket and provide all day internet capability.

    Here’s how big a smartphone has to be….

    http://www.umpcportal.com/2008/02/how-big-is-an-all-day-mobile-internet-smartphone

  30. EC says:

    Chippy,

    “Its arguable that you can’t actually design a device on any platform that would comfortably sit in a pocket and provide all day internet capability.”

    You mean with 3G? Cause as I’ve stated before over and over again my dear Sidekick will last a full day and its constantly on and do I ever use it :)

  31. EC says:

    Chippy,

    “Its arguable that you can’t actually design a device on any platform that would comfortably sit in a pocket and provide all day internet capability.”

    You mean with 3G? Cause as I’ve stated before over and over again my dear Sidekick will last a full day and its constantly on and do I ever use it :) just to prove it I’m posting this on it now at 8:28 AM and I’ll reply later today here to if there’s a possibility and I’m not charging this thing during the day hardly ever!

  32. admin says:

    Yup. GSM is just about OK. 3G is the problem and that’s really neccessary for a good experience AFAIK.

  33. EC says:

    Well I am actually walking around with only EGPRS and serves me just well, as I mentioned I’m ok with sacrificing some speed in return for having my device live all day, one thing for me personally that really helps with a relatively slow browser is a vibrating “alarm” when a website is fully loaded. Both my Sidekick and iPhone run on EGPRS only. While yeah 3G would be nicer but as you’ve stated yourself batteries aren’t really ready for it at this time, and I agree.

  34. jpmatrix says:

    about battery life for gps live tracking, perhaps a bluetooth gps with its battery would be the solution… but it adds another bettery :))))
    for the smartphone or mid, it should be less battery draining to deal with bluetooth than internal gps… i ll try to test that with mu holux gpslim

  35. admin says:

    I get the feeling (havent done any conclusive tests) that the GPS radio and cores take a fair bit of power. Not watts of course but all that maths, even when done in dedicated silicon, must be taking quite a bit.
    The extern batt solution is good especially when you can charge it via USB easily as you charge your device.

    Steve.

  36. EC says:

    Anyone used/tested/have experience with some of those BT & solar panel equipped GPS receiver units?

  37. EC says:

    Yeah I’ve been arguing with many that GPS’ don’t belong in mobile phones at this time due to battery times, but some say it’s a “must have” for them.

    I also have argued that wouldn’t if the majority of the GPS usage is in a car where power is readily available, though wouldn’t it be easier to just have a builtin/standalone GPS device for the car then?

    All this just brings me back to the fact that I feel I’ve done the right thing in NOT upgrading my iPhone to the 3G edition as I can live with the speed and the builtin over the mobile phone system map tracking which is relatively accurate for my needs. Right now I’m ready to sacrifice some speed (no 3G) and some accuracy (no GPS) for longer (close to double?) battery times.

    P.S. My actual reason for not going to iPhone 3G has been that it doesn’t support my (Tmo USA) carriers 3G frecuency of 1700 Mhz.

  38. admin says:

    I use GPS more when on foot than in car.
    I’m in Germany though and near town. I use bus, train, bike and foot far more than car.
    S.

  39. EC says:

    Ok good point “been there done that” too while living in a “mainland” European country, this long before there was any GPS mobile devices though, but yeah I can see where it would’ve been very useful since (like you) I was then residing in country I was not native to nor was I good at the language.

    So what/how do you use your GPS service? Meaning how does your battery work out?

  40. Juice says:

    Hey guys. I’ve got a bunch of smartphones. I’ll say my 3G iPhone uses up battery the most. Probably because of the big screen no? My HTC WinMo devices are all pretty good in the battery dept. Usually 2 days with moderate usage. My iPhone probably 3/4 of a day with moderate usage. If that.

    As far as smartphone vs MIDS go I’ll say that I’ll always have a smartphone just because voice communication trumps everything else first. Then browsing the internet. Internet access is a VERY close second though. :) But having both is ideal. After many devices and pc’s(not many UMPC’s) I’m thinking I’m going to be a 2 device man. I’m thinking a Treo Pro and either a Gigabyte M912 or a EEE T91 are going to be my dynamic duo. I can tether my UMPC or netbook with my Treo Pro with WMWifi Router for internet and since HSDPA allows voice and data simultaneously I can talk/text and surf at the same time. I also have an HTC Advantage but it’s no replacement for full blown XP.

  41. admin says:

    2-devices is a good way to go for those that aren’t wanting full web when mobile. T91 is a very interesting device!

    I will be pushing my phone down to the smallest device I can and focusing it on voice and internet-connected cal, contacts, email, widgets, cam, radio, rss and GPS but not Full web. i’ll do that on something like an Aigo and then add something like a T91 for a three-way mix. My main target is to get all three for under $1000. Should be possible especially when devices like the Benq MID are 299 Euro.

    Steve.

  42. gurry says:

    Im very fickle when it comes to my devices. I swap constantly even whenI find a device I like I get bored (damn the modern throw away society for making a £500+ device ‘disposable’)

    There seems to be no single fit all solution as one thing must be sacrefised for another. I tailor my device to each task. Short term (1 day at work and commute) I use my pda phone. For longer trips etc I would say the Wind/Aigo (for the odd email here and there and surfing) for large scale office work I would jump to an oqo (assuming the +2 is any cop) as the keyboard is VERY usable I found. easier than the everun. If Oqo designed in a 3 function screen (flat tablet style, slide out thunb and tilted desktop ala the htc shift) it would have more usablility IMHO.

    Like I say I factor in the TIME and purpose and grab the device accordingly.

    Unfortunately unless you are using a BT headset units like the old M2000 and m2100 and upwards (Shict advantage over 5 inch screen pdas) are usless as phones (you look like you’re holding a laptop to your head unless you are a giant) however one of the best sub MID pda experiences I had was with my M2100 and a fold out bt keyboard.
    I could touchtype with easy and the device was nice and compact once folded away – again the battery issued raised its ugly head.
    If I sell a kidney and invest in the new oqo I would personally get a usb or by keyboard for the long stints of office type work and get the extended battery.
    With pdas the most essential item is power. I can live with the compromises I make on ‘full internet’ and slower rendering as long as it does the things I want all day. If I could get a double capacity battery for the HD I would…..but on the shorter trips I would stick to the carry a spare just in case.
    Perhaps if apple got there figure out and made an apple mid (Archos 5g size Iphone with the full internet) then that would go some way to being ‘perfect.’

  43. EC says:

    >Im very fickle when it comes to my devices. I swap constantly even whenI find a >device I like I get bored (damn the modern throw away society for making a >£500+ device ‘disposable’)

    Same here, except some devices I buy to “play with/try out” almost knowing before hand it won’t make me settle for it, on the other hand the Sidekicks and the iPhone I kind of knew I will keep, and despite limitations I very much like the 80% or so of things I can do that I want to do while being totally mobile.

    >There seems to be no single fit all solution as one thing must be sacrefised >for another.

    I believe there is for the vast majority, meaning smart phones of various sorts serve the majority of people just fine, that’s why you don’t see the “masses” on this site. However those who ARE/VISIT here are looking for more than what your typical smart phone can offer, I for one want FULL OS at least with me, the dream would be to have a device that can be in idle all day (meaning having online communication running and ready to go instantly, not in 30secs or anything like that but in a matter of “time it takes for screen backlight to turn on” :)

    >For longer trips etc I would say the Wind/Aigo (for the odd email here and >there and surfing) for large scale office work I would jump to an oqo >(assuming the +2 is any cop) as the keyboard is VERY usable I found. easier >than the everun.

    Somewhat similar for me except the netbook (EEE) serves me as the “full” computing device when on an actual trip, then with remote access to my main setup, the Aigo (or OQO) is the FULL OS device while on the go “for the day” locally. I would really prefer to have what I use the Netbook for in the MID too, but with the dawn of these sub $500 Netbooks, one can “allow” for that “extra” device, that’s also why I am in a way pushing more on the UMID vs. OQO, since I know I won’t be using the UMID/OQO for hours and hours on the go, just because it CAN’T at this time, so however I turn it I will have to use my smart phone devices. So I might as well have something like the UMID where I would worry less about it being damaged (due to cost) and I prefer the clamshell design. For instance I was at CES, and I just put on a video on the UMID and it was just sitting on the counter, whereas an OQO design I would need to hold it or have additional stuff to hold it up as a stand.

    >With pdas the most essential item is power. I can live with the compromises >I make on ‘full internet’ and slower rendering as long as it does the things >I want all day.

    So even working on EGPRS vs 3G is ok then? :)
    That’s how I feel at least :)

    >Perhaps if apple got there figure out and made an apple mid (Archos 5g size >Iphone with the full internet) then that would go some way to being >‘perfect.’

    I agree a lot as if it had full Apple OS one could actually use any MS OS also, but again the flip side of this at this point is look at the iPhone 3G’s battery time and you can see that there’s not going to be any MID/UMPC anytime soon that can handle a full day. However the UMID design of very EEE-like battery makes me think I could actually maybe “live with” an UMID with the added weight and size of a solution like this (EEE):
    http://www.slashgear.com/gallery/data_files/7/4/Eee_PC_901_extended_battery_2.jpg

    or give me an additional std battery charging solution like this for the UMID that I can keep in my car or something:
    http://www.mobilecomputermag.co.uk/images/stories/news/2008/06/eee-charger.jpg

    But frankly if I could squeeze say 4-5 hours out of ONE battery on the UMID with 3G/Wifi running with something like shown ON that EEE above, I’d be very tempted. For me the adding extended battery on the OQO not only adds weight but it makes the size “grow” in a direction I am just not happy with!

  44. admin says:

    Excelent discussion.

    My summary is that I don’t see anyone arguing that they can use their smartphones as all-day MIDs. Oh, let me rephrase; I dont see anyone arguing that they can use a device (mid, smartphohne or UMPC) as an all-day MID.

    Stale battery tech is killing us. I wish someone big would expose it and get some crowd action going to move things forward.

    Steve.

  45. EC says:

    I’m ready to argue :)

    Just let me know if you’re talking about 3G only? or?
    What services/activity would “qualify” my device as MID use?

    Ironically I look at my iPhone as somewhat of an MID but not my Sidekick, still I am at least 75% of my online time (while mobile) on my Sidekick, in fact sometimes despite it being slightly slower to pull up a website I prefer the SK to the iPhone just because it’s easier to navigate and do things from buttons than from a 3.5″ screen when on the go.

    But I do constantly read/reply (to) emails(and I mean constantly, if theres 30 mins with no emails I can be quite sure there’s something wrong somewhere in the pipeline :)). Browse various sites, depending upon why but also interact on them, like post here, reply to communication over some website (for business reasons), communicate over SMS constantly with family and friends in a number of countries and continents (like 3-4), AIM/MSN/Yahoo messengers are ALWAYS on, and I get live info whenever anyone logs in/out (both visually and audibly) and I do interact quite a lot over these.

    Now recently (as I bought some BT devices) I started using my SK with BT and listen to a number of podcasts that way, this is something new for me, I used to do that only on my iPhone before but the lack of BT in conjunction with the “not so easy” navigation when on-the-go and frankly I don’t need a large screen for audio only content. The iPhone comes in handy for video content, some websites where I have to use certain security keyword entry where the SK browser for some reason just won’t show those characters. Also on the iPhone I use a few programs and services like weather, Google maps (with non-GPS location) and iSilo (for certain eBook/encyclopedia usage), which the SK either can’t provide me with or won’t do it as conveniently.

  46. EC says:

    Steve/Chippy/Admin,

    Can you let us know what you think constitutes “MID mode” in this context?

    Any ideas as to why no one (AFAIK) has developed a “battery saving mode” that would switch to EGPRS (or equivalent) from 3G for “normal” internet activity.

    I mean for anyone into the automotive scene knows of such features like tiptronic (and now a long list of others), where you can essentially use it as a manual car (which is what our devices are now when it comes to wireless it’s either ON or OFF) but even in these modes on these cars the car WILL shift under certain conditions. In a similar fashion I feel it would be great if these phones, MIDs or what not with WWAN services would be able to switch between 3G and EGPRS automatically, so as to use the slower less battery consuming option for everything except when you really “need” 3G.

  47. EC says:

    Is this our future :)

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/19/wrist-band-portable-battery-charges-your-phone-electrifies-your/

  48. jpmatrix says:

    i hope it has enough power (mAh) to charge the extended batteries of our smartphones ;)

  49. EC says:

    Maybe not directly on topic but if the “performance” of this vehicle’s batteries and more importantly it’s 10 min recharging time has any relation to real world figures (there’s a bit of “too good to be true” factor here) then maybe, just maybe, there is hope for our various gadgets :)

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/27/shelbys-amazing-aero-ev-0-to-60-in-2-5-seconds-10-minute-rech/

  50. EC says:

    Maybe not directly on topic but if the “performance” of this vehicle’s batteries and more importantly it’s 10 min recharging time has any relation to real world figures (there’s a bit of “too good to be true” factor here) then maybe, just maybe, there is hope for our various gadgets :)

  51. EC says:

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/27/shelbys-amazing-aero-ev-0-to-60-in-2-5-seconds-10-minute-rech/

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