We’re in Seattle with the folks at HTC talking about everything behind their new One series line of phone, specifically the HTC One X. One of the key talking points which keeps rearing its head over here is power, how much power do we need? How often should we charge our phones? What constitutes a good battery life? Having reviewed the HTC One X, loved the phone but lamented the sub-par battery life, the topic has never been more pertinent.
On the one hand, HTC suggests that their One series offers improved battery life over the likes of their older HTC devices across the board. They also stress the lengths to which they’ve gone to optimise the Tegra 3 and Snapdragon S4 processor’s power management and suggest that despite the larger screen, the One X should outlast even the One S, totally contradicting our experience. If that’s the case – why oh why couldn’t we make our HTC One X last a day and why did we have to mark it down based on battery life in the face of an otherwise glowing review?
There are a few possible reasons our first impression of the battery might not be representative of what’s to come. The first – the One X had a bug managing GPS connectivity upon release. This sapped battery dry. The second, the HTC One X auto-brightness was ramped up too high by default, again, sapping battery. We can attest to leaving the One X on auto-brightness for the duration of our review, so that could definitely have played a part in our lacklustre experience (as illustrated below).
HTC has rolled out the first OTA update addressing these issues and promise it improves battery life significantly. We’re in the process of testing it out now. Things are looking good post update, but as we’re in another country, our concrete conclusion will have to wait.
It’s also been suggested that the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip inside the HTC One X hasn’t quite been mastered in terms of power management on the device. While the other Tegra 3 device on the market, the Asus Transformer Prime houses a giant battery and offers power management settings, the HTC One X doesn’t kick in power saver automatically until you’re at 15% battery. This means you’ll have to be a bit more manual if you want to manage your One X and make it last as long as you do.
Battery saving on your One X
If you want your One X to last, you’ll have to pay attention to the screen. At 4.7-inches with 720p resolution, the HTC One X screen is a beast. With incredible brightness and fantastic colour representation, it’s also greedy and loves burning juice. To get the most from yours, watch your brightness and turn down your timeout time to 15-seconds in the settings.
Also, turn off auto-sync if you don’t need email notifications. This will curb your data connection and you can find a really handy widget in the settings to force a sync as and when you need it (illustrated below). Finally, games eat power. Especially quad-core optimised games using all four cores. Playing games in addition activates the HTC One X’s giant screen making for the best way of ploughing through your battery in no time flat. Therefore, if you’re travelling and want to get your game on on the go, pack a portable charger – you’ll need it.
So in due course, we can probably expect incremental improvements in the the HTC One X battery life however it’s fair to say that HTC won’t be firing anymore silver bullet battery savers to the One X anytime soon. Hopefully this has helped you get a bit more self-sufficient in terms of power management, helped you understand where the One X battery life is at right now and given you an idea as to what you can realistically expect from the phone. We’ll write up our impressions of the One X post-battery update once we’ve spent some more time with it so watch this space and if you’ve got any questions, just tweet or comment below.