Are super thin phones a detriment to their own battery life?General

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  1. En4cer2k11

    En4cer2k11 Well-Known Member

    Here's what I gather. There's so many phones out there (including the Galaxy S III) where a lot of owners complain about poor battery life. I hear a lot of people complain about how whatever stock battery is thrown in there is too low for practical usage. But then when you look at all the different varieties of extended capacity batteries out there, they always come packaged with proprietary back covers because the batteries themselves are often twice the thickness of the actual phone and won't fit otherwise.

    It appears to me, with insufficient technical knowledge of batteries or voltage, that higher capacity batteries require greater physical space to house whatever the inner workings are. And yet, phone manufacturers appear hell bent on making their phones as devoid of physical space as humanly possible. That being the case, despite all the high end processors and super HD screens, wireless radios, gps, and the whole nine yards, is it possible that the sheer thinness of smartphones nowadays are THE CAUSE of what's holding them back in the battery life department?

    I mean, at what point to we come to the limit as far as how much stuff one can cram into such a tiny case before we realize that a sufficient power source ALSO needs to go in there somewhere? And judging from these "extended" batteries, they apparently need a certain amount of room that these current phone designs simply do not allow. Do they seriously not think about this, or is that ALSO a part of their design, to deliberately gimp the phone to force you to buy extra batteries?

    Coming from a G2 and a Galaxy Player, the Galaxy S III is uncomfortably thin to where I feel like I need a case, not for protection, but just make it thick enough to hold in my hand and NOT worry about it slipping out of my hands. And I'm already an overly careful person with my electronics. How thin does a phone really NEED to be? Will we eventually have paper-thin phones in the future?

    KOLIO likes this.
  2. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    For those of us who aren't as tall or big handed as the rest, a thin phone is a must if we want a big screen. Our pockets are only so big (Smaller people have proportionately smaller pockets) and our hands can only wrap around so much. The S3 is a huge phone for me. The thinness suits I say. The 2100mAh battery supplied is a huge capacity compared to some other phones.

    Sure it could stand to be a bigger capacity but there comes a point where with this size screen and a thicker body, I wouldn't be able to use the phone. That said, I do have a UAG case on it and I can still get my hands around it.

    Rumour is Samsung has an extended battery with another back cover now too.

    I've had upto 6 hours screen on time in a day without the need for a charge. What exactly is "practical use"?
  3. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few people (myself included) that would rather have a thick phone packed with a monster battery, plus it would be easier for some of us to hold in our hands. Whether or not we are the silent minority I don't know. However I 100% agree with you.
    KOLIO likes this.
  4. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    I can see your point but I'd rather a thin phone than a massive battery. For my use it'll easily last me until I'm next at a power point. A thinner phone doesn't always mean you lack decent battery life. The s3 is thinner than the s2 yet my battery now is far better than when I had my s2. You've also got to consider that tech is being developed to use less power. Although the cpu is faster in the s3 it uses less battery than in the s2 so the extra battery life you might lose by not making the phone slightly thicker you may gain back elsewhere.
  5. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Well whereas it's easier to make a thin phone thick than a thick phone thin and both are desired, I think Samsung made the right choice.
    Shotgun84 likes this.
  6. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    But then you see Motorola make a relatively thin phone with a large capacity battery like the Razr Maxx/HD Maxx. It really surprises me that no other company has done this considering that battery life is usually the #1 complaint about smartphones.
    KOLIO and Heavyweightgd6 like this.
  7. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Doesn't amaze me at all. Moto have managed to get such a thin battery into the device by not wasting space by making it removable. Many people in teh smartphone world will opt for a smaller removable battery than a larger, fixed battery. I wont buy any device without a removable battery.
    Gmash likes this.
  8. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    I do like the idea of the removable battery more, my Gnex has one and I love that feature. But with so many devices going the non-removable battery route, like the One X, Nexus 4/Optimus G, etc, it surprises me that they're still putting roughly the same capacity battery as the removable ones instead of following Moto's lead. Just my opinion though.
  9. dynomot

    dynomot Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with Shotty, the SGSIII battery lasts a hell of a lot longer than the SGSII's.

    I guess it is a compromise between size and battery capacity. I too would always go for a removable battery. I've never had a problem with any phone running out of juice, I always hsve a charger within reach.
    Shotgun84 likes this.
  10. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Really? That doesn't happen often enough to really know what my reaction should be. Pleased? Surprised? Yeah probably surprised. Who'd of thunk sometimes I do make sense:)

    Oh the bitter irony
  11. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Ah yes, you have a point there. If you're going to make it fixed, make it good! At least with the S3, I have a choice if it's not big enough, I can change it.
  12. En4cer2k11

    En4cer2k11 Well-Known Member

    I never gave the impression that EVERYBODY shared my opinion on phone size or battery size, my point was that there are a number of people who DO have issue with whatever their default battery life is. I was speaking from their perspective. It seems to me that phone size has an impact on the size of battery that can be put inside of it. Just look at the Galaxy S III and the S III Mini. The smaller one has a proportionately smaller battery. Likewise, larger devices typically have more room for larger batteries.

    I don't understand why a slightly thicker body would render you incapable of touching the screen (can't use the phone) just because your hands are smaller. And if you are worried about device size, why not just buy a smaller phone? There are 4.3 and 4.5 alternatives.

    Short of a non-stop gameathon, I consider "practical use" as the ability to freely use your phone for whatever situation may arise throughout your day and NOT have to think about where the nearest outlet is. Its a MOBILE phone, after all. Why should I be tethered to the wall for half the day?

    And just for the record, my new 6300mah extended battery just gave me 9 hours and 43 minutes today with 2 hours of screen on time and 4 hours of Bluetooth music streaming with mobile data on all day for only a 28% battery drain. THAT'S practical usage for me and MUCH better battery life than the stock battery. I should probably be closer to 30% REMAINING on the stock battery by now.
    KOLIO likes this.
  13. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    I have no problem using my phone all day and plugging it in at night. At least you have the option of buying extended batteries. Complaints? You're always going to have them. People will complain about anything. Companies make thin phones because people buy them. I like to carry my phone in my front pocket. With the size of this phone, the thinness is what makes it pocketable. Important thing is, this phone gives us options, unlike most phones coming out these days.
  14. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Of course a battery that has 3x the capacity has a longer battery life. ...and of course a battery that has 3x the capacity has to be a bigger size.

    Geography has a lot to do with battery life. For example the s3 in America has much shorter battery life than the international version, due to LTE being a huge drain. Are you American? Your usage doesn't sound overly unobtainable for me.
  15. iPredator

    iPredator Well-Known Member

    I honestly love the thinness of my s3 and am not having troubles with my battery at all stock battery with 7 hours screen on time I got 1 day 6 hours out of thr battery
  16. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    It really does depend on the shape. I find the HTC One X more comfortable to hold than the Desire HD, even though the latter is slightly narrower. If wide + thicker = uncomfortable then that's no good, whatever the other merits might be.

    And are there actually 4.3-4.5" alternatives? Depends what else you want. The smaller phones tend to be lower spec, so if you are after high-end all round you are pretty much forced to go large screen at the moment, even if you'd prefer something slightly smaller. And of course some people may want the largest screen they can handle, in which case the point above about what they can comfortably hold matters.

    One thing I do feel is bad is fixed battery plus small capacity. That's where I really part company with "thinner is better".

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