Do you think that manufacturers are not doing enough to improve battery life? (poll results)

Do you think that manufacturers are not doing enough to improve battery life? (poll results)
Building upon a previous poll of ours, which indicated that most people find battery life to be the most problematic part of their current smartphone, yesterday we asked whether you thought that manufacturers are actually doing enough to improve this part of the package. We were fairly certain of the outcome of the poll, but also expected to get a quality discussion going on, and we did.

Going through the numbers first, an overwhelming majority (92.83%) agree that smartphone vendors could be doing more, while the remaining 7.17% disagree and say they're doing enough already. As you can imagine, such a unanimous split spawned quite a few theories.

Perhaps the most interesting one is that as a market leader, Apple's iPhones — which usually post average to decent battery life — have set a pace that competitors are happy to beat by just a bit and no more. The thinking is, the theory goes, that if Apple can move tens of millions of iPhones and make so much money that they're currently sitting on a $200bn cash pile, then obviously smartphone buyers aren't that interested in battery life. Of course, if you think about this a little bit, you'll probably come to the conclusion that that's not true: the problem is more that battery life is something of an invisible quality that only reveals itself after you've doled out your hard-earned cash to buy the device. Sounds plausible.

There were other theories as well, including problems with third-parties that manufacturers face — like Android. As we ourselves know very well, Android is not at all immune to rogue/greedy apps siphoning the life out of the device, and that sure is a problem. Just a really hard one to solve, considering the open nature of the OS.

Do you agree with any of these? If not, do you have a theory of your own?

Do you think that manufacturers are not doing enough to improve battery life?

Absolutely, they could more
92.83%
They're doing enough as it is
7.17%

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24 Comments

2. Michael.Parker

Posts: 273; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Wouldn't be so bad if manufacturers weren't so obsessed with thinness of phones where when better components improve battery life they shrink the battery to give just about a day's use.

3. carlemillward unregistered

It probably is a business tactic. I mean batteries are shrinking in capacity, meaning they do not last long. Because it is sealed in, once it reaches a fair amount of recharge cycles, users would have to upgrade to a new phone. Which is what manufacturers want since not much innovation is happening . And that which does happen is called a "gimmick". Sure chipsets are getting more power efficient, but displays still take a relative amount of power I just hope the OS become more power efficient. For instance, why does iOS require so less battery capacity when compared to Android?

25. FrenchGuy

Posts: 134; Member since: Dec 12, 2014

"For instance, why does iOS require so less battery capacity when compared to Android?" Actually, most of android smartphones with a 2900 mah capacity battery lasts longer than a 2900 mah iphone 6 plus. So, IOS doesn't require so less battery capacity than android, which is incredible when you think about all the things android can do that IOS can't.

4. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I had a HTC M8 and Sony Z3 and a iPhone 6...honestly i don't see a problem with the battery life in any of these devices, they last a full day, when i go to bed, i charge them, I rarely forget to charge my phone, and we live in a world where in just about every location there is somewhere you can plug in and charge your phone. Battery life should be an issue, Revolutionary UI and Hardware should be because we have been lacking this for YEARS now.

17. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

If you had no issue with battery life on the iPhone then you must not use your phone as much as the average power user

20. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I am a heavy user..Alway on instagram, kinda on facebook, twitter, alway texting etc.. just like i never had a problem with the HTC or Z3. I will admit i turn things like battery percentage off on my phones as it can add 1-3hours to your battery life as i have found.

5. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Also with this whole shrinking the batteries capacity, You can shrink the batteries capacity and yet achieve either a small increase of battery life as we seen with the Samsung Note for example or stagnate like the iPhone. Shrink the batteries capacity yet achieve the same or better battery life is what we will see in the coming years and android fanboys need to understand this.

8. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

But the thing is...we can't we have both? If Note 4 had 3300mah (I'm not sure now) and Note 5 has 3000mah and achieves very good battery life, why can't it have 3300mah battery and all those hardware and software tweaks to reach even better endurance? Just because of some stupid thinness race that nobody gives a f**k about

12. Michael.Parker

Posts: 273; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Would have been better if Note 5 had a bigger battery but that is one of the few phones where thinness is important since it makes them easier to hold in 1 hand.

21. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Because with the added hardware and the shrinking of the bezels etc there isn't room for a larger battery, and like it or not but there are plenty of people out there who couldn't care less about the battery, and all they want is a thinner and lighter phone. The current strategy of shrink the battery will keeping its capacity or even increasing it by a little is aimed to making both camps happy.

6. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

I belive it`s business perspective in putting in a smaller battery so consumers have to buy accessories like ex batterypacks and so on..I would love to atlease have 2-3 days batterylife on medium/heavy use on my phone.. i`d rather have a little bit thicker phone with good batterylife instead of having a slimmer phone with poor.

7. phljcnth

Posts: 557; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

There's enough effort. Only that the thinness craze negates the wanted effect of the improvement in battery density. Samsung's work is commendable for promoting smarter batteries through wireless and fast charging.

9. holydemon6

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 30, 2015

For me personally battery lifetime is a very big thing. As a business user I don't want to risk being unavailable to my customers. I would rather use a old-fashioned feature phone than a smartphone that doesn't last at least 1 day.

10. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

It's hard to judge 2015 due to SD808/810 eating battery like a fat kid eats candy. But we can at least say Samsung ain't doing much by making everything more efficient and then putting in smaller batteries just to make it thinner. Just look how awesome battery life is on Active, they should have been in normal S6 also.

14. Shocky unregistered

Android Lollipop is also very heavy on battery, I'm guessing most of the voters don't realize how much worse it is compared to previous versions of Android on battery life.

13. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

The battery industry is the equivalent to the oil industry. It controls the limitations given and leaves it up to the manufacturers to work around these limitations. Just as today's vehicles get no more gas mileage than my '82 Toyota once got. Once limitless lifespans are achieved, sales become stagnant. While I believe manfacturers are implementing some efficiency directives, sales is the entire motivator. Keep people in the spending cycle. Whether it be service or sale, sealing batteries or early replacement of device, generates these sales. Each time a manufacturer changes something, it is to better the profit margin. This is why we, as consumers, need to fight for better balance rather than accepting changes that eliminate consumer control. Then only time we will see the battery industry lessen control on batteries, is when it has control on the alternatives to batteries. John B.

15. Shocky unregistered

Conspiracy theories, Aliens? right?

26. Lutanica

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Conspiracy? Are you high? .. Of course multi-billion companies have only sales in sight.. They don't care about nothing as long as they sell and continue selling for years to come.. It is how capitalism works.. It nourishes self-interest. They have PR groups that lay the map for the next 10 years and how the company is going to thrive and keep selling. If they were to use best components that make the products last longer, they would be shooting themselves in the balls. Cause they have to close the joint for longs periods of item or they would have to sell a fraction of what they do nowadays. Battery is the weak spot for smartphones. It's one of the fewest things that keeps the sales over a threshold. And it will always be like this unless they find a better or more practical weak spot to exploit.

31. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I'm not quite sure why you would view my post as a conspiracy. Are you claiming that companies are not in business to make money? The whole point of R&D is to find ways to execute a product that lasts a certain amount of time before having to trade up. If companies made products to last forever, no one would ever have to purchase again which would leave companies sucking for air then ultimately closing down. You act as though the companies are 100% consumer oriented and profits don't matter. Back in '62 -'63, GM Delco had designed a carburetor for automobiles to achieve roughly 140mpg. It never made it to production and the blueprints mysteriously disappeared. The oil companies that make their money on sales of gasoline were excited beyond imagination. The common battery design hasn't changed much from 27 years ago. Yet, we seal these things in like it is the most durable component in the world. Contrary to this, the battery has 100% fail rate that starts its failing process after roughly 600 charging cycles. The battery companies know this, the manufacturers know this and engineers know this. It is rather surprising that a person like yourself, would not understand this. So, to summarize my point, I will utilize my knowledge in batteries and as a service technician for over 25 years, stand by my original post. John B.

22. Astonvan

Posts: 237; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

What they actually should do is to stop running behind higher resolution and try to make thier display more better like how apple's been doing. qhd and now 4k :(

27. babyk

Posts: 379; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

7.17 % idiots

29. Astonvan

Posts: 237; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

why are you calling idiot?? :p

28. sunnyp_343

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

they not doing much..we need some revolution in battery department.

32. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

If the majority of users, who don't "need" a flagship phone (those who use it as a phone, camera, mp3, web etc...not the high end gamers) would stop buying them, maybe the vendors would do something. As long as there is a high demand, they will keep pumping out faster and faster processors with higher screen densities with smaller or same size batteries. I got off that merry-go-round over 18 months ago. I use mine for web, phone, email, text, LOTS of photos, mp3 etc. It only has a 720p screen, SD400 chip, but IT WORKS and it's fast, snappy. Yeah, some could be put off by the 6.1" screen, but that FOUR THOUSAND mAH battery gives me 3 days of heavy use. I'll take that over "style" any day of the week. If I wanted "jewelry" I'd get the latest iPhone, Samsung device. I want something that works and is dependable, without the worry I might break the darn thing.

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