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Battery Life vs. Speed: The Smartphone Battle Continues

The Unofficial Apple Weblog posted an interesting piece recently, dealing with the proposition of the next iPhone getting LTE support. No doubt, there were a lot of fans who were dismayed at the lack of 4G in the latest version, the 4S. But that has only seemed to fuel the most ardent belief that the next Apple smartphone just has to have it. Right?

Not so fast. Cupertino’s biggest critique of the 4G/LTE situation is the power drain, and it’s not willing to put out a product with inferior battery life. Indeed, Engadget‘s Verizon Galaxy Nexus tests have really hit home on that point: The site explained that Google Nav with LTE activated is like watching drunk Uncle Morty wipe out your liquor cabinet. “The battery drained so fast our in-car charger couldn’t keep up, leaving us unsure of which exit to take off the 101.” And this device is certainly not alone.

Not that it’s all bad — third-party power pack manufacturers must be rubbing their hands together, gleeful about the potential boost in their profits, especially as more LTE devices line up for release. But that only applies if consumers are willing to forego longer life for a speedier experience. That seems to be the way the industry his heading at the moment.

These are times I kind of miss my old dumb phone. My old Samsung flip phone would last a week on a single charge. Then again, I didn’t do much with it other than make calls. I do a lot more with my smartphone, and I’d love to zip through those load times. Some LTE devices are even capable of broadband-like throughput, depending on network and coverage. That’s an awfully tempting proposition. But what good is that if your handset’s always drained, or you have to carry a power plant in your pocket?

What say you? Are you willing to sacrifice battery life for LTE? Or will you wait until battery technology catches up to 4G — even if it takes years? And if you have an LTE phone now, would you still have gotten it, if you knew then what you know now? Share your experience in the comments below.

[via TUAW]


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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