Yesterday I sold off my Samsung i780. The i780, while a fantastic phone and remarkably cheap for what you get, had several major flaws which I have covered in a previous blog entry. I couldn’t live with some of these flaws, so despite its stellar performance and attributes, it simply had to go.
So I instead got myself an HTC Touch Enhanced, also known as the Elfin or the P3452. This phone was simply beautiful and I wanted one when I first saw it a little over a year ago. It was so small, sleek, and pocketable, and the design was breathtaking; I daresay it looks way better than the beloved iPhone. I also had an iPod Touch, so it was pretty cool having an iPod Touch in one pocket and an HTC Touch in the other.
I would have gotten one sooner but, as with all PPCs, the original Touch had a trade-off: poor performance due to a 200Mhz OMAP processor. That and the medieval 64MB RAM made me feel the device was underpowered and no better than the old Prophet I had, and a huge step back from the mighty Atom, the incredibly versatile Universal and the aforementioned i780. So I went with the best compromise and hunted down the enhanced model which had double the memory, which should help despite the weak processor.
So now, I am playing with the Elfin and I can’t believe how abyssmal the battery life is! I don’t even last half a day with normal phone/PDA work and light WiFi usage (about 30 minutes). I charged this and unplugged at around 4pm, and at 11:40pm I am already at 32% battery life. I mean what?!
I can’t believe some reviewers said they were getting 4 days out of this. It goes to show, you can’t trust everything you read! But you know how it is, If you saw it on The Internet It Must be True!!!
The Touch had the worst battery life of all the PPCs I have owned, and I’ve owned a lot. It’s slightly worse than the XDA Atom, which used to be the king of bad battery life for me. But with work and tweaks even the Atom could do 2 days, I am still having trouble getting this one to last more than half a day with my normal usage.
That said, I did some testing and was able to get the HTC Touch to have decent battery life overnight, with about 10% power drain over a 12 hour period of not using it.
Basically I turned of HTC Home and just used default Windows Today plugins, with Bluetooth always on, and I was able to get the aforementioned decent battery life. This should be good to last me about 2 days before I start charging again when it hits around 40%. All in all doable, but still sub-par and far from great.
I found that the real problem was this device’s WiFi radio. turning on WiFi drains the battery very quickly, far faster than most other models. The drain is similar to that of the XDA Atom Exec, which was by far the worst WiFi battery drainer I ever owned. With the Touch, I was at 86% battery, then I turned on WiFi and surfed with Opera 9.5 for about 5 minutes, when I checked the battery again I was down to 74%. Horrid. That as 12 hours of standby burned away in 5 minutes!
This explains why my phone ran out of battery yesterday when I used WiFi to surf for 30 minutes. In comparison using WiFi on the Prophet would only go down 4% for like 20 minutes of use, a little faster on the Universal and iPaq 6300, and about even on the i780 which I must say is still the king of battery life for me among all the Pocket PCs I’ve had.
The Touch is truly best as a straight phone — small, pocketable and good Bluetooth performance, runs Voice Command very well, and with some standard PDA and PIM capabilities, but it is not a workhorse by any stretch especially for WiFi.
That’s fine, I’ll be using this as my phone primarily, I have other devices for WiFi and HSDPA like the iPod Touch. I sold my i780 but I am looking to get another non-Samsung phone for my HSDPA needs, like maybe the iPhone 3G or the Diamond. All in all I am very happy with my latest acquisition, and I must say it gets lots of oogling and envious looks from people around me. Elf is here to stay!