The newly released DROID RAZR is super thin and light. It has received a lot of positive reviews on the large screen, performance, and HD camera. Call and data quality are very satisfactory too. But how is the battery life holding up? Does DROID RAZR battery life is as good as promised on the paper? Expect talk time of approximately 12.5 hours and standby time of approximately 8.5 days on a powerful 1780 mAh battery. Sounds like enough for everyday use, right? I would like to investigate more in some real world tests.
Let’s review the kind of features that can easily consume power on the DROID RAZR. The Motorola Droid Razr has a 4.3-inch display, pretty much following the new trend of big screen smartphone. The images look bright and crisp. Videos are smooth thanks to the dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM on-board. So expect it to do everything in a speedy manner. Today’s mobile processor use very little battery compared to their processor. However because you can multitask, that puts a lot of stress on the processor. Android allow apps to run in the background and some apps don’t automatically close unless you do so explicitly. It’s obvious that the more apps running at the same time the more power they consume.
The DROID RAZR runs on the new 4th generation data network call 4G LTE. It’s the best data network you can get these days. However, fast data speed comes with a cost. When you turn on LTE, even though you don’t plan to check email and browse the web all the time, it will drain the battery life faster than on a 3G or 2G connection. Although the phone switches from 3G to LTE depending on the signal strength, In fact, after 2.5 hours of use on web surfing, 1 episode of “Two and Half Men”, streaming music from Pandora, and a few app downloads, I only have 15% battery life left! Sure this can last the entire morning commute on the train. But if I don’t have a charger at the office it’s unlikely I will be able to use the phone again on the way back home.
Lastly, just like the iPhone, the battery on DROID RAZR is built-in and can’t be easily changed. So you have to rely on one charge for whatever you will be doing before you can find outlet to plug in your phone again.
Motorola knows the DROID RAZR is a power hog and thus includes a very nice app called Smart Actions. This power monitor/management app can keep the smartphone from getting unnecessary battery drain. You can modify built-in rules so that features such as GPS, Bluetooth, and the screen can be turn on and off at certain time. The phone display can turned down and the ringer can be turned up when you are at home. On the other hand, you can set the productivity apps to open whenever you get to the office. The Low Battery Action pays close attention on how much charge you have left on the phone and automatically dims the screen at 40% power and slows down data usage at 30%. Does the DROID RAZR battery last longer now with the SmartActions control? It does indeed. But how much power you can prevent from “leaking” will depend on your usage habits too. Choose the right setting and get more while doing less.
Here is my final verdict. DROID RAZR’s battery life is not as good as what the specs states. Unless you will be using this phone mainly for talking, it’s unlikely you can get more than few hours of continuous use on data, especially 4G LTE. Of course you can extend the battery life longer by doing the following: dim screen, turn off the GPS (because you don’t really need it all the time), turn off some background running apps like Weather and Screen Saver, don’t auto sync emails every 2 minutes. otherwise, be prepared to have charger at home and at work. The biggest draw is that you don’t have the option to swap dead battery or use an extended one. The good news is that it takes less than 1 hour to get from 0% to full power capacity.