HTC Desire and Android battery issues

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By now, most people have noticed that I’ve switched from my venerable iPhone 3G to an HTC Desire. I’ve had it a little over a week and, on balance, I’m happy with it. I’m sort-of half-planning an iPhone/Android comparison piece from the perspective of a switcher, along with my version of what each of the platforms gets right, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but I just had to comment on this from Google:

When asked about Android’s weak battery life at the Google Zeitgeist forum, Google co-founder Larry Page said that if anyone is not getting a full day’s worth of battery, there’s “something wrong.” Page then went on to suggest it’s probably user habits and third-party apps causing battery woes. “When there is software running in the background, that just sort of exhausts the battery quickly,” said Page.

Eric Schmidt chimed in, “The primary consumer of the battery life on these phones is the transmit/receive circuit. So tuning that and obviously figuring out a way to not use too much of that extends your battery life…And people bring in applications that are not particularly smart about that.”

Perhaps on some Android phones they’re right, but on the Desire it’s absolutely not the case. HTC haven’t acknowledged it yet, but if you enable Flickr sync in their Sense UI, you’ll put the calendar into a state where it indefinitely holds a partial wake-lock, which prevents the phone going to sleep and reduces your battery life to 7-9 hours ‘standby’ (in my case.) This has been confirmed on multiple handsets on multiple carriers. So, yes, on the Desire, the primary consumer of battery life is an OS bug. Oops.

Quote from Andronica

One Response to “HTC Desire and Android battery issues”

  1. Anonymousie

    I have this same bug too… on an HTC Droid Eris!