The HTC Desire battery test – A day without a charge

[Update: 29/10/2010 I have now done a new test to update how the HTC Desire battery fares running under Froyo. Click here to read more ]

Today I’ve decided to put my HTC Desire through its paces and leave my charger at home to see how the battery does.

I feel rather vulnerable without a charger but I can’t always carry one around with me so it’ll be a good test.

Today I have the following settings:

Fully charged at 9am.
Screen: Medium brightness
WiFi: ON
Syncing: ON
Bluetooth: OFF
FriendStream: ON

So currently my phone has a connection to my WiFi network and can sync as and when required.  I will update this post throughout the day with the battery level for those who are sad enough to care.

09:00 100% fully charged and raring to go!

11:00 87% remaining – Listened to the radio on the walk into work. I’ve made a few phone calls, sent some tweets and taken a few photos (whilst it’s sunny). Still plenty of juice left before I am reunited with the safety that is my phone charger.

13:00 80% remaining, sent loads more texts and had a couple of calls, checked and read e-mails. Still plenty left to get me through the day.

14:00 75% left. Have only used the phone to send about 10 text messages and read new e-mails. Also, I have just started downloading the Guitar Hero 5 Demo (although the Market seems to be down 😉 )

17:00 52% remaining. I don’t think the phone’s done too badly today. I’ve used it pretty well and since the last post at 14:00 I’ve taken quite a long video on the phone and some photos as well as the usual texting and e-mailing. Even had time to play Guitar Hero too (which wasn’t that amazing)

I will leave my phone off-charge until I retire tonight and see how far I get. I’m pretty sure it’ll be fine but it’ll be interesting [probably not] to see how ‘home’ use is different  to work usage.

At least you know that you can currently survive a work day with most of the bells and whistles turned on.

22:00 34% of love remaining. I’m sure my Desire is doing it’s best to hold out for me. Been using it for a couple of calls and a load of texts as well as messing around with the Android Market.

22:50 27% left. The battery icon is now yellow and looking pretty sad. I’m using the BatterTime Lite app to get all these details by the way. The app says that with 27% battery I have:

Idle Time: 110:42
Talk Time: 1:54
Video Playback: 1:05
Audio Playback: 2:04
Web Surfing: 1:14

That’s pretty impressive stuff really although I find it hard to comprehend that I could leave my phone for over 4 days straight without it needing a charge – if I didn’t use it at all obviously. [Oh and I’m not about to find out either]

[Update] I thought I’d include my Battery Saving Tips video now you’ve read through this article. It’ll show you how to save even more power when using your phone



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69 Responses to “The HTC Desire battery test – A day without a charge”

  1. Mike Pegg Says:

    Sounds like your fairing better than me for battery. I’ve not managed to go one full day.

  2. Ju Says:

    Thanks for the live test! awesome idea!

  3. Jon Says:

    @Mike Oh dear, that’s not sounding too good. I’ve ‘streamlined’ what applications are running and how often they update to try and get the most out the battery but I will be doing some more experiments during the week. Previously I was sapping the battery to 50% by noon but have sorted that one out!

    @Ju No problem! Hope it gives you an insight into how well the phone performs 🙂

  4. Jonathan Mallett Says:

    The Desire still alive and kicking after 12 hours of regular use? 🙂

  5. Jon Says:

    Indeed it is! Currently have 34% battery left although I haven’t used it as much as I’d have liked to tonight due to other “commitments”. Tomorrow will be a new day and a fresh set of settings to put it through…

  6. Mike Pegg Says:

    I’ll keep on eye on your results. I have

    Screen: Medium brightness
    WiFi: ON
    Syncing: ON
    Bluetooth: OFF
    GPS: OFF

    Facebook: 2 hour sync
    Weather: 3 hour sync
    Seesmic: constant?, can’t see any options
    Nimbuzz: constant.

    I may try to disable Seesmic and/or Nimbuzz and see how my battery goes.

  7. Jon Says:

    Good idea, keep me posted on how it fairs… 🙂

  8. Si Says:

    Idle 110hrs? I assume 11? 😉

    Pretty good considering the calls and video.

    Is there a good graphing app like the Nokia power monitor for Android?

    Also, how long does the phone last on 0%… sometimes devices “under egg” how long they can last :p

  9. Jon Says:

    No it really was 110! 😮 The Desire’s spec says 360 hours standby so that’s 15 days worth right there!

    Haven’t found an app that does graphing like the Nokia one but I can get voltages and temperatures from the one I’m using so it’s quite a useful little thing.

    Will probably find out tomorrow how long the phone’ll last on 0%, a good idea for the test!

  10. Si Says:

    Other tests you can try to see the minimums are…

    Just playing video…
    GPS on all day (even inside, trying to get a fix will suck the battery)…

  11. Si Says:

    So what is the time period for then? I thought it was 09:00 to 22:50 (your end) so shouldn’t it be under 12 hours?

    If the idle is 110hrs – does that mean the “talk time” is based over that 110hrs (well 110+talk)?

  12. Steve Muller Says:

    What software version is your Desire running?

  13. Erfahrungen mit dem HTC Desire - Seite 27 - Says:

    […] wird genau, was eingeschaltet wurde und wie sich der Akku im Verlauf des Tages verhalten hat. The HTC Desire battery test – A day without a charge HTC Desire Fanatics HTC Desire battery test day #2 HTC Desire […]

  14. Noomps Says:

    Thank you so much for your information

  15. Marc Says:

    You should try juicedefender & juiceplotter – for the real pros upgrade to juicedefender ultimate

    I’ve been able to go 2x-2.5x my regular battery usage with it.

    It turns off all unnecessary background stuff and lets you monitor your usage in a nice graph as well.

    • Jon Says:

      Sounds pretty good, will give it a go and see how I get on! Thanks.

      • Marc Says:

        after a few weeks now i must say that juice defender is still working alright – on the weekends at least….

        however when i am travelling during the week work wise, i cannot go 1 full day anymore 😦
        a lot of emails and phone calls throughout the day along with an occasional browse on phone – drained empty….

        thinking about going back to my BB

      • Jon Says:

        How about getting a spare battery? They’re about £30 but probably worth it if you’re on a long haul…

  16. Guide To Gadget Says:

    How to updated HTC Desire software? Step by Step please

  17. Emi Says:

    Hi, just got my phone today! Been charging for past 3 hours. To my dismay keep getting the message … battery not charging.
    Anyone encountered this problem and can offer solution pls?

  18. Dalton Says:

    A quick one…

    Since talking about Desire battery… Is it Ok to charge Desire with new Nokia micro USB charger that outputs 1200mAH compared to HTCs charger with 1000mAh ? I know that if there was less mAh should be ok, but with 200mAh extra? (thinking bout battery health)


    • Jon Says:

      I’m not an electrician but my understanding is that as long as the voltage is correct, the amperage can be pretty much anything. That’s just the max it can output so I would assume it is intelligent enough to only charge at the rate it needs…. might want to check with an electrician though 😉

    • eetu Says:

      Micro USB is a standard so if it fits to your phone physically, it can be used to recharging. Also, the 1200mAH stands for battery life, meaning the battery can produce 1200 milli Amperes for one hour. Just plug it in and see your desire come to life =)

      • eetu Says:

        sorry, need to correct that.

        of course the 1200 mAH in the CHARGER doesn’t stand for battery life, stands for the charger power, meaning it should just charge faster as it transfers more current per hour. still i stand before my statement that the micro USB is a standard and it will work on any phone or w/e device that has a micro USB charging port

  19. Russ Says:

    Fuck! mine wont last a day with that much usage. Amazing device, but battery sucks

    • Jon Says:

      Really? What things do you have on or running in the background? You should get a days use out of a full charge at least…

  20. Dave I Says:

    I’m in the crap battery life department too. For two days I’ll run the phone with all non-phone things turned off. No data, not Bluetooth, no GPS, not checking email or using the music player, and locked into GSM.

    It drops about 11% per hour (based on Juice Plotter) overnight with no calls. Checking emails and surfing at home yesterday dropped 10% in about 15% minutes.

    My battery summary is Android System about 50%, Cell Standby about 25% and Phone Idle about 25%. I hope this improves because I want to use the data features but it won’t last a day if I do.

  21. joseph Says:

    well i charged my new desire for 4 hrs not 3 as recomended and used it first day with setting it up and lasts for 10 hrs slack, the second day lasted for 14 hrs with little use, so i said damn this phone and went and bought the htc legend and tried it , i thought that coz it had a smaller screen and smaller processor the battery should be good and i was right , i am getting 3 times better life than the desire, so the legend is for me guys and this is my opinion, thank u

    • Jon Says:

      The Legend is a lot less powerful than the Desire hence probably why you’re seeing better battery life. Good luck with your Legend though, it’s still a lovely phone

  22. Dave Ingram Says:

    I was losing 11% battery per hour with everything turned off. I uninstalled Fringe and power cycled my Desire and it is much better. I use about 0.5% to 1% per hour now. I use juice plotter to see how I’m going. The phone is much more usable now.

    Also try the debugging Interface ddmp in the android sdk to see what tasks are running. That’s,s how I found fring.

  23. JH Says:

    This is all very interesting. I think I’m getting average results with my new Desire. The first day while constantly playing with the phone, downloading stuff etc, it lasted about 5 hours! But now i can go for the
    hole day wtihout recharging. I normally have WiFi off, GPS off, backlight auto, 3G on.
    Yesterday i tested the phone with everything off (3G off, WiFi off, GPS off, APN off, no widgets etc), and the battery lost about 1% in an hour.
    AND during the night it lost only 3% in 7,5 hours. So if I wanted, I think I could go easily for 2 days without recharge. But then it wouldn’t be smartphone anymore.
    After turning 3G on and syncing on (normal use) it loses about 4-6% in an hour.
    Could be better, but I’m satisfied.

  24. Izkata Says:

    Android gets such crazy-looking idle times because of what happens when the screen blanks.

    It simply goes into a “suspend” mode, very similar to what computers can do. The CPU isn’t actually fully running while like this, so the battery is barely touched.

    All of you who are getting horrible idle batteries? Something is running in the background, keeping the phone from suspending. While suspended, I dropped about 2% in 6 hours – but while using Load Monitor to keep a wakelock (preventing the phone from suspending), it dropped by 25% in the same amount of time, with no usage either time (I was asleep).

    (Granted I’m using a different Android phone, so my numbers may not match yours – but the idea is the same.)

  25. Dhammachick Says:

    I’ve just installed JuiceDefender and I REALLY hope it works. Have had my Desire for almost three weeks and the battery life SUCKS! I have followed all instructions with charging from the moment I got it. Am going back to the telco now.

    Very disappointed 😦

  26. The HTC Desire (Froyo) Battery Test – A day without a charge: Episode 2 « HTC Desire Fanatics Says:

    […] Back in April you may remember I tested out my HTC Desire’s battery to see how long it would last over a day or normal use without being charged. Well, today I’m going to re-visit this test and see whether the “battery performance” improvements in Froyo really work or not. […]

  27. Keks Says:

    I’m at 80 % now …time since unplugged is 5 h 59 min and 2,3,4 sec ;D …ummm I’ve been editing my widgets for a combined total of time around 30 min… turning wifi on and off, also 3G on and off…had about 10 calls …around 10 texts, brightness: custom…less than medium I think, all the animations on, I sinc weather every idk…2 h … …etc.

    Still I think it’s quite relative. Not all users have the same widgets, brightness set …and so on …I’ve heard that htc is investing quite some cash into battery research…so I’m hoping for new better batteries compatible with the desire 🙂

  28. Keks Says:

    ok so update …the last post kinda failed and was posted like a min ago 😮 …ummm my phone is now at 78 % … time is 7 h 29 min and 34,35,36 sec …I didn’t use it much …maybe a little so and so …
    So it dropped 2 % in and hour and a half …so what do you guys think?

    • Jon Says:

      Sounds great! Looks like your phone’s battery is really lasting well! 🙂

      • Keks Says:

        hmmm I don’t know …it’s really relative I’ve wrote 3 really long texts a min ago and received also 3 quite long ones and it dropped 3 % and that took 10 min …really relative …and I also rebooted my Desire 6 min ago so …I’t whipped the battery use time meeter xD

        I didn’t know it would do that :/…hehe

      • Keks Says:

        wiped* omg xD sry bad english

  29. shoeb Says:

    Could anybody please give me idea how can I check the HTC Desire is used or a brand new? Is there any technique to find out how many minutes had been talked using a particular phone?

    • Jon Says:

      I suppose the easiest thing to check would be for fingerprints on the touch screen. If they’ve been wiped off then check on the back of the phone where the camera is, any fingerprints on there?

      I suppose the only other thing you can check is the call history…. :S

  30. Lizzie Says:

    I got a desire on Saturday and so far it’s not lasted any longer than about 5 hours without losing all power. I also seem to have a problem with my SD card not working properly (I’m a complete technophobe but the error messages lead me to believe things aren’t quite right)…any suggestions anyone?

  31. Sreekanth Says:

    By the way I have a primitive question rather! How you guys checked the percentage of remaining battery while it is *not* Charging. Thanks!

  32. Dave Says:

    Hey all!

    I got myself an extended battery from Mugen Power for wicked 3200mAh

    They also have 1800mah that does not change the phone into a monster but the big one has it’s merit. Travelling is much easier with it!

    • Jon Says:

      How long are you finding the 3200mAh battery lasts you? Does it come with a new back cover for the phone?

      • Dave Says:

        The big one lasts twice as long as the stock one and of course it depends on how heavy U use it. I’m a heavy user but it goes 2-3 days without recharging.
        and yep, it comes with a cover.

      • Jon Says:

        Sounds great, I’ll have to see if I can find a UK supplier and give one a go! 2-3 days would be amazing!

  33. Dave Says:

    U think you can test it? They ship worldwide. I got mine in US in a couple of weeks and ordered from their dealer site

  34. Gary Says:

    Is the battery the same type in the Desire as in the Desire HD

  35. Steve Says:

    Solved all my HTC Desire HD battery life issues by addressing a bug that constantly runs the CPU, and drains the battery. You have to enable debug mode. Since doing this, I’ve gone from 10 hours battery life to over 48 which is what I would expect.

    Go to Menu / Settings / Applications / Development… then tick the “USB Debugging” option

    Full details here:

  36. christina Says:


    when i went to sleep, my phone was on yellow.. i then woke up to find my phone had ran out of battery. i plugged it in to charge, and it hasnt come on with the little light that shows it should be charging. i dont know what to do? or if i need to keep it on charge with it being completely empty! help! i have tried about 3 dif chargers that i have sometimes used, and nothing is happening! :/

    • Jon Says:

      Yeah it sounds like your battery was completely flat. I’ve had this happen before and the phone won’t turn back on even after you’ve plugged it in. Did it come back to life after 10 minutes or so of charging?

  37. Cher Says:

    Hello, I followed all the tricks you talked about with my desire. 3G off, wifi off, GPS off, bluetooth off, brightness lowest, no live wall papers no vibrations/haptic feedback, In addition advanced task killer working round the clock. STILL my desire isn’t functioning as i would like it to work.
    I charged it fully at about 3 am at night. Then it remained on standby for the next eight hours. Later wards, with about two hours of browsing/downloading, 3 short calls (under 10 minutes) and about 10 texts the battery was down to 20% by 11pm. Battery usage says idle and standby are taking up more than 40% of the battery time.
    I am confused and sad! 😦

    • Jon Says:

      Don’t be sad! Today’s smartphones only last around a day away from a charger. It sounds like you did reasonably well with yours if you were down to 20% by 11pm if it was unplugged at 3am in the morning.

      I was down to 27% in this test after unplugging the phone nearly 6 hours after you did. Until batteries get better we can only reasonably expect a day’s battery with normal use.

      I’d suggest getting a desk stand so you can just dock your Desire overnight and have it fully charged for when you wake up in the morning.

  38. Matty Says:

    thanks thats great. im gonna get this phone. i will only be using it for calls, texts, internet so i might be able to get more than a day out of it?

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