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It is common to see better battery performance being touted as a selling point, when phones are announced and when they but the market. And the claim typically goes like "lasts xx hours on average use" or variations of "average" but conveying the same meaning. Implied, of course, is reduced frequency of battery charging and longer battery life.This is encountered in phone reviews also.

What I am trying to find out from an academic perspective:

a) Is there something defined as "average" use

b) Is there an accepted standard which profiles, say an "average or typical user" or "heavy user"

Both questions are interrelated and what perplexes me, is the freedom of misuse by companies to make claims that in no way can be verified. Logically, there should be standardized way but googling did not yield any result.

Only reference which I could find when researching screen power was Analysis of Power Consumption in a Smartphone. Section 5.4 of the paper talks of user profiles, but it seems to be hypothetical, not being backed by any reference.

"There is no profiling of usage", is also an answer if it is backed by authority or standard.

I am aware that this question may not really belong here (not sure where else to ask), but being a end user concern, trust it will be permitted and more importantly answered

  • I don't think there is a standard use case for any device out there. The battery life heavily depends on the mobile receiption you are getting, your display brightness and your most used applications. With those little parameters there are already lots of different battery-line graphs guaranteed. With that said, the best thing a end user can do to know the real life battery-performance is to ask actual users - so searching on XDA for the battery life threads can give you an idea how long the battery will last on different use-cases as the people often include their typical usage. – benjamin Nov 23 '15 at 12:51
  • @benjaminS.Thanks. I am well aware of what you are pointing to. My concern is around standardization or lack of it as it appears. There is a case for defining it especially when it can be impacted by s many use variations. For example, downloading being a heavy battery consuming activity can cause significant variations in other parameters of usage. So, how much of down loading is typical....you get my drift. Trying to get an academic perspective on this. Even getting authoritative " there is no standard ",is an answer – beeshyams Nov 23 '15 at 13:04
  • Ok so I still got no explicit answer on this but I found some interesting information (on sony atleast). Text is too long for a single comment. When checking the product page for the M4 Aqua which is advertised with 2 days battery life they refer to some tests. Here they say that the Company named Strategy Analytics tests the devices on their battery life and back up their claims on battery life. – benjamin Nov 24 '15 at 10:10
  • Further searching showed that this company has tested multiple devices - though the report is not accessible without a registration sadly. Atleast now I know that there are companies which test a lot of different smartphones on the same criteria. – benjamin Nov 24 '15 at 10:30
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    @Benjamins thanks haven't gone through as I am busy traveling. May I request you to kindly consolidate your research on the form of an answer, so that it at least provides a lead. "Anand tech", also does extensive testing of mobiles and may be you can look at that also. Sorry sending this in a hurry so not linking it.. Thanks again – beeshyams Nov 24 '15 at 10:50
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Findings on the battery-life claims made by manufacturers

Note that this answer can't cover every manufacturer and/or device. Information about this topic is not well documented and I had luck to find the following links and sites. If you encounter new Information then please edit this answer or leave a comment with the source of your new found information.


After searching for reasonable information it came to my mind that the new Sony M4 Aqua is advertised with 2 days of battery life. Sony claims 2-day battery life

To back up their claims they add the following lines at the end of the site:

**Battery life has been measured against Sony Mobile Communications AB’s smartphone usage profile, defined in September 2014 to represent the typical smartphone user’s active condition, including but not limited to a range of usage scenarios (calling, texting, web browsing, social networking, game playing, music listening, picture taking, picture browsing, online video watching, video recording and playback).

If you're following a few links you'll find yourself on the battery information page. At the bottom of the page you'll find exactly the statements that raised your question.

Based on multiple battery performance tests conducted between July and September 2014 in a laboratory under active use conditions reflective of the Typical Smartphone User by Sony Mobile Communications AB. Get the full story on our test results page.

So let's look at the mentioned "results page". Here we'll find some more information about the company which measures the battery-life. enter image description here

Some interesting statements in my opinion are:

  • based on results from tests conducted by Strategy Analytics, an independent global company specialising in market analysis
  • verified at the time of testing
  • we cannot guarantee that all claims are still valid as you read this

In my opinion this sounds like "We hired a professional company to measure our devices battery-life but don't take our words as a warranty." This is speculative though. Atleast we know that Strategy Analytics is testing the battery-life for sony devices. When we head over to their website and search a little bit we can find that they do test other devices aswell.

They've also did a big technical benchmark test and a test on Smartphone Battery Performance.

where the battery performance of flagship smartphones from Apple, HTC, Huawei, LG, Google, Nokia/Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony was benchmarked, SA found that the smartphones with the largest battery capacities did not provide the longest battery life – i.e. bigger did not mean better.

Additionally we can find some testing criterias from review magazines and blogs like CNET or PCMag.

So I'm still trying to answer your question

a) Is there something defined as "average" use

Probably - but it depends and differs on who is testing the product and what criteria they are setting. I have not found a single guideline which focusses on WHICH aspects should be respected when doing a battery test.

b) Is there an accepted standard which profiles, say an "average or typical user" or "heavy user"

Generally I would say this also depends on the tester and the product they are testing. It came to my mind that different screen sizes are suitable for different usages also. On a big screen it is more enjoyable to watch a video or a movie than on a small screen - you'll probably play more demanding games on a bigger screen and so on. Take the Samsung Galaxy Beam as an example. How would you compare an average use on this device (using the beamer for 2 hours a day) to a Galaxy S6 e.g. (using the display for 2 hours a day). I think you can catch my drift. It's hard to compare because they are built for a different audience with a completly different use case. Sony e.g. says this for their devices:

Typical Smartphone User usage profile involved using the device for approximately 5 hours in a 24-hour period, for a range of typical usage scenarios (calling, texting, web, social networking, games, camera, music and video).


Please note that I'm not affiliated with the company or the websites I've linked to. I am sharing my reasearch on this field from a neutral perspective.

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    Thanks for initiating a good start. +1 for inviting information add ons and trust eventually our understanding grows. Please fix the shortcut for "smartphone battery performance" – beeshyams Nov 24 '15 at 19:59

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