As we continue our series on the top things business look for in a mobile device, today we’re talking about battery life.

So what ‘s battery life all about?

Put simply it’s how long your mobile device will last for on 1 charge and this requirement was so important that it came up 4th in the list with businesses looking at mobile devices.  Mobile devices aren’t plugged in to the wall 24/7 like PC’s and have to rely on a battery for their power.  However with new power hungry features being added to mobile devices all the time, it’s important to know exactly where you stand.

You can address device power in many ways, here are some of the main considerations:

Battery size

First off you can buy a device with a big battery, plain and simple and this is probably where a rugged PDA will win over a smartphone every time. With a typical smartphone carrying a 1600-2000mAh battery, Rugged PDA’s with batteries over 5200mAh in size are going to have a far greater chance of working all day on one charge.

Ability to hot swap batteries.

Some devices have great backup batteries and have the ability to let you hot swap batteries without requiring a reboot.  This can make carrying a spare when needed and swapping it out quite easy for end user.  Some mobile devices are a lot better than others when it comes to this.

Battery technology (Li-ION or Li-POL)

Whilst we all focus on screen sizes and resolution, super accurate GPS, gazillion MP cameras and super fast 4G, battery technology is having to evolve fast to keep up with ever more power draining features. Lithium Polymer batteries are a newer and better battery technology than Lithium ION ones.  They give a better charge so you can rely on less capacity = smaller and light mobile device.  Ask about li-POLY as they can change your whole attitude to battery life.

Device power consumption

Some devices we sell harp on about special power sipping technologies and we remain a little sceptical about most of them, however every device does have a specific behaviour and where one might now work for you, another might just work perfectly.  Some devices are better at running data capture features like barcode scanners better, some have better components that use less power and some are just really great generally! Ask your reseller for user experiences.

Device spec

Often overlooked, remember that a 4.3″ screen will take substantially more power to run than a 2.8″ one. Remember that brighter screens will generally need more power, backlit keypads, barcode and RFID scanners and running 3 or 4G all day will all take power.  Have a look at the device spec, if your battery needs are acute, then it might be best to compromise on the device spec.

Charging on the move

We see a lot of users now where any 1 battery is going to struggle.  These guys tend to be tracking via GPS, syncing data over 3G or WiFi continuously during the day, using the mobile device for phone calls, texting and emails and also scanning barcodes, RFID tags and more.  Here’s what our customer said they were looking for.

Be aware of Battery limitations

We’ll blog about this more later in the next blog but like all technology batteries perform better in certain conditions. Moisture, temperature and how you handle then are all important to a battery’s performance.

There we go, that should keep you interested for a while. Our advice is to find a reseller with experience of devices battery performance and to also make sure you can demo a device before you buy.

As always comments welcomed!

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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