We talk about extending battery life all the time because, let's face it, no one is putting big enough batteries in their smartphones, except perhaps for Lenovo. Despite the impressive battery life of the HTC One (M8) and the awesome Ultra Power Saving Mode of the Galaxy S5, most other devices struggle to get you through a day of solid usage. So we asked you: what could you live without to get better battery life?
Now, there are all kinds of things that we tend to do to save battery life, from having GPS off pretty much all the time, to force closing or uninstalling apps running excessive background processes, to having our display brightness dropped so low that we can barely see it or using any manner of apps that allow us to turn our screen on as little as possible. But as many people have noted, this is basically crippling the functionality of our Androids. So, if manufacturers can't magically make our phone batteries last longer, what would we be willing to live without for that extra bit of juice? A lot, it seems.
- Check our tips for saving battery life.
I'm the first to admit I was surprised by number one: having to manually install all apps. Sure, we all hate pre-loaded bloatware, but adding everything yourself seems like a pretty big step (let's assume everyone would be happy to have at least the Play Store and Google Play Services already on their phone). Still, the amount of savings it would bring in terms of partition space and background processes would be significant. Of course, since KitKat was introduced, only pre-installed apps are able to write to the microSD card with ease, so there are some sacrifices that would need to be made. But if any OEMs are listening: take note, nobody wants your pre-loaded apps!
2. User interfaces
Second place goes, naturally enough, to heavy manufacturer skins like TouchWiz, Xperia UI, Sense and Optimus UI. Although, with Android's pushing of as thin a skin as possible, and Motorola's impressive update speed since they dropped Motoblur and went for a near-stock user interface, it clearly shows that there are big benefits to dropping heavily made up Android skins. After all, users can theme and modify their phones as much as they want after the fact anyway. So having near-stock skins would be great for not only speed and storage space again, but also save you the power demands of running a skin you may not even like. If you want it, it is easy to grab a theme from the Play Store.
- Take a look at our TouchWiz versus stock Android comparison.
- How does Optimus UI compare to stock Android?
3. Software features and 4. Display brightness
In third and fourth spot, respectively, are software features and the sometimes over-the-top display brightness available on some Android devices. It's interesting to know that a whole third of respondents could do without motion gestures and other software features on their phones when it is quite often those features that sell us on a particular device. Screen brightness is also a little surprising, considering how often dim screens are criticized in tech reviews and user feedback.
- Check out our Galaxy S5 software features tour.
- Don't miss our LG G3 software features tour.
- Check out the HTC One (M8) Motion Launch gesture controls.
What does this all mean?
To sum things up, it seems that what most of our readers want is a Nexus device or Google Play edition device, with a super thin (or non-existent skin), no pre-installed apps (including Google apps, by the sound of it) no added bells and whistles on the software front and a display that is bright enough without being able to signal outer space with it. If Google dropped a stock Android device, with better battery life, only the Play Store on it and a lower max brightness they may just win over every Android user that hates the battery life we're currently putting up with.
- Hop into the fourm to let us know how happy you are with the battery life of your smartphone.
So I ask you: would you buy this magical device? Or do you think it's too plain and boring to be worth your money?