There are so many variables at play when it comes to evaluating phone battery life, that it can be extremely difficult to get accurate results. Everything from which apps you’re running, to the quality of the network reception you’re getting, can influence those results and make extrapolating a useful conclusion all the trickier. Some of the tinkerers over on the XDA-Developers forum wanted to see just what impact changing a phone’s kernel can have on its battery life, and found some pretty drastic differences in energy consumption.
Looking at the Evo 4G, one user tried running as close as he could manage to a repeatable real-world test. After charging the battery to a known state, booting the phone and letting it rest as it acquired network connectivity, he went through a day of typical use, monitoring the phone’s battery life remaining.
Just trying two different kernels, the HTC #15 and HTC #17 revisions, he saw that that latter kernel consumed slightly less of the remaining battery capacity than the former, when really pushing the phone to its limits. During lighter periods of use, the difference was even more substantial between the two kernels.
Have you ever tried an objective measurement of your phone’s battery performance following an upgrade? While these results showed a pretty impressive change, even smaller gains can mean the difference between your phone keeping power all day, and dying out before you get home for a charge.