Published on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:16
Written by row1
I had been getting very bad battery life on my Nokia Lumia 800. The latest firmware was meant to increase the battery life 3 fold! But my battery was fearing worse than my previous device, the infamous Desire HD!
I suspected that the Windows Phone implementation of email push notifications was to blame. Opinion varies wildly on the web as to if push or pull/poll/fetch consumes more power. Most people state it as fact that push uses less power, but they don't provide any numbers and rather just explain why it should use less. I guess it also depends on many other factors such as implementation, polling frequency and amount of emails.
I decided to do a bit more testing and see which uses less power for me on a Nokia Lumia 800 running the 12072 firmware.
When using as items arrive on two of my email accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) the phone would enter battery saver mode in less than 24 hours.
When set to check hourly on two of my email accounts the phone would enter battery saver mode after 60 hours.
This is with similar usage patterns on 3G.
I set the phones display to medium brightness and turned wi-fi off and 3G on. I opened up the Nokia battery diagnosis app and compared the current discharge results over a 30 second period. No background apps were running.
Two email accounts set to check hourly:
A minimum value of 62 mA and a maximum of 96 mA. The majority of the time was in the 78-84 mA range.
Hotmail account set to check as items arrive, Gmail set to hourly:
A minimum value of 81 mA and a maximum of 320 mA. It would stay around the 280 mA range for 10 seconds and then go down to around 90 mA for another 10 seconds. It kept fluctuating between these two ranges.
Hotmail and Gmail account set to check as items arrive
Similar to the above but it peaked at 421 mA.
While the tests are far from scientifically irrefutable, I am satisfied that my battery lasts a lot longer when I do not use as items arrive. Using as items arrive causes wild and frequent fluctuations in the current discharge. Try changing and see if it makes a difference for you.