To say that the HTC One (M8) is a powerful phone is a bit of an understatement. As much as we try to bring it to its knees, the phone holds its head high and accomplishes the task at hand without breaking a sweat. But does the phone’s raw processing power get in the way of endurance?
Over the years, HTC has given us few phones with outstanding battery life. Last year’s HTC One max got praised for its lasting power, but that’s only because the massive size of the phone allowed HTC to equip the phone with a 3,300 mAh battery. The phone could easily get through two full days of use with 6-8 hours of screen-on time. The new HTC one (M8) comes with smaller 2,600 mAh battery. It’s not much of a bump form the 2,300 mAh battery HTC crammed into the HTC one (M7), but the 13% increase in capacity makes a much bigger impact than we were expecting.
The Full Day Phone
If you consider yourself a power user, the HTC One (M8) may be the first flagship device to give you a full day’s use. On our highest use day, we managed to kill the HTC One (M8) in just under 12 hours. But that’s the worst case scenario. Over the past 16 days, we’ve managed to use the phone 12 full days (from the time we woke up until the time we went to sleep) without worrying about the phone’s battery charge. On most days, the battery still had 15-20% charge. We also spent a few days to see just how long we could extend the life of the phone by not playing any games, capturing pictures of watching video. We finally plugged the HTC One (M8) into its charger after 39 hours. the remaining 3% charge could have gotten up to the 40 hour mark, but the One (M8) had already proven its point.
The incredible lasting power of the HTC One (M8) is partly credited to the larger 2,600 mAh battery, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and HTC’s software optimization should be commended as well. Qualcomm’s newer chip is a lot more power efficient than the Snapdragon 600 that was used to power last year’s HTC One, allowing for infinitesimal power draw when the phone is not in use.
Media and gaming junkies will appreciate the HTC One (M8). When all four of the Snapdragon 801 cores on the phone are engaged while playing graphic intensive games, power draw does increase quite bit. But it’s not as noticeable as it is on other devices. Don’t be surprised if the phone’s power level drops 20% after an hour of intense gaming, but more casual games like Threes, Droid Rage or Flappy Bird have a significantly lesser impact on the One (M8)’s battery.
Those who don’t do a lot of gaming will definitely want to check out HTC’s Power Saver mode. When turned on, Power Saver gives you the option to underclock the processor, reduce screen brightness, turn off the vibration motor and cut the phone’s data connection when the display is turned off. The feature turns on automatically when the phone’s power level reaches 20%, but you have the option to use it all the time. With Power Save engaged and a 100% charge, the HTC One (M8) should easily be able to hit 50 hours with light use.
Extreme Power Saver
One of the features HTC is most proud of on the HTC One (M8) is Extreme Power Saver. How many times have you glanced at your phone only to see that you have 4% battery left? By the time you turn down your screen brightness and switch the phone into Airplane Mode, the splash screen shows up, informing you that your phone is officially out of commission.
With Extreme Power Saver mode, HTC claims that the One (M8) can last up to 15 hours on a 5% charge. Enable Extreme Power Saver mode with a 100% charge and the phone will theoretically last over 10 days. But don’t think for a second that you’ll have access to any of the features that make the HTC One (M8) a smartphone when Extreme Power Saver mode is turned on. Flip the Extreme Power Saver mode switch and you’re greeted with a bare UI that only lets you access the Phone, Messaging (SMS), Email, Calendar, Calculator and Clock apps. Everything else it gated off. You don’t even have a notification bar at the top to pull down.
We haven’t been able to test it out for ourselves, because the software feature isn’t yet available on the Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T models of the One (M8) here in the US. Sprint pushed out an update for its version of the HTC One (M8) a few days ago, which included Extreme Power Saver mode, so we expect other carrier branded devices will get it in the coming weeks. We’ll share our results once we spend some quality time with the feature.
The HTC One (M8)’s lasting power isn’t in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One max or any of Motorola’s MAXX phones, but the phone doesn’t claim to be. HTC has equipped the HTC One (M8) with a battery that gives enough power that you can go through a full day without ever worrying about finding the nearest outlet. Yes, the battery may last you less than 10 hours if you’re constantly watching YouTube clips or trying to beat The Walking Dead in a single session, but that’s pretty much par for the course. The HTC One (M8) may be ushering us into the era of the full-day phone.