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  1.    #1  
    Treo 600 wins Battery Life Test
    July 10, 2004

    I recently ran a battery test comparing the Palm OS versus the Pocket PC or more specifically Palm hardware and iPAQ hardware. I selected 3 Palm models and 3 iPAQ models and then threw in the Palm Treo 600 SmartPhone for a seventh unit (the iPAQ SmartPhone is not yet released). I used the Audacity Voice Recorder software application to run my test. This application is primarily used as a professional dictation tool for doctors and other mobile professionals. I chose this application for three reasons: First, a dictation application causes the processor to work continuously. Second, it keeps track of elapsed time, and third, my company, Audacity Audio, develops the software, so it was easy to get and understand. The winner--the Treo 600.

    The first test (all seven devices) was strictly based on the length of record time, and the second test was a test of the application with WiFi enabled. In the second test only the iPAQ 5555 and the Tungsten/C were used, as they are the only ones supporting WiFi.

    I kept track of the record time until the hardware activated a battery low warning. The battery low warning was activated anywhere from 20% of battery life left to 40% left. I also am listing how bright the display was, as the display brightness definitely affects power consumption. In the Audacity application, the display dims after the first 30 seconds to conserve power, but the effect varied with different hardware.

    Hardware Record Length Display Brightness

    iPAQ 3870 3 Hours Very Dim
    iPAQ 5555 3.75 Hours Very Dim
    iPAQ 2210 4.75 Hours Very Dim

    Zire 72 3 Hours Very Bright
    Tungsten/T3 3.5 Hours Moderate
    Tungsten/C 6.5 Hours Moderate

    Treo 600 8.5 Hours Bright

    For the WiFi test I recorded in 15-minute increments, alternating between recording and sending the file via WiFi.

    iPAQ 5555 1.25 Hours Very Dim
    Tungsten/C 4.25 Hours Moderate

    Clearly, not all units were equal, particularly where WiFi was involved. To me the strength of the iPAQ line is in the choice of WiFi units. The iPAQ 5555 at least, does not appear to be a strength. The overall winner, the Palm Treo 600.

    Fred Clark, President
    Audacity Audio
  2. #2  
    8.5 hours....that certainly exceeded my expectations.
  3. #3  
    I take it the Treo 600 test was conducted with wireless mode enabled?
  4.    #4  
    Yes, the cellular mode was on. I don't think that in itself draws a significant amount of power however.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Clark
    Yes, the cellular mode was on. I don't think that in itself draws a significant amount of power however.
    I've seen a sizeable difference in battery life if I spend a few hours with the wireless mode off. Did you use the GSM or CDMA version?
  6.    #6  
    The test was on an ATT GSM phone.

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