I had to drop off my daughter for a hike with a school group this afternoon. The location was far enough from home that it didn’t make sense to drive all the way home and then back again. So, I headed to the nearest Starbucks, took out my HTC Advantage 9500, unfolded the Thinkoutside Bluetooth keyboard (Wow, when did the price of the keyboard drop to $29.99? I paid a lot more for mine), and connected to the T-Mobile Wifi in Starbucks. My battery level was at 95% when I started out. An hour and 15 minutes or so later, it had dropped to 80%. That is pretty decent considering both the WiFi and Bluetooth radios were on in and use most of that time (the GSM phone radio was turned off since I use a Dash as my phone).
This is far better story than we Windows Mobile users had years ago when the only way to use WiFi was to buy and insert a WiFi CompactFlash card into a Pocket PC. I recall using a Socket Communications Low Power WiFi CF Card designed specifically for use with Pocket PCs. It was far more efficient than other WiFi cards available at the time. I used it mostly with either a Compaq iPAQ 3850 or an HP Jornada 565. Why? I had an optional PC Card sled for the 3850 that had its own dedicated battery to power whatever PC Card or CF Card (with adapter) was in use. I had an optional high capacity battery for the Jornada 560 (still the gold standard of Pocket PCs for me after all these years). The iPAQ’s dedicated battery drained in, if I recall correctly, about 90 minutes of WiFi use (maybe a bit less). The Jornada’s extended battery (which powered both the Pocket PC as well as the CF card) drained at about the same rate (pretty impressive for a single battery compared to the iPAQ with two batteries). Back then I only turned on WiFi for a quick email check or to read a couple of web pages. It was not something I would leave turned on for any length of time.
The HTC Advantage with its relatively gigantic 5 inch LCD display is great for sustained long term viewing. Although the Advantage comes with its own reasonably large QWERTY keyboard, I really find pairing it with a Thinkoutside Bluetooth keyboard makes it really useful for sustained use (especially for composing email text). But, this combination would be useless if the Advantage’s battery drained to nothing after an hour or two of use. I don’t use my Windows Mobile devices for long single sessions very often. But, it is good to know that when I do, the battery doesn’t poop out on me. 🙂