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Monday, July 26, 2010

Samsung Galaxy S Phones' Secret to a Better Battery Life



Photo: Courtesy of fandroid.org

The more powerful our phones get, the more power hungry they seem to be.  What drives the power hunger is a faster CPU, more connectivity options, the demand of new wallpapers (which are amazing), and not to be outdone, the displays which are the number one source of power usage.  With more and more apps coming out to the Android Market, free movies and popular games being preloaded on phones as a marketing strategies, we tend to be on our devices longer.  

One of the primary factors that kill the battery life significantly is running a live wallpaper.  Running the live wallpaper consumes alot of energy since you are activating more pixels on your screen.  Also, there are higher demands on the CPU, the phone's brain to process the moving graphics.  Interactive wallpapers also mean more CPU usage.  Learning the following principles will be key in maximizing your battery life while enjoying the full glory of your new mobile device.

On an LCD, the main power draw is the backlight. The backlight is always on.  Period. You are basically just changing the filter by means of small liquid crystals in order to produce the different colors.  LCD displays do not emit their own light, therefore, they need a constant backlight to be on at all times.  A black pixel means: filter completely, which consumes battery power. The power needed to enable the filtering on an LCD is relatively low. With an LCD screen then, either the whole screen is on or it is off, regardless of the color.


Video: Courtesy of gsmonline.pl's YouTube Channel.

The Samsung Galaxy S series of phones (the Samsung Vibrant: T-Mobile, the Samsung Captivate: AT&T, the Samung Epic 4G: Sprint, and the Samsung Fascinate: Verizon) have one of the most technologically advanced displays in existence. They have a super-AMOLED screen.  "The Galaxy S's feather-light weight is due in part to the Super AMOLED technology, which the Samsung first introduced at Mobile World Congress on the Samsung Wave. Super AMOLED technology has touch sensors on the display itself as opposed to creating a separate layer (Samsung's old AMOLED displays had this extra layer) making it the thinnest display technology on the market. Super AMOLED is fantastic; you really have to see it in real life to experience it. Colors burst out of the display and animations appeared lively and smooth."-PC World reported.   The “LED” in OLED means that each pixel on the display screen emits its own light which means that when a pixel is called on to display the black color, it’s simply off, thus not consuming battery power.  You can think of AMOLED screens as an organized collection of very tiny LEDs.  Each LED draws power when it is on, but not when it is off.  Therefore, an AMOLED screen with pixels that are off (black) will not draw power.    So there is no question that AMOLED uses less power. Given that the screen is the biggest consumer of power on a phone, you can really do alot to minimize battery usage with an AMOLED display when you have the background set as solid black.





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