Perhaps HTC hasn’t yet learned what its customer base wants; say they prefer thinness over long battery life


It looks like HTC won’t be hopping on the all-day battery life bandwagon, at least not any time soon. Their vice president of strategy Bjorn Kilburn says that — according to research conducted last year — their users prefer thinness over long battery life.

While they still recognize that battery life is important and work to improve that, they say they prefer using new battery technology in both software and the battery itself. The 8 hours per charge I get on my EVO 3D seems to suggest they are having problems in that area as well, but perhaps HTC Sense 4.0 will be different.

I’m not sure how Motorola did it, but they proved that you can get all-day battery out of a thin phone. Even with its 3,300mAh battery, the RAZR MAXX is still 8.9mm thin, and if you really need anything thinner than that… well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a bulimic.

Even Samsung has promised all day battery in their new flagship phones for 2012, and I’m pretty sure they’ll still keep those products as thin as you could get them. If HTC wants to restore meaning to their “Quietly Brilliant” motto, they’re going to have to learn to innovate like their competitors seem to have no problem doing.

While the new “One” series is great, they can’t expect users who want better battery life to stay with HTC based on looks when other companies offer the best of both worlds, especially when the beautiful Galaxy S series will likely soon match up to the RAZR MAXX’s achievement. What do you guys think, though: size or battery life? Or both? [via The Verge]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I preferred my fat brick of a Bionic that lasted all day than my skinny one that died in 5 hours of normal use…just saying.

    But since I chose the right phone this time (Gnex) I get 21 hours of good use :)

    They need to step it up BIG time.

  2. Both however my Evo battery life is hardly ever an issue.

  3. battery life for sure…i’m a heavy user, and i hate having to charge my gnex twice a day.  I had a huge battery on my 3d, but have yet to pick one up for the gnex.

  4. You must hardly ever use your Gnex. I swap a fresh battery in at least 3 times a day. I’ve killed an entire battery in under an hour using just navigation. That being said as long as the battery is replaceable I will always choose a thinner more manaegable device.

  5. I would love to see where they gathered this info from. I don’t know one person that wants a thin phone over a phone that lasts more than 5 hours before it needs to be charged.

    If the phone can’t be used after a few hours who gives a damn how thin it it.

    HTC you clearly don’t care what your potential customers want and you are taking the cheap and lazy way out instead of placing resources into improving battery life.

    You think you will see an increase in sales and profits when you clearly don’t fulfill the needs of customers?

    Think again. Customers are not as stupid as you think.

  6. I don’t like mine too chunky, but a little meat on that frame is fine with me as well as the energy to go at it all day. ;-)

  7. There’s thin, and then there’s pointlessly thin. As phones get wider, they don’t need to get thinner to compensate. You can go as thick as 13-14mm for all I care, but 10 or so would be nice. I wouldn’t buy a 5mm thick phone, even if it lasted 5 days… I want something I can hold, not something that breaks the second something pushes against it…

    1. Agreed. Thinness is something the manufacturers may compete on, but once it gets thinner than 15mm or so, it doesn’t matter anymore — unless you can get down to 2mm or so and can put the device between the pages of a book, that is. But that would be a different device.

      Longer battery life is always meaningful. 20% more is great.

      1. 15 mm is too thick. 9-10mm should be the goal, and then try to put as large batteries as possible in them..3000 mAh…4000 mAh…5000 mAh.

        So in a way they’ll still keep working on thinness, but they’ll use that extra space  they gained to fill it with more battery.

  8. HTC phones are superb and I will not let the battery life deter me as long as I can get at lest 8-10 hrs of usage and I’m sure I will be able to do that…esp once rooted and tweeked to my likings

  9. “Quietly Brilliant”- That concept died with Sense.

  10. I like physical keyboards, I gave up on wanting a thin device a long time ago.  I need battery life!  Although the wireless inductive charging pad for my Droid 4 works just fine! :)

  11. Its all how they asked the questions. They asked, do you want a sweet thin phone or a phone that has a battery that will only last 3 hours.

  12. I prefer replaceable battery! 8 or 9 mm thick with long lasting non replaceable is fine but having the thinnest phone isn’t a big deal.

  13. This just proves my point on a recent article about battery fetish’s people seem to have.

  14. I have htc sensation x e unlocked international version I’ve also had ice cream sandwich for over a month it works totally awesome maybe if you people would buy a better quality battery which is what I did I get all day and then some out of my good battery have a great day

    1. So we should shell out more money after we pay $200 for a phone, so it could work the way it should from the start?  

      Also they are making all of their new phones with non removable batteries, so  what you did is no longer an option.  

  15. People are too caught up on the whole thin thing. Everyone complains about battery life, processing power, cheap plastic feeling phones and poor grip but then they look at style and which phone is the thinnest as if that defines tech advancement. Give me something I can hold without a flat textured back that your hand doesn’t touch and slick curved edges where you are actually trying to grip. How about android phones that fit their docks with a decent case and that keeps dimensions so that when I go from say a Galaxy S2 to an S3 I don’t need to buy a new case, new car dock, and a new charging cradle next to my bed. Different is not better. Thinner is not better. Better is what works for you, so lets get some variety instead of all the phone manufacturers making essentially the same thing with one selling point. “We have BEATS”, “We have a ceramic back”, “We have a bigger battery”……because those aren’t on eBay for other phones. And for goodness sake, can we get HTC EVO 4G style kickstands on every phone?!!! Man I miss that little thing. Since then I don’t know what HTC is thinking. A sealed battery?! Yeah, because we are all jealous of iPhones on that count…….or NOT!!!!
    Rant over….. or is it?

  16. Battery life is the higher priority in my book. They need to copy motorola’s lead on this one. 3300mah and up with an 8 to 9mm frame is awesome!

  17. I like my phones like I like my women. Not too thick, not too thin, with curves in all the right places and a beautiful face.

    1. I prefer a woman who can go all night, regardless of size. What’s the point of having all those curves if you can’t put them to good use..non.

      1. I like my women the same way I like my men. Strong, strapping with a little scruff arou– wait, what are we talking about again? 

        1. Dude! You totally just contradicted what I said in a previous comment…. I don’t know what’s right anymore!!!

        2.  I like my men the way I like my phones.  On one hand, there is the Galaxy Note.  Because size matters.  On the other hand, the Captivate Glide has a slide out keyboard.  And I really want that keyboard.  And it’s not the size of your screen that matters, it’s how you use it.

          Is that a Galaxy Note in your pocket or are you just happy . . .

    2.  I like my women to have smaller faces than I do.

  18. Ron…who wants to buy what a phone should already come with? A 250-300 dollar phone at that…maybe PEOPLE like you dont mind but idoooo believe that most …peopleee do.

  19. Slow news day huh? This article is foolishness.

    1. Yet you read it and commented, who’s the bigger fool?

  20. I would like to see the marketing questions that were asked to form the opinion that the general population would prefer thinness over battery life. That is insane absolutely insane.

  21. Kickstands for all phones would be awesome!

  22.  I honestly do not mind thicker devices myself. My Nook Tablet is as thick as a 500 page paperback novel and I kinda prefer that thickness for that device as it feels like I am reading a book when I am in fact reading a book on the screen lol. As for my phone its a samsung galaxy prevail and with the case thats on it its 9/16th inches thick which is not that bad and the screen size is only 3.2 inches.

  23. Whether people say they care more about thinness or battery life is entirely dependent on context.

    For a lot of last year, HTC’s phones were noticeably thicker than their competition while their battery life was fine (because most of the phones didn’t have LTE).  In that context, people are pretty likely to say they care more about thinness.

    Now, with LTE sucking power and HTC (and everybody else) releasing super-thin phones, it’s fairly obvious that battery life will be the differentiating feature (until all of the phones have 2-day battery life and some other “most-desired” feature comes along).

    1. my non LTE evo begs to differ on his battery life being “fine.”  More like, got used to using it less to preserve battery.

      1.  I should have said 4G, I guess.  WiMax is just as bad.

        1. I’m not even referring to 4g usage, i havent used 4g in months. I have to toggle on my 3g to check mail and wordsmith updates and then toggle it back off if i want my phone to last until i get home from work.

  24. They made their phones wider to get larger battery look how wide the razr is compared to other 4.3 phones

  25. HTC phones have been shipping with the smallest batteries for the last few years, why does this story surprise anybody? And their phones aren’t even that thin!

  26. A Thursday Poll on reveals that users prefer lenghtly battery over thinness. But most Droid-life followers are power users, so the Poll isn’t entirely accurate.

  27. In recent history, I cant recall hearing anyone complaining about how thick (or non-thin) their phone was, but nearly everyone has been in situation where they needed more power. I can use power, but the benefits of “thin” are limited.

  28. Right on Fred. Moto set the bench mark with the Max. Until battery, screen, & chip tech adavances… NEEDS to be copied . Some day our devises will look like walkmans….till then, other OEM’s need to recognize and follow suit. 3300mah @ 9.1 mm? nuf said, respect.

  29. Hey HTC. Wanna know what happens to companies that don’t give their customers products they want?

    Give RIM a call and ask them.

    1. Seems to work for Apple though…

      1. Well, Apple tells their customers what they want, so technically, they are giving them what they want :)
        Apple: You don’t need 4g at this time
        Apple Customers: You are right
        Apple: You can now show your friends this 4g icon
        Apple Customers: YAY!
        Apple: You only need the music/apps that are on the apple store
        Apple Customers: You are right
        Apple: You don’t need replacable batteries
        Apple Customers: You are right
        Apple: You don’t need Flash
        Apple Customers: You are right
        Apple: You don’t need to know how we manage app permissions (apps can read your contacts, your photos without explicit permissions)
        Apple Customers: You are right

        1. That’s the secret.  Apple is the Jedi Order.

          Apple:  You don’t need to see his identification
          Apple Customers: We don’t need to see his identification.
          Apple: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
          Apple Customers: These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.

        2. Apple: You don’t want multitasking as it will kill your battery, even though Symbian has been doing it for a decade without any adverse affect on battery.
          Apple customers: You are right
          Apple: You don’t need video calls over 3G or video call non-iPhone users, every single soul has a Wi-Fi connection and an iDevice in this world, so stick to FaceTime.
          Apple customers: You are right
          Apple: Mass Storage mode? What for? iTunes is enough and you don’t want to manage your files any more than iTunes lets you.
          Apple Customers: You are right
          Apple: Heck, you don’t need to use your phone as a smartphone really. You can use it as a feature phone and pretend it’s a “smart” phone because it has gazillions of apps.
          Apple Customers: YOU ARE RIGHT!
          Apple: In short, smartphones are only as smart as the person who uses them. But hey, you guys are dumb.
          Apple customers: You are right.

        3. To be honest, you think exactly what I think. Apple takes away choice and tells people what they think is right, and the sheeps just accept it and act like their iPhones and iPads are the best devices in the world.

  30. Ummm HTC is right. Nevermind battery life for them.  They need to get thinner phones. THeir phones are all heavy and thick as a brick. They need to aquire that technology first before moving onto battery life, etc….

  31. Battery!!!!! I’m tired of lugging around portable battery packs.

  32. My daughter fluants her Razr Maxx as my phone dies.

  33. Battery life over thickness easily. In any case as the article says Motorola managed both.

    Happily using my S2 with the official extended battery. Stock thickness just felt odd tbh, Gladly gave that up for a little extra battery life.

  34. The people saying they want thinness must be iSheep or something. I’d much rather have a 3300mah battery and a phone that’s 5mm thicker than something I’d have to plug in.

  35. My Thunderbolt has an extended battery. Now it’s obese and only gets about 8 hours off the charger lol. HTC need to definitely step it up with their batteries.

  36. i want a phone that is weight, solid heavy feel and battery life, but thin like iphone 4s. glass or metal casing. 

  37. Consider the source…. How thick was the Thunderbolt, Incredible 2, and last but not least, the reZound? “Thin” for HTC probably means approaching standard thickness for other manufacturers.

  38. Thin phone, 24 hours battery life under heavy use, and removable battery. Engineer it, and they will come.

  39. And that is why I’m ditching HTC as soon as I can. 

  40. HTC has done neither, all their phones are absolute bricks with horrible battery life.

  41. “Dude!! I just got the new Htc phone, its like 5mm thick! Its got *names off all specs*”

    “What about the battery life?”
    “Well… it dies after 4 hours of sitting in my pocket, but dude! ITS LIKE SO THIN!”

  42. Glad I don’t own a HTC phone battery life is horrible. I’m still enjoying my Atrix w
    ith  1930 maH battery life better THAN ANY HTC PHONE

  43. I can go through 2-3 batteries easily on my LG Thrill. I’m a heavy user.

  44. I want longer battery life over thinness.  I put 3300 mAh batteries in both my Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Evo 4G.  Makes them thicker but can go all day without charging.  From what I hear, you won’t be able to change batteries with the One X.  Make’s me sad, since I prefer the HTC over the Samsung.

  45. my evo has looked prego with a 3500 mah extended batery that can barely make it a day. i want big battery over thin phone plus i want it removable .

  46. Not being rude here…but ithink it’s common sense those who think otherwise are just not thinking well or something …battery life is the desire of most cellphone owners…apple knows this…Moto knows this…Sammy knows this…but not HTC?

  47. Battery life without a doubt. Though it’s not terrible as it is, I want to go through a whole day worry free some day.

  48. Oh how wrong htc are. Consumers are desperate for long battery life. It’s not like phones will be bricks if they had bigger batteries. I for one would definitely sacrifice some thinness for all day battery life.

  49. I think HTC is gonna self destruct

  50. I personally would rather have a big phone with a 4.3 inch screen and an extended battery than a thin phone.

  51. They are wrong, one reason why I chose not to go with the One X and instead opted for the Galaxy Note was the superior battery life on the Note and that you can’t change the battery on the One X. The funny thing is that the Note is ultra thin anyway.

    This approach will hurt them.

  52. Apparently they don’t listen to their customers at all. I have the first Incredible with the partitioned memory, bad radio (tons of dropped calls) and a battery that lasts about 3 hours. I need a phone that I can USE! I am looking for one with a strong signal, a battery that lasts all day (and I can buy a case for it) and lots of room for the apps that I use every day. So far HTC doesn’t fit the bill at all…

  53. Being that HTC makes a few dozen phones at once… why not a fatty-boom-batty for those of us that are awesome and need the extra battery life.  Then a thinner virginia slim for those sheeple with tiny pockets that need to carry razor thin phones.

  54. While everyone on this site is obviously going to say battery life as we’re power users, that doesn’t reflect the general public, the general public in that past has proved time and time again they prefer a thin phone at the moment that matters to manufacturers, when they are in the store they look at the phone and say oooh look this phone is so thin and fits in my pocket better and buy that phone, later when they realize it’s dead by the time they leave work they wish they got the thicker phone.

    I think the average person is just starting to get it, as evidenced by the razr maxx, I will note that the one x has a 1800 MaH battery in it, which is better than previous htc phones, my thunderbolt was 1400 MaH, and then my rezound had 1620 MaH and much better battery life, it’s progress for a company whose phones have previously suffered from battery life issues much worse.

    Also from my experience with the thunderbolt and rezound as they release updates the battery life for a particular phone improves a lot. I still love htc phones.

    For me I say stick as big of a battery as you can up to 11-14mm, 14mm is the size of my current rezound and I really don’t need my phone to be any smaller, 14mm is comfortable in my hands, my work galaxy S2 feels too thin in my hand, even with a case. 

    Also with a few minor tweaks I’m able to get through a full day and moderate to heavy usage without worrying about my battery life or limiting functionality of the phone, a lot of the battery issues android has is apps that by default automatically check for updates constantly when it’s not necessary for almost all apps, I think apps should open the first time and show the sync frequency options with explanations of how it affects battery life that way people could dial back the frequency for apps they really don’t need updating constantly.

  55. Less than 50 hours including normal use equals less interest from me, to the point that I won’t even look at the device. I don’t like charging and will not accommodate a phone that has this weakness.

  56. When Motorola makes a phone that is thin, has a huge, power sucking screen, AND lasts all day, there are no more excuses about putting crap batteries into a phone.

  57. A thin as a razorblade phone is good for oohing and ahhing over.

    A phone with a battery that lasts all day is good for actually using.

  58. Ridiculous, it’s bad enough to have a non-replaceable battery if the battery is gigantic (ala RAZR MAXX) but if you have a small non-replaceable battery that can barely get you through the day when brand new I don’t want to think about how bad it will be after a year and a few hundred charge/discharge cycles.  How great will it be having that “thin” phone if you have to carry a charger with you everywhere you go?

  59. HTC: quietly ignoring customers

  60. yup droid maxx is thin enough for me, too thin makes a phone slippery… i thought htc cares about “you”…

  61. Hey HTC, wanna know what i want? A Galaxy S3

    Fck yo One

  62. Both!! Come on HTC

  63. I have a Galaxy Note, so I get all of that stuff and have room for my S-Pen (beeyotch!!).  

  64. When I got my original HTC Dinc (which I still have) I learned real fast that if you actually like to use your phone a lot, you need a lot of battery – so I got the 3500mah big battery. It’s been great ever since not having to worry about battery life.  2 Years later and time for an upgrade, I’ve been eye-ing the Maxx but hoping that HTC would release an equivalent phone – one that was sleek, but also offered at least a 3000mah battery especially since LTE drains more battery than 3g.

    But I guess HTC is missing the mark.  Doesn’t matter how great a phone is once the battery is dead and I don’t wanna have to even think about that.  I just want to use my phone any way I want and not have to worry about it.  Oh well, guess I’ll be jumping over to either Samsung or Motorola…

  65. I can’t believe anyone would choose thin and sexy over functional in a phone.

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