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SITE: Introducing the Slingdex Test Scenario for Battery Comparison
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 24.10.07 - 16:06:17 CET under 06 - Site News - Viewed 27454x
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Standby- and talk-time are important hard facts for today's mobile devices and mobile phones since these figures tell the user something about the run-time, he can expect from the device. However, as good as these figures are, they are not saying anything about the actual use-time of a device. Especially with the introduction of smartphones, the whole battery life figures changed dramatically because smartphones are not used for voice calls and a couple of text messages anymore but smartphones handle appointments and contacts, acts as portable media centers by playing audio tracks and videos as well as being Internet access devices for web and E-Mail.

Therefore I was looking for a new way of measuring the battery runtime, something which is comparable with other phones, something which equal and something which brings the device to the limit. I decided that vide streaming over UMTS, GPRS or WiFi is the best test-scenario to get comparable figures about how fast a battery is drained and to get a measureable index.

To make this test scenario even better comparable, I've looked for a test-setup and decided that place-shift TV from Sling Media's Slingbox provides the best test scenario for several reasons: The Slingbox provides a nearly constant quality and the required SlingPlayer is (now) available for all major platforms including Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian as well as Windows and Mac OS.

But why video streaming over a wireless connection? Well, it has several advantages since it keeps the device really busy and uses nearly all device resources by using the wireless radio, using the CPU for decoding the received stream as well as outputting the stream on the screen and speaker.

Doesn't matter if it is a 2.5G or 3G smartphone or just a PDA which supports WiFi only - every device which can install Sling Media's Slingplayer Mobile can be used for the, using the::unwired's "Slingdex" test scenario:

  • The appropriate Slingplayer Mobile is installed and configured
  • The device is fully charged
  • The display brightness and audio volume is set to a medium level
  • For Smartphones (with inbuilt 2G/3G radios):
    • GSM or UMTS is switched on
    • Bluetooth is switched on
    • WiFi is switched off
  • For PDAs (without inbuilt 2G/3G radios):
    • WiFi is switched on
    • Bluetooth is switched off
  • The fully charged device is completely switched off and disconnected from the charger
  • It's now switched on to make sure no other programs are running in the background
  • As soon as the Home or Today screen appears, the stopwatch starts
  • Now the Slingplayer Mobile is launched and is connected to the previously configured Slingbox
  • 2G devices playback the stream in "Slideshow" mode
  • 3G and WiFi devices playback the stream in "Normal" mode
  • The stopwatch stops if the device switches off automatically

This test scenario provides a comparable environment and you can now find the first test results on the::unwired's Slingdex page. The current Slingdex is far away from being complete but you can contribute. If you have a device not listed in the Slingdex but also have a Slingbox, you can do the test by yourself and let us know your results. If you have a device not listed in the Slingdex yet but no Slingbox, please contact us and we might be able to arrange access to the::unwired's test Slingbox (courtesy of Sling Media - thanks for the support).

Cheers ~ Arne

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