Performance Testing Overview and Battery Life
In everyday use, the Epic 4G was one of the zippiest phones we’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Apps loaded quick and files loaded fast. When the Froyo update is finally made available for the device, its performance will only get faster.
Battery life is one of the Epic 4G’s weak points, however. In our day-to-day testing of normal use with 4G, Wi-Fi, and GPS on, the phone’s battery would frequently run out of juice before the day was over. We also ran a movie playback test to see how the Epic 4G would fare with less power-hungry settings. We left the phone’s 3G radio on, but both the 4G and Wi-FI radios were turned off. We also turned off GPS, but left Wi-Fi location services on. Volume and brightness were set to 50%, and the phone’s power-savings mode was enabled. We played back a movie that had been ripped from a DVD. The movie is a 480x320, H.264, 1,148Kbps bitrate, AAC 2-channel audio, MP4 video file. We got 4 hours and 31 minutes of video playback before the low battery alert appeared; once this alert appears, the Epic 4G won't play video files until it is plugged in to charge.
We also conducted some formal performance testing, to see how the Epic 4G fared against a number of other smartphones. We compared the Epic 4G to the Samsung Captivate, HTC Incredible, Dell Streak, and iPhone 3GS. Our HTC Incredible didn’t have network access, so we only tested its Wi-Fi connection on our throughput testing. Many of the tests we ran were based on Android apps, so we were fairly limited in terms of which tests we could also use to benchmark the iPhone.
For our testing, we took a “kitchen sink” approach here. This means that we ran nearly every mobile benchmark we could easily get our hands on. Admittedly, some of these tests—especially some of the Android app-based benchmarks—are from sources completely unknown to us, so we can’t necessarily vouch for the reliability of all the tests here. As we continue to refine our smartphone performance testing, we’ll better hone our methodology. Therefore, take the results presented here with a few grains of salt.