Video on a cellphone battery test

I made a small experiment tonight: I encoded a 2 hour movie and checked out how well my Sony Ericsson M600i competes with the iPod Video in terms of battery life. I selected this model for my test because it has the same screen size as the iPod (QVGA, 2.5″) in order to keep things fair. I encoded the video in the MP4-advanced format using QuickTime Pro. 320×240 (preserved aspect ratio in letterbox), 15fps, 320kbps video and 64kbps AAC stereo for its audio. The resulted file size was 260 MBs. I set the phone’s screen brightness to 50%, 3G & Bluetooth to OFF (while GSM was ON).

Apparently, the M600i with its often critisized low battery life (900 mAh), has outperformed the iPod Video in battery life. It is able to playback 6.5 hours of video, which is not bad at all. And if you happen to be on a plane, where the GSM antenna must be OFF and the environment is dim, you can set the screen to 33% of brightness and enjoy 7 hours of playback instead. Pretty good!

And an off topic remark, did anyone catch glimpse of George Takei in the red carpet tonight at the Oscars? He wore a traditional Japanese outfit instead of a suit and he looked fabulous. Too bad he didn’t get more love from the camera and the TV presenters.

5 Comments »

memson wrote on February 26th, 2007 at 1:05 AM PST:

The iPod video (by default) has its screen at a ridiculously high brightness. Set it below 50% and it’s still as bright as many PDA’s are at full backlight. I would say, run the test again witht he iPod backlight at about 30%. The iPod will give you around an hour more. Also, try the video at 25fps, which is what most video on the iPod is standardly encoded to. I bet you the iPod lasts the same amount of time, but the phone chokes.

Let’s not ne naive here. The test is not fair from the outset. It’s obvious the iPod will lose a lot of ground because it is using a hard disk. The fact that it can come close to the phone says a lot more than the fact that the phone lasts so long. Imagine the same iPod with solid state/flash storage. I could imagine 8+ hours playback easily.


memson wrote on February 26th, 2007 at 8:23 AM PST:

Obviously, the phone would get better battery life with reduced backlight, reduced fps and being played from a memory stick rather than hard disk!

Did you reduce the iPod backlight? Without doing so, it was not a fair comparison.

I regularly get 4 hours of h.264 playback, let alone MP4. This is video at 25fps, too. I know 15fps is probably a limitation of the phone (mine is a K750i and does something similar for fps but with smaller video.)

You also have to figure in one big point that you didn’t mention. The phone is all solid state – no moving parts. The iPod is hardisk based.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 26th, 2007 at 8:32 AM PST:

The iPod’s battery life is measured at 75% brightness AFAIK. As for the hard drive, this is not my problem. If Apple wants to sell iPods with hdds instead of flash, that’s their problem. As for the 15fps, I find it acceptable, even if the phone can do more. Quality is good. Point of the test was to see if the phone could be on par with the iPod, and it could. If you buy one of these phones to use as your cellphone, there is no reason to buy an iPod Video IMO. The phone is as good delivering MP4 at the same screensize.


memson wrote on February 27th, 2007 at 9:39 AM PST:

Waaa! Waaa! My name is Eugenia and I can’t take criticism!

Please do not email me privately. You are not welcome in my inbox.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 27th, 2007 at 10:10 AM PST:

This shows what a baby you are. I emailed you earlier today about NOT FOLLOWING the **osnews** forum rules about a comment you made **on osnews.com**, and how do you retaliate??? You come to my PERSONAL blog and you reply like a troll!!

This is like getting pissed at someone at work, and then going to his HOUSE and breaking all his glasses!! That’s exactly what you did right now. You should be ASHAMED of yourself because you are MIXING my ***work*** with my ***personal*** site.

Please, do not comment again on my blog. You are not welcome here.


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