A few days ago I ran a “long-haul” WiFi test with the upcoming 3.5 version of Salling Clicker. Basically, I wanted to see (1) what kind of battery drainage one should expect and more importantly (2) that the connection didn’t go stale after a while of idleness. The results were a bit surprising!
I ran the test overnight (for about six hours) with a Sony Ericsson P990i phone, and I’m happy to report that the connection didn’t go stale; I was able to pick up the phone and control iTunes right away. What really impressed me, though, was how much battery life there was left in this phone.
This is in spite of the phone being connected via WiFi for 6 hours! I didn’t take any battery capacity percentage readouts either before or after the test, but the graphical meter on the phone’s display appears to have moved just a little bit over to the left. I was kind of expecting a nearly drained battery after such an extended connection time.
During this test, there was minimal traffic on the network. I wasn’t actually controlling anything with Salling Clicker. But, this type of “idle” connectivity is still useful; had I been listening to really loud music in iTunes, for instance, Salling Clicker would have automatically paused the music, and I would have been able to hear the phone.
It’s pretty obvious that WiFi chipsets have gone a pretty long way from where they were just a few years ago. During heavy use, I’d still expect power drainage to be significant, however. I don’t know how other phones perform quite yet, but I’ll probably try this with some other new phones.