When something bugs me, I don’t let go until it doesn’t bug me.
Everyone has complained about the battery life of this tablet, including over at YouTube:
So I wanted to see if I could find out why.
Best Buy’s specs for it don’t include the mAh of the battery. But the specs are otherwise similar to the iFive Mini 4, which I’ve previously established a connection to. The Best Buy specs even lists LPDDR3, like the iFive Mini 4:
Except … the iFive Mini 4 never shipped with LPDDR3 RAM. They downgraded it to LPDDR2, which was firmly established by iambillbil over in China (see final paragraph).
Anyway, back to the battery. The iFive Mini 4 was touted as having a 5,600 mAh battery. Every review repeated that.
Even so, battery life was still not the best. Some reviewers resorted to guessing battery life based on video playback, then cautioning that real-world use would be different. Here’s PC Online doing that [this Google Translate link must be opened in Chrome for it to work]:
Introduction in the home, the parameter table shows the five elements ifive mini 4 built-in 5600 mAh battery, which in the domestic launch of the 7.9 inches flat , the absolute count greater capacity, so I’m looking forward to their life still. Test 50% screen brightness, volume 50%, WiFi networking to keep the state in which the test video still chose 1080P “hammer phone system conference”, and two hours of continuous playback.
During the entire two hours of video playback, the five elements ifive mini 4 battery remaining 74%. By calculation, in a test environment, it built-in battery can watch about 7.7 hours 1080P HD video, this achievement is better than the vast majority of domestic 7.9 inches retina screen tablet.
From the battery consumption curve, stability ifive mini 4 power control is also very good. But in everyday life with the Tablet PC do things is not the same, so the above test results are for reference only.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
So, OK. Battery life was not up to iPad Mini standards.
But still, I really didn’t see users over in China up in arms like American buyers of the Insignia Flex Elite.
So what was going on?
The FCC filing revealed what’s going on.
The battery is not 5,600 mAh. It’s 4,590 mAh:
And Insignia (Best Buy, cough cough) is even rounding that down to just 4,000 mAh in the User Manual specs:
Compound that lowered battery capacity with a version of Android 5.x that’s not been optimized — not by platform supplier Rockchip, not by customizer iFive, not by Lightcomm (the tablet maker, or at least supplier) — and that explains why people are deeply dissatisfied.
It should be remembered that after the first explosion of iPad Mini clones, only three companies decided to pick up the Rockchip 3288, despite the success of the 3188: Five Technology, Pipo, and Hisense. With the way the 3288 chews through a battery — and can also run hot — perhaps all those other companies that passed on it made the better decision.
Finally, one more bit about the battery in the iFive Mini 4, this time from IMP3Net, to again put things in perspective:
Finally to the power consumption, ifive mini4 using 5600mAh lithium battery, the battery capacity models had to be larger than the same series.
Official nominal support 7 hours of video, 30 hours of audio or 210 hours standby. Actually a little test, after fully charged, set the maximum brightness, the sound is not open, start playing NBA2K14 game from 10:00 to 11:50 to see the remaining 28% charge after off-screen standby, 13:50 pm wake up the screen , then the remaining 19% of electricity, continue to play the game until 14:35 the power goes off automatically. Excluded middle two hours standby, in fact consecutive games only 2 hours 40 minutes battery life is less than.
Endurance performance is not too good, of course, if it is used to access, read a book or video hardware solutions, some should be longer than this, but to achieve a nominal looks somewhat difficult.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
And that’s with a 5,600 mAh battery. With a paltry 4,000 mAh battery, power-on time will be even worse.
Next-day update: All of the Rockchip 3288-based iPad Mini clones have inadequare batteries.
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