I've had the phone for 16 days now, and used several different apps in several scenarios, and this is my experience.
Heavy use (lots of app installing, configuring, internet browsing, camera, constantly messaging) might net me 5-8 hours of battery. That would have most people charging in the middle of the day.
Medium use (periodic IM'ing, checking emails, checking news/weather, maybe use the camera for a couple pictures) will get me 8-12 hours of battery.
Light use (mostly idle, only checking for messages periodically) I was able to get 14+ hours of battery.
My best day, I im'd a few times, senyta couple texts, took a couple pictures, an hour and a half phone call, checked the weather a buncha times.. did a quick search on maps, ran a speedtest, and after 12 hours, I was at 36% of battery remaining.
My worst day was my first full day with it on full charge and I only got 5.5 hours (but of course, that was because I was playing with it all the time).
- Don't use task killers - They will end apps used by SenseUI, forcing SenseUI to restart, and reconnect and update all the widgets and things. Huge battery killer.
- Install JuicePlotter - This works pretty well with the Incredible. You can see it graph battery usage over time. Compare this to what you were doing at the time, and you'll know what kills the battery.
- Wifi Doesn't make a big impact - I've tried several times with Wifi on/off and I have never really noticed a huge difference in battery life in either direction. If you're constantly going in and out of access points that it's t rying to connect to though, it is more likely to negatively impact. But if you have good Wifi and good 3g signal, you can use Wifi for the speedboost.
- The camera is killer - That 8mp beast will eat up your battery.
- If the phone feels warm to the touch, expect short battery life - A warm phone means the battery is being used. Its either going to the 1Ghz snapdragon (more on that later), or something else (such as GPS or extended phone call).
- OSMonitor is your friend - This program is basically like the Task Manager in Windows. It lists all processes running, and the CPU being used. I have found that sometimes SenseUI (which I suspect is masqueraded in "Android System") will suddenly begin using 100% CPU when the phone should be idle. Your phone will get warm when this happens, and you will have very short battery life. Only fix I know of is to reboot the phone. I've also had "Peep" (built-in twitter app) crash, and eat about 50% cpu until I removed the battery from the phone (reboot didn't help).
If you constantly get poor battery life....
Do you have good signal? Menu -> Settings -> About Phone -> Network. If Signal strength is at -100dBm (or lower and I mean -107 is lower), then you have poor signal.
Is your phone frequently warm? Even a hot environment (such as leaving it in the sun) will cause the battery to drain faster. If it's in a cool or room temperature environment, then something else is wrong.
Installed a lot of apps? Some apps might be written poorly, and constantly wake up and do things in the background. In the past, task killers have been the "answer". But thats just a pain pill. Uninstall apps you don't need or use to cure it.
How to extend battery life
- Disable syncing - Menu -> Settings -> Accounts and Sync, Uncheck Background Data. Alternatively, you can selectively choose what can update and what can't.
- Turn off mobile network - You can still make and receive calls and text messages, but most other functionality (that uses the internet) won't work.
- Remove widgets - Take off any widgets on your homescreen that need updates. Such as weather, emails, facebook, twitter, etc...
- Airplane Mode - Everything wireless gets turned off. Your phone is only good for games or simple utilities in this state.
The Incredible for some reason drops 5-10% battery in the first 10 or so minutes of being unplugged. You can see this with JuicePlotter.
Please reply with your typical use and how much battery life you get. Also post anything you've noticed that uses a lot of battery, or other tricks to manage battery life.