Stress Test: How long can the BlackBerry Bold 9700 play music? (Part 2)

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UPDATE: The Bold 9700 battery just died. The BlackBerry Cool official time is 19:22, exactly 29 hours. This is 29 hours while using the device heavily. Let’s see an iPhone do that!

UPDATE: 16:19 and 26 hours into the test, with 10% battery left. Part 2 of the test has sort of changed. It started off as a test of the music playback under more strenuous network conditions and has turned into a test of how long the battery will last under power user conditions. I’ve been playing music, tweeting, taking pics, using Google Maps, running several other apps simultaneously, making and taking calls and constantly pulling data from both Maps and Twitter. There was a break when I went to sleep but I left all the connections and apps running so it was still very much active.

UPDATE: 14:16, 24 hours into the test, and the battery is at 25%. Something I’ve noticed is that making calls depletes the battery much faster than anything else. I knew this intuitively but the test really made it obvious. Streaming music doesn’t seem to have much impact on battery life at all.

UPDATE: 10:40 went through the night and we’ve been back on WiFi, radio for a couple hours. At 30% and around 20 hours we’re definitely going a full day no problem.

UPDATE: It’s 02:29, 12 hours into the test. The batter reads 40% and I have been using a very decent amount of apps and data. Holding the BlackBerry Button, it shows the following apps: Messages, UberTwitter, Home Screen, BlackBerry Messenger, Media, Radio Companion, Setup Wizard (I switch devices a lot), Visual Voice Mail, Google Maps, Browser, Gmail and Phone. I’m going to give the updates a rest until around 8 AM.

UPDATE: It’s 23:11 and I have been out and about for the past 2 hours. During that time, I wasn’t listening to music but I was burning through data and the battery pretty fiercely. I was Tweeting pics, using Google Maps and calling friends. I’m not sure if this corrupts the test or anything, but I’m back at the office and on WiFi, streaming music on Bluetooth. At 55%, the battery is still going strong. We’re about 9 hours into the test.

UPDATE: 20:11 and the battery is at 65%. I’ve been using the device pretty intensely over the past 6 hours. On a normal day, I’ll probably use 20 minutes on headphones and the BlackBerry Media Gateway for 30 mins the odd time. So far, I’ve used about 5 hours of streaming Nobex on WiFi and Bluetooth, and another hour on radio and headphones.

UPDATE: The time is 18:14 and the status screen is telling me the battery is at 80%. By the looks of the meter, I would say it’s around 95%, but we’ll see. We are almost 4 hours on WiFi, taking in emails, BBM, and SMS, streaming music using Nobex and playing it via Bluetooth over the BlackBerry Media Gateway. Go baby go!

UPDATE: The time is 15:55, just over an hour into the test and the battery hasn’t budged, we’re still full bars. I’ve had a few BBM’s, and about 10 emails come in through WiFi, all the while streaming music using Nobex and playing it off the BlackBerry Media Gateway. Things might change if I leave the office and get off WiFi.

UPDATE: Okay we’re good to go. I have the Bold 9700, running all connections, using EDGE, roaming on the Rogers network and this bad boy is sucking in data like a Dyson vacuum. The time is 14:22 and we’re starting off on WiFi, at my office, listening to the Bold 9700 via Bluetooth on 7.1 surround sound. I know, it doesn’t make a difference that it’s 7.1 but it’s still cool. I also made sure to make the amplifier read Bold 9700. Oh yeah, and I’m running Nobex Radio Companion for the music because Pandora and Slacker figured out I’m Canadian. We’re full battery.

So it turns out the BlackBerry Bold 9700 can play music for up to 38 hours, as advertised (the BlackBerry Cool official time is just short of 39 hours).

It seems as though we tested the Bold 9700’s music playback in a similar way that RIM would test it. There might be a standard for such a test somewhere, and maybe the National Institute of Standards and Technology could comment.

Let’s get on to Part 2 because it’ll be much more interesting. Playing the Bold 9700 with the radio turned off is really throwing RIM a bone. It’s time to test the Bold 9700 under some decent Power User conditions. For Part 2 of “Stress Test: How long can the BlackBerry Bold 9700 play music?”, I’m going to use the device as a primary communication and music device. I think the following conditions would be cool:

  • Radio On.
  • WiFi On.
  • American SIM and device roaming on Canadian Network.
  • Streaming Slacker Radio during down time.
  • Headphones On, Volume Full and Bass Boost On.
  • When at office and home, connected via Bluetooth and playing to stereo (this is a personal shout-out to BlackBerry Cool Reader Caspan).
  • Taking emails, calls and SMS.
  • Taking advantage of GPS and maps when appropriate.
  • I might even take a pic or two.

So take your guess, how long will the Bold 9700 play music under heavy usage conditions? Comment your predictions and we’ll see the discrepancy.

  • @Cecil - Good call. I'll make sure to keep tabs on voice minutes and update checks. So far (16:35), I've used about an hour talk time, and I check for updates about once every 5 minutes during normal hours.
  • Cecil
    Hi Kyle, after this is done, can you give an estimate of how many voice minutes you used? Also, at what frequency were Gmail and UberTwitter checking for updates? Very impressive performance nonetheless!
  • @Ozan - haha yeah man. I'm lovin it.
  • Ozan
    I have been using BlackBerry devices for man years - BlackBerry Bold with AT&T for the last year. I bought a BlackBerry Bold 2 with T-Mobile on Monday. I must say this is the BEST BEST BEST BlackBerry device ever! Keyboard is amazing, I LOVE the touch pad, I have been using it since 7am including Wi-Fi, bluetooth, etc. still only one bar less! It feels great in hand, so compact, and so sexy! I am hooked with this one! Do you guys love it so far??? and finally a 3G BB from T-Mobile!!!
  • @Caspan - Of course I'm listening! This test is turning into a dance party.
  • Caspan
    Love the picture much better then others! I do have to ask about the Mariah Carey on the screen though??? You listen to the music for the imagery right? :) It's the only excuse I will accept.
  • @Stonished - You're right, the test is a little much. I'm only going to be using GPS if I have to. I'm just sitting around here at the office letting it play off the stereo, with all the connections on. I'll let data come in and get pulled, and if I have to leave the office I'll take it with me. This will all be included in the updates. Who knows, maybe the battery will die before I even leave here.

    @Marc - True, data roaming rates are intense. I actually don't even need to be roaming right now but the device came with a T-Mobile SIM courtesy of T-Mobile. They would be upset if I didn't use it. ;)
  • Marc Novakowski
    You better double check the international data roaming rates before running this test from Canada. Last I checked, most of the US carriers had quite expensive data roaming rates outside of the US (in the range of $10 per MB) - and if you plan on streaming audio it will wrack up the data usage VERY quickly.
  • Caspan
    My guess is about 16 hours depending on network 2G or 3G. With 3G I say 12 hours.
  • Stonished
    @tim shocked at the 3 hours on tour i get more out of my tour. A day beginning @ 7am - 130am the earliest (damn i dont sleep) even then it has at least one bar in the battery meter.

    this test is a little too much. this should probably be the last test. One additional test with just wifi, radio and bluetooth on no calls no sms no email.

    i mean really slacker radio? bluetooth stereo playing? gps. The common-folks do not do that on an average day.
  • DavidB
    I would say it depends primarily in the amount f Slacker played and how much GPS usage. But with a balance of above I'm guessing in the 3-5 hour range.
  • Tim
    If it's anything like my Tour, I give it about 3 hours.
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