Welcome to the 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at email@example.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
My contract with AT&T is up and I am looking to upgrade my phone and contract out for two more years. I currently have the iPhone4, 3G. It is just fine but the battery life is terrible. In this order are my needs: 1. Battery life! 2. I use the phone almost exclusively for e-mail. 3. Big buttons because i have big fingers (I can't push just one button on a BlackBerry...). My mom got the HTC Inspire last week. I like the big size. -- Mike, via e-mail
We'll be blunt: most smartphones tend to have battery life of about a day's worth of average use. By which we mean the usual checking of e-mail, browsing the Web, listening to music, and occasional use of GPS for mapping software. Usage can fluctuate depending on how much you use power-intensive applications, and you can try to save battery life by turning off the screen when not in use, or making sure you're not running power-intensive applications in the background (GPS-dependent apps are notorious for sucking up battery life). It's very rare for a smartphone to last longer than a whole day, however. We actually think the iPhone 4's battery life is pretty decent when compared with most smartphones out there, so we just want you to set your expectations appropriately.… Read more