The Nokia Asha 503 comes with a measly 1200 mAh battery. Don’t be fooled by the size though, it does pretty well for a device in its price range. I spent a large part of yesterday putting it to above average, everyday use and I am quite impressed by its performance.

In a bid to beat morning Lagos traffic, I had to unplug the device at 7:20 am . There’s no way of checking battery percentage but, at the time I unplugged, the battery indicator was filled up but still blinking. So I’m guessing the battery was anywhere around 90 to 100% full.

The conditions under which I used the phone:

  • Screen brightness was set at 50%.
  • 3G active all the time
  • Connection set to “always on” instead of the default “only when needed”.
  • While both SIMs are active, the SIM that isn’t connecting to the internet appears to stay disabled for the duration of the connection. Basically, SIM 2 was inactive for most of the day.
  • “Double tap to unlock screen” active.
  • Rebooted the phone at least twice in a bid to improve connection.
  • Did a battery pull once to switch SIMs. That’s before I realized you can toggle which SIM to use for internet, and 3G preference, right from the phone settings.

I included the last 3 because I believe they have some impact on the battery life, one way or the other.

Also I didn’t start using the device heavily until around 9:30 am. So that’s roughly 2 hours of standby (with the occasional lockscreen activations, camera shots, text messages… the usual everyday stuff). This was followed by

  • About 4 hours of internet; mostly lots of browsing the web and twitter lists, very little WhatsApp, one 5-minute video streaming session and about 3 game downloads.
  • About 30 minutes of gaming
  • About 2 hours of background music
  • At least 30 minutes (cummulative) of using the camera
  • Two active email accounts with a polling frequency of 30 minutes each
  • About 8 minutes of phone calls

Consider that these activities went on non-stop, punctuated by nothing more than 5 to 10 minute breaks; what I call “intensive everyday use”. I presume that way would impact more notably on the battery than if the activities had been paced to span the whole day.

By 4:21 pm, without any warning, the battery finally gave out. That’s approximately 9 hours worth of battery juice.

That’s quite impressive for a 1200 mAh device (remember battery level wasn’t initially at a 100%). Although, I feel like it wouldn’t be out of place expect more from a 3-inch display device with not much processing power. But still, 9 hours from a somewhat fully-featured, 1200 mAh phone isn’t bad at all.

I realize I should probably have done more calling but this is just one in a series of battery tests I will be putting the Nokia Asha 503 through by the time the full review is done.

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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