Why an integrated battery on the HTC EVO 4G LTE is not the end of the world

Sprint-htc-evo-4g-lte

If you were pretty bummed to find out that the new HTC EVO 4G LTE will include a non-removable "integrated" battery, then you're not alone. When I first heard the news, I thought the new EVO was in cahoots with the iPhone and figured HTC didn't care about their customers anymore.

But then I had time to reflect and thought, "Is this really the end of the world?"

Some of you will still shout "Yes!" but now I say "No."

How often do you really need an extra battery?

Neither of my current EVOs (a 3D and an OG) require an extended battery or multiple charges to make it through the day. I'm a pretty heavy user, so I know I'm pushing the EVOs, but they still make it. Some people will always require an additional battery or multiple charges for one reason or another, but with the right configuration and some tips from G&E, you can probably do without it too.

ICS + dual-core CPU + integrated LTE = battery efficiency

Ice Cream Sandwich was built for dual-core devices and is the first Android operating system to natively support hardware acceleration. This means that the ICS packed into the EVO 4G LTE will be very smooth, yet very efficient.

Also, the LTE radio is integrated into the motherboard of the smartphone. Remember how the HTC Thunderbolt had terrible battery life on 4G LTE for Verizon? That's because it had a separate LTE radio. Even current EVOs have separate WiMAX radios. Having the LTE radio built into the new EVO's motherboard means we should be able to actually use our 4G without killing our batteries.

Remember wall outlets?

They're old-school, I'll admit, but they're everywhere. USB ports, car chargers, and external batteries work too, so you'll always be able to plug the phone into something.

Replace the space your extended/spare battery used

If you didn't mind lugging around a fat phone or bonus battery, then you probably won't mind carrying a portable charger or fat case around either.

Portable chargers can provide a full second charge on-the-go, and there are many options for microUSB. Some will pick extra lithium-ion power, while others will use AA batteries. Either way, you'll figure something out.

Also, there are bound to be companies that attempt to cash in on the integrated battery by releasing cases that add more juice to your phone (think mophie juice pack for the iPhone).

Look at current integrated batteries

Think of your friends who have the DROID RAZR, any version of the iPhone/iPad, and various tablets. They have integrated batteries and people are reporting good to great battery life with moderate to heavy use.

Wait, what about the "battery pull" for root users?

The true downside of an integrated battery is that root users won't be able to pull it out as a quick fix to various problems. When you screw up your ROM installation or your EVO is acting up, you won't be able to just pull out the battery to reboot it anymore.

Luckily, HTC will most likely include the same button combo that they have included in all previous EVOs to reboot the phone. Of course if you can't boot into Android at all, you'll have to use a computer and something like ADB to make it back into recovery to fix your problems. It's not as convenient, sure, but at least you're not completely SOL.

Final thoughts

All in all, I think we all still wanted the removable battery. I can't really come up with a good reason for why HTC decided to get rid of it, but its absence doesn't mean the HTC EVO 4G LTE shouldn't still be on your short list.

Most people don't need the extra juice, and those who do will find alternatives similar in inconvenience to what they use now.

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Sam Sarsten

Sam Sarsten is a former contributing editor at Good and EVO, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.