Scientific Reports 13, 20 July 2023, Article number: 11699 (2023), Volume 13, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-38859-3

Evaluation of In-Service Smartphone Battery Drainage Profile for Video Calling Feature in Major Apps

Hayder Ali1, Hassan Abbas Khan1, and Michael Pecht2
1Department of Electrical Engineering, SBA School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, 54792, Pakistan
2Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA

For more information about this article and related research, please contact Prof. Michael G. Pecht.


Video calling is one of the most energy-intensive features in apps requiring the simultaneous operation of the mobile camera, display screen, audio speaker, and internet services. This feature impacts a smartphone battery's runtime and lifetime. This paper is the first of its kind experimental study, which quantifies the operating profile (discharge current, temperature, and terminal voltage) of video call feature in multiple widely used social media apps, which include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, WeChat, Google Hangouts, Imo and Viber. One smartphone each of Vivo and Motorola has been evaluated as the manufacturer-provided application programming interface (API) allowed real-time measurement of the operating profile. Results indicate that the video calling feature for Facebook Messenger and Imo is the most energy efficient. In contrast, Google Hangouts is up to 35% more energy-intensive for video calling than other apps. Measurements also show that Vivo's in-service battery temperature is lower than Motorola due to its efficient chipset. For instance, during active Google Hangouts operation for 1 h, Vivo temperature is limited to 46 °C, whereas Motorola temperature rises to 52 °C. Finally, the influence of app algorithms and codecs on energy efficiency is also discussed with regard to operating performance.

This article is available for free online here.

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