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Thread: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

  1. #31
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    no. I just bought my wife an iphone 4S, barely gets 8-9 hours on a charge with only moderate use as a phone, GPS or other features. That would only drop, using its screen or flash as a flashlight. No way I'm replacing a good key-ring light with that. She still carries a gerber AAA on her key-ring.
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  2. #32
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    8-9 hours?! What is she doing with it?! I charge my iPhone4 every other night usually. Check your updates, location settings, push notifications, screen brightness, stuff like that. It should last longer.
    McGizmo Haiku Review Mac's Tri EDC Review MY LIGHTS!! McGizmo: Get It, Use It, Love It. Why buy a cheap bright light when a dim expensive one will do?

  3. #33
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    8-9 hours?! What is she doing with it?! I charge my iPhone4 every other night usually. Check your updates, location settings, push notifications, screen brightness, stuff like that. It should last longer.
    Just asked her about it in more detail. If its only left on standby and not used during the day it has 85% remaining by ~10:00PM, and she needs a re-charge only every other day.

    Normally though she uses it a lot more than most because her company does not allow www access, so she uses it for www browsing, email (etc) probably a lot more than most. She gets ~5-10 txt messages each day, and is constantly using it for games too... under such conditions battery capacity is down to ~10% by around 10:00. Unfortunately she is far sighted and needs the screen running at its brightest.

    I dont see how a device like this could ever completely replace a flashlight as an EDC tool.
    Last edited by kramer5150; 06-08-2012 at 10:18 AM.
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  4. #34
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    Just asked her about it in more detail. If its only left on standby and not used during the day it has 85% remaining by ~10:00PM, and she needs a re-charge only every other day.

    Normally though she uses it a lot more than most because her company does not allow www access, so she uses it for www browsing, email (etc) probably a lot more than most. She gets ~5-10 txt messages each day, and is constantly using it for games too... under such conditions battery capacity is down to ~10% by around 10:00. Unfortunately she is far sighted and needs the screen running at its brightest.

    I dont see how a device like this could ever completely replace a flashlight as an EDC tool.
    Ok, that makes sense. Gaming and lots of browsing will do that, and the screen uses up a lot of juice. I keep it at the minimum brightness I can for that reason.
    McGizmo Haiku Review Mac's Tri EDC Review MY LIGHTS!! McGizmo: Get It, Use It, Love It. Why buy a cheap bright light when a dim expensive one will do?

  5. #35
    Flashaholic* archimedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    Ok, that makes sense. Gaming and lots of browsing will do that, and the screen uses up a lot of juice. I keep it at the minimum brightness I can for that reason.
    It is amazing how much battery drain goes to just the screen !

    On my current phone, I set the screen at 12% brightness and the battery monitor reports over 60% of the consumption is from the screen alone (compared with 8% for the browser, and 7% for the OS overhead). I also leave all the "radios" off (WiFi, BT, GPS, etc) unless/until needed ....
    IF 2 = 1 THEN 1 = 0

  6. #36

    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    SAD............... I am always telling my friends that is not acceptable
    "Life is tough, but its tougher when you're stupid"--John Wayne
    "Luceat lux vestra" = Let your light shine, [in Latin]

  7. #37
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    On a recent trip to Yosemite, we used the GPS to spot check our progress between small towns, maybe 3-5 minutes of route tracking every ~30-40 minutes on a 4.5 hour drive. She sent a couple text messages, placed 2-3 calls throughout the day, used the Shopkick AP 3-4 times that day, and took 5-6 pictures. By ~6:30 PM the battery was done.

    We didn’t do any video streaming, media playing, music playing…. or use it for any of the “cool stuff” this phone is advertised for. Bluetooth is shut off and we used the screen on its brightest setting (she is far sighted and needs to see the screen text).

    The one thing we didn't do is de-activate the wi-fi scanner, so hopefully that will free up an extra hour or two.... but I doubt it.

    Battery life on this completely stinks... no way this device could EVER replace a dedicated EDC tool (compass, GPS, flashlight...etc). You could probably use the screen as a mediocre signaling mirror though... its a nice screen thats for sure, and thats probably its biggest selling point.
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  8. #38
    Flashaholic* f22shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    On a recent trip to Yosemite, we used the GPS to spot check our progress between small towns, maybe 3-5 minutes of route tracking every ~30-40 minutes on a 4.5 hour drive. She sent a couple text messages, placed 2-3 calls throughout the day, used the Shopkick AP 3-4 times that day, and took 5-6 pictures. By ~6:30 PM the battery was done.

    We didn’t do any video streaming, media playing, music playing…. or use it for any of the “cool stuff” this phone is advertised for. Bluetooth is shut off and we used the screen on its brightest setting (she is far sighted and needs to see the screen text).

    The one thing we didn't do is de-activate the wi-fi scanner, so hopefully that will free up an extra hour or two.... but I doubt it.

    Battery life on this completely stinks... no way this device could EVER replace a dedicated EDC tool (compass, GPS, flashlight...etc). You could probably use the screen as a mediocre signaling mirror though... its a nice screen thats for sure, and thats probably its biggest selling point.
    sounds about right the way she is using it. actually the music playing uses the least juice.
    games would use the most because of the processing power. high screen brightness will use ALOT. wifi of course will use a lot if it's hunting around constantly looking for connections. even bad cell reception will use some because of the constant search for towers. gps can run down an iPhone in a couple hours in constant use. i think the route tracking will use more juice because it's laying points or a trail down vs the google map. hd video uses a lot too. photos should be okay.

    reduce screen brightness
    shut off any excess radios(bluetooth, wifi)
    change the push email to longer periods(not fun if you use it like a conversation)
    shut of 3g(faster but uses more energy vs slower data)

    but anyway, sounds about right by the way you are using the phone. especially the full screen brightness.
    i recommend leave a charger at work and one in the car. there is no reason not too top off at all times rather than run down the battery(li-ion).

    but back on topic, yes agreed by having one device that does it all, it does nothing particular well so if one function is very important it's better to get a dedicated device like a edc flashlight.

  9. #39
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Having the phone hunting for signal in the boonies will smoke through battery too. If I'm in a big metal roofed building with poor signal, it's bad. Like I said, under normal usage I charge every other night, but GPS, mapping/tracking, screen brightness, poor signal will use it faster. I try to do what I can with all the various settings to preserve battery health because I am anal about that kind of stuff. Even changing email to fetch once an hour rather than push or turning off other push notifications can help.
    McGizmo Haiku Review Mac's Tri EDC Review MY LIGHTS!! McGizmo: Get It, Use It, Love It. Why buy a cheap bright light when a dim expensive one will do?

  10. #40
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by f22shift View Post
    [...]but back on topic, yes agreed by having one device that does it all, it does nothing particular well so if one function is very important it's better to get a dedicated device like a edc flashlight.
    You remind me of something I've been saying recently: devices that do multiple things do none of them correctly.

    In the case of intelligent phones, they do phone correctly, but the battery lifetime seems incredibly reduced by everything else, so I stand by my statement. And I say +1 to poor signal reception draining battery real fast. I've learned to turn my phone off when I'm in a low signal area for more than an hour. I've also learned to turn my flashlight down when in the dark for more than an hour, but that would be a different topic... I think...
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  11. #41

    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    It would be to hard for me to ID a target in the dark and shoot at the same time. Also the shape isn't good and don't think it will withstand the concussion and vibration.

  12. #42
    Flashaholic Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Everyone's right that a smartphone is a jack of all trades and master of none, but they usually work well enough at most to be really useful. I can have games, movies, songs, GPS, shopping lists, a camera, etc. right at my fingertips in a package the size of a deck of playing cards. No way could I carry all of that gear all of the time. But as a flashlight, well, like I said earlier, it's a backup to my backup EDC.

    There's another problem when using the camera flash as a flashlight, on some apps the screen shines back at you and blinds you. I have an app on my iPhone 4 called Vintage Flashlight. It's designed to have the look and feel of an old Ray-O-Vac incan (well, as much as possible). When you open the app, the flash turns on immediately and the screen is dimmed. If you want to turn the flash off without closing the app, you flick the switch on the Ray-O-Vac and it turns the flash off and brightens the screen. And the best thing is that it's free.
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  13. #43
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
    Everyone's right that a smartphone is a jack of all trades and master of none, but they usually work well enough at most to be really useful. I can have games, movies, songs, GPS, shopping lists, a camera, etc. right at my fingertips in a package the size of a deck of playing cards. No way could I carry all of that gear all of the time. But as a flashlight, well, like I said earlier, it's a backup to my backup EDC.

    [...]
    I agree, but did you need all that before it existed? I still don't, but I am hardcore... I prefer to get by with my memory, a knife and a compass. The flashlight just keeps me going in the dark since someone cut all the sap trees down.
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    Flashaholic Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cataract View Post
    I agree, but did you need all that before it existed?
    Well, somehow I got along without it for 50+ years, but I'm spoiled now!
    "It used to be 'Merkwuerdigliebe'"

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    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
    Well, somehow I got along without it for 50+ years, but I'm spoiled now!
    I know the feeling. I used to do fine with 0 flashlights and now I have 2-3 and even 4+ just about anywhere I go. The worst part is that other than work, at home just before bedtime or camping, I don't even use them but feel very naked without them. That's why I'm staying away from all those intelligent phones.
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    Flashaholic* OCD's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
    I have an app on my iPhone 4 called Vintage Flashlight. It's designed to have the look and feel of an old Ray-O-Vac incan (well, as much as possible). When you open the app, the flash turns on immediately and the screen is dimmed. If you want to turn the flash off without closing the app, you flick the switch on the Ray-O-Vac and it turns the flash off and brightens the screen. And the best thing is that it's free.
    My Droid came with equipped with a flashlight app that when opened, looks like a Maglite. When you press the button on the light it turns on the flash in low. Press it again it turns it on high. In the app's menu, you can select "auto flash" or "SOS" modes.

    My wife uses it when I go to bed before her to navigate through the dark house. I never use mine....I use one of my MANY flashlights...usually my HDS on low mode.

    As previously stated....it's a backup to my backup for my EDC.
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    Flashaholic* Chauncey Gardiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    I love the flashlight on my smartphone. It's the My Touch from T Mobile It is a very bright, flood beam, and even has three speeds. Still.......Two is One, and One is None.

    ~ Chance
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  18. #48
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    I use a flashlight app on my Bold 9780. Say what you will about Blackberry falling behind the curve but they do offer great battery life and can defnitely survive a tumble. The LED flash has enough output (I'd estimate 15 lumens or so), very floody so in other words nearly perfect for up close work or looking for something that has fallen on the ground. Of course if I want something for any real distance or need something more practical to hold and work with I'd go with my EDC Preon 2 or Quark AA-T but in a pinch it's great. Many people carry a smartphone already so it certainly doesn't hurt to have another backup option.

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* bshanahan14rulz's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    some day, when we have pico projectors built into every phone, the flashlight app will be more useable. Heck, longest throwing flashlight record might end up going to a cell phone. Right now, I think it is just a convenience. Let's be honest, we're all light nerds, or at least, part of us all is. Some non-flashaholics probably wouldn't think it all that important to even carry a flashlight around, or even in the car. These people also probably don't realize that flashlights can be had for $5 that outperform their phone flash.

  20. #50
    Flashaholic Ishango's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by jalal20 View Post
    my phone was made to be a phone, you can't tell a donkey to enter a horse race can you?
    It will never ever replace my haiku, mule and HDS EDCs
    This just made me smile This mule of yours is definitely a race horse

    OT: I EDC my iPhone (without a flashlight app), but it will never replace my keychain light or EDC light. As others said, in any emergency I rather not use the phone's battery for light as I always carry several lights. I would use my phone what is was meant for, as a communication device and maybe (careful to not drain the battery) use its' GPS if needed/possible to get a position and direction, but not for anything else.

    Edit: I just remembered my work phone (Nokia 1650, not a smartphone) has a LED built in as flashlight. That light actually is quite usable, although I still prefer my keychain/ EDC light for all lighting matters. With the long battery life of the Nokia I would be able to use it if all else fails.
    Last edited by Ishango; 06-19-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    The telecom companies want us to use our phones for everything. I refuse. I will carry a flashlight even if my phone were somehow brighter and longer-running, because using one device for too many purposes is putting my eggs in one basket. Better hope the basket never slips and falls.

  22. #52

    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    People walking on a trail with their phone in front of them is almost embarrassing to look at. Phones are not ergonomic enough for me to try to use as an edc light. So, nope.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    No, not a chance. For many of the reasons already stated.

    My .02 FWIW YMMV

  24. #54
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by iqwozpoom View Post
    People walking on a trail with their phone in front of them is almost embarrassing to look at. Phones are not ergonomic enough for me to try to use as an edc light. So, nope.
    Not just embarassing. Imagine they have to call 911 after they drained the battery...
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    Flashaholic fishndad's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    The telecom companies want us to use our phones for everything. I refuse. I will carry a flashlight even if my phone were somehow brighter and longer-running, because using one device for too many purposes is putting my eggs in one basket. Better hope the basket never slips and falls.
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  26. #56

    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    My take on the advantages/disadvantages of the phone as EDC light:

    Advantages:
    - If you have the smart phone, you are probably carrying it around anyway.
    On Android at least you could roll your own flashlight app for the UI of your choosing. Other smart phones have more control of the app process without rooting.

    Neutral:
    - bright enough for most people's EDC with a floody beam reasonably suited to a lot of EDC needs. Everyone's needs are different though so the beam may be either considered an advantage or disadvantage depending on their typical "every day."
    - may vary based on EDC style but my phone is usually far less convenient/timely to pull out, make light, and go away than my EDC clipped to my pocket

    Disadvantages:
    - Relatively fragile compared to most lights
    - No nearly as water resistant as most lights
    - Spare batteries for when you are using it a lot becomes relatively costly... if they are even swappable.
    - Horrible ergonomics for anything more than brief use.
    - Minimal to nonexistent heatsinking. They are driven very mildly but the LED flash at best is dumping most of it's heat inside the expensive phone or just stewing in it causing early output degradation. Anybody want to bet the app makers tested the heat management for a longer run?

    There's the other piece which is my light can be with me when I leave my phones. (Sadly yes it's plural, my issue Blackberry and my not that smart feature phone. To save someone the effort, I can't use a private smart phone to access the Exchange server for my official email. Putting my entire personal life through the government account is not something I am authorized or wanting to do. It's two tethers. ) I know to some the concept of not having it within arms reach produces cold sweats. :P I don't take the phones when I run. I've been known to leave them charging when I head to meetings where I can't look at them anyway. Some places phones aren't allowed. Dark happens whether I have the phone or not.
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  27. #57
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
    Everyone's right that a smartphone is a jack of all trades and master of none, but they usually work well enough at most to be really useful. I can have games, movies, songs, GPS, shopping lists, a camera, etc. right at my fingertips in a package the size of a deck of playing cards. No way could I carry all of that gear all of the time. But as a flashlight, well, like I said earlier, it's a backup to my backup EDC.
    Just make sure to bring a solar charger for it.

  28. #58

    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    my motorola droid has 2 neutral-white emitters driven fairly well by software called TeslaLED. get pretty warm in a few minutes

    but they're still too weak compared my carry flashlights... and too fussy to turn on: turn on fone, unlock, goto home, click app

  29. #59

    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Well, I'm almost embarrassed to say, "I don't even own a cellphone, let alone a smart phone". However I do own numerous flashlights, multitools, knives and guns. Not one of them charges a monthly or per minute fee. And I get along just fine. I never understood why some people feel it's necessary to stay in touch with others 24/7. It's actually become a hazard with some people driving, jogging and walking with a cell phone in their ear all the time. I guess I'm just old school.

  30. #60
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: will mobile phone flashlight apps stop the need to edc a flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by derangboy View Post
    Seriously though, most people here have a dedicated light (or three) for good reasons. Having a cell phone that can light up is more likely to help people who wouldn't think to have a flashlight at the ready in the first place.
    thats what loaner lights are for
    At least carry one extra... in case it runs away or taken hostage

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