You might have heard Android users talking about Screen on Time or SOT, or you may already be familiar with the term. SOT or Screen on Time is the number of hours the screen was on. One can get this information from settings -> battery / power.

Many users use this SOT information to get an idea about the battery life, but that is not the right way to get any idea about the battery performance in general. I never use SOT information in my reviews, because according to me the SOT gives you more idea about the user’s usage pattern.

On a full charge cycle if the SOT is higher, people usually take it for granted that the battery backup is really good – and yes it is true. But when SOT is lower (on a full charge cycle) people assume that the battery performance is not good – well that is incorrect.

Screen On Time (SOT)

SOT again is the number of times the screen was on, it will work for all users who are using the screen for example – browsing, watching movies, playing games etc, but there is one more thing that everyone does and some might be doing it more i.e. making / receiving calls.

Now if you are making / receiving call, the screen will be on for few seconds and after that when you bring the handset closer to your ear the screen will switch off (almost all smartphones do this). But you are still using the handset. Now imagine you made / received a call that lasted for 30 minutes, now during those 30 minutes the screen would have switch on for say just few seconds and rest of the time you would be busy with voice call.

So logically a person who is making more voice calls will have less SOT and the person making less calls will have more SOT. Hence it makes no sense using this parameter to come to a conclusion about the battery performance. This parameter just gives you an idea about the usage pattern of the person using the phone (voice calls / general usage).

By Rajeev Rana

Founder and Chief Editor -