American smartphone users are finding that next-generation 4G mobile networks can be mixed blessing, matching high download speeds with an often equally high drain on the battery.

A Wall Street Journal report cites a number of owners of new smartphones, including the ‘LTE’ version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as being unhappy with the level of battery performance. Something that’s been attributed to patchy 4G signals leading to phones searching for mobile towers too often, sucking valuable battery power.

Of course it’s hardly 4G that’s to blame. Every time component manufacturers reduce the power consumption of the mighty single-chip processors in smartphones, manufacturers follow suit and reduce the size of the battery in the all-important chase for who has the thinnest smartphone.

The Journal story highlights the growing frustration with mobile battery life. Domestic US smartphone maker Motorola has decided to fit one version the Droid Razr with a larger battery dubbing the device the ‘Maxx’.

Britain’s delayed 4G roll-out may in fact benefit from the US experience with unacceptable battery life and, by the time services actually arrive, there at least be some options on the market for those looking to get a solid day out of a brand new 4G-enabled device.

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