Screen On Time (SoT)

Screen On Time (SoT) has been around for a while now, but it has only just become really popular. It is amongst some of the several tech buzzwords you must have heard a lot recently. People use it as a bragging tool e.g. “I had an SoT of 10 hours”. It is also a point of contention on the internet. In fact, online wars have been started over which phones have the best SoT and why? With all the noise generated about SoT, what does it mean then?

Simply put, Screen On Time (SoT) is the amount of time a screen stays on between a full charge (100%) and when the battery runs low (>10%). In other words, SoT is how long your screen was on, on a single charge.


How to check SoT

Screen on time can be accessed on any phone by going to the settings, checking on the battery section and looking up the stats. The best way to read SoT is by charging to 100% and letting the battery drain normally before attempting to recharge.

How does SoT work?

It simply works by calculating how long your screen was on using a built-in timer. The timer counts when your screen is on and stops when your screen goes off. if you pick up your device again and turn it on, the timer resumes counting.

SoT is mostly determined by certain factors such as battery size, screen type, screen brightness, app use and usage pattern amongst other things.

A bigger battery means a better SoT and vice versa. In this regard, SoT and batteries are closely tied together. Now while this is a commonly accepted opinion, the SoC or processor used also plays a huge part in battery management and as such, influences SoT.


The screen type and resolution also play central roles. OLEDS and AMOLEDS use less battery when compared to LCDs. High resolution displays also tend to consume more battery than those of a lesser resolution. This is because high res displays have more pixels that need to turned on. At this point, it is pertinent to add that, the brighter your screen, the more battery power you consume and the lesser your SoT.

READ: What is Smartphone display resolution?

Finally, apps and usage patterns differ among individuals. So therefore, no two persons can have the exact same SoT even if they use the same device. Heavy apps/games like Instagram, PUBG mobile etc. will consume more battery than small apps like Facebook lite or YouTube Go.

What is SoT used for?

SoT is used by lots of people to judge battery performance and endurance. It is also used as a tool to check how long people were on their phones.

Read: Screen on Time and Battery consumption

SoT is a great tool for monitoring personal phone use as well as how one’s battery holds up to that use. But, it is not a valid universal tool for determining smartphone performance across board. As a result, a lot of care should be taken with its use.

Thank you for reading to the end. As always, ensure to check out our links for more information

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