The Outlier blog by OPower measured the electricity used by current generation smartphones, and what they found is encouraging for efficient power consumption: the new iPhone 5 only uses 3.5kWh (Kilowatt Hours) and the Samsung Galaxy S3 checks in a little higher, at 4.9kWh. The good news? Both of those figures are tiny compared to the total power used by other appliances, and for a year at current market prices, is really cheap. The iPhone costs $0.41 per year to charge and the Galaxy S3 costs $0.53. By comparison, an average laptop uses around $8 of electricity per year. On the other hand, you’ve got to agknowledge that the cloud services and supercomputers that make smartphones useful do use a lot of electricity. But it’s nice to see that the low power ARM processors that smartphones use actually do make a big difference in power consumption.

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