I skipped .503 and .540 so I cannot speak to those builds, but 7.1 works considerably better than the original os that was loaded (i think .4XX). I refuse to use batter saving measures. I just carry an extra battery so I can get the most out of my blackberry.
I was on .540 from the day it was leaked here on CB, and did the same with 7.1. I have found 7.1 to be equal to .540 on battery life, and have found no bugs to date. The one thing to watch for is possible incompatibility with some 7.0 apps, Beweather being one of them. Oddly, Beweather was causing my phone to drop calls and drained my battery pretty quickly.
7.1 is still in it's infancy, and is not for every one, .540 worked just fine, it's really up to you. Hotspot is kind of cool, but the app issue will make some people shy away. Me, I'll keep it unless it causes a real problem with my phone.
Last edited by AugustArborists; 12-01-11 at 04:42 AM.
Reason: Oops, spelling mistake.
.540 is the best official OS so far. My average hourly idle discharge rate is around 0.6% and I usually get 2 days out of a single charge. Haven't noticed any bugs with it.
I agree and I'm getting 2 days of use out of a single charge as well. 540 is stable but there are some apps that make it unstable like flashlight and weather channel. At least these apps caused problems on my phone and I have not bothered to reload them. Others may have better luck with them.
Overall I am very pleased with my 9900 running on .540
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