Extending Android Battery Life

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  1. Post
    #1
    Each phone is different, however there's still some general things that you can do on each device to save battery. Appreciate anyone sharing tips on this, or at least get some discussion going.

    • Enable 2G Networks Only
      This will not work on XT. On 2Degrees/Vodafone you can force your phone to connect to the 2G network and disable 3G. This is a setting under mobile networks. Experience with this seems to save quite a lot of battery, but obviously only suitable for those who those who don't use 3G services that often - data is quite slow when only on 2G. Widget toggles can switch this on and off easily.
    • Use GSM Auto(PRL)
      This option can be located by opening your phone dialler and punching in *#*#INFO#*#*. Go to Phone, and change "WCDMA Preferred" to "GSM Auto (PRL)". Not confirmed, but apparently this should stop the phone trying to lock to a very weak 3G signal when there is a strong 2G signal available instead. Once again, this depends on the user whether you would want this or not. Weak or no signal will cause the phone to use much more battery than a stronger one. Note this does not disable 3G. This will not make a difference for XT users.
    • Disable unused features
      This means turning off GPS, Bluetooth, Mobile Data and WiFi when you don't need them. I've found WiFi uses less than 3G Mobile data on my Desire, so use that where possible. However I always disable WiFi when i know i'm only going to be using mobile data, as otherwise it's wasting battery scanning for wireless networks.
    • Disable unnecessary programs
      I've seen phones with rubbish like media servers, antivirus (this is a separate debate i suppose), auto task killers (look up why they are a bad idea on android) and other services that constantly run in the background, using up both CPU and sometimes mobile data. Do you really need this running all of the time? Also noteworthy is that live wallpapers will use a little more battery than static ones.
    • Disable unnecessary syncing services
      Auto Sync can also be turned off to decrease the amount of time a data connection is used, which will help your battery life. However there are multiple services which come under this catergory - facebook, twitter, news, weather, email etc. There are also programs which have their own sync settings which won't have an option for this in android's main sync settings. Know and control what's updating every few minutes on your phone.
    • Adjust screen brightness
      The screen easily eats up most of the battery on my phone, as is the case for many other models also. Either use a widget to manually force a lower brightness, or use a smart auto brightness setting. I've found the auto brightness setting on most phones seems to be a little too high when it doesn't need to be however. Custom ROMs (mentioned below) have options to adjust this setting to something slightly less aggressive.
    • Use CPU scaling (root)
      Programs like SetCPU and No Frills CPU Control can be used to make the phones CPU scale its speed to lower when its not needed. You can also set profiles where the speed can be restricted based on conditions, eg battery below a certain level, screen off etc. Some custom roms such as Cyanogenmod may have this feature built in.
    • Install Custom Kernels, ROMs, etc. (root)
      This one is very device specific. Some ROMs are better on battery than others. Kernels can be modified with powersaving in mind. Updating your radio/baseband image can also help where improvements have been made by the manufacturer. On cyanogenmod for example, there is an extremely useful Notification Tray widget which allows quick toggles of settings such as wifi, 3g etc.
    • Choose your widgets wisely
      Widgets are essentially a little program thats running all of the time. Minimizing the amount of resource hungry widgets on your home screen (live feed updates from twitter, facebook, news etc) can help a lot. Use widgets to improve your battery by having quick toggles for some of the things mentioned above to turn them on and off.
    • Calibrate your battery
      1. Please connect the phone to the charger with the phone powered on, and allow the phone to charge until the notification LED is green, indicating the device is fully charged.
      2. Disconnect the phone from the charger, and power it off. Reconnect the phone to the charger with the phone powered off, and allow the phone to charge until the charge LED (if present) is green.
      3. Disconnect the phone from the charger and power it on. Once the phone is powered completely on, power it off again and reconnect it to the charger until the notification LED (if present) is green.
      4. Disconnect the phone, power it on, and use it.
      (Cheers for the reminder on this silentreapr!)



    Hope this is of use to someone, and of course is heavily based on how you use your own phone. Overall: be in control of your phone and know what's using the battery, and why.

  2. Post
    #2
    TY for the thread and tips.

  3. Post
    #3
    thanks for this, i used to have the x5 but i found the battery life abit week. looking forward to the x6 and seening what i can get out of it!

  4. Post
    #4
    Sticky this Exdee.

  5. Post
    #5
    Thanks Exdee

  6. Post
    #6
    great tips.....

    on auto take killer I do like es task manager it doesn't run in the background but will let you select what stuff to kill quicker than using android app

  7. Post
    #7
    On that note, Auto task killers are something which are often debated, I'm still in support of the fact that it does not need a task killer by design, and that often using them can slow down your phone (as apps that were sitting in memory before now have to be loaded in again when you use them).

    If you want to have more free RAM for some reason, then you can can use an app like AutoKiller which tweaks androids built in task killing values to more aggressive ones.

    Of course, manual task killers are useful for when you have encountered a dodgy program that doesn't want to exit.

    Thread stickied.

  8. Post
    #8
    I use a task killer...Load and then kill tasks including task killer.

    I suppose I don't actually need it (could use Samsung task killer instead).

    Also, Galaxy S on Froyo doesn't have 2g option (that I can find, I use to be able to find it...) can also set the GSM/etc to either auto or select one.

  9. Post
    #9
    Also keep this in mind if you are thinking about picking up an extra battery.

    http://batteryboss.org/

    The 3rd party batteries are usually over-rated and performs worse than stock.

  10. Post
    #10
    This might help too but only for some people:

    1. Please connect the phone to the charger with the phone powered on, and allow the phone to charge until the notification LED is green, indicating the device is fully charged.
    2. Disconnect the phone from the charger, and power it off. Reconnect the phone to the charger with the phone powered off, and allow the phone to charge until the notification LED is green.
    3. Disconnect the phone from the charger and power it on. Once the phone is powered completely on, power it off again and reconnect it to the charger until the notification LED is green.
    4. Disconnect the phone, power it on, and use it.
    Calibrates the battery.. because sometimes the phone may think a battery is flat when it actually isn't, hence causing reduced usage time

  11. Post
    #11
    DaNzA wrote:
    Also keep this in mind if you are thinking about picking up an extra battery.

    http://batteryboss.org/

    The 3rd party batteries are usually over-rated and performs worse than stock.
    Can confirm this. Picked up a cheapy from dealextreme, its good to have when I need to swap out the battery and get some more life out of it when away from a charger, but is nowhere near as good as the stock one.

    silentreapr wrote:
    This might help too but only for some people:

    Calibrates the battery.. because sometimes the phone may think a battery is flat when it actually isn't, hence causing reduced usage time
    Can confirm this too. Wiping battery stats from custom recovery (or via app/manually) when charged to 100%, then using the phone till it shuts off (before charging entirely full again) apparently can help here too.
    Added to first post.

  12. Post
    #12
    Really can't emphasis the amount widgets consume, some will run in the background eating cpu, polling gps, polling updates online (or sending updates). Weather widgets are the worst... turning them off can make a huge difference to battery life.

  13. Post
    #13
    eXDee wrote:
    [*]Calibrate your battery
    1. Please connect the phone to the charger with the phone powered on, and allow the phone to charge until the notification LED is green, indicating the device is fully charged.
    2. Disconnect the phone from the charger, and power it off. Reconnect the phone to the charger with the phone powered off, and allow the phone to charge until the notification LED is green.
    3. Disconnect the phone from the charger and power it on. Once the phone is powered completely on, power it off again and reconnect it to the charger until the notification LED is green.
    4. Disconnect the phone, power it on, and use it.
    5. (OR Optional advanced step instead of disconnecting) Enter recovery mode (custom recovery may be required), and find wipe battery stats. Do this only at 100% battery. Immediately reboot the phone and disconnect the charger. Use the phone till it shuts off, then charge it up to full battery again. Use the phone normally.
    (Cheers for the reminder on this silentreapr!)[/list]
    This should be done when you first get your phone, right?
    I read that you should not charge the phone when you first get it? That you should let it run out first, and then follow the steps above. With the steps above: when switching between charging while on and off, this doesn't mean using the battery fully until it dies between each step does it?

  14. Post
    #14
    just calibrated my galaxy s, it was reading 97% battery on a full charge, now its reading 100% again....
    hopefully it increases battery life as well

    will report back on how it went

    thanks again to eee for another great tutorial.....

  15. Post
    #15
    alientroll wrote:
    This should be done when you first get your phone, right?
    I read that you should not charge the phone when you first get it? That you should let it run out first, and then follow the steps above. With the steps above: when switching between charging while on and off, this doesn't mean using the battery fully until it dies between each step does it?
    It looks like those instruction are for a specific model. In general all you need to do to calibrate a battery is to use the phone until it goes completely flat and shuts off, then charge it until it says the battery is fully charged. If there is a calibration function use that instead, it just automates the process.

    There is a chip in the battery that keeps tabs on how much charge can be put in before it catches fire. When they get out of sync they don't let the battery full charge just to be on the safe side. Running it flat tells the chip the battery is now empty and it can put the full charge back in. As long as you run the phone flat occasionally you won't need to calibrate it.

    Lithium batteries like to be kept topped up and wear out faster when they are fully discharged. They have a life span of about 500 full discharge cycles or 3 years, whichever comes sooner. The idea of fully discharging a battery come from the old nicads which could get "memory effect" where they could no longer be fully charged. Unfortunately the instructions included with phones often have not been updated and still refer to nicad batteries which have not been used in phones since the early 90s.

  16. Post
    #16
    I found that downloading and installing advanced task killer alone was what saved the battery for me. once that was installed my battery life was over double and i stopped considering upgrading just to get rid of the s@#$ battery life.

  17. Post
    #17
    Thanks for this, i was beginning to get annoyed with the constant charging i seemed to be doing.

  18. Post
    #18
    sorted?

  19. Post
    #19
    Read this article a couple of weeks ago:

    http://www.androidmobile.co.nz/item/...e-battery-life

    Google engineer Dianne Hackborn has come out on Google+ stating just that fact plus what it actually does.

    "This file [batterystats.bin] is used to maintain, across reboots, low-level data about the kinds of operations the device and your apps are doing between battery changes. That is, it is solely used to compute the blame for battery usage shown in the "Battery Use" UI in settings.

    It has no impact on the current battery level shown to you. It has no impact on your battery life.

  20. Post
    #20
    I'd second Vulcan's comment. Many widgets run in background on android phones/tablets and they consume not just memory, cpu but also battery.

    Wifi hotspot is particularly battery draining to my experience.

    At the end of day, there is only so much you can do to optimise battery life. IMO, better option is to buy a high capacity battery and/or carry a powerbank in your suitcase. problem solved!

  21. Post
    #21
    Can confirm battery calibration works.

    Tried the technique, after the first charging to 100%, the second time I unplugged the phone it went down to 87%, third charge put it back to 100%, so I guess it means I was missing 13% of my battery capacity!

  22. Post
    #22
    Greenify works well

  23. Post
    #23
    Wow excellent info ... goes off to try this tonight

  24. Post
    #24
    my new LG G2 is fully tweaked

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  25. Post
    #25
    Am I the only person who had to highlight the page to read the yellow text at all? :S