Originally Posted by Tim K
What I tell people is that they need to know what the big battery drains are, and minimize them if needed - but at a minimum, understand what they are and decide if the tradeoffs are worth it for you.
Screen - its big and beautiful but you pay the price in battery. Keep brightness as low as you are comfortable with to maximize battery life. I set a custom widget with widgetsoid at 10% - 30% - 70% and toggle as needed. Most of the time I am good with 30% and only bump to 70% in sunlight.
4G - its awesome and fast but a battery killer. You need to decide if the tradeoff of speed is worth it for you. The best advice is to use WiFi as much as possible. It is the least power intensive data transfer. 4G > 3G > WiFi.
Sync - Turn off every sync you don't really need. I only sync Browser, gmail, gtalk, contacts and calendar. Everything else is off. Facebook is a known data hog as is Google+. I strongly suggest turning off sync for both. Let the app refresh when you open it... you don't really need constant updates from Facebook do you???
Talk Time - most people forget that a phone was originally used for talking! But in reality few people do much talking on their phones. But talk time uses a lot of battery, so just keep it in mind.
Streaming - this kind of goes along with the 4G/WiFi subject, but streaming is hugely power intensive, and when done over 4G is a double whammy. Keep this in mind. I love Google Music but streaming from the cloud for a few hours will drain the battery quickly even over WiFi, so I tend to "pin" my current playlist to my phone so that it stores those tracks locally and cuts out streaming. You can always change playlists or pin multiple playlists to your device... there's plenty of room.
GPS - GPS is a HUGE power hog. While receiving GPS signals alone doesn't take much power, note that Google Maps/Nav has to be connected to data to work. So it will maintain a constant connection to identify your location and track you on the map....even if your screen is off. I think with the newer versions of Maps you could theoretically cache your route and the maps offline and run without data . GPS Navigation is a HUGE power drain especially if you have the screen on. Many users report that their car charger cannot even maintain a steady charge while using GPS. This is not unique to the Galaxy Nexus but is a 'feature' of the way Google Maps/Navigation works. This won't change so long as Google Nav works online.
I was combing through the Nexus forum to look at possibly picking up a GN for my wife.... I can pick one up on craigslist for about $200 locally. The first two comments about battery life is discouraging.
I currently have the Rezound for myself and the battery life is easily the best on the 4 android devices I've had up to this point. I generally use the phone heavily each day (which I know varies by user) and never charge. It usually hovers around the 50% range at the end of the day, which usually includes GPS, light music streaming, and countless emails and text messages.
Anyway, I am looking for a phone for similar type battery life for my wife's phone. I've been looking to get rid of our home phone for quite some time, but before my wife will let me cut the cord, she must have a phone that rings overnight in an emergency without all of the data or text messages waking me up. I am told there is a "Profile" setting in Jelly Bean that will allow this. Basically telling the phone to only ring on phone calls when it is being charged and ignore sounds on any text or data related sounds (without having to do it manually each day). I had this setting on my Blackberry years ago, but am surprised it hasn't carried over yet. They called it "phone calls only" on a ring setting.
I know someone will mention that you can just shut off data, but knowing my wife, that will happen about 20% of the time. I have yet to find an app that will do the same thing. Anyway, is the battery life really that bad?