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Old September 28th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My trials and tribulations with the Droid Bionic battery life

I wrote this to share in hope that others may find my experience useful. Sorry if something like this has already been posted. Basically, I had noticed very poor battery life with my Bionic from the start. Average life was about 3-5 hours and found myself always "jonesin'" for an electrical outlet every where I went. The frustrating part was that the majority of battery drain was when my phone was idle. I got the extended battery and maybe got 2 more hours, but not very impressive. Even shutting off 4G did not really improve life. So, here are a few tips I found helpful. I have an extended battery and recently had my phone on for about 13 hours and had 60% battery life, and I am very happy.

1) Shut down 4G when not needed. I downloaded LTE Switch (free) and it is simply a shortcut to the settings. Let's face it, you don't need 4G for calls, text, and emails.
2) Use battery saver mode. From the homescreen, press menu > settings > Battery & data manager > Battery mode. I think keeping this option on has been the greatest extender of battery life. This works for me because I may go 1-2 hours during my day without using my phone, so it is useful to just disconnect from data services when idle.
3) Turn off wifi. I only use wifi at home, so I just turn it on when I get there. Also, I noticed that if I left wifi on when there was no wifi, my battery drained faster. You can use apps such as Locale or Woofi to automate this based on location. I have found some of these apps to be hit-or-miss and not always work, so I just do without. I have not tried these services on the Bionic, so it could have just been my old Droid.
4) Turn off bluetooth. I only use BT in my car, but I always forget to turn it on/off. So, I bought Tasker from the market and created an event that when I plug my phone into a charger that BT is turned on. It turns off when unplugged. Sure, it will turn on when you plug it into any charger but there is no way (that I know of) to distinguish if you are in your car or elswhere.
5) Reboot. On 2 occasions I noticed that my battery would just drain quickly despite my best efforts. In both cases just rebooting the phone fixed this.
6) Rogue apps. I have not had this problem on my Bionic, but did on my old droid. One day the battery just decided to drain in a few short hours. This occurred every day and so I installed System Monitor. I left it running and after about a day I found that a rogue app was eating CPU cycles and killing my batter. I just uninstalled it and my battery life was then fine.

So after much frustration I am happy with my Bionic's battery life. The above may not be an ideal situation, but for me it's a good trade-off for usability and battery life. I hope this helps. Cheers!

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Old September 28th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing your story

Since battery life seems to be a major concern for everyone here, perhaps we should make an official thread for battery tips. I can throw in my two cents.

1. The default battery manager is a stripped down version of JuiceDefender. JuiceDefender Ultimate allows more customization, and will also manage Wifi for you. In extreme cases it can even switch between 2G/3G/4G or even underclock your CPU! In any case, I disabled the default battery manager and use JuiceDefender exclusively.

2. Screen timeout. I see people all the time with upwards of 1 minute screen timeouts. 90% of what you do on your phone is going to involve you touching the screen, and then the other 10% can be broken down even further since most of those things already keep your screen on (like watching video for example). My screen timeout is 15 seconds. And I make a point when I'm done using my phone to lock it manually. Never understood why people have such long timeouts. Those precious seconds where your screen is on and you are not looking at it add up in a day. Hell if I double my timeout to a more common 30 seconds, assuming I don't look at my phone more than 20 times in one day. That's an extra 5 minutes the screen will be on for that day! And I am way undershooting the amount of times I unlock my phone each day.

3. Wrangle those widgets. Think about how often you are actually using your shazam widget with live tag stream. Then remember just how fast shazam loads up on your new super fast Bionic. Why not replace that widget with a shortcut? Having a lot of widgets updating all the time can really hurt your battery.

4. Take advantage of your gmail priority inbox. You can set your regular mail to come in slower and push only priority mail. This can save some extra juice.

5. I don't personally do this, but managing your brightness manually can save you some battery power. Auto-Brightness sometimes over compensates, and the constant switching and use of the light sensor uses more battery than just setting a brightness you want for the given situation.

6. Like the OP stated, get tasker. And let it control your power hungry things such as screen timeout, bluetooth, GPS, etc. Make sure these features are only on when you need them!

7. Don't use an auto task killer. (and only kill tasks if they are misbehaving.)

8. FaceBook Junkie? Instead of adding yet another account for your poor phone to sync, try FriendCaster pro. Set it to get it's notifications based on Gmail. When you get a pushed email from facebook, friendcaster will notify you of what it is. It works flawlessly and can even delete or archive the email once you are notified.

10. Lastly, root your phone if you are comfortable. There is alot of bloatware on this phone, and alot of it likes to start itself up. Freeze that junk and then don't worry about it.


Using most of the settings above, on the extended battery, I am now at 8h 14m at 30%. On my Droid X I would be closer to 50% also on the extended battery, but the extra speed is worth it. I could get much better numbers but I like to have alot of push notifications and I play alot of games. But I'll get home tonight with about 20% left most likely, and that works for me. (plus I have access to charger here at work, I just haven't used it today because I am cycling my battery)
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Old September 28th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylas View Post
I wrote this to share in hope that others may find my experience useful. Sorry if something like this has already been posted. Basically, I had noticed very poor battery life with my Bionic from the start. Average life was about 3-5 hours and found myself always "jonesin'" for an electrical outlet every where I went. The frustrating part was that the majority of battery drain was when my phone was idle. I got the extended battery and maybe got 2 more hours, but not very impressive. Even shutting off 4G did not really improve life. So, here are a few tips I found helpful. I have an extended battery and recently had my phone on for about 13 hours and had 60% battery life, and I am very happy.

1) Shut down 4G when not needed. I downloaded LTE Switch (free) and it is simply a shortcut to the settings. Let's face it, you don't need 4G for calls, text, and emails.
2) Use battery saver mode. From the homescreen, press menu > settings > Battery & data manager > Battery mode. I think keeping this option on has been the greatest extender of battery life. This works for me because I may go 1-2 hours during my day without using my phone, so it is useful to just disconnect from data services when idle.
3) Turn off wifi. I only use wifi at home, so I just turn it on when I get there. Also, I noticed that if I left wifi on when there was no wifi, my battery drained faster. You can use apps such as Locale or Woofi to automate this based on location. I have found some of these apps to be hit-or-miss and not always work, so I just do without. I have not tried these services on the Bionic, so it could have just been my old Droid.
4) Turn off bluetooth. I only use BT in my car, but I always forget to turn it on/off. So, I bought Tasker from the market and created an event that when I plug my phone into a charger that BT is turned on. It turns off when unplugged. Sure, it will turn on when you plug it into any charger but there is no way (that I know of) to distinguish if you are in your car or elswhere.
5) Reboot. On 2 occasions I noticed that my battery would just drain quickly despite my best efforts. In both cases just rebooting the phone fixed this.
6) Rogue apps. I have not had this problem on my Bionic, but did on my old droid. One day the battery just decided to drain in a few short hours. This occurred every day and so I installed System Monitor. I left it running and after about a day I found that a rogue app was eating CPU cycles and killing my batter. I just uninstalled it and my battery life was then fine.

So after much frustration I am happy with my Bionic's battery life. The above may not be an ideal situation, but for me it's a good trade-off for usability and battery life. I hope this helps. Cheers!
I use 4G. I Don't use Battery Saver mode. I almost never use BT. Screen set to auto/1 min. I've gotten as much as 23 hours of battery life with browsing, streaming pandora for many hours, 40 minutes of phone calls, and plenty of other toying around. That's with the extended battery. can't complain.
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Old September 28th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old December 28th, 2011, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Why is diagnosing rogue apps so difficult?

Is there a good app that will just say "hey dummy, facebook is sucking the life out of your battery!"

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I'm holding out for the Droid StarTac
Scratch that, I want the Droid DynaTac
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Old December 29th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MtnbikerChk View Post
Why is diagnosing rogue apps so difficult?

Is there a good app that will just say "hey dummy, facebook is sucking the life out of your battery!"

Thanks
Watchdog Lite will do exactly that.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Watchdog Lite will do exactly that.
If this works you'll be my new hero!
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Old December 29th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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4. Take advantage of your gmail priority inbox. You can set your regular mail to come in slower and push only priority mail. This can save some extra juice.
Wait... please explain how the Gmail app can be set up to sync "regular mail" less frequently than Priority Inbox. I know that you can set specific labels, and priority mail in general, to notify you differently, or sync all messages rather than a specific number of days of mail (default is 4 days), but how can the Gmail app not push regular mail (or, as it is known in the Gmail app, "Inbox")?
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Old January 4th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wait... please explain how the Gmail app can be set up to sync "regular mail" less frequently than Priority Inbox. I know that you can set specific labels, and priority mail in general, to notify you differently, or sync all messages rather than a specific number of days of mail (default is 4 days), but how can the Gmail app not push regular mail (or, as it is known in the Gmail app, "Inbox")?
If you check the box for "Make Priority Inbox my default Inbox" then scroll down a little to labels and sync and you set Inbox to "sync none"
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Old January 4th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you check the box for "Make Priority Inbox my default Inbox" then scroll down a little to labels and sync and you set Inbox to "sync none"
Awesome. Good to know. I don't want this, but, who knows... maybe I'll change my mind. (So far, GMail doesn't do a good enough job deciding what is important and what is not for me, so I can't depend on the functionality at the moment.)
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Old January 4th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The only thing I sync is gmail and weatherbug. I check FB but do not sync it. I don't need to know when the next person farts. I can easily get a day out of my battery. I have Y5 wifi battery saver and find it works quite well. When I am home the google location activates wifi. It takes getting about 2 miles for it to kick off but the battery savings is large. Half the time at home and half away, always 4g and rarely if ever put it on the charger before I go to bed. PS. rooted running deodexed stock and a some status bar changes. All the bloat is frozen and not removed.

I never push my regular mail. I sync it once an hour and that is fine for me. If you have it pushing it will always be active looking for the next email.
I dont fret the screen timeout as it uses very little resources compared to other phones.

PS this is with a standard battery.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I bought a bionic on Monday, had it for 2 days so far and enjoy it.

However the battery life is bad enough that I wonder what I am doing wrong. Tuesday I took it to work fully charged. I used it a moderate amount, not excessively but a few hours. By the time I got off the phone was at 5% battery life. I charged it when I got home, took about 4 hours to get to 50% again.

Wednesday I took in my USB charger and kept the phone hooked up to charger half the day. Used it about the same amount. I got home and the battery was down to 20% so I plugged it in and took an hour nap. The charge icon was on and got a message it was charging. Woke up and the battery was at 15%.

I have it on Nighttime Saver mode currently.

What can I do to prevent this? It's literally charging slower then it's being used unless it's during the Night Time.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just a quick note if anyone else finds this useful...

I used to have massive problems with my battery life as well. It would consistently die in around 10 hours. But I changed some things around since then, and now, I can go the entire day losing only ~50%.

Biggest tip: Use the maximum battery saver mode. This shuts off your data connection entirely after 15 minutes of inactivity. If you often go for longer an hour without using your phone at all, this is extremely powerful. This will double/triple your battery life by itself.

Some gripes about the battery saver mode: It re-enables 4G for 15minutes everytime you even power on the screen to check the time. I also use some apps which I'd like to have synced every few hours at least. Hence why I switched to Juice Defender. I spent a lot of times playing around with the other options, but wasn't too impressed with them... However, the one feature it does extremely well, and the only feature I have enabled: Have it control data, and schedule it for 5 minutes, every 2 hours. Under triggers, enable the screen as a trigger. Also use network traffic with 2min minimum, and high threshold. Your phone will now behave similar to the battery saver mode, except that it periodically enables the data connection so your apps can sync.

Another major thing that drains battery at home: By default in android, your wifi will auto-disable & switch to 4G connection after a certain period of inactivity. This is a horrible idea, since your wifi should be both faster, free & less power hungry. Change your wifi settings so that it never switches to 4G while connected. This will allow you to have full data connectivity while at home, even with the juice defender setup I mentioned.

Lastly, manually enable/disable wifi & bluetooth. I have both set-up as widgets on my home screen, so I can easily enable/disable either. Having both enabled unnecessarily sucks down quite a bit of battery.

With all this, I generally get about 30-40 hours of battery life.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 11:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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For me, the Motorola extended battery has been the answer. It allows me to use the phone the way I want without constantly worrying about battery life. In fact, it has become a non issue.
I have the phone set with the GPS on, WiFi & Bluetooth off, Battery Saver set to Max Performance, Data Saver off, Brightness on Auto, Timeout at 1 minute, 3 e-mail accounts (yahoo, fastmail and hotmail) set to fetch every 30 minutes, G-mail synched to fastmail and hotmail, weatherbug (shortcut, not widget) updating at 30 minutes, and fancy widgets refreshing at 1 hour. I am easily getting through a day with over 50% left. I'm rooted and have frozen a bunch of bloatware using Titanium Backup. I'm in a 3G only area, and have the Network Mode set to CDMA/LTE. I'm using the free version of Badass Battery Monitor, which counts down the battery life in 1% intervals which allows me to keep tabs on battery life. Every night the phone goes into the bedside table charger and every morning it comes out. the only time during the day that it might receive a charge is if I'm using the Lapdock 100, or if it happens to be plugged into the computer via USB to transfer files. It will be interesting to see how this setup works when my area gets 4G coverage. I was in a 4G area a couple of weeks ago and didn't see much difference in battery life.
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Motorola DROID BIONIC
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When the Motorola Droid Bionic was first announced at CES 2011, it featured a 4.3-inch qHD display, NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz, and support for Verizon's 4G LTE high-speed network. After the handset was delayed, Motorola... Read More



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