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Old May 9th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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jose.augustin
Default GPS consumes more battery than what the charger provides

I recently went on a road trip and was planning to use my phone as my primary navigation device. I had it plugged into the car charger and was using Google Maps Navigation all the time. I was under the impression that the charger would provide enough power for the phone to be used without loosing battery power. However, I realized that the navigation was eating more power than what the charger could provide. I have seen similar threads facing the same problems.

I am looking for some solutions and would like to know what worked for everybody else.
- Is there a specific car charger that would charge the phone faster?
- Is there an app which will help save power (I have JuiceDefender already)
- Is there a better navigation app which will not eat up the battery (Waze anyone?)
- Any other solutions for me to basically depend on my phone (I hate carrying a GPS with me and am desperately looking for solutions)

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Old May 9th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It has been my experience that it is the screen on that is the battery drain as opposed to the GPS itself.

Couple of thoughts I have. Check your car charger, see if it is a 1000mA output as many are 500mA. My GNex will barely maintain charge and will often lose charge while using nav with anything less than a 1000mA charger. It is a function of the large screen. If you already have this setup, you could turn the screen off during long stretches where you will not be making any turns (like when the next highway exit is 20 miles away). This would certainly help with the charge / consumption rate.

I hope this helps or at least gives you some food for thought.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Unforgiven. I have a Scosche car charger. The website and the product mentions that it is 2A...but I really doubt that. Do you know of a way to confirm the rating? Is there a charger which you recommend? I have ebay cables running from the charger to the phone. Could they be a culprit?

There is an option to dim the screen in case the next turn is after a while. Is there an option to switch off the screen completely?
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Old May 9th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I checked out your charger link, that is one amp per port and should at least hold steady WRT you battery charge unless you are doing two things at once (streaming audio). When using nav, I simply click off the screen using the power button. I check the miles to the next action, my odometer, and then turn it back on 1/2 to 1 mile before the next action. For me the voice commands still work with the screen off, so I just flip it on and unlock it when I get the 1 mile to go message.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just use this cheap dock Amazon.com: FM Transmitter Car Charger For Motorola Droid Bionic: Cell Phones & Accessories and have no problem with GPS running the full time with screen on (some trips for hours upon hours), streaming music, and browsing/facebook and checking emails here and there at the same time. Phone stays at 100% or will fairly quickly charge the phone if not.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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keep in mind the phone will choose a charge rate based on what it thinks it's connected to. If it doesn't see the proper resistance across two pins, it will think it is connected to a PC and only charge at 500mA (or a bit less), regardless of your charger. To make matters worse, I've read on XDA that we only have 3 charging profiles on the I777, whereas the international version has 2 or 3 more, allowing it better logic to chose the highest rate possible. I'd say give the OEM USB cable a shot with a USB charger. I've had good luck with the Belkin one that's almost flush in the socket (and the OEM cable). Pretty sure it has managed GPS + screen + data (maps) + a very slow charge.

I also think that the resistance value it looks for to charge at maximum rate is somewhat close to Motorola's value, as most of their chargers will work well as mentioned above.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 05:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the Samsung car dock (Amazon.com: Samsung SGH-i777 Galaxy S II Vehicle Mount Car Kit: Cell Phones & Accessories) and I have no issues using the phone for navigation. It will charge the phone rather then maintain the current battery %. I would say that your car charger is the issue. I also think that Google Navigation is the best free program out there so I wouldn't switch to anything else.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Your power consumption problem might also have to do with using Google Maps, and the data transfer associated with using it. I use CoPilot navigation software that has maps loaded on my MicroSD card, and I don't seem to have a problem with battery drain.
Using off network navigation software can also be much better in an area with weak or no network connection.
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