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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Truth About Your Battery

When browsing these forums, you're bound to run across that thread where a frustrated user is yelling, "I hate my S3 the battery sucks!". It can't be avoided; there is always one similar on the first page of the forum.

You can't help but get sucked in, either because you feel sorry for the poster and want to help, or you're simply curious as to what it could be now. There are always some offering help (sometimes useful; most times not), some sharing that their battery is "just fine" while not offering anything useful, and some just making some statement to the effect that the original poster is an idiot... You know. You've read that thread. You may have even started that thread . Unfortunately, much of what you read in that thread is misinformation, so, before the next person starts yet another thread on that matter, I'd like to offer some truths about your S3 and its battery.

1. You have a bleeding edge, full featured 2012 Smartphone, with a huge, beautiful screen. It's gonna suck juice. 3G/4G/LTE data running in the background is the other killer of your battery life. Those 2 are the worst offenders, but that's what owning a smartphone is all about. It isn't all bad however, if you're not playing games or posting to Facebook 24/7, it really should last you the day without having to recharge, provided you go through and make sure you apps are set up properly.

2. Will turning off Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth significantly improve my battery life? No. In fact, it may shorten it. When your W-Fi is connected, the 3G/4G/LTE radio is basically in "sleep" mode. It's on, but it doesn't actually use any resources unless called up to do so. Since your S3 is getting it's data from Wi-Fi (which uses significantly less power than your cell radio), the only time your cell radio will use power is if it receives an SMS or other carrier related data that puts it to use.

Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when they are turned on by themselves don’t drain your battery. What drains your battery are the apps running in the background using whatever connectivity you have turned on. So instead of shutting down features your phone uses, check your apps. Only use those apps that you really need. If you only need data when you open your app, then turn off background syncing, or if you need it, set the time limits to hours, not minutes.

Here's a good example. My phone was connected to Wi-Fi for a couple of minutes. The rest of the time, it was out of range of it's normal AP's, while in range of other AP's it does not normally connect to. Bluetooth was on, however there were no connections.


As you can see, the Wi-Fi and bluetooth used a combined 0.6% of the 61% battery power used over a period of almost 10 hours.

3. Will installing task managers and task killers boost my battery life? Not really. Android (and yes, even iOS) is "smart" enough to handle task management on their own. And if there is that rare occasion you might have a rogue app, there is always the built in task managers like the one on Android.

4. How about "Conditioning" my battery? Won't that increase my battery capacity? Battery memory does not exist in today's Li-Ion batteries. You may let it drain down all the way and recharge to 100% so the OS will "learn" your batteries actual capacity, but in general discharging to near 0% repeatedly will lower the life of your battery (which does wear out over the batteries lifetime).

So What Can You Really Do To Make Your Battery Last Longer?

If your battery requires recharging several times a day then it's either an app that is causing that, or efective hardware. Get an app like GSam Battery Monitor (free) or BetterBatteryStats (paid) to find that rogue app, try replacing the battery, or even the handset if nothing else works (as an example, you could have a bad radio that stays on when it shouldn't).

Gsam Battery Monitor Download

BetterBatterStats Download


Manage the intervals certain apps have to update information (email, social networking, weather). These apps will wake the phone from sleep or stanby states to update. Do you really need to update Facebook every 15 minutes? Set it to every several hours, or even to "Manual".

Turn off vibration. It uses far more juice than ringtones.

If you use your phone indoors a lot, you can set your manual brightness to 20% or so which will give you a moderate boost, and just move the slider up as needed when outside. Removing "live" wallpapers will only save you around 2% or so of your total battery usage, so use at your discretion. If you found one you really like and it's cool to show off, then do so. It's not killing your battery

Turn off unnecessary notifications. It seems as though almost every app checks the Internet in search of updates, news, messages, etc. When it finds something, the app may chime, light up your screen and display a message, make your LED blink, or all of the above. All of this consumes energy.

Most newer Android phones such as the S3 include a Power Saver mode that helps manage the phone's various power-sapping features. Power Saver mode automatically prevents your apps from updating in the background, dims your screen, reduces the screen timeout setting, disables on-screen animations, and turns off vibration. By default, this mode usually turns on when your battery level drops to 20 percent, but you can set it to kick in at 30 percent instead.The sooner the phone switches to Power Saver mode, the longer its battery will last.

Anyway, i'll reiterate.. if you are having battery issues, check your apps! If not apps, try swapping batteries. Apps and defective batteries will account for almost all of the battery drain issues. Hope that helps if you are having problems!

Also, as a last resort, do a factory reset your phone, then check your battery usage. If it's fine, then slowly add apps while continuing to track your battery usage. When you add an app and then the next day notice a significant drain on you battery, you found the culprit!


Edit: I should clarify point 2 a bit further.. in addition to SURoot's comments below, since 3G/4G/LTE is one of the significant drains on the battery, it IS useful to use Airplane Mode (you can quickly access it from one of the buttons in the S3 Notification Bar) when in areas of no coverage, as this prevents the radio from constantly trying to seek a signal where there is none, which will have an adverse affect on the battery.

Keep in mind tho, if you're in a normal coverage area, turning off the data will have negligible effect, however if you're in a weak or non-coverage area, it will prevent excessive drain due to radios constantly trying to find/connect to a signal.

References & Useful Links:
GSam User's Guide
How multitasking really works on Android and iOS | ExtremeTech
Why Your Smartphone Battery Sucks | PCWorld

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Old September 17th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To be clear on point 2. Choosing Cell over WiFi is nonsensical. GPS is only used when its in the status bar when an app is using it, bluetooth is negligible.

However, WiFi will use a fair amount of power if it is not in range of your remembered networks. It constantly scans for SSIDs to connect to, even if "Network Notification" is not set.

Another thing (thats kind of counter intuitive), Keep WiFi on during sleep should be set to "Always". Constant disconnecting and reconnecting when you turn on and off your screen is a drain. Just leave it on and connected.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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#3 is an excellent one. Just use the phone.

If there's an app thats causing problems, end it.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is probably one of the most helpful and informative posts I've read on this forum. You've provided a great service to the community sir. Well done.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SUroot View Post
Another thing (thats kind of counter intuitive), Keep WiFi on during sleep should be set to "Always". Constant disconnecting and reconnecting when you turn on and off your screen is a drain. Just leave it on and connected.
That's an excellent point.

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This is probably one of the most helpful and informative posts I've read on this forum. You've provided a great service to the community sir. Well done.
Appreciate the thought. Thanks!
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Old September 17th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very true lol
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is interesting. If I'm understanding correctly does this mean that using an app like JuiceDefender or GreenPower is actually bad for the battery? These apps turn off the data connection and wifi when the phone is asleep and only turn them on at set intervals or when the phone is unlocked. Thoughts? Do any of you power users use these types of apps?

Thanks!
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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While it is true what SURoot says about GPS only costing power when the receiver dish is on, I've noticed that certain weather apps, even the stock Samsung weather widget will turn on GPS if it's set to find your location. So turning off GPS and letting things like weather widgets and other location necessary widgets will save a little bit of power.

I turn off my GPS satellites and it shaves off the little GPS pings I would get occasionally.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is interesting. If I'm understanding correctly does this mean that using an app like JuiceDefender or GreenPower is actually bad for the battery? These apps turn off the data connection and wifi when the phone is asleep and only turn them on at set intervals or when the phone is unlocked. Thoughts? Do any of you power users use these types of apps?

Thanks!
In my opinion it's time has passed along with task killers. There was a time most apps were using polling (checking for new info every x minutes), but more and more apps today are using push notifications, which are nearly instant and use far less battery than polling.

JD (and similar apps) automatically disables your connections in order to conserve power. You can read in the original post how that affects battery drain. In my own experience it causes wakelocks and actually has a negative impact on the battery. Perhaps on a poorly set up phone it may actually help, but it you have your apps set up properly it consumes more battery than it saves.

It can also be a hassle when you need Wi-Fi or data and it's not there, etc.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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This is interesting. If I'm understanding correctly does this mean that using an app like JuiceDefender or GreenPower is actually bad for the battery? These apps turn off the data connection and wifi when the phone is asleep and only turn them on at set intervals or when the phone is unlocked. Thoughts? Do any of you power users use these types of apps?

Thanks!
I use JuiceDefender and it made a big difference to the life of my battery.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have a question for you guys since I bought the phone over two months ago it seems the battery has been just ok but today I actually tried turning mobile date off and WOW the increase in life is astonishing. With that being said here's my question are their any apps that will only allow data to selected apps? For instance I want to have mobile date off essentially but I only want whatsapp to have access to it when it needs it?
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Old September 17th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have a question for you guys since I bought the phone over two months ago it seems the battery has been just ok but today I actually tried turning mobile date off and WOW the increase in life is astonishing. With that being said here's my question are their any apps that will only allow data to selected apps? For instance I want to have mobile date off essentially but I only want whatsapp to have access to it when it needs it?
That's what turning off all background data does - apps only use them when you open/use the app. Disable background syncing, or remove apps which don't allow you to control this.

Again, 3G/4G/LTE (and I differentiate 4G and LTE as HSPA+, rightly or wrongly, falls under 4G) - which is your data connection - is a primary power drain on you battery. However, if nothing accesses that data connection, unless you're in an area where your radio is constantly cycling to pick up a signal (very weak or no signal), leaving data on has minimal impact on your battery reserve. It's the apps that use the connection which consumes your battery.

Given that, AFAIK there is no such app, and if you think about it there really is no need for such an app. Besides, even if there were one, if data is disconnected, how would such an app know that someone is messaging you in order to allow Whatsapp access? It would only work when you were sending a message, rendering half of Whatsapp's function useless.

I dunno.. maybe I'm outhinking myself :P
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Old September 17th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quick question. Ever since Li-ion batteries came out I've heard, as you stated above, that these batteries no longer have memory issues. My question is I've noticed that when I have swapped batteries (when I'd bought an extra or extended battery) on my phone after I'd made a significant change in the layout since I last used that battery that the old layout was back. I had that recently happen on both my OG Incredible & Rezound that I use as backups. When they talk about battery memory, are they talking about memory in the actual battery like the capacity, or are they referring to my situation where the device has memory that's tied to the battery that's installed, which is what I believe is causing what I'm seeing? Not a big deal, but I've always been curious as to why it happens.

In case you're looking for a deeper description of what's happening, here it is. Say I am using the extended battery (we'll call it battery B) and I have wallpaper 1 set. I switch to the standard battery (battery A) and don't go back to battery B for a month. During that month I switch to wallpaper 2. After a month I decide to use battery B for a while. I install it and power on the phone. When it comes up wallpaper 1 is back. Hope I'm making it clear enough.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easilyamused View Post
When browsing these forums, you're bound to run across that thread where a frustrated user is yelling, "I hate my S3 the battery sucks!". It can't be avoided; there is always one similar on the first page of the forum.

You can't help but get sucked in, either because you feel sorry for the poster and want to help, or you're simply curious as to what it could be now. There are always some offering help (sometimes useful; most times not), some sharing that their battery is "just fine" while not offering anything useful, and some just making some statement to the effect that the original poster is an idiot... You know. You've read that thread. You may have even started that thread . Unfortunately, much of what you read in that thread is misinformation, so, before the next person starts yet another thread on that matter, I'd like to offer some truths about your S3 and its battery.

1. You have a bleeding edge, full featured 2012 Smartphone, with a huge, beautiful screen. It's gonna suck juice. 3G/4G/LTE data running in the background is the other killer of your batter life. Those 2 are the worst offenders, but that's what owning a smartphone is all about. It isn't all bad however, if you're not playing games or posting to Facebook 24/7, it really should last you the day without a full recharge.

2. Turning off Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth will not significantly improve your batter life. In fact, it may shorten it. When your W-Fi is connected, the 3G/4G/LTE radio is basically in "sleep" mode. It's on, but it doesn't actually use any resources unless called up to do so. Since your S3 is getting it's data from Wi-Fi (which uses significantly less power than your cell radio), the only time your cell radio will use power is if it receives an SMS or other carrier related data that puts it to use.

Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when they are turned on by themselves donít drain your battery. What drains your battery are the apps running in the background using whatever connectivity you have turned on. So instead of shutting down feature your phone uses, check your apps. Only use those apps that you really need. If you only need data when you open your app, then turn off background syncing, or if you need it, set the time limits to hours, not minutes.

3. Using task managers and killers will not boost your battery life. Android (and yes, even iOS) is "smart" enough to handle task management on their own. And if there is that rare occasion you might have a rogue app, there is always the built in task managers like the one on Android.

4. "Conditioning" your battery will not give you more battery capacity. Battery memory does not exist in today's Li-Ion batteries. You may let it drain down all the way and recharge to 100% so the OS will "learn" your batteries actual capacity, but in general discharging to near 0% repeatedly will lower the life of your battery (which does wear out over time).

So to summarize, there's not a lot you can do in to extend the time required between required recharges. If your battery requires recharging several times a day then it's either an app that is causing that, defective hardware. Get an app like GMStats or BetterBatteryStats to find that rogue app, try replacing the battery, or even the handset if nothing else works (as an example, you could have a bad radio that stays on when it shouldn't).

If you use your phone indoors a lot, you can set your manual brightness to 20% or so which will give you a moderate boost, and just move the slider up as needed when outside. Removing "live" wallpapers will only save you around 2% or so of your total battery usage, so use at your discretion. If you found one you really like and it's cool to show off, then do so. It's not killing your battery

Anyway, i'll reiterate.. if you are having battery issues, check your apps! If not apps, try swapping batteries. Apps and defective batteries will account for almost all of the battery drain issues. Hope that helps if you are having problems!

Edit: I should clarify point 2 a bit further.. in addition to SURoot's comments below, since 3G/4G/LTE is one of the significant drains on the battery, it IS useful to use Airplane Mode (you can quickly access it from one of the buttons in the S3 Notification Bar) when in areas of no coverage, as this prevents the radio from constantly trying to seek a signal where there is none, which will have an adverse affect on the battery.

Keep in mind tho, if you're in a normal coverage area, turning off the data will have negligible effect, however if you're in a weak or non-coverage area, it will prevent excessive drain due to radios constantly trying to find/connect to a signal.

References:
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/112013-how-multitasking-works-on-android-and-ios
http://www.pcworld.com/article/228189/SmartBat.html
Great post.
I especially agree about apps:
I've removed any/all that want to run on their own n that behavior cannot be controlled in settings.
No matter how good the app otherwise.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easilyamused View Post

Edit: I should clarify point 2 a bit further.. in addition to SURoot's comments below, since 3G/4G/LTE is one of the significant drains on the battery, it IS useful to use Airplane Mode (you can quickly access it from one of the buttons in the S3 Notification Bar) when in areas of no coverage, as this prevents the radio from constantly trying to seek a signal where there is none, which will have an adverse affect on the battery.

Keep in mind tho, if you're in a normal coverage area, turning off the data will have negligible effect, however if you're in a weak or non-coverage area, it will prevent excessive drain due to radios constantly trying to find/connect to a signal.

References:
How multitasking really works on Android and iOS | ExtremeTech
Why Your Smartphone Battery Sucks | PCWorld
I always say... my battery life is awesome. I never really understood the problems people seem to have. BUT when I'm at my vacation home in Pennsylvania, there is no CDMA, only iDEN. I have a Nextel phone that I leave at that house for when I'm there. If I leave my SGS3 on, I do notice it losing some battery life that it normally does not lose. This is something I will try. If I'm in Airplane mode, does the wifi still work? If so, I should be able to use Talk-A-Tone to make calls, right?

Edit: Never mind, I just tried it, I need to manually turn wifi back on after clicking the airplane mode. Then I can use the wifi app "Talkatone".
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Old September 18th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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In case you're looking for a deeper description of what's happening, here it is. Say I am using the extended battery (we'll call it battery B) and I have wallpaper 1 set. I switch to the standard battery (battery A) and don't go back to battery B for a month. During that month I switch to wallpaper 2. After a month I decide to use battery B for a while. I install it and power on the phone. When it comes up wallpaper 1 is back. Hope I'm making it clear enough.
One doesn't have anything to do with the other, so I have no clue as to why that happened. Removing the battery clears active memory, so maybe somehow the old wallpaper was cached?
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Old September 19th, 2012, 10:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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However, WiFi will use a fair amount of power if it is not in range of your remembered networks. It constantly scans for SSIDs to connect to, even if "Network Notification" is not set.
After re-reading your reply, I would have to respectfully disagree with one part of your comment. While in range of multiple AP's, but outside the range of my "Saved" networks, Wi-Fi consumed 0.3% of the 61% battery power used - The same as the unconnected Bluetooth (screenshot of battery monitor added to my original post above). 0.6% combined is inconsequential, and certainly unnoticeable without the use of monitoring software.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One thing that I have experienced with all 3 of my smartphones (one Nokia, one HTC and one Samsung) is that batter life when brand new seems to be not that good and then gets better after a few weeks. The instruction manual that came with my HTC phone states that battery life should increase after a number of recharges. I'm thinking that part of the reason may be that when I get a new phone, I am trying more things out and thus using it more than after I have had it for some time. I am not sure that this is the only reason why my battery life seems to increase after a few weeks of using a new phone. I have used it heavily at times when it was more than a month old and it seems to last longer. I have not done any controlled tests. All I know is that battery life appears to increase after about a month of owning each of my new phones.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 02:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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One thing that I have experienced with all 3 of my smartphones (one Nokia, one HTC and one Samsung) is that batter life when brand new seems to be not that good and then gets better after a few weeks. The instruction manual that came with my HTC phone states that battery life should increase after a number of recharges. I'm thinking that part of the reason may be that when I get a new phone, I am trying more things out and thus using it more than after I have had it for some time. I am not sure that this is the only reason why my battery life seems to increase after a few weeks of using a new phone. I have used it heavily at times when it was more than a month old and it seems to last longer. I have not done any controlled tests. All I know is that battery life appears to increase after about a month of owning each of my new phones.
Maybe try buying a brand new battery for your phone (after months of using the phone prior) and test to see how long it lasts with the same usage. Then, if the battery doesnt last as long as the other one, then you know that new batteries just need to be cycled a few times to work at full capacity.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 10:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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To be clear on point 2. Choosing Cell over WiFi is nonsensical. GPS is only used when its in the status bar when an app is using it, bluetooth is negligible.

Another thing (thats kind of counter intuitive), Keep WiFi on during sleep should be set to "Always". Constant disconnecting and reconnecting when you turn on and off your screen is a drain. Just leave it on and connected.
While I agree that the key negotiations associated with re-establishing a WiFi connection each time you turn the screen on can eat CPU cycles, one can also argue that leaving WiFi always enabled can waste cycles if the phone is connected to an access point. I figure, at minimum, wpa_supplicant must continue to run in the background to perform periodic re-keying.

As a simple test, last night I configured my GS3 to keep WiFi on always, enabled BlueTooth (though there are no BT devices nearby) and disabled Juice Defender. I also disabled all app syncing. For the last 10 hours, with the exception of a 2-minute phone call, my phone has been idle. Screen off, no app updates, no notifications received. As suspected, however, GSam's battery history graph shows the phone has been in an almost constant 'active' state for the period that the phone was ostensibly asleep. Oddly, the graph does show three brief gaps (maybe 15-20 minutes each?) over the last 12 hours where the phone indeed appears to have gone to sleep. Curious. I'd need an app like BBS or a rooted phone to investigate further.

Perhaps not coincidentally, after the test, I noticed my battery was at 77% so it had drained about 2% per hour while resting idly on my kitchen bar. With JD enabled, battery drain at this location has been between 0.5% and 1% per hour. I understand this isn't a completely fair comparison since JD does other things but my feel is the bulk of this discrepancy is due to WiFi being enabled...
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Old September 24th, 2012, 02:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I have an extra OEM battery. I don't like putting any limits on my phone or myself.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 10:23 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Perhaps not coincidentally, after the test, I noticed my battery was at 77% so it had drained about 2% per hour while resting idly on my kitchen bar. With JD enabled, battery drain at this location has been between 0.5% and 1% per hour. I understand this isn't a completely fair comparison since JD does other things but my feel is the bulk of this discrepancy is due to WiFi being enabled...
If you check Gsam you would observe that JD stops the phone going into a proper deep sleep, which contributes to battery drain. JD will use more battery than a properly set up phone.

I might however agree that if you have no desire to go through and set everything up correctly, JD will probably decrease your overall battery use, however JD itself can be a hassle by getting in the way of certain functions when you need them.

As for Wi-Fi and BT, I never turn them off. Currently after a bit over 30 hours, my battery is down to 40%, and Wi-Fi and BT have accounted for 0.4% combined of the 60% battery used (adj. for apps which account for half of the battery drain):


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I have an extra OEM battery. I don't like putting any limits on my phone or myself.
But you're limiting yourself to just 2 batteries
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 11:29 AM   #23 (permalink)
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so is the built in battery is not as good as the ones you mentioned?
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 12:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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so is the built in battery is not as good as the ones you mentioned?
not sure what you mean.. or who your question is directed towards... the OEM battery? Compared to what?
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Old October 5th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #25 (permalink)
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not sure what you mean.. or who your question is directed towards... the OEM battery? Compared to what?

sorry I guess I missed a work I meant the built in Battery usage monitor in settings/battery

is that not as accuarate as the 2 apps you referenced to used
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Old October 5th, 2012, 07:23 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Its not that its inaccurate. More that it doesnt give as much detail. Infact it gives almost no detail.

Other apps can give you partial wake usage, kernel wakelocks etc etc and break it down into how many times apps did certain things as opposed to "Maps 43%"
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Old October 5th, 2012, 12:21 PM   #27 (permalink)
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After re-reading your reply, I would have to respectfully disagree with one part of your comment. While in range of multiple AP's, but outside the range of my "Saved" networks, Wi-Fi consumed 0.3% of the 61% battery power used - The same as the unconnected Bluetooth (screenshot of battery monitor added to my original post above). 0.6% combined is inconsequential, and certainly unnoticeable without the use of monitoring software.
I have noticed a meaningful improvement in battery life while my phone is sitting idle on my desk all day at work with having Wifi OFF.....then it is not always checking for APs.

I use an automatic app that turns it off when I leave the house, then can turn it on again when I get home.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 03:11 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Maybe try buying a brand new battery for your phone (after months of using the phone prior) and test to see how long it lasts with the same usage. Then, if the battery doesnt last as long as the other one, then you know that new batteries just need to be cycled a few times to work at full capacity.
I tried buying a new battery for my HTC Desire Z because the battery was going bad. I ordered it, but after a couple of weeks, I was told that they don't make them anymore. I then bought a new phone instead.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I have noticed a meaningful improvement in battery life while my phone is sitting idle on my desk all day at work with having Wifi OFF.....then it is not always checking for APs.

I use an automatic app that turns it off when I leave the house, then can turn it on again when I get home.
While there are Wi-Fi APs in the area where I work, I do not connect to any of them. At the end of the day, there is no discernible difference in the power used by Wi-Fi.

There have been days when I've had to go running around in urban areas where there are literally hundreds of WAPs. With Wi-Fi on continuously usage is still 3/10th of 1 percent (0.3%) of total battery use. Absolutely insignificant.

It seems many people are under the false impression that the Wi-Fi radio tries to continually connect to WAPs and drain the battery. This is absolutely untrue. When the GS3's Wi-Fi is "on", it doesn't "seek" WAPs, and by default it doesn't try to connect to any network available. There are no protocols running, and there is no attempt to negotiate an authentication, therefore it does not put a significant load on the battery. You always have to initially connect manually, after which point it becomes a "known" network and will connect automatically when in range. What people need to realize it it's simply acting as a receiver and as such the current required is trivial. If you put it into a "hotspot" mode, than the drain is significant as it's acting as a transmitter.

If a battery monitoring application actually shows the Wi-Fi radio is causing a significant battery drain, there is something wrong. Simply turning the Wi-Fi off is nothing more than a bandaid fix; the underlying problem is still present.

Edit: Apparently there are some carrier specific apps which may be cause the GS3 to try and connect to any open network it finds (my AT&T GS3 does not have this). See the following post for specifics:

Wifi Keeps Auto Connecting

My suggestion would be to turn off or disable such apps.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #30 (permalink)
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When browsing these forums, you're bound to run across that thread where a frustrated user is yelling, "I hate my S3 the battery sucks!". It can't be avoided; there is always one similar on the first page of the forum.

You can't help but get sucked in, either because you feel sorry for the poster and want to help, or you're simply curious as to what it could be now. There are always some offering help (sometimes useful; most times not), some sharing that their battery is "just fine" while not offering anything useful, and some just making some statement to the effect that the original poster is an idiot... You know. You've read that thread. You may have even started that thread . Unfortunately, much of what you read in that thread is misinformation, so, before the next person starts yet another thread on that matter, I'd like to offer some truths about your S3 and its battery.

1. You have a bleeding edge, full featured 2012 Smartphone, with a huge, beautiful screen. It's gonna suck juice. 3G/4G/LTE data running in the background is the other killer of your battery life. Those 2 are the worst offenders, but that's what owning a smartphone is all about. It isn't all bad however, if you're not playing games or posting to Facebook 24/7, it really should last you the day without having to recharge, provided you go through and make sure you apps are set up properly.

2. Will turning off Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth significantly improve my battery life? No. In fact, it may shorten it. When your W-Fi is connected, the 3G/4G/LTE radio is basically in "sleep" mode. It's on, but it doesn't actually use any resources unless called up to do so. Since your S3 is getting it's data from Wi-Fi (which uses significantly less power than your cell radio), the only time your cell radio will use power is if it receives an SMS or other carrier related data that puts it to use.

Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when they are turned on by themselves donít drain your battery. What drains your battery are the apps running in the background using whatever connectivity you have turned on. So instead of shutting down features your phone uses, check your apps. Only use those apps that you really need. If you only need data when you open your app, then turn off background syncing, or if you need it, set the time limits to hours, not minutes.

Here's a good example. My phone was connected to Wi-Fi for a couple of minutes. The rest of the time, it was out of range of it's normal AP's, while in range of other AP's it does not normally connect to. Bluetooth was on, however there were no connections.


As you can see, the Wi-Fi and bluetooth used a combined 0.6% of the 61% battery power used over a period of almost 10 hours.

3. Will installing task managers and task killers boost my battery life? Not really. Android (and yes, even iOS) is "smart" enough to handle task management on their own. And if there is that rare occasion you might have a rogue app, there is always the built in task managers like the one on Android.

4. How about "Conditioning" my battery? Won't that increase my battery capacity? Battery memory does not exist in today's Li-Ion batteries. You may let it drain down all the way and recharge to 100% so the OS will "learn" your batteries actual capacity, but in general discharging to near 0% repeatedly will lower the life of your battery (which does wear out over the batteries lifetime).

So What Can You Really Do To Make Your Battery Last Longer?

If your battery requires recharging several times a day then it's either an app that is causing that, or efective hardware. Get an app like GSam Battery Monitor (free) or BetterBatteryStats (paid) to find that rogue app, try replacing the battery, or even the handset if nothing else works (as an example, you could have a bad radio that stays on when it shouldn't).

Gsam Battery Monitor Download

BetterBatterStats Download


Manage the intervals certain apps have to update information (email, social networking, weather). These apps will wake the phone from sleep or stanby states to update. Do you really need to update Facebook every 15 minutes? Set it to every several hours, or even to "Manual".

Turn off vibration. It uses far more juice than ringtones.

If you use your phone indoors a lot, you can set your manual brightness to 20% or so which will give you a moderate boost, and just move the slider up as needed when outside. Removing "live" wallpapers will only save you around 2% or so of your total battery usage, so use at your discretion. If you found one you really like and it's cool to show off, then do so. It's not killing your battery

Turn off unnecessary notifications. It seems as though almost every app checks the Internet in search of updates, news, messages, etc. When it finds something, the app may chime, light up your screen and display a message, make your LED blink, or all of the above. All of this consumes energy.

Most newer Android phones such as the S3 include a Power Saver mode that helps manage the phone's various power-sapping features. Power Saver mode automatically prevents your apps from updating in the background, dims your screen, reduces the screen timeout setting, disables on-screen animations, and turns off vibration. By default, this mode usually turns on when your battery level drops to 20 percent, but you can set it to kick in at 30 percent instead.The sooner the phone switches to Power Saver mode, the longer its battery will last.

Anyway, i'll reiterate.. if you are having battery issues, check your apps! If not apps, try swapping batteries. Apps and defective batteries will account for almost all of the battery drain issues. Hope that helps if you are having problems!

Also, as a last resort, do a factory reset your phone, then check your battery usage. If it's fine, then slowly add apps while continuing to track your battery usage. When you add an app and then the next day notice a significant drain on you battery, you found the culprit!


Edit: I should clarify point 2 a bit further.. in addition to SURoot's comments below, since 3G/4G/LTE is one of the significant drains on the battery, it IS useful to use Airplane Mode (you can quickly access it from one of the buttons in the S3 Notification Bar) when in areas of no coverage, as this prevents the radio from constantly trying to seek a signal where there is none, which will have an adverse affect on the battery.

Keep in mind tho, if you're in a normal coverage area, turning off the data will have negligible effect, however if you're in a weak or non-coverage area, it will prevent excessive drain due to radios constantly trying to find/connect to a signal.

References & Useful Links:
GSam User's Guide
How multitasking really works on Android and iOS | ExtremeTech
Why Your Smartphone Battery Sucks | PCWorld
Very well put! I would like to say that in the few months that I have been using this forum, I have found everyone of your posts to be helpful, well thought out and at times humorous. You and people like you make owning an android a great experience. I love to tinker with all my toys(electronics) I find it's the best way to learn and If I don't know or can't figure it out on my own I can count on someone in here to help me out! So I wanted to shout ...
"THANK YOU!!! "
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Old October 6th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Lol just kidding!
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Old October 7th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Lol just kidding!
Best show on TV
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Old October 9th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Since you seem to know a bit about batteries, maybe you can help me with my problem. I go to bed fully charged every night and wake up with 0-5% battery. It doesn't matter what combination of Wi-Fi/Syncing/Mobile Data/etc, that I use. I always just seem to end up with an almost dead battery.

So I downloaded GSam and this is an example of the results it gave me...

Screenshot_2012-10-08-07-07-40.jpg

Screenshot_2012-10-08-07-09-29.jpg

As you can see, cell radio is what takes up my entire battery. But as you can see from the other picture, I have no trouble getting reception. So what is the cause? If it was a rogue app running in the background, wouldn't it show up under "apps" rather than radio? And even if it WAS a rogue app, can it seriously be responsible for that much?

EDIT: And if you're wondering why airplane mode is on, it's because I awoke in the middle of the night to find my battery low so I turned airplane mode on to ensure it didn't die in my sleep. So basically airplane mode was only on for an hour or so, so don't be mislead by the icon lol. Airplane wasn't on the whole night.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #34 (permalink)
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This should be on as different thread. But I'll try and help.

You may have a bunk phone because with a strong signal like that something is really wrong. Download phone info and use it to try a different band. 3g vs 4g or whatever applies. Google more info.

If you try and return it they will make you factory reset first. So it is probably worth trying that as well
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Old October 10th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Since you seem to know a bit about batteries, maybe you can help me with my problem. I go to bed fully charged every night and wake up with 0-5% battery. It doesn't matter what combination of Wi-Fi/Syncing/Mobile Data/etc, that I use. I always just seem to end up with an almost dead battery.

So I downloaded GSam and this is an example of the results it gave me...

Attachment 40826

Attachment 40827

As you can see, cell radio is what takes up my entire battery. But as you can see from the other picture, I have no trouble getting reception. So what is the cause? If it was a rogue app running in the background, wouldn't it show up under "apps" rather than radio? And even if it WAS a rogue app, can it seriously be responsible for that much?

EDIT: And if you're wondering why airplane mode is on, it's because I awoke in the middle of the night to find my battery low so I turned airplane mode on to ensure it didn't die in my sleep. So basically airplane mode was only on for an hour or so, so don't be mislead by the icon lol. Airplane wasn't on the whole night.
The cell standby is a known issue and will skew your stats.

Cell Standby issue - please sign "petition" for Samsung
.
Try putting it in airplane mode overnight (this should turn the radio off) after it's fully charged, then post the results, incl. the app page. Also check the "view time held awake" and " view num times waking device" values. Hopefully this might shed some light on what's actually going on.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 07:26 AM   #36 (permalink)
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The cell standby is a known issue and will skew your stats.

Cell Standby issue - please sign "petition" for Samsung
.
Try putting it in airplane mode overnight (this should turn the radio off) after it's fully charged, then post the results, incl. the app page. Also check the "view time held awake" and " view num times waking device" values. Hopefully this might shed some light on what's actually going on.
I know for a fact that when I put it on airplane mode, it tends to kinda level out. I generally don't like using airplane mode though.

Also, I should note that sometimes when I take my phone off the charger, it will sometimes go UP in battery power. Like just now for example, I took it off the charger at 56% and now it's at 58%. This also happens to my girl (who has the same phone and service). Do we just have messed up batteries or is that normal?

EDIT: Now it's up to 59% lol. This is OFF the charger. I think my phone is haunted
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Old October 10th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #37 (permalink)
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This is spot on. If I'm connected to 3G/4G/LTE I usually notice about a 2-3% battery drain per hour. So throughout the course of the day I lose about 30-50% of my battery just doing nothing. I downloaded Juice Defender and set my mobile data to shut off when my screen is off, I haven't ran the numbers yet but my battery life has been significantly better.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Thank you to the OP for this info.

I have question on my battery life, if I may: I loaded up GSam and noticed the biggest drained is the "Phone Radio". I haven't made a call all day, in fact I barely talk on my phone at all. Is there something or a setting I should look at?

Thanks!
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:41 AM   #39 (permalink)
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How is your phone signal? If it's weak, maybe your phone is spending a lot of juice telling the cell tower "I am here," so you can get calls?

And/or if you are not connected to wifi during this time, could you have an app that's continually updating like Facebook (if you have not set the app to not do that) and it's using the phone radio to connect?
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #40 (permalink)
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How is your phone signal? If it's weak, maybe your phone is spending a lot of juice telling the cell tower "I am here," so you can get calls?
Constantly have 4 to 5 bars of signal. FWIW, the "4G" icon is always there too. I'm also able to make and receive calls without issue.

Also...I had a 100% charge at 7AM. Four hours later I'm down to 87% or roughly a 3.25% drop per hour. No surfing, no videos, just a couple texts and my MS Exchange account being sync'd.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #41 (permalink)
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If you check Gsam you would observe that JD stops the phone going into a proper deep sleep, which contributes to battery drain. JD will use more battery than a properly set up phone.

I might however agree that if you have no desire to go through and set everything up correctly, JD will probably decrease your overall battery use, however JD itself can be a hassle by getting in the way of certain functions when you need them.

As for Wi-Fi and BT, I never turn them off. Currently after a bit over 30 hours, my battery is down to 40%, and Wi-Fi and BT have accounted for 0.4% combined of the 60% battery used (adj. for apps which account for half of the battery drain):

Please for the love of god share how you get 30 hours of battery life on your S3. I just got mine a week ago but every other day it gets crippled by terrible battery life (especially terrible compared to 30 hours.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Very good info here, Thanks. I've had my S3 for 5 days now and with mild tweeks I am impressed with the battery life.

Mine so far today:

-On charger all night. Left the charger @ 6:30 AM
-Light use, email, text, lunch time web browsing + video's using 4G
- 10h 40m on battery
-59% as of 4:00 PM
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Please for the love of god share how you get 30 hours of battery life on your S3. I just got mine a week ago but every other day it gets crippled by terrible battery life (especially terrible compared to 30 hours.
Yeah, I'm nowhere near that. My Average Battery Life in GSam Battery Monitor says 15h 10m. I'm at 68% today after 7.5 hours with only 34 minutes of screen on.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:08 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Thank you to the OP for this info.

I have question on my battery life, if I may: I loaded up GSam and noticed the biggest drained is the "Phone Radio". I haven't made a call all day, in fact I barely talk on my phone at all. Is there something or a setting I should look at?

Thanks!
If you click on phone radio , it will tell you exactly what it used and why based on the signal. example:
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Old October 10th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I know for a fact that when I put it on airplane mode, it tends to kinda level out. I generally don't like using airplane mode though.
Well, the whole reason I suggested measuring it in airplane mode is it gets rid of the reporting bug for the radios, and puts the rest of the % in line with what it's actually doing.

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Originally Posted by jp76 View Post
Thank you to the OP for this info.

I have question on my battery life, if I may: I loaded up GSam and noticed the biggest drained is the "Phone Radio". I haven't made a call all day, in fact I barely talk on my phone at all. Is there something or a setting I should look at?

Thanks!
Basically the "Phone Radio" is not being reported with the correct value. This obviously makes the rest of the values lower than they should be. The "bug" needs to be corrected by firmware update. See this thread for a better description:

Cell Standby issue - please sign "petition" for Samsung

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Please for the love of god share how you get 30 hours of battery life on your S3. I just got mine a week ago but every other day it gets crippled by terrible battery life (especially terrible compared to 30 hours.
Well, here is how I set up and run my phone...

Almost all background syncing is off. I get very few notifications. Email is checked every 4 hours, but that's about it. Facebook for example only updates when I open the app.

I have all the all the accounts - Google, Google +, Samsung... active but they are set to sync MANUALLY.

The one thing I haven't quite been able to do is keep Google Maps from doing stuff in the background, but that's probably because I keep GPS on at all times (along with BT and Wi-Fi; they are NEVER off). Need to look into that further.

I use "Power Saving" mode. This cuts cpu performance a bit, among other things... but this phone is insanely fast so it doesn't bother me even though I use a third party launcher and have unnecessary (but cool) screen transitions and stuff...

My phone use is moderate.. a few phone calls, lots of texts, and emails and occasional browsing. It connects to my car audio via BT for hands free calling and I listen to music quite a bit. I usually get about 2 hours of screen time or a bit more in a full day.

I don't have LTE in my area; but over 3 days in an LTE area I still got a full days use no problem. In a typical day my radio has 5 bars over 90% of the time; 4 bars the rest. Other than about 10 hours while I am at work, it is usually on WiFi the rest of the time.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 08:53 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Easilyamused View Post
Well, here is how I set up and run my phone...

Almost all background syncing is off. I get very few notifications. Email is checked every 4 hours, but that's about it. Facebook for example only updates when I open the app.

I have all the all the accounts - Google, Google +, Samsung... active but they are set to sync MANUALLY.

The one thing I haven't quite been able to do is keep Google Maps from doing stuff in the background, but that's probably because I keep GPS on at all times (along with BT and Wi-Fi; they are NEVER off). Need to look into that further.

Edit: also App Usage accounts of 44.0% of my battery, Phone Radio accounts for 31.2%, and Screen accounts for 23.3%. The other stuff is minimal. Though it was only "Held Awake" for 24 minutes, using 0.2% power. Thought this info might be helpful. Thanks again.

I use "Power Saving" mode. This cuts cpu performance a bit, among other things... but this phone is insanely fast so it doesn't bother me even though I use a third party launcher and have unnecessary (but cool) screen transitions and stuff...

My phone use is moderate.. a few phone calls, lots of texts, and emails and occasional browsing. It connects to my car audio via BT for hands free calling and I listen to music quite a bit. I usually get about 2 hours of screen time or a bit more in a full day.

I don't have LTE in my area; but over 3 days in an LTE area I still got a full days use no problem. In a typical day my radio has 5 bars over 90% of the time; 4 bars the rest. Other than about 10 hours while I am at work, it is usually on WiFi the rest of the time.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Your usage and syncing info and everything is almost identical to mine. But I still get insane battery loss. I found that "Android System" had 1415 wakelocks (found using Gsam Battery). Does this sound extreme? I'm getting quite a bit of loss of battery while the phone is asleep but Gsam also says that "Android System" is only using 15.1% of the 95% loss of charge. Thanks for the help, I truly appreciate it. I love this phone, but the battery is killing me (and the phone).
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Old October 10th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Well, the whole reason I suggested measuring it in airplane mode is it gets rid of the reporting bug for the radios, and puts the rest of the % in line with what it's actually doing.
Ah okay that makes sense. Well its bedtime right now. I'm fully charged and running GSam. I have airplane mode activated. So I will post in the morning letting you know. Please check back. Thanks
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mohaver View Post
Your usage and syncing info and everything is almost identical to mine. But I still get insane battery loss. I found that "Android System" had 1415 wakelocks (found using Gsam Battery). Does this sound extreme? I'm getting quite a bit of loss of battery while the phone is asleep but Gsam also says that "Android System" is only using 15.1% of the 95% loss of charge. Thanks for the help, I truly appreciate it. I love this phone, but the battery is killing me (and the phone).
So what is using the other 80%?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 05:53 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Okay so ran it in airplane mode all night (and of course that was when all the action went on. woke up to 3 texts, a score center update, 3 fb notifications, and an email lol)

Now THIS is a number I like. Woke up with 99%


So I check GSAM

1.jpg

88% of that 1% is attributed to apps... so onto the apps...

2.jpg

Android System is responsible for 51% of that... so onto that...

3.jpg

I feel this is the most important snapshot of the series. This reveals the wakelocks and whatnot


4.jpg

The above is a snapshot of the setting's battery usage thing built in


5.jpg

I'm noticing my phone wasn't awake during the night according to this lol. I like this!


6.jpg

Here is a different snapshot of Android system. I like GSam's better


Anyway, that's the results. What's the next step? What do these pics reveal?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 06:08 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I thought Airplane mode shuts off everything, how did you get "3 texts, a score center update, 3 fb notifications, and an email" or was that after you turned airplane mode off?
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