3G and Voice - Radio is a huge battery drainSupport


Last Updated: 2011-08-17 03:38:35
  1. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    I posted in the battery forum, but this is a bit more specific and I feel like deserves a thread title in hopes of a response. Basically, the deal is that when I'm talking on the phone, the battery is dropping rapidly.

    Here's what happened:

    I noticed yesterday that battery life was horrendous *when making a call*. With the phone idle, drain was about like my EVO4G -- not too bad. The phone was at about 40% and I made about a 5 minute phone call. It dropped to about 20% battery left. I charged for a bit (didn't have a lot of time) but got it back up to 50%. I made another 6 minute phone call and the phone dropped down to 16% and then a couple of minutes after I hung up it dropped into "saver mode". I charged again during another break and got back to about 50% and made a call on the way home... This call was 16 minutes and dropped my battery to 24%.

    These are all according to battery monitor widget.

    In looking at my battery use through the about phone menu, everything looks normal but I can CLEARLY see when I made the phone calls as the battery drain on the graph looks like a straight cliff.

    Today, I've made three phone calls totaling 21 minutes. Each was about the same length -- 6-8 minutes. There are three very distinct cliffs for each one where the phone dropped 10%+ for each call. I've played a few minutes of games and sent a few texts and emails -- nothing any more than I did on my EVO 4G. I hit the web for about 5 minutes as well. No 3D at all.

    I'm sitting at 46% after 8ish hours of having the phone on. I've had wifi on all day and had a wifi connection for most of it...

    I think it was EarlyMon who had a bad radio or one of the other mods. Is this an indicator of a radio issue?

    Note that I have pretty much every battery "saver" turned on. Screen brightness about 20%, data always on is OFF, no google backup/restore, check for updates off, no facebook/twitter/stocks/news, turned off wake up animation...

    Update - Turned off wifi around 40%. No calls but the 3G radio ate the battery down to 14% in about 2 hours. My signal runs around -95dBM at home. It was always somewhat of a drain on my 4G, but nowhere near this bad.

    At this point in the day my EVO would be in the 65-75% left range so something must not be right with my radio. Or Something.

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  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Yeah, that's totally out of whack with what to expect.

    Update your PRL and then Profile, in that order.

    If no change, get to a Sprint service center for an RF test.

    Dial *2, then select top option to get a Sprint rep. Have them make the appointment - you get a paper trail going now and no hassles when you get there.

    And -95? That's lousy. If you're not in a fringe or problem area, that's another indicator of bad hardware.

    Best luck, keep us posted!
  3. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    Thanks... I've updated my profile and prl repeatedly. I'm going to s-on and take it in tomorrow afternoon. I'll post back what they say.
  4. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy VIP Member

    PRL first then Profile. I don't know what difference it makes, but this what has been beaten into my head since I've gotten this phone, mostly by EarlyMon, so this is what I do.

    Hopefully you can get it straightened out. I dropped 16% over a 30 minute phone call.
  5. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    I just got back from Sprint. As I expected, they told me my phone was operating "normally" and that there was nothing wrong with it. They also factory reset it which wiped everything.

    I asked how a phone could go from 50% to power save mode on a 6 minute call and he just said they couldn't replicate it.

    As a side note I mentioned that my "bars" meter jumps from full to none and 3G cuts in/out when I don't have a super-strong signal. Again, he said he couldn't replicate it. I am home now watching the "bars" go from full to 1 and back to full again randomly.

    Yeah. That's normal. And so is 30-60kb 3G download speed. All normal.

    I should have kept my 4G. :(

    ***edit*** Update again... Called sprint tech support and restated my concern. He agreed it needed to be looked into. They are sending me a new/refurb (don't care as long as it looks new and works like new) via ups and I'll send this one back. I told him I had a battery monitor running in the background while we talked. 93% battery to 78% battery on a 14 minute call. About a percent per minute... Hopefully replacement unit is rock solid with no green, lol. This camera is all good.
  6. themuffinman75

    themuffinman75 Well-Known Member

    Did they run tests on the battery to see if it was defective? I had a similar issue with my og evo and it turned out to be a defective battery. I don't care how bad your radio is, what you are talking about is a little drastic.
  7. themuffinman75

    themuffinman75 Well-Known Member

    Really? I usually drop about 7% to 10% over a 30 minute call.
  8. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'm not certain what tests they ran but it certainly could be a defective battery. Just out of curiosity, if anyone is using battery monitor widget, turn it on with 1-2 minute intervals (don't leave it like that all day!) when you make a phone call. Wifi was off on my phone while talking to the sprint tech and my "draw" according to battery monitor widget was about 997ma during the call. That seems rather high to me but maybe that's normal.

    It could be a defective battery as well. Either way, a new unit is inbound and I'll have it wednesday. I may run them side by side with a few monitoring tools and see if there are any noticeable differences.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  9. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Well-Known Member

    I like this idea. You can run the old battery and then swap in the new battery to the old unit to see if it is in fact a bad battery. Make sure you don't get them mixed up in the shuffle.

    Unfortunately you probably won't be able to activate both units with service at the same time unless you have an extra line available to you (you can still power it on and compare idle activity without activating it though, or test the one then the other after activating/deactivating).

    Best of luck. I look forward to hearing how things shake down. Kudos to you for taking the inquisitive, problem solving route with your posts here rather than the overbearing, complaining route.
    CarrieK likes this.
  10. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    Lol, thanks. :) I hadn't thought of the two lines issue. I'll make sure I have open signal maps and battery monitor on my current phone. I'll then activate the new one and install the same two apps. I'll then dial *2 from both phones, side by side, and monitor what happens. I'm assuming I'll be able to run both apps and call *2 from both and see what signals and battery draw are.

    I really think it is a radio issue and not battery, though, because I left the phone on last night in wifi mode and the battery only drained about 8% over 8ish hours which seems about right to me. Perhaps the battery can't "handle" the higher amp draws and that would still be a battery issue but methinks the problem is radio-related.

    I'll update the thread but it will be late wednesday before I can post back.
  11. AndroidMax

    AndroidMax Well-Known Member

    kenn and EarlyMon like this.
  12. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    ^Way to go!

    I'd totally forgotten about that one!
  13. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

  14. AndroidMax

    AndroidMax Well-Known Member

    Kenn,

    Just curious. What did the battery test show?
  15. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    The battery test said everything was alright. Very smooth drain.

    I had another interesting "glitch" yesterday with GPS. It was off by 60 feet or so and couldn't quite get me on the streets. I ran gps status and I was 17-20M off. I was always 2-3M off with my Incredible and with my EVO 4G.

    That said, the wierd radio drain issue is extreme sometimes and not-so-bad other times. If the signal is very strong - 5 or 6 bars, it doesn't drain very fast (faster than it should but no off of a cliff). When I'm in the 2-4 bar range, I start to really notice. I tried to connect to the web to get a phone number with a 3-4 bar signal and just 5 or so minutes of browsing (screen at 25ish percent) and I dropped from a high 9x% charge to 82% in that short period of time. It is certainly worse as signal quality decreases.

    I have noticed, using battery monitor widget, that when talking on my phone my 3D pulls a low current (I'm guessing normal) around 500-700mA. When the battery was getting sucked down quick, however, the drain was running about 1000-1100mA while talking. I'm guessing this is when the drop off is occurring because that is a huge draw... Unfortunately I have figured out that this isn't consistently happening. Go figure.

    New phone hasn't arrived yet....
  16. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Well-Known Member

    So that pretty much rules out small chance it was the battery.

    Hmmmm sounds just like the GPS problem that EarlyMon had right out of the gates when he got his phone. GPS was always showing a location significant meters away from his current state. He went to Sprint and they ran it through some RF tests and determined it was a bad unit, then replaced it for him.

    My phone at home is always is the dark yellow for signal strength in the stock battery stats. Thats anywhere from 1-3 bars fluctuating usually, and I'm pretty sure I am tower hopping since it will drop to 0 bars and then flip up to 3 or 4 bars then dwindle. I am not getting the best battery life, but nothing near to the amount of drain you are seeing. Everything works ok for me so I am not in a hurry to download Open Signal or anything. (my Evo 4G used to get solid 2-4 bars here)

    All things considered, at least you have a replacement en route and hopefully it will be worlds better for you.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  17. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    Chalk one up for poor Sprint customer service. I called today to find out where the phone was and they didn't ship me one. I had a long conversation with the tech and he verified my ship to address and went through the process of sending the phone back along with the reminder that if it didn't arrive in 30 days they would charge me full retail blah blah.

    Today's story was that I needed to take it to the store and have them verify the unit is malfunctioning and they will send a device to the store directly.

    Honestly, I've never heard of such a thing and was bewildered on how the story could change so radically.

    This is precisely why I left Sprint for Verizon a year ago. The left hand can't figure out what the right is doing.

    Verizon's customer service is mind bogglingly better but I just couldn't justify continuing to spend an extra $50/month with V. I'll try Sprint tech support in the morning and try to rectify.
  18. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Well-Known Member

    :confused: From bad to worse.
    Sprint stores (and Verizon) are equipped with a store wide signal booster and 4G repeater, to make you think you have a better connection with their service. You may not be able to recreate the problem in store. Make sure it is a full repair store. Tell Em EarlyMon sent you in for a full RF test, STAT! :D
    If you live in a bad signal area you could maybe convince them to give you an Air-rave (in home signal booster/repeater). You could also take a look at the Photon 4G, the reports are that it has a stronger RF radio - or it at least shows more bars.
    I'd say be nice and speak with the Manager and don't take no for an answer.
    Or you can always go back to Verizon...
    EarlyMon likes this.
  19. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    What a horror story on service!! :mad:

    By all means, insist on an RF test without the runarounds.
  20. CarrieK

    CarrieK Well-Known Member

    Kenn I am so sorry to hear about your poor cs experience. I have been with Sprint for 9 years and they have always treated me well. That is simply ridiculous! I hope they will make things right for you.
  21. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    I *almost* got in the car and drove to the store to pick up the phone that was "shipped on the 6th". I decided to call in first and talk to tech support.

    The story has changed again. No phone was ever shipped. The "advanced exchange" was supposed to be signed off by a supervisor and shipped. It never was signed off and never was shipped. I'm now waiting on a supervisor to contact me back and tell me what is going to happen. For the time being, they told me to go back to the store and have them look at the phone again. F that. Waste of time...
  22. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Unbe-freaking-believable!!! :mad: :mad:

    I've just read a few other similar horror stories - does Sprint just not want customers anymore?!?!

    I srsly don't get it. :mad:
  23. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    Lol. So I spent an hour on the phone with tech support and they said, "Yeah, we can see where we promised to send you a unit". I asked, "what now?" The response was that it was "within 30 days and the store would need to make the exchange". So I just got back from the store to have them run a full set of diagnostics. Apparently looking at the battery meter dropping 40% for a 45 minute phone call and another 10% for about 3 minutes of 3G web wasn't sufficient. The response? "Well, sir, we can't duplicate the error here in the store so we can't exchange your phone."

    So tech support won't send me a phone. The store won't exchange it because they can't "reproduce it". I KNOW something isn't right with the phone... If you have read my post history on the 4G you'll see I always had great luck with the battery and good things to say... I'm not a heavy user (not even moderate, really) and I don't use most of the stuff that eats the battery. My 3D isn't even on the same continent as "good battery". I'm stuck now so I'll have to thing of a plan B.

    I called customer support and told them I'm thinking about terminating my contract unless they fix the issue. She said she would get in touch with a supervisor and call me back within an hour. We'll see but I won't hold my breath. Sadly, I don't have another alternative. I don't want to go back to verizon and pay their prices and AT&T doesn't get a signal in my home or at my work.
    falconey likes this.
  24. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Hey, you don't have to tell me - I know your post history and I know you're a square dealing dude with reasonable expectations.

    I'd scream right up the chain of command until someone listens (I imagine that's already part of your plan).

    And kindly refer them to the part where the talk time is wildly outside of published spec and that to be told that that represents an irreproducible problem is a form of abuse.

    And then tell them my dog is getting angry, too. ;) <grrrr grrrrrrrrr!>
    kenn likes this.
  25. kenn

    kenn Well-Known Member

    LOL!

    I called the "retention department" and kindly told the lady to fix it or lose me as a customer. She put a note in the computer and told me to go back to the store and ask to speak to the manager. They tested the phone again and low and behold, "A radio issue". They weren't any more specific than that. 30-day exchange completed. Finally. It's on the charger and I'll install open signal apps, battery monitor widget, and gps status and see what it looks like after a few cycles of the battery.

    ****MORAL OF THE STORY**** Do not get pissy with customer service people. They just work there and don't make the rules. Polite but firm and eventually you will come out on top. Hopefully.
    CarrieK and EarlyMon like this.

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