An analysis of HTC's battery charging issues (Incredible)General


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  1. Medion

    Medion Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I decided to make this post as an attempt to be informative without getting lost in the shuffle of existing threads. However, if any mod feels the need to move, merge, delete, nuke this thread from orbit, I'll respectfully understand.

    I purchased my Droid Incredible on August 5th. I used it for 2 weeks before redeploying to Iraq. I experienced the same bump charge issues that many others have reported, and after 2-3 days of testing, bought the Seidio Multi-Function battery charger and a 2nd battery, so I'd never have to experience it again. However, I did test it a few days before leaving, and had my wife run a few more tests for me and relay that information this past week. Here's my conclusions (agree or disagree). This is further supported by a recent charging change that HTC made with the 2.2 update.

    Analysis:

    It seems that when plugged in, the Incredible, unlike most phones, continues to run off the battery rather than the external power source. A normal phone does two things once connected to an external power source. First, it begins charging the battery. Secondly, it runs off that source while the battery charges. When the battery is reported fully charged, the battery is essentially turned off, and the phone continues to run off the external source. Once unplugged, the phone switches to a full battery.

    By comparison, the Incredible seems to be doing it differently. The phone continues to run off the battery while charging. When fully charged, the phone reports itself fully charged, turns off charging, and runs off the battery. Due to the way the Android battery meter works (doesn't begin counting usage until unplugged), it will continue to report a full battery even if left plugged in indefinitely. When unplugged, at the next polling, the battery will report the actual remaining juice.

    In 2.2, HTC slowed the charging due to the battery getting hot while charging. Well...no shit! It's both charging and running off the unit, so of course it will get hot! How about we patch it to run off external power like a normal phone?

    There's one more thing to do to confirm my theory, but as I stated, I don't have the phone with me. If this bump charge doesn't exist with custom ROMs that are NOT based on the official HTC release (like Cyanogen), but does exist in custom roms based off the official release (Skyraider), then that will all but confirm that it's an HTC driver issue. I won't be able to confirm this until at least January, so wouldn't mind someone else here reporting in.

    I've reported the issue to HTC, but I've gotten the same responses as everyone else;

    -We've never heard of this issue
    -You have to plug it in until the light turns green
    -All batteries stop charging when full
    -etc.

    Solutions:

    -"Bump Charge" by unplugging the phone, and plugging it back in until the light turns green again. This will force it to re-recharge. Once again, if you let it turn green and remain on the charger for an extended period of time, you may want to re-bump it if time allows.

    -Charge it while powered off (for those who don't need their phone when sleeping, or don't use it as an alarm). This prevents the battery from draining excessively when full.

    -Buy an external charger, like Seidio's multi-function battery charger (and a 2nd battery). The battery charger will do a complete charge. I just swap batteries as needed, and never have to bump anymore.
     

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  2. DGRYAN1977

    DGRYAN1977 Well-Known Member

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    You sir, are a genius. And thank you for serving our country.
    I think what I may try, is buying the external charger and just pull my battery every night.
     
  3. sail4fun201

    sail4fun201 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think ym Incredible's back coudl take that every dya.
     
  4. Medion

    Medion Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    While the back feels cheap, it's actually very durable and flexible. It seems like it won't have a problem snapping on and off as needed for a long time.
     
  5. Fine69

    Fine69 Well-Known Member

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    I to noticed this as well. Its not charging anymore it use battery power only even when plugged in and its green. You can tell this as soon as you disc power and the battery meter drops that 7 percent right away. I have found if you charge it turned off you get a much better charge. or if you plug it in on and charge it unplug it wait a couple minutes plug it in again until green usually 15 minutes. the BEST charge though is turned off it will last longer at least on 2.2. I thought I was going nuts I could swear it was using battery power and not charging even when it was plugged in listening to pandora the other night. the usb fell out the battery level dropped 8 percent in like minutes. I plugged it back in and there was the orange light again.



    p.s. Thank you for protecting us and our freedoms.
     
  6. Miz_Lola

    Miz_Lola New Member

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    :rolleyes:Thank you for confirming that I am not crazy! Hubby swore up and done that I must not have it plugged in properly. I thought it was something I was doing wrong... I too noticed that the phone continues to run off the battery even when plugged in to the charger. This is especially aggravating when travelling!

    :eek:It is hard to get used to this little 'feature'. Up until now, I have always been able to charge my phones in my car without worrying about the battery being critically low after I UNLPUG IT FROM THE CHARGER.

    I will try the "bump" and see what happens :cool:
     
  7. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this. This "issue" that we have, ALL lithium-ion products have. The phone does NOT continue to run on the battery when plugged in. Pull the battery while it's plugged in and you can confirm that. ALL custom roms have the same issue, because like I said, it's a Lithium-Ion "issue" NOT a phone issue. The only reason you may or may not notice this "issue" on other phones is because it is DISGUISED by software. A quick google search on Lithium-Ion batteries can answer all your questions.
    The main reason people even started looking at this battery/bump charging thing is because of the small battery that the Incredible comes with. You can bump charge ANY product that runs on a lithium-ion battery and get "better" battery life.
     
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  8. Medion

    Medion Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Turn on Incredible. Plug in Incredible. Remove battery.

    If what you said was true, the phone would continue to run. It doesn't. It turns off. It will not turn back on until the battery is reinserted.
     
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  9. orcsbane13

    orcsbane13 Well-Known Member

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    I've tested this and while plugged in and turned on I can pull my battery and the phone stays on. So I don't buy the whole It's still running off the battery theory.
     
  10. Sevreth

    Sevreth Well-Known Member

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    I am with Merion. I have my phone plugged in and turned on. As soon as I pull the battery the phone shuts down which validates Merion's findings.

    I wonder if HTC fixed this issue on the hardware side on newer phones. Or maybe you have a unique phone orcs.

    Merion, thank you for serving our country.

    Cheers,

    -Sev
     
  11. DawnGP143

    DawnGP143 Well-Known Member

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    I just plugged my phone into the charger, removed the battery and the phone shut off, indicating that yes, you are correct.

    PS....Thank you for your service to this country. You and your family ARE appreciated.
     
  12. jackdubl

    jackdubl Well-Known Member

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    I have been using three batteries since I got my phone in May. Switch out once to twice a day every day. I can tell you the back is as durable as you can be gentle with it. Mine still looks like new.

    And, yes, the phone cannot run without a battery in it, which I always found odd but never put two-and-two together till reading this thread.

    I read that the update is increasing charge speed. Could they have fixed the issue?
     
  13. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

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    You are all missing the point, this issue you are complaining about is NOT a problem. ALL lithium ion batteries behave this way. There is NO way to "fix" it. And the phone stays on if you take the battery out while it's plugged in (at least mine and everyone I know with one).

    I've also never noticed my phone battery getting hot or even warm while charging ( I have a temperature monitor on it and my phone cools considerably when charging and always has), I've had it since release day and am using the stock battery. It is very possible, your issues are because you are using Seido batteries. I have read some reviews of people having charging issues with those brand batteries.

    @jackdubl - yes the new OTA update changed your kernel which increased the charging speed to even FASTER than it was on 2.1. But like I said above, there is no "fix" for the bump charging and never will be. The only thing HTC could do is change the way the software reads the battery voltage and spread out the sudden "discharge" you notice like most other phones do.
     
  14. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Mine doesn't. I just tested it although I noticed it before. Using 1A charger so that shouldn't be a problem.
     
  15. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

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    yeah, I have no idea why some people's phones stay on when the battery is pulled and some peoples don't. But it doesn't really matter anyway, it has no effect on how the battery charges.
     
  16. NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone noticed if they still need to bump charge with the new OTA update? Someone in the other thread said he doesnt see the near 10% drop after unplugging without bump charge anymore after the update.
     
  17. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you will ALWAYS need to bump charge if you think it's necessary. There is no fix and never will be, because it isn't a problem. All lithium-ion batteries act this way, it has NOTHING to do with the phone.
     
  18. RoboCuz

    RoboCuz Well-Known Member

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    I find it very interesting that some people's Incredible will run without a battery, and others won't. I have actually started two separate threads regarding this, as I suspect that behavior might also have a relation to how some people seem to get much better battery life than others...my suspicion is the draw on the battery is greater on those that can't run without a battery.

    Unfortunately, each thread fell by the wayside, not a lot of interest. I actually got my first Incredible replaced because of this very issue...I was talking to tech support, and all their phones ran without batteries, and mine did not, so I got a replacement...it didn't change though, mine still will not run without a battery. I also checked if it was some app that was installed...I tried it with my replacement as soon as I got it, before I added all my apps. No dice.
     
  19. Kitten Mittens

    Kitten Mittens Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I never realized this. I do slightly remember, please correct me if I'm wrong, that when I got my original pre-ordered phone replaced back in june/july (stock 2.1 at the time) that I was able to power up the phone and use it while plugged into the wall but with no battery in the phone, I am pretty sure I was able to do this in order to have both phones on when I only had one battery, since they didn't send a battery or any other accessories with the replacement phone. However my memory could be skewed so if this couldn't have been possible please correct me, I do know I have been able to do this with other phones and laptops, so I could be mistaken.
     
  20. NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying because my laptop seems to be the same way. However, this issue is much more severe on the case of the Dinc. My laptop goes back to full charge in like 5 mins where Dinc takes about 30-40 mins. This is even when I shut it down within minutes of light turning green... so there has to be a different reason.
     
  21. gruss

    gruss Well-Known Member

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    Sorry dude you are wrong, I am using, right now, an Eris and an Incredible, they have the same batteries in them and in fact I swap the batteries all the time. I can tell you that when charging with both phones on both plugged in and unplugged at the EXACT same time, when unplugged the Inc will drop 7-9% within 5 minutes while the Eris will happily sit at 100% for an indeterminate amount of time.
    If these batteries are switched, the eris will report the battery charged in the Incredible around 92% just like the Inc did, and the Inc will then report the battery charged in the Eris as 100%.
    I use a spare charger because the Inc does have charging issues, this IS NOT because they are lithium ion batteries, and has everything to do with this phone.
    Stock 1300 mah battery bumped or charged in external charger will easily outlast an inc charged battery by about 3 hours for my (somewhat heavy) usage. It is beyond me why HTC would do this? I agree with the original poster though, I actually like just swapping batteries anyway, run until 25 or 30% on the meter and throw in a fresh one no worries.
     
  22. Medion

    Medion Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    @sdrawkcab25 -

    I think there are two issues at play here. First, is my assertion that the Droid Incredible has a unique charging issue that requires a bump charge. Second, is the loss of residual charge with lithium ion batteries. I think you're focusing a lot on the second issue and assuming that it is the cause of the first issue. You are correct in that lithium ion batteries do suffer from a loss of residual charge, but it is not the cause here. I'll try to explain.

    And before I go on, I recorded a video of myself displaying the Incredible not working when plugged in without a battery. However, being in Iraq, I have a 96kb internet connection, so uploading a 286MB file isn't happening. Still, enough people have chimed in on both sides for me to believe that some phones do work while without a battery, and some do not. I don't personally know anyone else with an Incredible, so I cannot test this on another person's phone.

    Back to the subject at hand. I fully believe that the Incredible does not run off the AC. I base this on my own tests, and from my correspondence with HTC where they told me that the phone won't run off AC. Also, this was the reasoning they used on the charging change from 2.1 to 2.2. The phone was draining the battery while charging, and the double transfer of energy was causing the phone to overheat. With the first 2.2 OTA (I won't get the new OTA until I'm stateside), the phone charges 3-4 times slower to help alleviate this heat. So, the fact that the phone runs off the battery even when plugged in cannot be disputed. We're not just going off my tests, but also the word of HTC.

    Next up is the fact that when plugged in, Android does not record battery usage. It just assumes that the battery is fully charged. Meanwhile, the phone is actually draining the battery, but has ceased charging. Since this is usually noticed by people who let their phone sit on a charger and not use it, the amount of battery used is typically 10-15% (4-8 hours idle/sleep).

    Compare this to a laptop. You plug it in over night. The battery charges to full. The laptop has been running off AC (if turned on). It now detects that the battery is full and ceases charging. However, it is not running off the battery. If you go to "bump" charge it in the morning, at most, you'll need to charge off the residual loss, which is 1-3%. That's a huge difference.

    Lastly, you can do one final test with the Incredible. Turn it off and charge it. What's going to happen here is that the charger tops off the battery and then effectively shuts down. Overnite you should end up with the same 1-3% residual charge. If what you are saying is correct, on or off would make no difference, the Incredible would require the same bump charge. However, on or off does make a difference. An Incredible charged when off doesn't require nearly as much bump charge. When turned off, it only suffers the typical residual loss.

    So, if the Incredible doesn't run off AC, is this a hardware or software issue? I can't give a valid opinion without testing an Incredible that does run off AC. But I can say this; for the sake of argument, if all Incredibles do not run off AC, that does not necessarily mean that it's definitely hardware related. We've seen a software implementation of this before. When I got the original PSP 1001 model (bought at launch during my last deployment), it was seemingly unique in that when the battery was removed, it would not operate even when plugged in. When firmware 1.50 was cracked, you could run the PSP off the AC without the battery. It was soon discovered that this was a software check that Sony put in due to the battery having some form of DRM. That discovery lead to the "Pandora's Battery" hack.

    Of course, that's just assuming that all Incredibles are like mine. I see above that you and Orcsbane insist that yours run without a battery. Kitten Mittens also seems to recall hers doing the same. I'm not one to call one (much less 3) a liar. I trust you guys. I'm just asking that you also trust my judgment as well.

    In summary:
    -lithium ion batteries lose a residual charge over time (as you stated, I do not dispute this).
    -that loss of residual charge can be proven to NOT be the culprit for the Incredible simply by charging it once while off, and once while on, and observing the difference in required bump charge.
    -the Incredible has other issues at play causing the need for a bump charge, for which I've provided an educated and tested theory that is plausible, but it is just that, a theory and not proven fact.
     
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  23. datterboy

    datterboy Member

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    This is the strongest logic I have heard for ALL these battery threads. INC has issues with charging. Not buying the "It's a Lithium Ion" angle.

    Bumpcharging does wonders. It is more than a little extra juice. It is significant. I charge off phone and swap batteries everyday because the charging on phone is awful. I occasionally do on phone charging and it's just sad.
     
  24. ikediggety

    ikediggety Well-Known Member

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    just tested mine - battery pull while plugged in results in no power. enough people have said that they can run plugged in with no battery that i have to wonder if we're looking at two distinct versions of the hardware.
     
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  25. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

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    I'm just going to point everyone to this thread, pay attention to the posts by Sabrewings as he actually has the equipment to test the voltages coming off the battery when on and off the charger and explains all of the things people are complaining about.
    http://androidforums.com/incredible-tips-tricks/69534-battery-charging-myths.html

    As to the different hardware on the Incredibles, this is possible, I guess. Maybe we could get a poll going to see how many people's phone's stay on after the battery is removed and see if something has changed since the original batch of phones. I see a lot of the people(not all) complaining about battery life are using after market batteries and chargers. I've had 2 Incredibles since release day and have been using the stock battery on both of them with zero issues, My batteries have never heated up when charging and after unplugging; they may drop from 3%-5% which is entirely acceptable when using Li-ion batteries. I easily get a full day out of the batteries and usually have about 30% left when I plug it in at night.

    @medion - it's funny you use HTC as a source for information, most of the people that you have the ability to talk to don't know their butt from a hole in the ground when it comes to the hardware/software on their phones. A few different HTC reps also stated that the Incredible uses Gorilla glass and one statement from them showed that they didn't even know who manufactured the glass used on the Incredible. HTC is just for giving statements that say a whole lot with out saying anything at all.
     
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