My Hero battery life experiment & results


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  1. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi all,

    After trying various things to improve battery life, I ended up after a couple of days with the Hero getting TasKiller. I religiously cleaned up the tasks running after every use and the battery life was truly awful.

    Excluding a few of the auto-starting apps like Astrid and only using TasKiller a couple of times each day helped a bit, but it was still not brilliant.

    Then I read a thread here the other day where someone had posted a very interesting article about why you shouldn't use (or use very sparingly) a task killer. I'm sorry, I can't remember where the thread is any more. Anyway, being reminded that Android is essentially Linux, I stopped using TasKiller altogether.

    I opened and closed apps and games as normal and paid absolutely no attention to the memory, letting Android sort itself out. After a couple of days of this, here are some interesting results, albeit anecdotal and very unscientific!

    With TasKiler in use:
    After taking the phone off charge at 6:30am and using it throughout the day as normal, by early evening, it's usually down to half battery life or less. By late evening and bedtime around 11pm (I need lots of beauty sleep!), it's almost always down to the amber section on the battery indicator.

    Without TasKiller:
    Same thing as before. Usage from 6:30am to approx 11pm. A couple of short calls during the day, a number of texts, bit of web browsing, general fiddling and probably an hour gaming, then around 30 minutes reading an ebook before sleep. With this fairly typical usage pattern, I have noticed a vast improvement in the battery life. By the time I put the phone on charge at bedtime now, I'm seeing the battery indicator still at halfway or even above.

    So, for me at least, it seems I'm much better off letting Android take care of itself.

    The cons of this are:
    More apps running or idling in the background causes the gui to stutter a lot more than it did when I used TasKiller.
    Quite often, there's that lag everyone complained about on the Hero, with up to a second or more delay between clicking something and it responding. This is a bit of a nightmare when using the keyboard!
    A huge delay in sms notifications. It's so bad that when an sms arrives, the phone vibrates, but the notification sound doesn't happen until I manually unlock the phone and this can even be several minutes later.
    Games tend to have very poor performance.

    So, pros and cons... I guess with a bit more messing with those apps that tend to stay open or use network connections a lot, I could improve the performance issues. I'm just too lazy at the moment to bother.

    I hope this helps someone else to understand how to improve things (or not!) :D

    All the best,
    Jim
     

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  2. walkinhotdog

    walkinhotdog Well-Known Member

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    Interesting results. thanks for sharing. i never use a task killer and barely find any lag, other than a little bit when scrolling through contacts or sms threads. would anyone happen to know if i pause a game and go to home and come back later (lets say an hour) to resume it, will that drain my battery life?
     
  3. reload

    reload Well-Known Member

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    As an old linux user i still dont understand why people say "because its linux" followed by something stating that it takes care of background applications in a totally different way from other os :D

    Android's scheduling policies arent directly related with linux!

    However, i agree with you! I used a taskkiller and then stopped!
    Its a phone in the end, and i tought google would be stupid thinking that everybody should kill their tasks to have a good experience.
    So i tried to use it "as expected" pretending to know nothing about multitasking&co. It works good as long as there isnt any app going crazy (this is why is useful having a task manager and use it only when strictly necessary)

    I cant say to have a better battery life tough, it could be the case if taskkiller is taking a lot of resources (mine didnt). But im really happier ignoring what i dont see LOL (and, to say it clearly, battery life is not lowere)
     
  4. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Ahh, I just meant that because Android closes apps on the fly and because Linux is so good at using the resources available (unlike Windoze). I needed to get out of the Windoze habit of closing apps when I've done with them. There's no need to on Android and it does seem to manage it pretty well. :D

    walkinhotdog - Leaving games running in the background doesn't seem to make much difference to my battery life. Again, take what I say with a pinch of salt because I haven't timed anything properly and it's just me noticing the big difference between using and not using a task killer.
     
  5. GreenSLi

    GreenSLi Member

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    Why not use Advanced Task manager free which also closes itself with an icon that says "Press to end", you can then add apps you dont want to close when using this function..
    I wont stop using it as there is no logical reason as to why you get better battery capacity by letting alot of program leech of in the background

    Okay ill run a project.. From tomorrow morning im not gonna use the phone at all.. just let it idle with 3g/edge off, then see how long it lasts WITH the apps killed.

    Then im gonna write down how long it lasted

    Then its the same but a reboot and no killing of tasks / services and see how long that will last.
     
  6. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    GreenSLi - You can exclude apps from TasKiller too. I have Advanced Task Manager and it is a good app, but I'm not using it either at the moment. I really am convinced my battery usage has decreased significantly by not using such an app.

    As far as I know, apps that are asleep don't need cpu cycles or battery power to run in that state as they are dormant. It's the ones task killers end that auto restart again that take up precious resource. I kept killing apps that just didn't need to be or that were actually needing to run. Spare Parts has gone a long way to helping me work out what to watch out for, but I'm still a complete noob compared to many people here.

    If you can go for a full day or so without playing with your Hero, then I admire you. I couldn't go that long without a fix :p

    Seriously though, it's useful to get all these different accounts of how people use their Hero and how it affects battery life. I'm picking up all sorts of tips and useful info just browsing the comments and threads in this awesome forum.
     
  7. Quazar

    Quazar Well-Known Member

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    I have the task killer which has the "press to end" widget (advanced task killer?) I use it once before I go bed or if an app is going crazy only.

    I get much better battery life then when I used taskpanel (like 10-20% more!)

    Let android take care! If you experience lag, its probably because your cache needs clearing or you have too many apps/a defective app hogging resources (or a restart is needed).
     
  8. andy d

    andy d Well-Known Member

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  9. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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  10. Barretta

    Barretta Well-Known Member

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    I did make the same conclusion as you, but it is amatter of choice. I am really annoyed with the lag caused by not using a task killer, so now i am testing (desparately) advanced task killer with its ability to auto kill i a specific time period. I must say i cannot notice huge impact on thebattery life but i will make conclusions when i test it for a while
     
  11. GreenSLi

    GreenSLi Member

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    Alright, Now ive run my phone awake for 8 hours and 15 minutes without using it
    3g/edge was on
    It was awake
    Full light
    The battery is at a point where it tells me to connect a charger and it says its 15% or below.
    This was without killing any tasks after a reboot.

    Tomorrow ill test the opposite, with tasks killed and same routine.

    EDIT; I have to add this:
    The first half of the battery went slow down, but the last half really went down fast even without using the phone, just letting it lie on my desk awake in the status screen
     
  12. GreenSLi

    GreenSLi Member

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    Alright...D:
    It lasted for 7 hours and 30 minutes with 3g/edge on and it being awake all the time
    This was done after a reboot and then killing apps.


    Sooo I guess we can conclude that app killers do shorten the battery D:
     
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  13. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for having the patience to do that GreenSLi, it all helps get the most out of the Hero. :)

    Now that you mention it, my battery fades quicker when it gets to halfway and below too.
     
  14. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer VIP Member

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    I use a task killer, but only really for killing two apps and that's the Browser and the Market. They are the only apps that I find causes lag on my phone and there is no exit option inside the apps. I've tried other browsers but always end up coming back to the stock browser. I'm looking forward to Fennec :).
     

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