VERY BAD battery life - HTC Desire 'not fit for purpose'

Is battery life with the HTC Desire Acceptable?

Poll closed Dec 6, 2010.
  1. YES

  2. NO


Last Updated:

  1. Vertigo1

    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

    I've made a point of letting it discharge pretty fully before overnight-charging it and I have no issue with the battery life at all. With heavy use it'll easily last a day and, with light use, I've had it last three.

  2. jimdriver2

    jimdriver2 Well-Known Member

    How hot do people's batteries run? Mine will idle at around 28c-ish, but when i'm browsing it can go up to 38-39ish, which is bound to be reducing the effectiveness of the battery.

    I'm still inside a time period where Vodafone have to supply me with a whole new handset, and i'm kinda toying with the idea, as the only downside is gonna be setting it all up again.

    My big thing is the when browsing on 3G my battery can go down pretty quickly, like 10% in 15 mins as I load up different pages (email site, forums etc.)
  3. nx1977

    nx1977 Well-Known Member

    3G is very battery hungry. H or Wifi are both lower, and both use similar amounts of power for me.
  4. otijhuis

    otijhuis Member

    Just wanted to mention that some of you that have the battery drain very fast might have hit a bug. I had the problem that the phone never went to sleep, even with the screen off. Quite a few others were hit by this issue as well.

    You can dial *#*#4636#*#* to get the battery information and check the history. The percentage at the top should NOT equal 100% if you had the screen off for quite a while. In my case it was at 100% so the phone never went to sleep. So even when charged all night the battery was down to 70% in the afternoon with hardly any usage at all.

    There seem to be 2 workarounds for this problem. Some found out that killing the Calendar with a taskkiller solved the issue (doesn't come back when restarting the Calendar). In my case it was solved by removing my Flickr account from the synchronization options.

    After that I got MUCH better batterylife. Sent some texts, bit of internet, hardly any other usage but the battery only went from 100% to 88% in 24 hours.

    My father has the same phone and didn't have the problem. The cause is still a mystery, just glad I have a workaround.
    stueyboy likes this.
  5. stueyboy

    stueyboy Well-Known Member

    That's quite interesting and if it turns out to be validated, also wierd. Are you and your dad on different mobile carriers? Maybe something aet up differently.
  6. otijhuis

    otijhuis Member

    You're right, it's weird. We do have different carriers but the problem isn't carrier related. The other people having the problem had different carriers as well. I had a Flickr account setup, my father didn't. But others mentioned they didn't even have a flickr account. If you check the Wake-Up section of the battery history information it always shows the Calendar as the software that keeps the phone awake if you have the problem. Yet I never use synchronization and I don't use the Calendar. And even though the Calendar is on top, removing the Flickr account solved it while it has nothing to do with the Calendar.

    The problem seems to start when booting the device and probably has to do with backgroundservices getting 'stuck' so the phone doesn't go to sleep. After restarting the Calendar services the problem disappears for some as well. Until the next reboot that is.

    I know several people have sent the information to HTC and they said they will look into it. In the meantime I just wanted to get the word out that it might not be the battery that's the problem. I almost bought a new battery to check if it would help. Glad I read about this problem first somewhere else.
  7. Johnboy501

    Johnboy501 Well-Known Member

    Have to agree, it's a poor show. I've had to turn off all my syncs to get close to a full days use but the idea of having the phone is that it can do so much but the battery just can't handle it!!!
  8. carbonara

    carbonara Well-Known Member

    I don't think that Android is as intelligent as they say about stopping programs automatically. I wasn't concerned with battery life after the first week, it seemed ok and I always switch off all auto updates, mobile internet, wifi, bluetooth, gps etc overnight. I also have it on 2G only as the 3G reception here is patchy. I charged it yesterday evening and now, just over 12 hours later I only have a 3rd of the battery left. I've not used it at all, only turned the screen on a couple of times to check the battery and have everything turned off. How could I have lost 2 thirds battery in that amount of time with just GSM on and everything else turned off, it's ridiculous.
  9. carbonara

    carbonara Well-Known Member

    Just checked my battery history using the keycode above and selecting Other usage and since last unplugged it says Running 99.2%, Screen on 33.4%. My battery drained half overnight with everything turned off and on GSM only. Do though percentages indicate a problem?
  10. otijhuis

    otijhuis Member


    Think that you have a problem indeed. Your battery drain is way higher than it should be. Try going to the battery history, click on 'Other usage' and then 'Partial wake usage'. It will show you what programs have caused android to stop going to sleep. The top one is probably the problem.

    In the last 22 hours I've been playing with a new home replacement (quite a while), listened to some music, tried a navigation app for 5-10min while on the way to a party and checked with SoundHound to see what kind of music was playing. During those 22 hours the battery went from 100 to 79. Not bad at all I'd say.

    I have the feeling that most reports concerning battery usage aren't related to the battery but to software issues. Android is an OS running on all types of hardware with all kinds of software running on it. An OS is going to have bugs, so is the software on the market. It's annoying but that's not going to change.

    With reasonably heavy usage you should probably get through a working day (google 'HTC desire - a day without a charge'). Some friends have iphones and they don't even dare to leave the house without a charger. Now that my phone is going to sleep again like it should I have no problem with the battery at all anymore.
  11. scotch whisky

    scotch whisky Member

    While not using the phone I get about 2% loss in 8 hours which is perfectly acceptable. With average use per day for me. i.e. 8 5min calls. 20 emails and maybe 30 mins on internet my battery is still more than 50% at end of day. I charge every night but could get 2 days use easy.

    I use "Juice Plotter" to see where the high drain occurs. It's internet use in my case.
  12. nx1977

    nx1977 Well-Known Member

    If on Tmobile turning on and off data uses more power than leaving on 24/7 in my experience. I tried it for a few days, and it zapped battery.
  13. carbonara

    carbonara Well-Known Member

    Used a task killer and then recharged the battery, it's been off charge for 20 hours now and has only just dropped from displaying the full battery symbol to the one with just a bit missing. So it seems to be behaving itself again and something must have been running all night last time to run the battery down.

    It's annoying that that kind of thing can accidentally happen though. Especially when we're told we don't need to worry about shutting apps down. It's my understanding that an app has it's state saved when you go back to the home screen so it's not actually running in the background which is reasoning not to use a task killer. Clearly a task killer actually is needed though.
  14. twisted_mind

    twisted_mind Well-Known Member

    Am currently going with the android gurus and have uninstalled Advanced Task Killer.
    Had mobile network switched off yesterday and the battery life *seemed* to hold up better than when it was *ON*.
  15. matthew1471

    matthew1471 Member

    I've heard a few differing pieces of advice about task killers: one of which is that it's best to let Android control the tasks.
  16. otijhuis

    otijhuis Member

    If an application loses focus it gets a chance to save state. That means the visible part of the application stops/pauses but it can still have services running. This happens for instance while playing music.

    So basically android is only able to do the right thing when the programs running on it behave well. If the program keeps doing stuff even when not needed or it doesn't allow the phone to go to sleep android can't determine if it's intentional or not. You wouldn't want the music to suddenly stop when you switch to another app or go to the home screen. You'd still want the services to keep running in the background.

    If an application is developed correctly then a task killer shouldn't be needed at all (the task killer itself would only drain extra battery in that case). Unfortunately this isn't always the case.
  17. carbonara

    carbonara Well-Known Member

    This is my thinking too. How can the OS tell if something is running but shouldn't be? I'm currently using Task Panel, which seems like it doesn't run in the background killing stuff all the time but has a button to kill all running tasks. I've added all the essential stuff to the ignore list but first killing everything and then looking to see what started up again straight away. That way I think i've got everything essential on the ignore list and after I finish with a session on the phone I just go back to the home screen and kill everything that's running, which doesn't kill anything on the ignore list.
  18. bugdc

    bugdc Member

    I find that unplugging it at around 7am lasts me until about midnight on medium usage - 20% or so remaining. If it has had heavy usage during the day then a quick top-up either at work on a USB plugged into the computer, or in the car on the way home, or even just plug it in for half an hour when I walk through the door while I put the dinner on keeps it going all evening. For the masses of power-hungry applications and functions this is hardly worth complaining about!

    I have to say though, than an ENORMOUS drain on battery life occurs when you are in an area of particularly low signal. The phone spends a lot of time trying to pick up a signal. This is made worse when the phone is constantly switching between 2G and 3G signal (again, where signal is weak). If you have poor signal, consider switching off mobile internet or activating Airplane mode until you get back to a decent signal area. On one occasion I was in a meeting deep inside a building, and I found that the battery ran down completely after about 7 hours in a low-signal area, and the battery use meters said that 'Cell standby' had used 98% of available power. On a normal day, it's about 20%.

    Having said all this, I really don't see why people have a problem with plugging it in overnight - I do this as a matter of course. It's not like it's a problem having it tethered to a plug socket, as I myself am asleep and don't need it to be portable during that time. I wake up in the morning, and it's fresh as a daisy for another day's usage.
  19. stueyboy

    stueyboy Well-Known Member

    Precisely my feeling on the battery thing. I usually get through a day with 60% remaining. Defo the poor signal of the OP is probably what is causing his battery woes.
  20. carbonara

    carbonara Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the looking for a better signal absolutely nails the battery. I switch mine to 2G only whilst at home as the 3G signal is really weak.
  21. jimdriver2

    jimdriver2 Well-Known Member

    Had a similar thing myself today. Was in the London office where the signal is 'weird' (can't explain it exactly, but doesn't behaviour like normal) and my battery drained much quicker than my office in Cardiff.
  22. carbonara

    carbonara Well-Known Member

    After my huge battery drain last weekend I decided to do some experimenting. I charged my phone up monday afternoon and took it off charge at around 6pm. I've switched everything off, all syncing, background syncing, data connections, everything, and put the phone to GSM mode only. So it's basically running like an old phone that can only do calls and texts. I wanted to see how long the battery would last under these circumstances. The battery is now still on 30% nearly 4 whole days later so there's nothing wrong with the battery life in my opinion, it's just 3G etc is VERY power hungry.

    I have been running Juice Plotter the whole time though and have found something very interesting. For the first couple of days I was only texting occasionally and the battery has a constant drain of about 1% every 2-3 hours, which is what you would expect. Last night I had two quite lengthy phone conversations plus I also connected to wi fi to do a sync all etc then turned the wifi off straight away afterwards. So between 18.00 and 20.30 last night the battery dropped from 60% to 44%, again, to be expected given the use.

    The interesting part is, once the phone had returned to it's just GSM state at 20.30 the battery continued to drop by a further 13% between 20.30 and 00.45, despite it supposedly being in exactly the same state as when it was only dropping 1% every 2-3 hours. At 00.45 I ran Task Panel to kill all background tasks and then checked the Juice Plotter graph this morning and sure enough the battery returned to dropping 1% every 2-3 hours from 00.45.

    So, whilst I admit it's not conclusive proof, it does seem to indicate that either making calls or using sync etc leaves some processes running that drain the battery more than needed and running a task manager stopped them and return the battery drain to it's original drain state.
  23. loadsabeer

    loadsabeer Active Member

    Very happy with my battery. I'm easily getting a day out of it which is what I consider acceptable as I charge it overnight.
  24. xlucian

    xlucian Active Member

    i got more then 100 hours lifetime in one charge :D

    but only talking around half an hour a day and games, music, bluetooth, wifi etc.
  25. trick202

    trick202 Well-Known Member

    I've had mine for 4 days now.

    Battery life is still horrible. I feel like I've bought a Sports car with a 5 litre fuel tank.

    I don't buy all this stuff about turning off this and that. My experient since I bought the phone was to move from the 3gs, so I have set up the same services and the same apps etc, and I use it in the same way and work in the same location.

    I will give it until next friday, and if it doesn't improve then I'll have to get rid. It lost 10% per hour while doing nothing last night while I was watching a movie. I went to bed at midnight with 70% showing and it was dead when I woke at 8.00am.
    Screen is down to 25% brightness, no wi-fi (despite the 3gs being connected all the time), no FB, only one mail received in the night.

    As I say, the jury is out. There are features I love about the phone, but the delicate nature of the OS is making it feel unreliable for me. Personally.

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