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Does Google have some work to do in battery management?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Outlaw71, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Ok so most of you cats know me around here. You know I'm a big time backer of the Android platform, and that I simply adore my DX. You also know I'm brand neutral, and that I give credit where I feel credit is due. So I'm hoping this time around not to get slammed for comparing Android to Blackberry.

    The very first post I made here at Phandroid was in the Droid X section in the accessories area. The extended battery hadn't been launched yet, but there was a thread with many eager DX owners clamoring for its release to ease the pain of having to deal with the stock battery. I wrote out one of my infamous essays which for the most part praised the DX. 98% was me listing all the awesomeness I had found in my new device and the Android platform as a whole. But I made the foolish mistake of also throwing a little praise RIMs way. I said, "I just wish Google would buy out RIM as to steal their battery saving techniques and apply them to the Android platform".

    Since this was my maiden voyage into this site, many suspected I was a Blackberry fanboy in DX clothing. And they launched into my praise of RIM accordingly with statements like, "well of course your Curve never ran low on juice, the damn thing doesn't do ANYTHING". I suppose looking back I should have expected it seeing as I was a noobie around here. I've seen similar posts made by trolls, so a little hazing was to be expected. But of course even though I admit the DX is light years ahead of my old BB Curve, that doesn't mean it didn't do ANYTHING. It did, in fact, do everything I ever wanted a phone to do up until I discovered Android truth be told.

    I played games on it. Texted non stop. Wrote out tons of emails. Took pictures (very badly), and videos (even worse). And it even had a (............ wait for it....) BROWSER!!! No, it didn't compare in the slightest to the browser on my DX, or any other Android for that matter. But that didn't stop me from browsing the internet all day long until my hearts content. And whats more, I did all that stuff without ever having to plug it in throughout the day. I never had to discipline myself really, all I had to do was remember to plug it in at night, and everything was gravy. When I did plug it in at the end of the day after anywhere from 10 - 16 hours of constant and heavy use, it rarely had less than 25% of its charge left. Which meant that even if I came home drunk and forgot to plug it in or something, the next day I'd still have plenty of time to do a few things on it before I absolutely had to plug it in. And then it would only take maybe 45 minutes tops to fully charge it again. Basically what I'm saying is, worrying about my phone running out of juice was never an issue the whole 2 years I had my Curve.

    Ok so 8 months after buying my DX (6 and 1/2 months after getting the extended battery for it) I'm not looking to go back to Blackberry or anything crazy like that. I'm hooked on all the possibilities Android brings, and have no interest in going back. But the point of this thread (ah, bet you were wondering when I'd get to it, right?) is that I talked my ex-fiancee into getting the Droid Pro when it came out last fall. It was partly due to the fact that I love Android so much I wanted to introduce her to all of the exciting things it brings as well, but the main selling point that I was able to nail her on was the 'Square' credit card payment app. Since she runs her own business I figured that would be an invaluable addition to her company. So she took my advice and switched over to Android. And although I think she's pretty much gotten used to it all now (been 4 months), the one complaint she still has is that she wishes it wouldn't run out of juice so fast.

    That's when it occured to me that Google really does need to catch up in the conservation department if it truly hopes to win over the business crowd from Blackberry. Here's the situation, she doesn't use her phone nearly as much as I use mine, I'm on my phone like every spare minute I have in the day. She works on her computer all day long and only really uses her phone to text, make calls, set up appointments in her calendar and do a little Facebooking (a vital part of her photography business is viral marketing via Facebook). When she had her Bold she really only had to charge it every other day, but I always made sure she plugged it in at night right beside mine. Now she says she's had it run out on her several times after 12 to 13 hours if she was on Facebook too long or something.

    What astounds me is that the Droid Pro has an 1800 mAh battery powering it, while her Bold had a 1500 mAh unit. And I've done set her phone up several times for her already, making sure she knows to keep the Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS and all that stuff turned off. I've made sure she knows not to use live wallpapers, keep the screen turned down to 30 or 40%, set the screen timeout to 30 seconds, all that good stuff. But it's still just not very efficient.

    All the flack I drew when I made the comparison from my DX to my Curve don't apply to her case. Her Droid Pro and Blackberry Bold have practically the same screen size. They both have physical keyboards. And she does basically the exact same thing on her Pro that she did on her Bold. She doesn't get caught up in all the apps or the games or any of that stuff, it's all business for the most part. And the fact that it's eating through her battery so much faster than her BB did tells me that one of the things Google really needs to focus on is getting Android to be more efficient.

    And I totally bought into the way Android works, keeping apps running in the background so that they're always ready at a drop of a hat, just as soon as you click on it. When the great 'Automatic Task Killer' debate raged on, I read the argument for how leaving the Android OS to do its thing instead of forcing apps to close all the time was much more efficient, so I've never used ATKs, nor do I ever plan to. But her situation has me rethinking my strong influence in having her switch platforms. And as much as I'd love to be able to recommend to all of my Blackberry friends a switch to the Android side of life, I now have to take into consideration what their primary use of their device is for. If it's strictly business, and they aren't the kind of people who are into customizing, gaming, or playing around with different apps, then maybe they're better off on their RIM devices.... for now.

    As for me, I've fully adapted. I don't mind knowing I need to either take it easy on my phone if I'm not going to be near a power outlet, or carry a spare battery. I'm used to plugging my phone in everytime I get in the car now. I'm willing to do all these things so that I can enjoy all of the good stuff Android has in store for me. But I know not everybody is ready to make those sacrifices yet.

    Android, you know I love you. I'm just keeping it real here. Just like with my kids, I'll love them no matter what, but if they have work to do to improve themselves, I won't hesitate to tell them about it. And if Android is serious about really breaking into the business world, they still have some catching up to do in battery conservation.

    But then, I'm sure Google already knows this, and is doing their best to rectify the situation. ;)
     

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  2. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Android Expert
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    First, thank you. At least its not another android vs apple thread. I can handle some comparison to blackberry. Tired of hearing about fruits though.

    Second, I really don't care that you can see the good in blackberry vs the good in android, s'all good to me.

    Third, I tell people (personally) that blackberry is almost an entirely different experience. I may be wrong but, I personally feel that blackberry is definitely more geared towards a business experience while android is more geared towards power usage where you have the option of being in complete control.

    Fourth, As a salesman, I believe in suitability android isn't right for everyone as much as I hate to admit that. It is the truth.

    Fifth, I straight up tell people to not complain about battery life sadly. it doesn't matter whether is iphone, your DX or my captivate, you know before you get it if you do the mildest bit of research your getting a limited battery life. If you don't do the research, I have no reason at all to feel bad. Actually one of the biggest reasons my girlfriend doesn't switch is she does still get about 2 hours actual usage out of her phone more than I do. it doesn't matter what I am doing, if my phone's screen is on 3 hours is more or less the limit of actual usage. Now yesterday I got 16 hours away from the charger and was at 2 hours usage with screen time and was left at 40% which is pretty great imho.

    I hate to say it but, I do think android forces you to use your phone as a phone if you will. I really don't believe phone's of any kind are designed to be used for hours on end of web browsing, and stuff like that. I do believe they incoorporate a lot of nice feature's which are all geared towards minimizing your usage.

    Think about the fact that for any given website there is an app to enhance the experience, they gear keyboards towards faster typing, and its all about minimizing usage.

    Which is funny because, we love our phones, and we love using them. heck even my girlfriend likes my "pretty, bright screen" at minimum settings her screen looks duller, and well ugly compared to my captivate. Battery life is the only thing her phone has going for itself and she is considering forgetting that anyway.

    I am not tryin to target my mini rant towards you. Infact I am not saying I don't want better battery life as that would be a stupid statement.

    but, I do think one problem the android platform presents, is that the more batterylife they manage to squeeze in.. the more we are going to want to use the phone in ways that will waste it.

    "yay this phone offers hours of use more"

    "wait.. why did I only get an hour"

    "I accidentally my WHOLE BATTERY using crysis!?!?"

    So keep in mind that I am not really trying to gear my complaints towards you.. but, I am trying to say that I really don't think phone's have evolved to really be much more than light use devices even when it comes to power users.

    I mean before the offical 2.2 upgrade (and 4.1.1. cognition) I had to use super user and a terminal to connect to my schools wifi. It sucked that I had to do it, but, I could write a batchscript for it.

    You just don't get that kind of option with iphone (to my knowledge).

    compared to blackberry... you have what seems (to me) like unlimited potential. the problem is, its unlimited usage as well.

    It kind of reminds me of a joke my girlfriend and her dad were talking about last night. He said his work truck gets 9 miles to the gallon no matter what. towing something it gets 9 miles to the gallon, Driving around it gets 9 miles to the gallon, just being turned on and sitting there it gets 9 miles to the gallon.

    While I do hope battery usage continues to improve.. I knew when i got my captivate I'd be bringing a micro usb cord with me pretty much wherever.

    Although I am hoping gingerbread does improve things a bit more. Froyo seems to improve battery life (although I can't really make a lot of fair comparisons since I bricked my last phone). Hopefully gingebread will increase it again.
     
  3. Jammy

    Jammy Android Expert
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    I don't think there's much Google can do, but the manufacturers(HTC, Moto, etc.) could certainly write better kernels.

    Using undervolted kernels from XDA on my Desire significantly increased the battery life.
     
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  4. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    Stepping up the game on hardware would certainly help with battery life.
     
  5. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
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    yup, Nokia, BB and Apple do much better HW intergration with their own OS... don't see why Android device manufacturers can't do this
     
  6. Tempusfugit

    Tempusfugit Android Enthusiast
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    Ready for more flack?

    Ya the screen sizes are close, enough for hand grenades. Throw in an almost double speed CPU too? Geeee I wonder.



    I hope they leave it, or go to slimmer phones with smaller batteries.. Maybe then people could get off their phones for long enough to, oh i don't know, drive, or check out at the grocery store.


    Stock Evo battey - after 20 hours with an hour of phone calls and 2 hours of screen time I was at 40%. If you need a phone attached to your face for more than 3 hours everyday, android isn't the one that needs help.
     
  7. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    i dont know what it takes.. or who needs to fix it...
    but I would love to get 2-3 days of standby.. with my radios on.

    i wonder if there has been any real test with: bb, android, iphone, windows, webos... which would last longer under heavy constant use.
     
  8. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    I don't care how Google or the hardware manufacturers do it. I want my phone to last two to three times as long as it currently does. Even if you had to add another battery or two in the device, I'm willing to put up with the increase in size and weight. I don't want to always have to worry about having to charge it on days I use it heavily.
     
  9. poriggity

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    Limited battery life is just something I've come to expect with a smartphone. I carry my USB cable with me, and have a charger block in my office, and a USB cigarette lighter charger in my car. Since I've gotten used to keeping my phone charger stuff with me, I don't worry about battery life too much.
    Scott
     
  10. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Ahhh, this is brilliant! I never thought about underclocking her phone down to about 550 mhz! Since she doesn't like, play games, watch videos or any of those really intensive CPU/GPU type activities, there should be no reason for her to be running it that high.

    That could in effect double her battery life! Kudos for that advice.

    :D
     
  11. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Ok not so brilliant. After reading my post it was quite clear that I was referencing two devices designed specifically for 'business'. Most businesses operate longer than 3 hours a day. When I worked with her we worked from 7 am until 9 pm most days. Phone constantly ringing. Emails being sent and recieved all day long. Making appointments, checking appointments, editing appointments.

    Throw in a bit of socializing with friends, maybe take a few pictures, and doing the 'viral marketing' thing on Facebook, and you easily have far more than 3 hours of use a day.

    If you don't use your phone for business that's understandable. But those who do don't need any help, except for in the battery department.
     
  12. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Android Expert
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    I think we use our phones more since they do more and hense, the battery gives up sooner. Just my thought.
    I know if I used my BB Storm a lot, the battery would die just as quickly.
     
  13. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
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    y'all should just buy an ARM11 phone
     
  14. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    When comparing apples to apples Amy's Droid Pro does not last her as long as her BB Bold did. She isn't using it anymore than she did her Bold. Her habits didn't change at all switching from one phone to the next. It was really all my doing in getting her to switch because I thought she could really use 'Square'.

    But I think Tempust might have hit the nail on the head. I think underclocking her phone could really help since she doesn't really need it running that fast. And this is an area where Android certainly trumps BB, because I don't know how to underclock a BB.

    So this could turn out even better, because I might be able to under clock it so low that she gets 3 days out of it!

    :D
     
  15. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    If I'm expected to carry the extra bulk and weight of a charger, then I would prefer that it be incorporated it into a larger battery on the phone.
     
  16. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Android Expert
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    Look at the screen on the DroidX. Look at the screen on a typical BB. We're talking half the size or less. What is the number one battery drainer? The screen.
    Next...
     
  17. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Only we aren't talking about a Droid X. We're talking about a Droid Pro. Same size screen.
     
  18. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Android Expert
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    Ok. My bad. I see that above a few replies ago... As we said in school RTFQ! :)
     
  19. gruss

    gruss Android Expert
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    while I agree they could use some work in the battery management department, I don't think they need to do as much work as we all think. Blackberry is painful to browse on, all the data is compressed before it hits the phone so less work for it to do when it gets there, and I think thats why it does a little better in that regard but i doubt we want google to compress all our data for us do we? Plus the screens may be the same size but what is the resolution?
    I had a BB for work for a long time and only recently un retired my old personal eris to test traveler with @ work, so my usage did not change from storm 2 to eris, same number of calls same amount of txts same emails, stock battery and like the storm i have no problem getting through the day with it, BUT neither phone would go 2 days, I even had a pearl and that would not go 2 days either?
    Now my DI on the other hand gets abused and battered games a gajillion personal accounts syncing, streams music all day at work...so I'm not throwing that into the comparison.
    I have no experience with the droid pro, but it makes me think that if her battery isn't lasting something is wrong? My wife has an X now and her usage has changed very little from pearl>storm>eris>x and she has no problem making it a day (if she isnt playing some goofy farming game) either and her phone was bone stock until about 4 days ago. In fact the X does better than the Eris battery wise IME.

    And no I'm not saying android is as good as BB for battery life, but I'm ok with plugging in at night with 25% on the eris work phone instead of 40% left on BB in a normal day. for heavy use days the Incredible and Eris use the same batteries so i carry a spare but rarely do i need to do that.

    The only thing that stands out in my memory of bb battery life is texting? 50 texts didnt touch a berry's battery but can smack an android phone pretty hard? If google needs anything from Rim its gotta be something in the predictive text software they use or the keyboard software itself that is waaay more efficient.
     
  20. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    You bring up an interesting point. We primarily buy these devices because we need a phone; we choose iPhones or Androids because they can do so much more, like YouTube and SMS and web access. We seem tied to them and we are missing out on other things. And I love to go to the grocery store, BTW. And the commercial laundromat.

    We turn our collective lives over to our portable devices and what worked well for us a few years ago, does not work well for us because we use these devices far more, and we seem to think we need YouTube and email in our pockets.

    If we got five days of use between charges, that would be great. But it would suck because the next boat load of devices would be filled with so many new and exciting features, battery live would still suck, because of the better hardware making demands on our battery.

    Or, perhaps we would start demanding batteries that give us two weeks between charges, then three.

    In my opinion, we will never have great battery life. Faster processors and better screens will likely keep us forever unsatisfied with battery life because we will find new ways to use our devices. Any battery improvement gains we see will likely be offset by added features and better hardware that require better battery life.

    When I use my phone as a phone, I get great battery life. Days and days of calling. But when I start accessing the web, life diminishes. And my phone, as much as I like it, sucks for some things that are better served by a larger device like an iPad or my new laptop.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Bob
     
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  21. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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  22. kcmartz

    kcmartz Well-Known Member
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    Now if Samsung developed an extended battery for the Intercept! I'd buy it the instant I found out about it!!! I asked and the Moment battery won't work with it. Come on samsung!!
     
  23. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery
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    Just to clarify Outlaw, your ex's BB is a normal Bold and not a Bold Touch? 'Cause all BB NON touch screens will have a better battery life compared to Android. Remember that the DXP's screen is touch sensitive vs the Bold's normal screen that ain't. Maybe the BB Bold Touch would have been a better comparison then a simple Bold. Also, for everything, BB designs their apps bare bones. The text app, email app etc are NOT UI intensive at all. Browser is compressed to use less power and bandwidth. For the bare bone essentials, the BB is great, but if you want more, you have to accept that it'll affect your battery life. My friend that uses a BB Torch (closer comparison to an Android phone) has to recharge it by the end of the day vs 2/3 days with the same usage as her BB Curve.
     
  24. Thefoodman52

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    Why don't people realize this half the time?
     
  25. Roze

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    ^--because most people expect their smartphone that can do everything their laptop can do to last as long as their dumb phone.
     
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