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Does GPS really kill the DX battery?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by D_Generation_X, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. D_Generation_X

    Thread Starter

    I feel like it only initializes when Maps or Foursquare opens. Otherwise, does it matter? Triangulation isn't always the nicest :(

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  2. Xeneize480

    Xeneize480 Android Enthusiast

    if GPS is running then it's using energy and then your battery will go down faster...
  3. BookLover

    BookLover Android Expert

    You only need GPS on when you have to get a location fix (like getting a latitude&longitiude reading) - then you can turn of when the coordinates are obtained. But if you're using navigation, you need to keep it on until you get to your destination.

    For example, I use an app called Setting Profiles...and I have some rules based on where I work, which has no wifi and spans two buildings. So I figured "lat & long" would work better to determine if I'm at my work location than "cell towers" which covers a bigger area.

    I turned on GPS long enough for the app to get my long&lat and then turned off GPS. The app has no probs figuring out when I'm at work via my long&lat, even though my GPS is off.
  4. fuzio1963

    fuzio1963 Well-Known Member

    No it doesn't. Someone would say; yest cus it does run in background.....well, i don't use any of task killer or something, usually when using Navigation in my car, i am plugged in. Then unplugged and by the end of they there is always like 30-40% of battery left at night. So, i would say again; nope, it doesn't. :)
    Yet, i am using Fancy Widget and WeatherBug. Those use GPS to locate me, and i set up updates for every 15 minutes. It does not matter............. :)
  5. SgtBaxter

    SgtBaxter Well-Known Member

    GPS by itself isn't a huge battery drain. It's simply an antenna receiving radio signals, and then triangulating position. My little garmin handheld GPS runs for days off AA batteries.

    What kills the batteries are things like navigation, where it's constantly downloading 3G data for maps, and uploading positions, etc.

    I never turn it off myself, I get great battery life.
  6. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Unless the little GPS icon is blinking in the notification bar, GPS is not using a single bit of your battery. All of the people turning it on and off all the time are not doing anything useful for their battery life. Actually, activating and deactivating the chipset in the system is going to be a far bigger drain than just leaving it on and not using it.

    Let me repeat: only an application that is actively using GPS will cause your battery to drain. Otherwise, the GPS chipset is not activated at all. Unlike Bluetooth and WiFi, GPS does not constantly scan to look for connections or maintain an active signal. It's an on-demand service and does not drain your battery when you're not demanding it.

    The only reason to flip it on and off is if you regularly use applications that want a GPS signal, but you don't want to give it to them for whatever reason (e.g. if you like to browse the maps application without calculating your position or something).
    lexluthor and BookLover like this.
  7. BookLover

    BookLover Android Expert

    @binary visions

    Thanks. I'll turn it back on and leave it on, then :)

    One question, though, right underneath the USE GPS SATELLITES is a caption that says "(deselect to conserve battery)" -- any reason why they would have this disclaimer?

    I had installed Lookout a day ago and I think that activated my GPS and Juice Plotter says I decreased 2.0x battery life to 1.34x battery life, coinciding with Lookout having been installed and active on my phone.

    Does Lookout drain battery, but NOT because of GPS?

    A little confused now...
  8. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Well, Lookout has several features that are going to decrease battery life, since it's running all the time. I don't have it but I believe it's got a virus scanner, firewall, and phone location tracking, right? It's maintaining open connections to a server, tracking its location, monitoring active network connections... Try uninstalling it. I don't have any specific knowledge of how it impacts battery life, just saying it could definitely be the cause. Is your little GPS satellite icon blinking in the notification bar? If not, it isn't accessing the GPS receiver in the phone.

    The reason the warning is there is because your phone can get rough location estimates by just knowing where it is in relation to cell phone towers, and that suffices for a lot of things. Weather, for instance - you don't need to know where you are on a street, just your general location. Lots of local searches don't need where you are on the street, just approximately where you are in the city. That kind of thing.

    So they're just saying that true GPS is a lot more accurate but it does activate another radio in your phone that can drain the battery, and may or may not be necessary depending on what you're doing.
  9. BookLover

    BookLover Android Expert

    GPS icon is not blinking constantly. I think Weatherbug turns it on hourly because I have it tracking my location for weather.

    I'll uninstall Lookout this weekend and see what happens to my battery. Thanks!
  10. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Oh, and be wary of short-term battery estimates like "one day ago I did <this> and saw <that>." It's easy to use your phone in an unexpected way one day and have your battery life dip significantly. It could relate to Lookout - or it could relate to the fact that you spent a bit more time in a bad service area, or did a little more web browsing, or a combination of things.

    Better to track over several days of usage to make sure you're averaging out the day-to-day variations.
  11. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Android Expert

    The DX is much better with battery life while using GPS than my old iPhone 3Gs was. On my 50 minute drive home from work, my iPhone used 40% of the battery using the Navigon app (all maps in internal memory, so no 3G load), while my DX only uses 20-30% using Google Navigation with the satellite layer on, so using 3G to pull in maps AND imagery.

    Which Garmin handheld do you have? I have an eTrex Legend HCx, nice little unit. Also have a DeLorme Earthmate PN-40, like that one a lot too. You can load aerial imagery onto it, which is nice!
  12. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert

    If you leave GPS toggle on, the OS will turn it on as needed by application preserving some battery. For me its a not issue.

    Weatherbug turns it on, Browser turns it on as I have google services active (IE what's near me on the browser), Maps ofcourse, I also use apps like Just GPS and Compass.

    The GPS symbol turns off with those apps aren't running. Pretty easy.

    Like said above, Google nav draws becasue 3g Radio is on, GPS is on and more importantly, Processor is tasked and the screen is on. (screen is the biggest single point battery drain on the DX IMO)
  13. SgtBaxter

    SgtBaxter Well-Known Member

    I have an eTrex Venture HC. I love it!
  14. HalfFrozen

    HalfFrozen Android Enthusiast

    I actually tested how well a battery will last while using a constant GPS signal from PHX to LA and my battery was around 10-20% left when we arrived at my location, it was about a 5 1/2 hour drive...

    So it does kill the battery if using GPS the entire time as stated above.
  15. 2horses

    2horses Android Enthusiast

    I can't remember the last time I turned GPS off and I have great battery life (IMHO). But I'm not a constant user, just a few phone calls, some texting, a little web browsing, short games, nothing that would pull a ton from the battery anyway. I always have some left at the end of the day, and just recharge overnight. I also have Lookout running, it doesn't seem to negatively impact my bl either.

Motorola Droid X Forum

The Motorola Droid X release date was July 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 512GB RAM, TI OMAP3630 processor, and 1540mAh battery.

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