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Excessive Camera App Battery Usage.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by LBPHeretic, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Ever since I installed the Android 2.1 update I have noticed a significant increase in my battery depletion when I am using the camera app. This is even if I am using the camera app for a very short period of time. For example, I might take three or four shots in the course of two minutes and my battery drain would be on the order of 7% - 8%. This is way more battery drain from the camera app than I ever witnessed when I was using it with Android 1.5.

    I also noticed on the battery status screen, where you can see how much percentage of your total battery life that various apps and system processes are using, that the camera app skyrockets up to over 90% of the total usage every time I use it for a few minutes. Has anyone else experienced this issue?

  2. sbillard

    sbillard Newbie

    The camera does use a bit of power. But I think the useage percentage can be misleading, Specially when the battery is not very much depleted. Yes, the camera is using the biggest percentage, but percentage of what? If it is of a few milliamps that is one thing. If it is of your depelted battery, that is another.
  3. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I am just saying it is using way more power in Android 2.1 than it did in Android 1.5. I could use the camera app in Android 1.5 for several minutes at a time and not see a large drop in battery life as I currently do with Android 2.1.

    I gave the usage percentage in the battery status screen as a general idea for what I was talking about. Of course, if I had just unplugged my Sprint HTC Hero and used the camera app, it would obviously have the highest percentage of battery use. However, in my testing my handset as been unplugged for over a day and it still ends up trumping all the other apps or processes in that list. In my opinion, the camera app has definitely got some battery draining glitch.
  4. Lozer_Kid

    Lozer_Kid Android Enthusiast

    Then stop taking pictures of urself in front of the mirror naked... :p
  5. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    That was very funny, indeed. But then what is the point of having a camera on my handset? ;)

    I am kidding. Anyway, if anyone else has experienced this issue please feel free to post about it in this thread. :)
  6. jonnymem

    jonnymem Lurker

    I don't know if this helps but since I upgraded my Hero says the camera is using a lot of the battery even when I have not used it to take pictures. I unplugged it for two seconds (literally) and during that time only one item showed up as using battery life which was the camera @ 100%.

    My Samsung Moment also running 2.1 has Android system @ 95%, Cell @ 3% and Phone Idle @ 3%. My wifes here has her camera using 20% and it has been unplugged for hours and she hasn't taken any pictures.

    It might be a HTC glitch since the Samsung does not do it.
  7. Thefoodman52

    Thefoodman52 Android Expert

    Yea, right now is actually when I'd recommend a task killer. I mutilate my camera process violently every time I boot the phone, and every time after I'm done using it.
  8. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    My situation is similar but with one difference. Once I go back to the home screen and the camera app is "closed" it stops draining the battery.

    The high battery depletion only seems to occur while I am actively using the camera app. Right after I have stopped using the camera app the battery drain normalizes again. It is just that it has a huge effect on the battery status screen because it uses so much power while it is actively in use. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify how this issue surfaces for my Sprint HTC Hero.
  9. jayb5

    jayb5 Newbie

    I'm having the same issue with the camera draining the battery. I'm not sure if the battery is actually consuming a lot of battery while I use the camera, but after, my battery use (settings->about phone->battery->battery use) will show the camera at 94%! If I reboot the phone and don't use the camera, the stats will look normal.

    Don't know if the battery drain is from the actual camera application or a bar code scanner, but it definitely is eating up the battery. I'm currently killing the camera app after using it, but there's gotta be a fix...???
  10. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    What you are experiencing is exactly the same thing I have seen when using the camera app. It drains my handset's battery way worse than it did when I was running Android 1.5.

    I actually do not kill the camera app after I am done with it. In my situation, after I have finished using the camera app, the heavy battery drain stops.
  11. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    The camera app still sucks my handset's battery like there is no tomorrow, however, there are some definite positives to it. The pictures it takes after the Android 2.1 update are absolutely stunning when compared to the pictures it took when I was running Android 1.5.

    I just decided to email myself a few sample pictures that I had taken before and after the Android 2.1 update to do a comparison. The picture quality is just night and day better and I am actually only comparing pictures that I took in three megapixel mode because they were meant for picture messages, so I imagine five megapixel mode would be even better. The sharpness is much better and there is not nearly as much over saturation in the color. I just cannot convey how much better the post update pictures look. Oh, and finally, the auto focusing seems much more tight. I just wish it did not kill my handset's battery.
  12. BrionS

    BrionS Lurker

    I just unplugged my phone from charging overnight and the first thing I did was go to the battery use section of my settings (HTC Hero 2.1) and it shows the camera at 98% of battery usage.

    Bear in mind I have not used the camera and before I unplugged it I killed all non-essential applications including ones that might have been using the camera (the camera app was not running).

    I've noticed that my battery info says my phone has not slept in 5 days and my battery lately has been really terrible. Spare Parts hasn't really been very helpful in locating the offending application(s) because nothing seems to be holding a partial wake lock very long or using an excessive amount of CPU.

    The only strangeness is the 5d awake time and the nearly 100% camera use even without my using the camera. This is very irritating.

    Poor battery life seemed to start after I upgraded to 2.1 (though I wouldn't go back to 1.5 just to fix the battery).
  13. BrionS

    BrionS Lurker

    I just discovered my camera appears to be on (even though the app isn't running)! In Spare Parts I looked under Sensor Usage just for fun and the camera was a solid blue bar across the top!

    Clicking on the bar showed 15m - about how long the phone's been unplugged. So I waited another minute and checked again: 16m. The camera appears to be one even though no application is using it!

    Any ideas how I can turn off the camera?
  14. BrionS

    BrionS Lurker

    <post deleted>
  15. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yeah, having your Sprint HTC Hero awake 100% of the time with an app running, especially the camera app, would kill the battery in a matter of hours. Does rebooting your handset make this phenomenon stop?

    If you are not using your camera app at all after a fresh reboot and it is still launching in the background I would maybe consider wiping your phone and reinstalling Android 2.1. That sounds like a major annoyance and it is something I could not live with if it were my handset.
  16. BrionS

    BrionS Lurker

    Rebooting removes the camera from the list of top battery users and from the list of sensor users. It appears to just get stuck "on" after I use the camera once, but that implies I will have to reboot my phone every time after using the camera to get it to stop using my battery. :(
  17. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Indeed, you are not the only one who is having that issue. However, it is strange that you cannot kill the camera app task with a task killer as mostly everyone else with that issue can.

    See, my issue is a bit different. It only uses tons of battery power when I am actively using the camera app. If I close the camera app, the battery usage stops. Thankfully the trade off is much improved picture quality in Android 2.1 over what Android 1.5 offered.
  18. BrionS

    BrionS Lurker

    The thing is the app is not running for it to kill. I have not tried the various 3rd party task killing programs.

    Have you used Spare Parts to look at your sensor usage and see if the Camera is high on the list? Perhaps as part of the improvements to the quality of the camera, more battery is used to more constantly update the image from the sensor for sharper pictures, faster preview refresh, and better focusing?

HTC Hero Forum

The HTC Hero release date was July 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.2" inch screen, 5MP camera, 288GB RAM, MSM7200A processor, and 1350mAh battery.

July 2009
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