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Motorola Droid 4 terrible battery life

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by bkenobi69, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I know this is a common question with the D4, but I've been experiencing worse than normal battery life due to either an application or something related to signal strength (just moved to a new building at work).

    I have always been able to get from morning to evening without charging mid-day if I didn't touch the phone with plenty of charge left over (+/-17 hours). Recently, due to an application flipping out or the phone/data signal being below what I used to have or something else entirely, I'm having the phone charge drop considerably faster. Today I set the phone on my desk at work and only turned the screen on 2-3 times to check battery level. By noon the battery was down to 54%. By 5pm it was down to 45%. I made 2 short phone calls, 1 text, performed 1 google search for a price of an item and the phone was under 15% at 7pm.

    I would consider a new battery, but yesterday I charged the phone at my desk so it was 100% at 5pm. At 11pm I was about to charge it, but realized I had a task to complete that took 20-30 minutes (Web page email + application wifi sync to PC + pocket cloud to that PC + screen on the whole time). I started at 39% and finished at 38%. :thinking:

    So, I'm back to assuming that something is up with applications/phone connectivity/radio. I have GSam Battery Monitor installed and have data from today. I'll try to attach screen grabs to show the notable data.

    I'm at a loss here, so any suggestions would be very much appreciated!
     



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  2. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

  3. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I turned off the WiFi this morning when I got in to work and did nothing different (the phone sat on my desk all day mostly untouched). Today I'm seeing 62% remaining at 430pm whereas I was at 45% yesterday. I did reboot last night, but since I did that a few times in the last couple days anyway, I wouldn't expect that to help/hurt.

    I ran WiFi Analyzer and found that my new building has 20+ wifi AP's on 1, 6, and 11. Interestingly, in the 2 minutes I had the analyzer running, my battery dropped from 62% to 50%. Either the WiFi is killing things or the battery is toast, right?
     
  4. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    the more apps you got installed (and it appears you got tons) the more likely the battery will suffer and the phone will lag. ESPN Radio is a heavy resource app. it will spike the CPU and battery as well as mobile network data just sitting there never being used. Google apps such as Play Music sync whether you use it or not as well. Facebook will also kill a battery constantly syncing.

    I'm not surprised to see Google Services eating away at everything. Google Apps are generally unreliable and have this insane issue with eating your data and battery when not being used. on most of my devices that run Android the Play Store and all associated Google services are disabled, and I access my Gmail from the stock email app itself, or through another app like K-9 Mail. doing that alone and using an alternative market (such as Amazon Apps) really does make a big difference in performance as well as battery use.
     
  5. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I've only had ESPN Radio installed since June and haven't used it since July. I froze it now, but may just uninstall it.

    I can try freezing Google services as well, but I'm not sure what processes that would inclphon

    I don't use the mail apps that came with the phone. I've always used Maildroid on this phone.

    I have installed quite a few apps, but most have been removed after trying them. If removed apps leave residual clutter over time, what would you recommend to clean it?
     
  6. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    if you want to keep using things such as Google Play Store try this:

    settings--accounts and sync--Google--uncheck all of the stuff. this will greatly improve performance.

    also try

    settings--apps--all--Google Play Store--uncheck 'show notifications' (disables notification service which reduces CPU and battery drain as well as cleans the icons off the top bar that get cluttered) do this for all other apps you don't desire a status bar notification from. keep only those you want to see up there.

    Uninstall any apps you don't use or that use heavy amounts of data and CPU. ESPN radio often comes preinstalled as 'bloatware' on many phones and it does have the bad habit of chewing through data and battery even if it's never been opened. Google Play Music and Facebook also do that.

    As far as I know I don't think uninstalls leave anything behind as they do on a Windows system. there are cache cleaners on Play Store that might help if you suspect anything is being left behind though.

    I once wanted to install any app and game I think I might want to play to avoid the cost of downloading it again (and at the time dealing constantly with Play Store refusing to cooperate and throwing a download error) so I had like 100-200 apps on a phone and it was downright unusable. it lagged so badly it took a minute or so to get past the lock screen and froze a lot, battery life was literally 4-6 hours with the screen OFF, and it randomly rebooted a ton.

    on Android every app that is installed will load up in memory, and you can't stop it (any attempt at using a task killer will only make things much worse) and the more apps that are being installed, the more services that are loading up, and the more often that Android calls up the Out-Of-Memory (OOM) killer built-in in order to free up available RAM for another higher priority app. this happening a lot will cause what is known as a 'wakelock' as well and the more of those you get, the worse your standby time is on the battery.
     
  7. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I have installed a few apps, but certainly wouldn't put it close to 1-200 installed. I probably have 25 installed currently. I tried to adjust the settings on the Play Store app, but there were no options when I navigated to settings--apps--all--Google Play Store--uncheck 'show notifications'. In the mean time, I've frozen Google Store and Google Services as well as the only other app like ESPN I could think of (MLS Matchday). I don't have a Facebook account so that was the first thing I uninstalled.
     
  8. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I realized that you meant notifications within the play store app. Those were already off. I also turned off all automatic updates (was set to wifi only). I will also go through and remove apps I never use (or at least freeze them for testing).
     
  9. Dazg300

    Dazg300 Member

    Have you got gps turned on ? That's a battery killer
     
  10. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    From my experience, GPS doesn't hurt my phone too much. If I'm using a navigation app, the GPS+app combination is terrible for the battery. Yes, I generally keep the GPS on all the time though. It doesn't appear that the GPS is listed high up on the list.
     
  11. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I used "App Quarantine" to freeze effectively every app I installed or isn't required based on the list for Droid4 provided on XDA. I am now charging the phone at work to 100% and will let it sit on my desk untouched (as much as possible). I also turned off WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS (including all location services). If the battery still drains in a similar fashion, can I then assume that it isn't app/system related and that the battery has degraded? What else can I try to narrow down the cause of the battery drain?
     
  12. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Leaving GPS on doesn't even affect battery life in the slightest. There's a difference whether it's being used or just available.
     
    breadnatty08 likes this.
  13. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    The only times I ever had GPS battery drain were during odd times when a Google service or app got into a loop where it kept polling GPS nonstop and the icon up top kept blinking and a notification "searching for GPS " was in the notification shade. As usual I don't use Google apps if I can help it, so that problem never happens.
     
  14. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I sometimes see the GPS icon, but that's only when I have an app looking for a signal. I've only seen the "searching for signal" in the notification screen during these times.

    I went hunting in the hills yesterday with the phone in the non-smart phone config (plus a couple needed apps which included maps and GPS). By the end of the day when I put it back on the charger to get navigation home I was still at 81%. I didn't use the phone at all during the day but it was turned on. I would consider this acceptable since it was basically 20% usage in 8-9 hours or so.

    I think the only thing I can do is to turn a couple apps at a time on until I get back my core usability and can verify that battery life doesn't suffer significantly.
     
  15. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    This!
    I haven't turned off the GPS on any of my phones in years and unless there's an app that needs constant location services, you won't notice any hit on battery life.
     
  16. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    I use everything, data, LTE, Bluetooth, WiFi and the like and my G3 comes home with 70% after 12 hours. I usually only keep email, Gmail and Google search backgrounded (the latter for my watch)
     
  17. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm certainly jealous. Obviously you either have a better 4G signal than I do, a better battery, or both. I've never been able to keep my 4G on even before this battery drain issue because it would kill the battery by noon. I figure it has to do with lower signal strength forcing the antenna amplifier to go nuts searching for signal. Even with 4G turned off the phone sometimes will be in 1x mode. At least it does better with battery in 3G than 4G.
     
  18. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I had around 80% last night and decided to try syncing my MediaMonkey library to the phone (no downloaded files, just updating metadata. The sync took 2-3 minutes but the battery claimed to drop by 40% instantly. It might have been caused by rebooting the phone though. Any thoughts on this?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    Another interesting incident yesterday. I decided to turn on the email app (MailDroid) yesterday since things seemed relatively ok (other than the one strange battery drop off). I found that the battery level tanked much like I've seen in the past. Is it possible that my mail app has a power consumption bug that could cause such poor life? I've been using MailDroid for several years without any issues. However, yesterday the battery was down to 40-50% when I got home from work and quickly dropped to <20%, which is what I originally created the thread to discuss.

    So, either the battery is bad or MailDroid is the culprit?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    mine hops from 1x to 3g to LTE and back often. i live in the fringe. AT&T is worse, and Sprint is a dead zone entirely. i get 4G in specks like the town itself, or some remote areas which have oddly good LTE coverage (one park i nature walk in gets 4 bars of LTE, one side food joint that reminds me of a Mayberry Diner gets two bars of 4G) and those areas seem the best for battery life. but since i got rid of tons of spam syncing in my email apps i get about 89-90% after 12 hours or so. keep in mind i have a great phone (LG G3) and also hardly use it. my smartwatch (LG G Watch/Android Wear) is my primary phone interface at work, only showing emails, notifications and weather, and i hardly use my phone for much else, so i don't use the screen often. it spends the good portion of its time off charge in my pocket. seems to be the only model i've had in a long time that even comes home even in those conditions with a decent charge. same use on my Note 3 gave me 49% or worse, 20% and dying. i had to put it on charge instantly after i got home so i hardly could enjoy it.

    what's odd is that the G3 is the first Android phone that even with horrible signal coverage doesn't burn a hole in my pocket. it has never ran warm at all.
     
  21. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I changed some settings in maildroid so that it's not always connected. It remains to be seen how much of a difference this will make in the long run. I did have 50% when I got home today. But, all of this savings so far is at the cost of actually using the phone. I think based on the rapid drop in charge, the battery is dead. In fact, in the . Minutes I've been composing now, the charge went from 44% to 20%. New battery it is!

    [​IMG]
     
  22. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    We lost power at our house last Saturday night for just over a day. Since I didn't know when it would return and I was traveling out of town first thing Monday morning, I didn't touch the phone much if at all from Saturday through when the power came back. I don't really understand what was different other than no WiFi signal since the mobile networks stayed up but I was able to get very good battery life as can be seen. NOTE: I saved the picture today so the activity bars are clipped a bit.

    [​IMG]

    Just today, though, I had quite the opposite experience. I didn't do a whole lot with the phone other than take a few short phone calls and send a few texts. However, you can see that I did pretty terrible today and only made it to just after noon before I was down to 4%. In fact, I had 45% when I answered a 2 minute phone call and had 19% when I hung up. I then checked one thing and was down to 5%.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Again, I guess I'm simply trying to verify that this sounds like a bad battery and not something that could be corrected by an application. If I had my choice, I'd simply upgrade to the Droid5, but since Motorola doesn't like that idea, I'm kinda stuck.
     
  23. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Sounds more like you have some service at the background trying to connect if it lasts long without wifi.
     
  24. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, I came up with a test that seems pretty conclusive. After charging the phone to full battery, I turned the screen brightness up to 100%, disabled the screen timeout, and launched candy crush (just a typically draining app). I then set the phone to the side and waited for it to die. The following pictures seem to indicate pretty clearly that the battery must be the issue. Since the load on the phone was unchanged from 100% until it turned off, the battery level should have drained linearly (right?). Since it drained linearly to 50% and then dropped dramatically fast, I assume that the battery must be toast.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  25. bkenobi69

    bkenobi69 Member
    Thread Starter

    I calculate that I have somewhere around 1000 charge cycles on this battery (5/2012 to 11/2014), so a new battery won't hurt anything. I even found one that looks good and is available locally via ship to the store. Lenmar 1925mAh for $20 from HomeDepot (yeah, weird I know).
     

Motorola Droid 4 Forum

The Motorola Droid 4 release date was February 2012. Features and Specs include a 4.0" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, TI OMAP 4430 processor, and 1785mAh battery.

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