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S21 5G March patch disappointment (Battery use)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by ThisCannotBeChanged, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    Let me first state very clearly that the only reason to install any patch is to save battery. A big mistake in my life was installing nougat on my Samsung Galaxy S6. Sprint nagged me for months so one day I did it just to get rid of the nagging. The phone went from drawing 1% an hour idle which is bad enough, to 3% an hour and got steadily worse over time. Went to two different Sprint stores where they reset, reinstalled, etc with no improvement whatsoever. Sprint didn't care in the least and I could not uninstall their useless bloatwear (e.g Voicemail app) whether or not it caused the power drain. It seemed to caused some.

    I also have a legacy iPhone 7 which uses from zero percent to about three percent of the battery when it is resting on the counter overnight. Usually just one percent. It uses a bit more when I carry it around unplugged. Apple has always known how to make power efficient operating systems for all their devices. Google does not, that's up to Samsung. Samsung does not know how.

    It's obvious that power management is a Samsung marketing decision, not a customer satisfaction priority. The ultra low power mode on the phone allows only 4 apps on the home screen. Why? Simply to cripple it so people won't use it. They make their money having the phone run in full power mode sending back personal information to Samsung and various third parties. They cannot have a phone where the owner is in charge of exactly what runs and doesn't run on the phone.

    I have every app set to deep sleep. According to the info on the screen: "Deep sleeping apps will never run in the background. They'll only work when you open them". Every possible app that shows on that screen (after hitting plus) is set to deep sleep. Furrthermore I changed my mobile network setting under connections to 3G only instead of scanning for LTE and 5G. I noticed the scanning in the logs. I have every low power setting turned on. I have turned off what I can possibly turn off.

    So now the results: 2% an hour for a few hours, then 18% total in 16 hours, resting on the sofa, untouched other than the first three hours. Not great although a little better than before the patch. This morning I hooked up the cable to look at the logs (that also charges the phone). The logs show the phone waking up every few seconds: SSC_DAEMON: physical_sensor_test_req_msg Sensor type :4, Msg type:11 Sometimes it waits as long as 20-30 seconds before that message. There are other messages after the phone wakes up but that's usually the first one.

    I will gladly try any suggestions to fix the power drain problem. Just checked after disconnecting the cable an hour ago: down 2%. About the same as yesterday.
     



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  2. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Let's try some simple things here.
    First, I agree with the vast majority of what you said above.
    Second, the amount of power drain you have now is actually pretty darn good.
    Third, keep in mind that you did make the choice to move on to a different OS, which is probably larger- and does more. So even though it may use more power than what you had, you must compare efficiency to capability.

    You have a newer OS in an old device, with what I will assume is an old battery.

    Anyway, I try not to download apps from Google, so any apps I recommend are not going to come from there {although the app may still}.

    So, first thing, have you enabled 'Developer Options' on the device?
    If not, then now is the time to do so.

    {Your device may vary- this is a skeletal pathway.}

    Settings
    About phone
    Build number
    {tap 7 tmes, or until "You are now a developer!" toast message appears}

    Back out to the firs Settings page, and scroll back down to aroun the bottom again, loking for Developers Options {or the like}.

    Select Developers options
    {turn the switch on}
    Running services
    {select}

    Screenshot_2021-03-07_11-14-38.jpg

    Here you will find out exactly what apps are actualy running in real time, and how much memory they are consuming.
    More memory use, more battery drain.

    Now, sure- you can stop the runing apps right from here- where they will get cached, and then turn back on just as soon as you look away.
    And of course, you could select 'see cached apps' and then take them out from there as well.

    That might buy you some more time before they turn back on.

    But in all reality, having the screen on and using the touchscreen to do all of this has most likely used more energy than the apps you just turned off.

    But don't give up just yet.

    Memorize the total memory used before you turn anything off.

    Now download this app, called Greenify.
    It is cost free, and ad free.

    https://greenify.en.uptodown.com/android

    Install the app, and go through the simple set up process.
    It only takes minutes to do.

    Now go into the app, and set it to turn off any of the other apps that you have put on the device.

    DO NOT INCLUDE ALARM APPS, OR CALENDER APPS IF ALARMS ARE THERE, OR ANY OTHER APP THAT NOTIFICATIONS AT CERTAIN TIMES ARE IMPORTANT!

    The free version will only control user apps- the ones that you install yourself.
    The paid version will also control some system apps- and just as the app will tell you, these will most likely start up on their own rather quickly.

    So now use Greenify to force stop {that is how it works} the apps that you have selected.

    Then go back into Developers options, and check to see if there is an improvement in the amount of memory used.

    There may be, or maybe not.
    Greenify itself uses some power, and runs constantly.
    Some apps may use more power if other apps are off.

    There is another app like Greenify, that is also free and ad free- that will also control system apps.
    It takes a bit more to set up, and can be tempermental on some devices {or if you turn off the wrong app{s}, lol, so that is why I prefer Greenify- it is safe and simple.

    The other app is called SuperFreezZ:
    https://f-droid.org/en/packages/superfreeze.tool.android/

    Once again, do your memory use comparison via Developers options.

    Hopefully one of these two will satisfy your needs.
    Keep in mind that if you keep on force stopping an app that continually restarts itself, it can draw more power to constantly cycle on and off rather than run continuously.

    A last ditch effort would be to connect the device to a computer and do a shell command to stop certain apps from autostarting.
    There are videos on Youtube for this.

    I know that is a cliche, but I have only heard of it being successful, and have never done it myself.

    Of course, keep in mind that if you block the wrong app from running, it can brick your device- or even some part of it that may not be immediately noticed.
    {No rreal worries of this from the apps I mentioned, in my experience. I literally turned everything off a few times before I knew better, lol.}

    So good luck with this endeavor.

    If nothing else, you just learned some things faster than it took me to figure it out on my own.

    Personally, I am using a modded {Google junkware removed} of the paid version of Greenify.
    It does seem relatively effective on my 5.1.1, both of my 7.1.1s, and my 8.1.0.
     
    ocnbrze, Dannydet and ironass like this.
  3. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    You have a newer OS in an old device, with what I will assume is an old battery.

    I need to clarify. This thread is not about my Galaxy S6 which has a cracked case and is turned off and plugged into a solar panel. The thread is about the S21 which is brand new.

    But thanks very much for the suggestions above, I use developer mode for USB debugging. I had not looked at running services. I just did and stopped "video call effects" I don't think I can (or should) stop any other services, the rest all seem necessary. Greenify may not work on Android 11. Also like Greenify does, I have all possible apps set to deep sleep as noted above. I've never been convinced that the power problem comes from apps, although it can. The issue is the system waking and logging the message I noted. A user app did not trigger that.

    I have spent some time in the adb shell looking at the file system. I have not tried what you suggest, namely stopping the auto-starting via changes in some system files. It will be good to look through that and figure out how it works.

    Using Greenify will probably work on my old S6 if and when I decide to resurrect it. Thanks again.

    Edit: did not see superfreezz in google play. So I tried Force Stop Apps instead. Not sure what it is doing, but I'll see what happens...

    Update: since installing and tinkering with Force Stop Apps it's defnitely worse, about 3% per hour. I hooked up to look at the logs and there's almost incessant logging of various sorts. I recognize network activity but not much more. There shoudl be no network activity, the phone was in my pocket unused.

    The logging stopped for a few seconds and then kicked in with:
    03-07 15:50:37.136 1004 15590 I sensors-hal: handle_sns_client_event:523, [9734] mag_sample_cal: ts=82957050314657 ns; cal = [-0.821993, -39.852737, 25.746885], uncal = [16.070749, -44.927357, 46.946598], bias = [16.892742, -5.074619, 21.199713], status=1

    Not buying the idea that this sensor stuff is caused by apps. Remember all of the apps that I can set for deep sleep are set for deep sleep. I think apps can be faulty and cause unneccesary activity. But there's no indication that any app is doing unnecessary activity particularly since no apps are running except for the following: One UI home, Google play store, ForceStopApps, SettingsSuggestions, and Google Play services. I can't stop any of those except for ForceStopApps which is probably useless either way.
     
    #3 ThisCannotBeChanged, Mar 7, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    ocnbrze likes this.
  4. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Like I said before, the links I proide are not going to come from Google Play.

    I provided a link to F-Droid, which is an appstore for FOSS apps.

    F-Droid has an impeccible record- you can be certain that apps from there are safe.

    Each app is sent in by the developer, and then it is painstakingly recompiled by F-Droid.

    No other appstore that I am aware of goes to this extent.
     
    ironass and Dannydet like this.
  5. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    Thanks I just read through F-droid.org thoroughly and now I understand what it does: a FOSS alternative to google play which needs permissions to run. I did that by downloading their apk, pushing it to the phone, and giving permission for their app to download and install other apps. To some extent safety is up to each of us since we assign permissions for each app, although most apps will want to read the filesystem and access the network, and any app that does that can spy on us. It could also delete files without my permission.

    At other extreme, an app that roots the phone without our knowledge can hide all its activities, install other malware, etc. An app like that could read the memory while my cryptocurrency apps are running and steal my private keys. So obviously I have to be careful what I install. Obviously everyone needs to be knowledgable and careful and that's how it should be. We should certainly not rely on Google Play to protect us from malicious apps because they slip through all the time.

    But thanks again for that info, I did not realize there were alternatives to google play.

    In the meantime overnight the phone wasted 10% of the battery in 8 hours doing nothing. Keep in mind a phone doing nothing should not use much power, as is the case with my iPhone which uses about 1% overnight doing nothing, sometimes zero percent, occasionally as much as 5%. What I tried last night was go to developer options -> quick settings developer tiles. On that screen I turned on "sensors off". Then i swiped down to see all the buttons and there was a new one called "sensors off". I turned that on. So all night all the sensors should have been off.

    I looked at log messages from overnight while I was asleep. Often the phone activity starts like this:
    03-08 00:01:04.374 1077 1077 I SSC_DAEMON: physical_sensor_test_req_msg Sensor type :4, Msg type:11

    I'm pretty sure SSC is a Samsung process and has something to do with sensors, but I can't find info on it on the internet. My goal is to prevent that thing from waking up the phone every few seconds on average. You might ask, why am I ignoring what you said above "which is probably larger- and does more. So even though it may use more power than what you had, you must compare efficiency to capability."? I am not ignoring it.

    There is a bug causing the thing to wake up every few seconds and quite frankly Samsung has no idea what their OS does on any given phone. They have no clue that their SSC daemon is doing that on my phone, probably doesn't happen on their test phones. My job is to figure out what is going on on my phone and stop bad behavior. If someone has written an app that does that already, then great, I will check it out and use it. If Samsung fixes it, that's great too.

    But please keep in mind it is not an app that is waking up the phone and causing the message above, it is a system process doing that. I have every single app in deep sleep including alarm, calendar, etc. All of them. Obviously there are many system processes that I have no ability to put in deep sleep.

    Edit: to do the above, I went to settings -> apps. I click on every app, starting with Android Auto. Many of them say "manually disabled". Some don't because they get re-enabled and I can't control that. But the important thing is under each app there is a battery setting. Click on that and the top setting is "Allow background activity". Turn that off. Every single one is off.

    Quite simply I know that SSC has a bug because there are intervals where it waits as long as 23 seconds to wake the phone up. That's still too short, but it's better than waking every second. Best case: kill the thing when I don't want it running and turn it back on when I do. That's why I had "Sensors off" turned on last night, but that didn't help.

    Edit2: Sensors off causes the camera to not work. To use the camera I had to turn "Sensors off" to off.
     
    #5 ThisCannotBeChanged, Mar 8, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  6. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Please keep in mind that I am no fan of Samsung OS.
    Actually, I find it quite infuriating, second only to the unintuitive iphone.

    Here is something else for you to consider and to try.
    If you are like me in the respect that we want to turn off what we are not using- because of security and/or wastefulness prevention, then consider the fact that sometimes when we turn something off, something else that expects the other thing to be running may keep asking for it- like a child.

    Let's say there are two apps that run all the time.
    We don't use them ourselves directly, but we see that they consume.
    We have disable control over one, but not the other- so we do what we can by stopping the one.
    What we don't know is that the two are codependant, and now the one we can't turn off spends five of every fifteen minutes calling for a response that the other app was responsible for.
    Now that app is using more resources than the two did before.

    I can't say for certain that this is what's going on, but I wanted to put that out there.

    So, yup, lol, here is another app to try.
    You can get this one from the Play Store, but the following link is for UpToDown- the number two appstore on Earth.

    As with the other appstores that I use, I have not had an issue with any app from there.

    There is an app, as well as a site, for UpToDown.

    Anyway, the app is NoRoot Firewall.
    With it, you can control the internet access of the apps on your device- both Wi-Fi and cellular network access can be contolled separately for each app.

    Are there more advanced firewalls?
    Absolutely.
    NetGuard on F-Droid is probably the best.

    But NoRoot Firewall has a real time log.
    That is what we are after at this point.

    In my view, if something is waking the device, more likely than not it is connecting to something online.

    So let's use this simple logging feature to figure out what app{s} it could be, and when it happens.

    It appears that you already have a way to find out when it happens, so we can easily compare the times with what you have to the log, and then we will see exactly what is waking the device up, and as an added bonus, the IP address of the connection is also provided.

    The address can be entered into a browser, and discovered what it is.

    https://noroot-firewall.en.uptodown.com/android

    I have NoRoot installed on all of my devices. It has multiple other uses that you will probably find useful.
     
    #6 puppykickr, Mar 8, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  7. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the advice and I agree that I could easily create more power drain by turning certain things off (apps or services) thereby causing other processes to thrash (which may not be apps). Most of the apps that the GUI allows me stop or disable (and disable background processing for) are the ones I installed, and other top level apps (no other apps should depend on those apps). There are system processes that could theoretically be stopped via adb but I have not done that. All my stopping has been done through the GUI.

    However I did deinstall some packages via adb. I put some back after I broke the Samsung One GUI. Since those are "unexpected" missing packages, the scenario you lay out is entirely possible. The packages were themes, games, Samsung bixby, samsung pay, facebook, netflix, linkedin, spotify, Samsung misc stuff. But you are right, you never know what else might get hung up looking for a missing package. I try to find the error messages in the logs for missing files, but I could miss some. I get some, e.g.

    03-08 07:57:05.988 1222 1222 E PackageManager: updateAllSharedLibrariesLPw failed: Package com.sem.factoryapp requires unavailable shared library com.android.nfc_extras; failing!

    But I did not deinstall nfc_extras, it's still there. Then it fails for other packages that were never on my phone. The key is that those messages appear once a day at most, so no thrashing unless the thrashing is not logged.

    I looked at the two firewalls and selected NetGuard compiled by F-Droid, but it has a problem creating the VPN which is the whole enchilada. So I contacted the developer and he will probably say I am out of luck, or might have me look at a setting or two. After that I will try tthe other one.
     
    puppykickr likes this.
  8. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    NetGuard is the better choice.

    But like I said, it does not have what we are after right now.
    We want the log, so that we can see what the device is trying to do online during these times that it awakes from sleep.

    NoRoot will require the same VPN api as NetGuard does.
    Unless you are trying to run an actual VPN, I see no reason why it should not make its own connection as soon as you allow it to.

    As I said before, NetGuard is nice, but it is much more difficult to use than NoRoot.
    I use NoRoot.
    It really is just that much more simple.
    On my devices, it also uses less memory, and therefore less power.

    Give NoRoot a try, and see what happens.

    Let it make the VPN connection, and let it run all night.
    Then check the log against your info when you have the time.

    Screenshot_2021-03-08_22-34-56.jpg
    Notice how nice and simple the log is, even providing the IP address for the connection.

    Not only that, but if I long press any item on the log, the option to block that individual IP is available- even the ability to split access/denial between Wi-Fi and cellular internet access.
     
  9. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Settings
    (Wireless & networks)
    More
    VPN
    NoRoot Firewall
     
  10. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    I got a nice reply from the creator of NetGuard. He said:
    I don't have another VPN installed, but it could be that I set something that disallows any VPN. I installed NoRoot Firewall and clicked START. noroot.jpg It says there's no VPN on this OS. Probably a setting, or I uninstalled a package that's required for VPN.

    Edit: quick fix. I put back the package called com.android.vpndialogs Duh, should have seen that earlier. Working.. So far just Google Play Services in the log. I turned off the Google Play app and there are fewer of those now. Nothing else so far, but like you said, I'll have to see what happens overnight with the phone idle.
     
    #10 ThisCannotBeChanged, Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
    puppykickr likes this.
  11. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    I enabled the pro features in NetGuard so I have logs. There's a lot of activity right now since I am testing features in FairEmail which was written by the same guy. But after I set the phone on the sofa overnight I'll get a log of the network connections tomorrow morning.
     
    puppykickr likes this.
  12. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Yeah, Google just will not leave a device alone.

    They are so intrusive, and then act like, "Gee, why on Earth wouldn't you want 500 MB of useless junk downloaded onto your device when your back is turned?"

    Disabling the Play Store is a good start.
    You will probably have difficulty if you disable Play Services, however.

    That is tied to a great deal of your device.

    Google could very well be the cause of this power drain.
    Especially since you did not notice it on an iphone.

    But keep in mind that Android is more versatile and intuitive.

    I do so much more with my Android than anyone I know that has a fruitphone.

    And I am running cheap, bottom of the barrel devices- while they spend hundreds, if not a thousand or more for their devices.

    I do more with my crummy $45 Android than most people do with their home computers, lol.
     
  13. ThisCannotBeChanged

    Thread Starter

    iPhone is not as good as I thought it was. I have little to no drrain sitting on the counter overnight. But carrying it around for 24 hours, almost no use, including resting overnight resulted in 18% drain by 3pm today. But the real killer was about 50 minutes of Facetime. That alone used up 28% of the battery. That's the first time I had used Facetime, but I have used Zoom and Zoom sucks power on every device I use it on.

    I'll keep investigating, looking at network logs tomorrow. That might help reduce power but also helps a lot to know who is doing what on the network.

    It's morning: 10 hours, 13% of the battery. They say that's good. I suppose that's what I am supposed to expect and accept. The logs show ICMPv6 basically pings about a dozen times. The rest of the network traffic is my new FairEmail email client checking for mail every 15 minutes.

    Another morning and 11% of the battery used in 8 hours overnight. Had the firewall off, but it actually doesn't use much battery. But then I put the phone in my pocket and carried it around for 2 hours. That used up another 7% (down to 82%). Among other things, it is sensing the screen all the time, even when the screen is off. I just turned off everything in motions and gestures like double tap to turn on screen. I was surprised I had to those on.

    With the screen off the phone is still picking up screen events. I have the debug cable attached of course to see the events using adb shell and getevents. It's unlikely that the debug / charging cable would not make it handle events any differently than unplugged from that cable.

    The bottom line is the phone is processing screen touch events needlessly in my pocket. There are fewer in my pocket than when I reach in my pocket and touch the screen. But there should be none with the display off. That sensor needs to be off also.

    3-4% per hour in my pocket, unacceptable. Woken up by
    03-11 12:43:47.165 1064 1064 I SSC_DAEMON: physical_sensor_test_req_msg Sensor type :4, Msg type:11
    Every second or two.

    Another 10% in 8 hours overnight with the phone laying on the sofa. The phone consumes about 3 times more power when I am carrying it around in my pocket. Need to fix that flaw. I do notice that the SSC_DAEMON fires all night long also. But only about every 5 to 25 seconds instead of every second. There are probably other power wasting events being triggered with the phone in my pocket.

    5% in 1.5 hours in my pocket, followed by another 10% in 11.5 hours resting on the sofa.
     
    #13 ThisCannotBeChanged, Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G release date was 29 January. Features and Specs include a 6.2" inch screen, 64MP camera, 8GB RAM, Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processor, and 4000mAh battery.

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