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The whole "Battery life" thing......

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Vicdude, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Vicdude

    Vicdude Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    There seems to be a "thing" about battery life being rubbish on the Desire and that it is a ballache.
    I haven't found this and wondered why folk think it's such a bad thing.
    I came from a long line of Nokias (Not literally you understand) and when I entered the smartphone market (N70.... remember them :D ) I too was initially vexed by the thought of having to charge my phone everyday, but then I thought about it......... when am I ever that far away from a power source? My conclusion and solution was that I needed to strategically place chargers in the places that I spent most of my time.

    As a result I have a wall charger on my desk at work, one at home, the USB stays with my laptop and I have a car charger. If I am visiting friends over the weekend, I take my charger from home and plug the phone in whilst in my car.

    The only time that my phone might go say 6 or 7 hrs without a charge is if I am going out on the lash with friends. Typically I might utilise the phone a few times during the night but generally it stays in the pocket.

    The only time I run out of charge is if I physically don't remember to plug the thing in.

    When do you guys run out of juice and can it not be avoided by a bit of forward planning.

    Just wondered :cool:

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  2. riki1kenobi

    riki1kenobi Well-Known Member

    This hasnt happened to me with the desire, but I went camping with the family a few years back. We had car chargers etc and over the course of the trip someone (eh kids) left the interior light on and it killed the car battery. Went to use my phone to contact the breakdown service and it up and died on me! Got the GF's phone and guess what? Yup it died too......Plugged in the car charger in the hope that there would be enough juice left to charge the phone but it was completely dead.

    Had to walk a fair bit to get to a pay-phone......So there are circumstances where it can happen. Albeit you need to have the worst of the rottenest luck for all things to conspire like they did with us, had toyed with getting a solar charger but that would not have helped as it rained all week as well :(

    Forward planning eh? Hadnt thought of that :rolleyes:
  3. WozzaTT

    WozzaTT Well-Known Member

    I agree with Vic! When I first got my Desire I became obsessed with battery life and fiddled about with all sorts of things to try and improve it but now I've just got into the habit of charging it overnight every night. I have a charger in the living-room and one in my bedroom plus will probably get a car charger too.

    The only way I can see it being a problem is for someone who needs to hammer it all day long without access to a charger and then maybe goes out straight from work. Even then you should be ok for 16 hours.

    My trusty Nokia 6300 needed charging every couple of days and that did nothing except call and text. Likewise my Garmin satnav gives a low battery waring from a full charge after about 2 hours of use.

    Admittedly the battery life isn't as good as the Iphone (my GF has one and my Desire deffo uses the juice quicker) but it's just about acceptable, if slightly annoying.
  4. Griff_LI

    Griff_LI Android Enthusiast

    Here's my camping tip, I managed a full weekend without my phone running-out first weekend I had it. It's quite involved so I hope I can explain it...

    I switched it off when I wasn't using it.

    O.K. this isn't brilliant for every-day use but when you're away from the power but don't need to be contacted it does the job admirably. :)
    Vicdude likes this.
  5. EmperorKabir

    EmperorKabir Well-Known Member

    i have to go to a 5 day festival soon, and i think i may have to take an old nokia 3210. just goes to show that in some ways we really have taken a big step backward. i doubt the desire would last 5 days even with 2 full charges added in magically.
  6. chris100575

    chris100575 Well-Known Member

    I have a wall charger at work but rarely need it, my phone usually gives me a day's usage and still has at least 60% battery by bed time. I just stick it on charge over night.
  7. Vicdude

    Vicdude Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    The odd 5 day festival here and there would test most phones I reckon lol :D You could take 5 batteries :D
    I digress, so the reality then is pretty straight forward I reckon. Instead of wasting effort and time measuring battery useage per app and forever turning your GPS and Wifi on and off and turning the brightness on that gorgeous screen up and down, spend the time wondering if your phone could be plugged in and if it isn't why not? :D Oh and Riki.... That camping trip sounds pants mate lol :D
  8. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Android Expert

    No, no we haven't. Absolute crap. I can guarantee the battery in the Desire is better than the one in your old Nokia - It's just that your old phone is much worse, so doesn't use much power. People need to get over this. If you want a portable computer the size of a phone, the battery won't last long. Unless of course you fancy violating the laws of physics and making a battery that runs on vacuum energy. :rolleyes:

    And incidentally, fork out
  9. snowmobile

    snowmobile Android Enthusiast

    I have on a couple of occasions run out of power unexpectedly, but on investigation it was due to apps which were still active when they should have been dormant.

    People have to realise this is a mini computer, not just a phone, so expecting several days use is unrealistic. I rarely use my netbook anymore as my Desire does everything that did and I would never get more than 4-5 hours of battery use out of that.

    I just get into the habit of topping up the charge whenever convenient.
  10. I know this is a contentious issue so I'm prepared to get flamed, but it begs the question: how do Apple manage it then?

    My 3G and (soon to be returned) 4 both got/get me through a full day, i.e. getting out of bed right through to getting back into it, or about 16-17 hours. Both had/have bluetooth and wifi running all day, regularly synced 5 IMAP accts (manually, C.30 times a day), between 30-90 mins or more calls, web browsing and plenty of app usage. On a busy day they were admittedly wheezing a bit by the evening, but generally lasted long enough to be plugged back in at bed time.

    I had to return my Desire to T-Mobile because battery performance simply wasn't acceptable - that, and the ludicrous absence of BT voice dialling. I appreciate that 'true' multi-tasking inevitably leads to more background processes running, and that many stock configs have every app and its bloody dog fighting for processor cycles and data. But, this it still a very real problem. You buy a smart phone, as opposed to a laptop/tablet + dumb phone, because you don't want/can't afford to be tied to power outlets.

    I frequently work away from a desk or readily accessible power outlets for prolonged periods, and while I think Android beats iOS hands down, the battery life issue is still a major issue for me. My worry now is that the situation will only worsen as manufacturers scramble to pack faster/more processors into devices.

    What to do, what to do...
  11. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Android Expert

    I have the same battery as was in your phone, and I happily get two days out of a charge with pretty heavy usage, and have never used more than 70% in one day, despite absolutely hammering it. The battery is fine if you know how to use it. The difference is that Android doesn't do everything for you like iOS.

    Oh and incidentally, you may wish to note that if necessary you can buy a spare battery for the Desire and swap it out. Try that for the iPhone and - Oh wait, you can't, can you? :rolleyes:
  12. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Member

    Pfft, I get more than that outta my desire.
    Normally I unplug at 23:00hrs and don't recharge until 21:00hrs the next night.
  13. dunetails

    dunetails Newbie

    I love my Desire but I'm a bit sceptical of these claims of getting two days on one charge. Would you be able to tell us what you are running in terms of apps and sync over that time? I just want to know what you consider hammering.

    I have two gmail accounts, gtalk and twitter sync'ing all day and read RSS feeds heavily. Maybe some podcasts. With Juicedefender running I can probably get 12 hours average use out of it.

    Not criticising, just trying to figure out how your battery is lasting so long if you're using it so hard
  14. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Android Expert

    Hammering it: Spending maybe 2-3 hours on the internet browsing, watching about 30 minutes of youtube videos, sending circa 200 texts, about 40 minutes of phone call, and hours of tinkering with the homescreens and backgrounds etc to try to get everything to look the way I want it to.

    The syncing will be what's killing yours. What intervals have you got them set to?
  15. bozzer

    bozzer Newbie

    This is a funny issue....A good way to think about it is to summarise it with transport.

    The old 'my nokia 6xxx' units are equivalent to a scooter. They make a call and that is, no other features. As with a scooter, you can get loads of miles to the gallon as all it can do is get you from A to B.

    Smart-phones are like Hummers or sports cars. They are miles bigger and can go real fast with awesome acceleration and are always fully loaded with all the options such as sat nav, air con ect ect. The downside? Terrible miles to the gallon.

    The upshot of it is, if you want all the features a smart-phone can give, you have to fill it’s tank up…..you don’t buy a sports car and expect it to be as economical as a scooter!

    Unfortunately there’s only so much energy you can fit in a given space. Until a new tech comes along we are sort of stuck as nothing more manufacturable than Lithium-Polymer can be used at the moment, and that’s not much different than what was in the old phones.

    Personally, I have mine on charge every night and use it as an alarm clock, and there’s always some juice left in it before I go to bed.
  16. Griff_LI

    Griff_LI Android Enthusiast

    Great analogy bozzer! Now, where can I get a spoiler for my Desire ?
  17. You're quite right. But with the devices I refer to it's a moot point isn't it, you don't need to swap the batteries if they last all day.

    Please don't take this personally, but the arguments/justifications for and claims to the contrary I'm hearing for high-end Android battery performance seem tenuous at best. Who can genuinely say they get the same performance out of a Desire that I had from an iP3G or iP4? And that includes the large number of voice calls I make.

    PS. I'm not trolling here, just trying to get some objectivity into the mix. As stated, I loved most aspects of the Desire I briefly owned. If it turns out I had a particularly rubbish example I may be prepared to give it another go (with a SLCD and BT voice dialling enabled).
  18. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Android Expert

    The people who get crap battery life out of the phone aren't using the phone correctly. It really is that simple. There are a few faulty batteries out there I'm sure, but 99.9% of the time the battery is bad because the user is doing something wrong, or they've downloaded a crappy app that is eating the battery life. There's nothing tenuous about anyone's claims to getting a long life out of a charge.

    With anything but extreme use, a well configured Desire will invariably last the day. Most of the time I finish the day with about 50-60% remaining, despite an hour or so of browsing the internet/downloading apps, maybe a half an hour phone call, and a hundred or so texts, plus about 30 minutes of browsing RSS news feeds in the evening and maybe half an hour to an hour of playing games on it to while away dull commutes.
  19. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Member

    Me, I got shot of my 3g when I got the desire. :)

    Have to charge the desire everyday :eek:, had to charge the 3g everyday :rolleyes: and it could be argued (not that I am, or care to) that the desire is doing more at any one time than the 3g was.

    Note: my useage is mainly data based and comparisons are made on that basis, I mean c'mon who wants to actually talk to anyone, it's the 21st century for gawds sake. ;)
  20. dunetails

    dunetails Newbie

    Thanks for replying, I have a couple more questions

    Are you browsing the net on Wifi, GPRS or HSDPA? What sync's do you have setup (mail, calendar, contacts?)and do you ever leave the phone in airplane mode? Do you have background data enabled or off?

    I have twitter sync every 30 minutes, everything else is the google sync so it's pushed. Even with Twitter off, there is no way it would go through over 14 hours, I do email/text and browse heavily.
  21. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Android Expert

    Browsing on a mix of Wifi and 3G. I sync mail manually when I plan to read it, and three news feeds manually when I plan to read those. Never use airplane mode, and have background data enabled.

    The google sync will most likely eat your battery life more than anything else, I'd imagine.
  22. StoneDeCroze

    StoneDeCroze Member

    My usage is often very light, I can get 3-4 days out of it. However, it's no worse than my first work mobile phone which was a Nokia 2110i. The standby time was a couple of days. That's NO usage AT ALL. If you actually made calls the standard battery lasted maybe an hour. I also used to have an extended life battery that was almost as big as the phone, if I was busy on site visits I'd take that, and the standard batter AND a rapid charger with me, and if I was lucky it would last for a full 8 hour day, if I kept it on charge when not talking.

    My Desire sits on a desk charger when I go to bed, so it's fully charged, and I have a desk charger at work, more for easy access and so it's not stuck in my pocket.
  23. Vicdude

    Vicdude Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Ha HA Brilliant. I've got some rims here if you want 'em :D
  24. From what you and others are saying I reckon that may be the crux of my issue; voice calls. I confess to being pretty old school in my use of smartphones as 'phones' :rolleyes: but that's unlikely to change anytime soon. Emails are too easy for the slack barstewards I work with to ignore. Get 'em with the email, and then... BAM! Phone follow-up ;).

    Thanks for the answers folks - looks like I'm back to a dumb phone for now then.
  25. matttye

    matttye Android Expert

    - Newer processor architecture (with the iPhone 4) which uses less power than the snapdragon. Slower processor (with the 3GS and below) which also uses less power than the snapdragon.
    - Less RAM (on all iPhones)
    - Smaller screen (on all iPhones), although I guess the Desire being OLED tips the scales back in the Desire's favour.
    - Lack of widgets that constantly update (on all iPhones)
    - OLED is a double edged sword. If you're viewing a lot of apps with white backgrounds your battery will drain really quickly. White = 300% of the power of an LCD on OLED. Black = 33% of the power of an LCD on OLED.

    The iPhone has a lot of complaints about battery usage too, just like any smartphone.. I would recommend to anyone who needs their battery to last longer than a day to not get a smartphone or buy an external battery to extend usage.

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