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Friday, June 18, 2010

Guide to Managing Your EVO Battery: Summary and Next Steps

Summary

The following are conclusions from the testing I performed:
  • If you have a weak cellular signal, your battery will drain significantly faster (go to airplane mode if you need to conserve your battery in these conditions)
  • Wireless data transfer is more efficient than 3G data transfer.  Use wireless connections when available.
  • Bluetooth and GPS can always be on with minimal impact to your battery
  • A properly configured phone should easily achieve 6 hours of talk time
  • You can expect simple gaming and apps to consume approximately 20% of battery life per hour (more data should be and will be collected on this)
  • Live Wallpapers have minimal impact on battery life
  • Download apps and web browsing can and will burn battery in hurry.  Perform these activities with discretion or while plugged-in.
  • Task killers are not needed.  I don't have one and I have excellent battery life without it.  Those that see benefits from a task manager probably have a misconfigured or rogue app.
Next Steps

I have a few more tests I plan to run.  As I get to them, I will post the results here.  Specifically, I plan to test using a manual brightness setting of about 33% using the simple gaming test.  I also plan to add Good for Enterprise.  I suspect this was a major source of my battery woes to begin with.  I now have a good baseline for comparison.  Finally, I will download apps a few at a time and monitor my phone's battery for adverse effects.  Rogue apps will be quickly put to pasture.

Conclusion

The techniques in this article have helped me restore my excitement about my EVO.  I've gone from burning 15% of my battery in one hour without using it to 58% battery remaining after 18 hours of what I would consider moderate/low use.
I hope many of you will find this article useful.  If you struggled as I did with battery life, these principles can help.  Your excitement can be restored.  You CAN stop worrying about your battery.  You CAN once again enjoy your new Android phone.

12 comments:

  1. Good information, Bill. Thanks for your in depth analysis on the battery issues. I look forward to continuing to read your blog.

    Chris

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  2. Great post. I will be checking back regularly as well as trying out some of your tests myself.

    Victor

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  3. I'm going to try some of the tips you've suggested and see how it works out, thanks for your help!

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  4. Thanks for your comments. I'd be interested to hear about the results of any tests you run. The more data we can collect, the better the advice we can offer to others.

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  5. I think you are spot on regarding WiFi based on my experience over the last 24 hours.

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  6. Could you comment some on suggestions to "properly configure" the phone? I will be buying the Evo this coming weekend and I will need it to be spot on ready within 2 days as I go to work as a journalist Monday. Thanks! Great post by the way, by far most informative about battery usage.

    Ive heard alot of good comes from deleting the "friend" widget from the homescreen just to the left, do you know anything about that? same for friendstream

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  7. Yes, Good is evil. I have since reinstalled it and I'm experiencing very poor battery life. Whether it's online or offline, it does not allow the phone to sleep. I'm debating giving up my work email on my phone until they can release a quality product.

    I've had the Favorites widget on my phone and it doesn't appear to be an issue for me. However, it does appear to be doing quite a bit in the background, pulling images, checking your social networking accounts for updates, etc. If you have a large number of contacts, I think this could indeed cause quite a bit of battery drain.

    You can set "Friendstream" to manual update. If you have it checking regularily, it could cause issues. My personal preference is to update when I want to check it and I've had great battery life while using it this way.

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  8. Great article! I am going to try what you have suggested as I feel I am having all of the same issues. Unlike you though my Android System is using 61% of the battery, and my Cell Standby is only using 17%. I am struggling on finding what is keeping my system running so much and eating away at my battery.
    I unplugged my phone from charge this morning after charging for a solid 8 hours and 45 minutes later I am down that 15% we are all talking about.
    I have absolutely nothing on my screens except for the battery app, and I have weather to sync every 3 hours and I have just my Gmail to sync.
    Any ideas, quick fixes are welcome.
    Thank You.

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  9. Just wanted to thank you for this excellent series. I got my EVO a couple days ago, charged p fully, got about 8 hours of light use.
    Then I charged for 8 hours, unplugged device, made a couple calls, re-plugged it in and waited for a full charge again. Then I unplugged it AGAIN, waited a few minutes, plugged it back in and waited for a full charge again...it took a few minutes to get the green light. 11 hours later, numerous phone calls all day. no internet use and I'm at 72%!!
    Maybe something has changed in the past few months, but it sure is a big improvement over yesterday. BTW, I do something similar with my Li ion batteries in my Canon camera, with similar results.

    Wayne

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  10. There are plenty of articles that talk about how terrible 4G is for the battery, too, but at my work, I have a weak (0 to 1 bars) 4G signal, and I still get better battery life on 4G than on 3G. As long as you have a signal, it seems to run more efficiently on 4G. WiFi beats them both, but I teach, and our district's wireless network blocks facebook, so no wifi at work for me! But 4G helps. (Or airplane mode while I'm teaching)

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