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Thread: Understanding Battery Life...

  1. Droid
    hazydave's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jvandyke13 View Post
    After i have had my droid for a week now. to charge it do i need to wait for the battery to drain completely or can i just charge it whenever?
    Yeah... post #17 pretty much nailed it. Li-ion cells don't have any sort of "memory". Letting the cell drain occasionally will keep your phone's battery meter calibrated, but it's hardly necessary. In fact, draining a Li-ion cell too much will actually damage it. There's actually a parasitic reverse-polarity voltage that can form in a very drained cell, causing permanent damage. I'm sure the phones protect against that.

    Both Li-ion and the old NiMh cells last longer when kept in the mid-range of capacity... this is why most battery powered devices get 2-4 years of life out of battery, but hybrid cars run for decades. So yeah, topping off the cell doesn't hurt, it may actually extend the life of the phone.
  2. Master Droid
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    #22
    Mind you, the point of the 24 hour charge is most people are judging their 'battery charge' on a battery that isn't 100% fully charged to begin with.

    As for the memory issue, as mentioned a couple of times, that was purely a NiCad Battery issue, where you do want to discharge it fully to get the proper life out of the battery, versus partial charging.

    With the current LIon batteries, recharging a partially discharged battery is not bad, only letting it constantly go to full discharge can be bad. The only other real issue is trying to overcharge a battery using a charger that is forcing a charge not recommended for the device.

    What seems to be the most consistent problem, however, is how people have been judging their battery life on their Droid and believing it is either the battery or the phone being the issue, and that is the point of this thread. Battery Life is not simply the device or just the battery, but also what you are doing with the device as well as initial impressions which usually stem from people who get the device and use a battery 'fresh from the box' without really doing a charge cycle to begin with.

    Anyways, you are welcome to differ on the whole 24 hour part, the only stressing on my part of that situation is that you can't complain on the battery life of the device without making sure the battery is fully charged and also taking into account what uses battery power.

    Many people switching from a normal phone or in some cases from a Blackberry, will have a change in their normal recharging habits. I should know, I am going from an LG Chocolate 3, where I only charge it once every other week, to a droid where I do charge it almost daily, and that is because the Droid is doing a little more activity than my phone did originally and driving a bigger screen than the LG's 2 mini screens.
  3. Droid
    Ninjak's Avatar
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    #23
    The main things to remember for battery life are pretty much the following:

    1) Every battery needs to be conditioned to some extent

    2) Every battery is going to drain differently

    3) On occasion, one may receive a lousy battery, even if conditioned

    4) Odds are that it's not the Droid itself if there is a power issue, so no need to return the whole device (unless you experience similar issues with multiple batteries after a hard reset, or have the powered-off battery drain issue, as mentioned later below)

    5) Fully draining a LiOn battery is actually not good for it, though it may help in the short-term, as users here have discovered. Just don't do it regularly. (See the aforementioned Battery Univeristy references)

    6) Future firmware updates (beyond the Dec 11 one coming) may have a beneficial effect on battery life in some way

    I, myself, have a battery which went from 100% charged to 90% in 5 minutes today. (In fact, it's the reason I was searching on the forum today, to ensure it wasn't an issue.) No GPS, no WiFi, no major tasks running. I had only answered a google talk message and watched a 6-minute "Motorola Droid: Battery Life Test" video on youtube. However, seeing as how the battery indicator is in increments of ten percent and that it's not an exact science, another possibility is that it's rounding down to 90 for some people the moment it dips one iota below 100%, to, say, 99 or 98. But I also know I've yet to have a chance to fully drain the battery yet, which I'll do for the first time tonight. The least I've ever run it down to is 15%. And extended batteries should be coming from Verizon, Seidio and other vendors before too long for those who need the extra boost even with normal battery life.

    Also, here's a Motorola thread to check out for another source of power problems: severe battery drain while device is supposed to be turned off (vs just with the screen dimmed while idle).

    https://supportforums.motorola.com/t...art=0&tstart=0

    People seem to have turned their Droid completely off overnight for 8 hrs when it was at 80%-100% and woke up to it at 20% or near dead. Who knows, perhaps people who end up with this issue could have something that requires a full Droid exchange or could adversely affect the battery in some unknown way even while the unit is turned on.

    After doing nothing but answering google talk on occasion the for about 50 min or so, my battery widget dropped from 90% to 80%. That's supposedly a 20% drop in just shy of two hours with barely any usage. A far cry from 10%/hour drop under heavy usage like was shown in the youtube video. I definitely need to condition my battery...
    Last edited by Ninjak; 11-20-2009 at 02:05 PM. Reason: correction
  4. Junior Droid
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick177th View Post
    How can you charge the batter for 24 hours? When the Droid is fully charged the charging light goes out. Will it sill charge when the light is out?
    Never saw an answer to this question. One of my biggest issues is with the Droid's charging while on the media dock. The one thing I felt the BlackBerry Storm did that was great was acting as an alarm clock. The screen would dim perfectly (and stay on without changing the settings) rather than switch to blue color and still be somewhat bright. Also, the BB Storm would keep the battery topped off. Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed the Droid stops charging when the battery reaches 100%. I woke up this morning after having the Droid on it's charger/media dock and the batter was already depleted at least 10%. The screen was set to go off so it wasn't pulling extra juice.

    So, is it normal that the Droid stops charging when full (I notice the charging icon disappears)? Or do I have a flawed unit? Shouldn't it make sure to charge all the way to full and keep full? I've tried a battery pull to see if that changes things and it did not.

    Thanks for feedback!
  5. Senior Droid
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    #25
    so if you go on the web all day, it should last only 5-6 hours if it has 5-6 hour talk times?
  6. Junior Droid
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    #26
    I sincerely hope that Motorola comes out with a more powerful battery in the not too distant future. I am totally loving my Droid, but it sucks battery like a fat man on a can of Pringles! I keep a charger at work, the dock at home, and a charger in the truck, just like I always have with cellulars. I really don't mind that much, but I was able to get an extended life battery for the ol' Chocolate cheaply and quickly...hope the same is true soon for my Droid!
  7. Master Droid
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    #27
    Thing to consider, and I am using the Storm as a basis for this too... Smartphones that are a bit 'active' will have a higher power drain. Better batteries will help, but also just how you treat your phone in general will determine power drain.

    Storm, for instance has about a slightly smaller screen. Not as many applications in general that would do 'searching' as the Droid would. BBs also have an actual Auto On/Off ability, which means it turns off EVERYTHING. Radio, majority of the processes. While the Droid has Airplane mode, it still drives what other apps you have in the background.

    Now Cereal Killer stated that don't worry about background programs, and this is true, it is not all background programs, but it depends on how many e-mail systems you decide to tie into and how often you ping them, any application that will do a periodic "Hey, do I have an update?" that would use the 3G network in general. They can still poke unless the radio is turned off.

    I will say with the Storm currently, I eek out about 3 to 4 days before I have to recharge it, but I also have it auto turn on and off. When it is off, the only thing running on it should be the clock and the Auto on/off program. If and when Google incorporates that into their Android OS, you might see improvement in overall power usage when you are not using things like Media Dock or Navigation mode where you do need it on all the time it is in that mode.
  8. Droid
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    #28
    Ok.. So I am planning to pick up a droid this evening. The battery life issue concerns me. I have no problem charging a phone every night but honestly I cannot be bothered with charging a phone mid-day.

    I currently have a BB Tour. I use it heavily. I have Google Talk and AIM running all day during the week (they are blocked at work, so yeah). I use the web a lot. I use the phone occasionally but not all that much.

    Typically the phone is at 25-50% battery by the time I head to bed and charge it. Can I expect the droid to last all day with this usage or am I better off saving myself the trouble and keeping my BB?

    Thanks!
  9. Master Droid
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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Azmordean View Post
    Ok.. So I am planning to pick up a droid this evening. The battery life issue concerns me. I have no problem charging a phone every night but honestly I cannot be bothered with charging a phone mid-day.

    I currently have a BB Tour. I use it heavily. I have Google Talk and AIM running all day during the week (they are blocked at work, so yeah). I use the web a lot. I use the phone occasionally but not all that much.

    Typically the phone is at 25-50% battery by the time I head to bed and charge it. Can I expect the droid to last all day with this usage or am I better off saving myself the trouble and keeping my BB?

    Thanks!
    I won't lie to you Azmo, I honestly don't know cause I am not a Gtalk/AIM user on my phone, I tend to do most of my chatting on the computer. The best way to really 'gauge' some of that is to do comparative testing. In this case, go for one day without doing any of the IMing, just the basic phone as someone did in the Droid Discussion section with your Tour. See how much battery time you get running it at that level.

    As I pointed out for the Storm 1 I am using... Just standard e-mail, no bluetooth on, rarely any calls and no IMing, I get about 3 to 4 days out of a single charge and that is also using the Auto On/Off feature on the phone to shut it down for about 7 hours on the weekdays, 9 hours on the weekends. Since I don't IM that much in general, I can't give you a decent 'measure' of battery time if I were to use the Storm that way, nor do I have a Tour to really 'test' it that way either.

    The one thing I can say, though, just like the Tour, the Storm and even the iPhone, you can charge it via the computer USB when you are at work, which is what my co-worker does when he is here at times. It isn't as good as the rapid charger, but it still charges the phone when you are at work.
  10. Droid
    Ninjak's Avatar
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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Azmordean View Post
    Can I expect the droid to last all day with this usage or am I better off saving myself the trouble and keeping my BB?

    Thanks!
    Quite honestly, from what I've been seeing across many forums discussing battery life, your mileage may vary. People've reported lasting all day long on similar usage while others have lasted maybe half a day. A lot of it is going to come down to all your various settings (brightness, time-out, auto-dimming, etc), syncing (how many accounts, how often..), gps, wi-fi, and whether or not the signal in your area necessitates a lot of switching back and forth out of 3G mode. Then there's the apps you install; non-Android 2.0-optimized ones have been said to tax a battery quickly. And, of course, the quality of the battery you get in the first place. You could get a Droid unit that comes with a dud of a battery. The best way to tell is testing and trial-and-error during the 30-day return period to see how satisfied you are with the results. Good luck, and if you do give the phone a test drive, please let us know what your findings are. One last thing: be sure to test the unit powered off for several hours to make sure you don't have one of the units with the battery drain problem. People have been exchanging those after starting off with a high charge before turning it off, then turning it back on hours later to discover it low or dead.
    Last edited by Ninjak; 11-24-2009 at 09:47 AM. Reason: addendum
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