I have been beating my Droid X like a rented mule since I started work this morning, running GPS, FM Radio, bluetooth, WiFi, satellite, hotspot, you name it. Now this is a phone that I got Tuesday and I haven't had a chance to drain the battery completely. That's what I'm doing now, trying to beat it down. I'm running the .601 OTA.
It's been ten hours and my battery meter shows 51%.
So what? My battery meter is schizoid beyond belief. A couple of hours ago it was at 1% where it sat for at least 90 minutes. I haven't turned it on and off, just let it run.
The battery meter in the notification bar seems a bit more accurate though. It hasn't jumped up and down, just sat there slowly giving up the pixels.
Once I get the battery drained completely, I expect the after-market battery meter will become far more reliable. Frankly I've never seen a meter as whacked out as this one, but I can't blame the phone for that. The phone's meter has been solid. This market meter was highly recommended by folks here though, so I'm willing to stick with it until I've baselined the battery. Then it's do or die time.
I spent a lot of time reading other people's experiences before I finally got my phone, and this is what I have concluded... I think that 90% of the battery problems are based on people believing what a meter is telling them, whether it’s the included meter (especially pre-.601) or an after market meter like the one I'm using.
Consider this: when your phone wants to know where your battery is from a charge perspective, it asks the battery. The battery has some basic logic built in, and it provide some basic information to the phone when asked. The phone processes that information and reports back its findings to you. The battery works the same no matter what you do with the phone, so it is apparent that whatever "fix" was made in OTA .601 was fixing the way the X was interpreting the information it was getting from the battery.
Now I'm not saying that there weren't some battery-sucking activities going on that the OTA fixed. That's possible of course. But I think the angst that so many suffered from was more a matter of perception (user's and phone's) than any real power shortage. Are there folks out there with bad batteries? No doubt.. there must be. But I don't believe there are any more sick batteries than normal.
I've seen a lot of "magic battery" theories bandied about and I'm not buying any of them. There are the stubborn few who continue to be superstitious about memory and conditioning. That's been debunked by every reputable source over and over again, in detail and conclusively. I can't help them. But even those who aren't mired in that swamp are skeptical. I don't blame them. There are a lot of folks running around who are very sure of themselves but whose remedies contradict fact. If there was a tax for being wrong, people wouldn't do it as much. But we internet denizens learned long ago to listen to what we hear with a jaundiced ear.
This is what I've compiled through the process of a lot of reading...
Your Lithium Ion battery has a life span just like you and me. Its life span is measured in cycles. One cycle is a complete charge and recharge of the battery. Depending on the battery, and this changes all the time with size, quality and technology, your battery’s life span is probably somewhere between 300 and 700 cycles.
If you wake up in the morning, pull your battery off of your charger and then proceed to use 65% of the charge that day, and then put it back on the charger that night, you’ve just completed 0.65 cycles. So for most of us, a cycle is longer than a day. For many, not so much.
Partially discharging and then recharging your battery does not damage it. But each of these sub-cycles does have one negative, albeit minor effect: it makes the battery’s internal circuitry just a little less accurate.
Now you’d think that a battery would know how much juice it has, but think about it. From the day you start using your battery, it begins a long, slow process of decline. It is dying a little bit each day. Sad, but the same is true of you so don’t feel too bad for it. Now… do you expect your battery to keep up with this ever-changing process of decay with pinpoint accuracy?
It can’t, but here’s what you can do to help it stay sharp—about once every 30 days, starting with when you first get it and thereafter, drain your battery completely. This does cycle your battery, so don’t do it a lot or you’ll wind up killing it off early. Once a month is what the rocket scientists recommend. When you do drain your battery, you’re in effect recalibrating it. Now it knows exactly how much juice it has… and promptly starts slowly drifting off target again. That’s okay—good enough is good enough.
So these monthly drains make the battery meter a little more accurate each time, and that’s good and necessary. The initial drain can have a far more dramatic effect however. Your brand new battery got a factory charge before it was shipped out to you, but it’s never been drained. It is an unqualified idiot and it can’t even count toothpicks or make unintentionally poignant witticisms. To paraphrase, a new battery is like a box of chocolates: you never know what it’s going to tell you. Draining it the first time is sending it to school.
Remember, you’re not changing your battery’s capacity in any way. You’re simply enabling it to give you better information about its status, and that eases your mind and makes you feel better. Nobody likes buying a brand-new (and expensive) electronic marvel just to see some vital part of it’s functionality immediately crash and burn.
Other things to know…
Heat kills your battery. Don’t leave your phone in a hot car or inside a nuclear reactor.
Time kills your battery. If you buy one and leave it lying around, it’ll die lying there.
Inactivity kills your battery. If you do buy a spare, swap it in occasionally.
An inactive Lithium Ion battery will last longest if stored in the refrigerator at 40% charge.
Lithium Ion batteries can be made to explode, but they are not a suitable substitute for C4.
You can’t overcharge your Lithium Ion battery. The internal circuitry prevents it.
The Droid X has one of the beefiest stock Lithium Ion batteries you can buy in a mobile phone… and it needs it. Take care of your battery and it will take care of you. Not because it likes you though. It’s just a piece of lithium with some ions sprinkled on top.
Apple on Batteries