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Thread: Wallpaper color seems to affect battery life

  1. Master Droid
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    #1

    Wallpaper color seems to affect battery life

    A non-scientific observation, but when the picture I had as my wallpaper disappeared (the Sound from the Outer Banks, NC), I tried one of the HTC vivid blue sky wallpapers. Battery percentage (using Circle Battery Widget) dropped like a rock. Now I understand why so many complained about battery life. Light user, and couldn't make it through the day on a single charge as I could with the old wallpaper. After a couple of days with that frustration, I switched to a darker HTC wallpaper (Polka dots with a lot of black background), and could easily see the difference with the battery holding up. Since the display uses ten times more power than any of the apps I'm using, the intensity of the colors in the display makes a big difference in battery life. Most of the stuff I've read about conserving battery power focus on minimizing brightness in addition to turning off power hungry apps. I think the intensity of the colors (especially the blues) in the wallpaper causes a significant drain on the battery.
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Lenagainster View Post
    A non-scientific observation, but when the picture I had as my wallpaper disappeared (the Sound from the Outer Banks, NC), I tried one of the HTC vivid blue sky wallpapers. Battery percentage (using Circle Battery Widget) dropped like a rock. Now I understand why so many complained about battery life. Light user, and couldn't make it through the day on a single charge as I could with the old wallpaper. After a couple of days with that frustration, I switched to a darker HTC wallpaper (Polka dots with a lot of black background), and could easily see the difference with the battery holding up. Since the display uses ten times more power than any of the apps I'm using, the intensity of the colors in the display makes a big difference in battery life. Most of the stuff I've read about conserving battery power focus on minimizing brightness in addition to turning off power hungry apps. I think the intensity of the colors (especially the blues) in the wallpaper causes a significant drain on the battery.
    I think that's a very astute observation. Probably pretty spot on too.
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    #3
    I use black with extended battery and can get two days out of battery

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    #4
    I read a thread a while back about this. Colors definitely made a difference. Depending on screen type i.e. pentile, super amoled (sp), etc the color was different for the good and bad battery draw if I remember correctly.
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    #5
    Interesting. The last three or four themes I've used including my current one have been blue. Wallpaper, icons, clock and battery widgets, & keyboard skin all have been blue. Maybe I'll switch it up one day but right now I like blue. But nice observation. I'm going to remember this and take note when I change it again.

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    #6
    Theoretically you can get by with any color as a base but it's the number of other shades and colors it has to reproduce that makes the difference. Amoled goes from 0 power for black to max power for white whereas LCD uses the same power for each color but the more colors , intensities, and complications of them the more battery used in theory.
    I was able to add a ton of battery life to my Inc amoled by using black wallpaper and dark themes but the same ones on the Rezound has made little, if any, difference.

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    #7
    This all goes away if you stop staring at your wallpaper for hours on end.

    Just go play a game or watch a video for several hours straight & watch the battery drop!
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    Quote Originally Posted by acousticshade View Post
    This all goes away if you stop staring at your wallpaper for hours on end.

    Just go play a game or watch a video for several hours straight & watch the battery drop!
    On my Inc things like Kindle and Tapatalk being on dark theme made a huge difference .

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    #9
    I really can't see any mechanism to explain this. With an AMOLED display it's easy: light is emitted by the pixels themselves so more energy is needed to make it brighter (additive coloring). With an LCD screen, the LED backlighting is on for every single pixel and filtered out by the liquid crystal to produce darker shades (subtractive coloring).
  10. Master Droid
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    #10
    Wallpaper color seems to affect battery life

    Or maybe not. Sometimes we jump to the wrong conclusions, and this could be the case here.
    Up until now, I had my Rezound set up with GPS on all the time, Auto-Brightness, WiFi enabled and certainly 4G enabled. In my home area, I had no problems going a full day with what one would categorize as light use, and have 30% left on my battery at night when I plugged it in for a recharge.
    I'm now in another state (CO) visiting my daughter, where the coverage map shows solid 4G coverage, and also connected to her WiFi. That's when I lost my original wallpaper and put on one of the blue wallpapers provided by HTC. As soon as I did that, I started experiencing the rapid loss of battery, and jumped to the conclusion that the vivid colors were causing the severe power loss. In the battery information under settings, it shows that the display was using the lion's share of the battery.
    However, over the past few days. even after going to a subdued wallpaper, I was still losing battery power rapidly. I noticed several things; the phone was constantly jumping back and forth between 4G and 3G when the WiFi was disabled. The WiFi in the house was off frequently and the router had to be power cycled. I disabled the GPS, but there were times when the phone was not used at all for hours, yet it got hot in my pocket and the battery level plummeted.
    I now suspect what is really happening is that although 4G is strong in this area, the foil backed insulation in my daughter's house may be killing the signal, perhaps both 4G and 3G, and the phone's radio is constantly searching for a signal, AND the power being drawn is not show in the battery information statistics. I am very careful about what apps I have on the phone and always back arrow out of them so nothing is running that could be sucking up so much power.
    Today, after a full charge, I turned off WiFi, set the phone for 3G only, but turned Mobile access off, GPS off, and minimized the Brightness, so what I had was a dumb phone. Using the widgets to temporarily turn on Internet access when I wanted to see the weather, and temporarily turning on GPS to use the map feature, I carefully monitored the battery. And it stayed up. The phone never got hot. I even made an hour long call to my sister, and am now ready to retire for the night with 45% left on the battery.
    I'm beginning to think that the software in the Rezound can't handle the 4G, 3G and WiFi dropouts, and burns a lot of power trying to link back up, and the battery monitor does not correctly identify that it is the radios in the phone causing the power drain.
    Something made my phone awfully hot, and it wasn't the color of the display. Sorry for the previous misinformation.

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