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Thread: Battery life questions

  1. Junior Droid
    BrodoSwaggins's Avatar
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    #1

    Battery life questions

    I've had my maxx for about a month and a half. Lately it seems like the battery is starting to die faster. Has anyone noticed this? When I charge it I use the DU battery saver app, and never charge it past given charge time. If it says 2hrs 34 mins to full charge" i set an alarm and unplug it when charged. That's good right?
    Also. Secondary. I flew on a plane and had it in airplane mode for roughly 5 hours. Barely used it except for a little music. Went from 94 to 62 percent. Why?
    One more thing. I read to drop phone to 4% turn off and fully charged. Is that good advice?
    Thanks in advanced!!!!
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  3. Super Moderator
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    #2
    Dear BrodoSwaggins,

    I would suggest that you not limit the charging time to the suggested time "to full charge", but instead allow it to charge until it indicates the charging is complete with a 100% on the screen. Since you are charging with power off, you can tap either up or down volume button briefly and in a moment it will display where in the charging process it is in percentage of full capacity. You can't over-charge the battery since the phone has circuitry designed to both charge at maximum safe capacity, and to prevent over-charging.

    Not allowing the phone to complete the charging process naturally prevents it from "saturating" the battery - a very important part of the charging cycle which happens in the last half-hour to hour of the total charging period. Without that saturation charge, the battery may indicate 90% or even near 100%, but may not actually be storing the full 3,300 mAh of current it is capable of storing, and could be as much as 10% or more less. This translates into more rapid diminishing of the percentage of charge shown for the same usage pattern.

    Charging with power off will yield the most complete charge in all cases, since the phone and battery aren't in competition for the same power. However, it isn't necessary to do this every time you charge. In fact, it's quite safe to charge the phone while in rest mode (laying on the dresser at night with screen off, for instance). I do recommend you do the Meter Training (Power off, charge to 100%, use to 15%, power off, charge to 100% again), once every 2 to 3 months to keep the meter and battery in sync with each other. This is NOT training the BATTERY (as these batteries need no "training"), it IS however training the battery METER.

    Discharging to 4% is completely unnecessary, and I would instead suggest you not let it dip too far below the 15% mark where it tells you to place it on charge in all but the most critical situations. That last 15% is really like the reserve tank on your car (if you have one), and you certainly wouldn't want to risk running out of fuel by letting your gas gauge fall to below 1/8 (12.5%), or less of a tank unless you knew the gas station was only minutes away. In any situation, you should try to avoid at all costs allowing the battery to reach 0% and self-power down. This isn't inherently harmful to the battery in and of itself, but in a situation where the battery and phone's charging circuitry may not be totally in sync, you run the risk of deep-discharging the battery and rendering the phone unresponsive to the stock charger.

    Batteries will yield their greatest capacity or runtime at the beginning of being placed into service - in other words, brand new, and will naturally diminish gradually over time. It is suggested that the battery will still yield approximately 80% of its original capacity after being used through about 500 full charge/discharge cycles, where a full cycle is defined as 100% charge, 100% discharge, or any combination of partial charges and discharges that total 100% collectively, such as 100% charge, 50% discharge, 100% charge and 50% discharge, where the two 50% discharge cycles comprise 100% total. This is based on an expected lifespan for the average battery of about 2 years, or the recommended lifespan of the phone.

    In only a month and a half, you should not notice but perhaps an ever so slight reduction in capacity from a full 100% charge to the point where you need to plug in again. Any higher than normal consumption of battery power is almost always related to one or a combination of the following;

    1) Frequent background syncs of data or data feeds such as pictures being auto-backed up, Twitter, Facebook, Weather, News, email or texting (especially with pics), etc. Cut back on the frequency or set to update only when you request it.
    2) Running multiple applications in the background, even when not using them. Many apps actually "install" a portion of the app to be running in the background all the time. Make sure that any apps you install are ones you will use, and are not simply filling up your app tray.
    3) Rogue applications which get stuck in "loops" or otherwise seem to take over the OS and things such as data communications.
    4) Poor signal strength, which causes the radios on the phone to increase their power output in hopes of summoning a stronger signal from the nearest towers/hotspots.
    5) Brightness on the screen to high. It's recommended to set for Auto Brightness, and use the Battery Saver setting as well. If you're doing something specific which requires the added brightness for a moment, go into settings and change it to higher brightness temporarily, but change back when done.
    5) Live wallpaper and other "active" apps both use more power when the screen is on, but can also be robbing you of power when the screen is off by keeping the CPU "awake".
    7) Having too many apps installed...go through the apps you have and uninstall any you are not using.
    8) Large email accounts require more CPU and Memory, which in turn both require more power. Limit the email you store on the phone to perhaps just the last 30 days and leave the rest on your email provider's servers. Also, don't set to download attachments and pictures automatically. You can screen the emails in advance and download only the attachments you need.
    9) Turn off browsers and other applications which are running in the background. Often times, browsers are on a page which has active data being displayed and as it needs to change the active display it needs to retrieve that new data over the internet.
    10) Try to use WIFI wherever available as it uses less power than Cellular communications.
    11) You can turn off WIFI, Bluetooth and/or GPS to conserve power, but I leave them all on 24/7

    These are just some suggestions, other members may add to them.

    There are a few other things you can consider, such as clearing cache every so often, and of course there's always the Factory Data Restore, which is essentially a re-format and re-install of the OS. This will wipe clean any remnants of rogue apps and give your phone a fresh start. Make sure to backup any data you wish to preserve, onto a desktop via USB Data cable.

    Good luck!
    Reiles likes this.

    "Professor FoxKat"
    "Saving DROID Razr's, one battery at a time. :-)" - (credit SallyC)
    Avatar is Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, from "Get Smart" (with his signature "Shoe Phone"), a SitCom TV series by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry, based on the spy thriller series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".
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  4. Junior Droid
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    #3
    That was amazing. Thank you so much! With regards to unplugging it when it's charged. The Apo I use charges fully and then does a 10 minute “tickle charge". I think you talked about that by called it something different. The “topping off of the battery". Then I unplug it when that's done. I read over charging my battery will kill it so I set an alarm and wake up in the middle of every night and unplug my phone. That isn't the case and I don't need to do that?
  5. Droid Ninja
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    #4
    No, you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to unplug your phone.

    Where did you read that? I'm going to smack the person who wrote that.
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  6. Super Moderator
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BrodoSwaggins View Post
    That was amazing. Thank you so much! With regards to unplugging it when it's charged. The Apo I use charges fully and then does a 10 minute “tickle charge". I think you talked about that by called it something different. The “topping off of the battery". Then I unplug it when that's done. I read over charging my battery will kill it so I set an alarm and wake up in the middle of every night and unplug my phone. That isn't the case and I don't need to do that?
    You're mentioning an "Apo", but I'm not familiar with such a device or app. These batteries are the Lithium Ion Polymer variety, and they are very peculiar in their charge and discharge cycles, very finicky about how they're handled, can be very hazardous if mishandled, and so require very specific charging processes to remain safe and effective. The phone and STOCK charge are designed to maximize the battery life while also giving the longest runtimes per charge, and still have the battery last the expected life of the phone without sacrificing safety. Unless you tamper with the charger and/or phone, you can not overcharge it, the phone is designed to prevent overcharging, essentially making it "dummy-proof". Leaving it plugged in all night long will not damage the battery. The charging circuitry knows what the minimum and maximum charge levels for the battery are to effect the most efficient charging, so you should allow the phone to do its job.

    There is no benefit to unplugging the phone once "fully charged". This only reduces the likelihood that it will have a full charge when you wake in the morning, since the phone uses power during the night if on. If the phone is off, again although it won't necessarily be using power, it will gain no benefit from being disconnected and may lose the benefit of a short replenishing cycle that might take place during the night unbeknownst to you. The charging circuit constantly monitors the remaining charge levels and when they dip below 90%, it resumes charging until it again reaches 100%, at which point it shuts off charging and starts monitoring all over again. A phone that remains connected to a charger will never reach below 89% and never exceed 100%, even if left on charge for days or weeks at a time.

    If you are most interested in preserving the life of the battery due to fears it will not last as long as you intend to keep the phone, then your best bet is to charge to only about 80%, use to only about 20%, and give it several boosts during the day whenever you're near an outlet and have a charger handy to keep it charged within that range. The batteries do suffer accelerated deterioration over time the more frequently they are charged to between 90% and 100%, or discharged to between 15% and 0%. Both "ends of the charge cycle" put stress on the anode and thereby shorten the battery's life. This is taken into account by the manufacturer and so they've already "allowed" for a cushion of protection at the top and bottom of the charge cycle.

    The battery is actually capable of a greater charge and deeper discharge than what it is actually allowed but the limits set by the manufacturer into the charger leave room at either end to help extend the battery's life. Under normal use/charging/discharging it is targeted for 500 charge cycles, but by keeping the charging/discharging within the ranges I mentioned, you can increase the battery's lifespan by as much as several times that, or upwards of 2,000 to 2,500 charge cycles. This may be wasted effort on your part however, since at that rate you'd need to have this phone for 4-6 years or more, not likely.

    To compare, an electric car with Lithium Ion batteries (such as the Tesla or the Nissan Leaf), often has a "battery saver" charge protocol that is user selectable. By setting the car to charge to only 85% of capacity and require charging at 15%, it can extend the life of those very expensive batteries - often ranging from $5,000 to as much as $12,000 or more, by as much as several years.
    Last edited by FoxKat; 12-24-2013 at 01:44 PM.

    "Professor FoxKat"
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    Avatar is Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, from "Get Smart" (with his signature "Shoe Phone"), a SitCom TV series by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry, based on the spy thriller series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".
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  7. Super Moderator
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by xeene View Post
    No, you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to unplug your phone.

    Where did you read that? I'm going to smack the person who wrote that.
    ROFLOL!!

    "Professor FoxKat"
    "Saving DROID Razr's, one battery at a time. :-)" - (credit SallyC)
    Avatar is Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, from "Get Smart" (with his signature "Shoe Phone"), a SitCom TV series by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry, based on the spy thriller series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".
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  8. Master Droid
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by xeene View Post
    No, you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to unplug your phone.

    Where did you read that? I'm going to smack the person who wrote that.
    As a practical joke, I told my buddy that a few years ago when he got a new phone. He set his alarm for 2 am every night to get up and unplug his phone. That lasted for about three weeks when finally he figured it out. He's pranked me a few times real good so I didn't feel bad about it for a second.
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  9. Junior Droid
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jkaod View Post
    As a practical joke, I told my buddy that a few years ago when he got a new phone. He set his alarm for 2 am every night to get up and unplug his phone. That lasted for about three weeks when finally he figured it out. He's pranked me a few times real good so I didn't feel bad about it for a second.
    Hahaha I feel like such a tool. Literally. I use the DU Battery Saver app. When I plug my phone in at the end of the day it says “2hrs 31 mins to full charge". I do the math and then set an alarm to unplug it as to not over charge it. Safe to say my wife will be happy you squared me away!
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  10. Droid Ninja
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    #9
    Sometimes those battery saver apps will do more harm then good. Ever try using your phone without it?
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    Sony CM-B1201 > Samsung SCH-8500 > Motorola RAZR V3m > Samsung SCH-i760 > Motorola DROID X > HTC Thunderbolt > Samsung Galaxy Nexus/Motorola Droid Razr Maxx > Droid Maxx
  11. Junior Droid
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    Actually no not really. Bought it and it was one of the first apps/widgets I installed and used. Now that you mention it, it is pretty pointless
    FoxKat likes this.
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