Another Battery Question...

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR MAXX' started by kellygh5, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. FoxKat

    FoxKat Super Moderator
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    You know I am a stout believer in staying with the OEM equipment.

    Can another charger work (loose interpretation of the word), well...yeah.
    Can another charger cause unknown problems that could reduce the effective usable life of the phone and/or battery, well...yeah.
    Can another charger's inferior power filtering cause distortion of the data being transmitted from the digitizer causing erratic response and "ghost touching/typing", well...yeah.
    Can another charger cause distortion of the voltages and current readings of the battery while charging, resulting in either under or (worse), over-charging of the battery, well...yeah (and there are examples to prove it).
    Can another charger cause catastrophic failure, well...yeah.

    :blush:

    Can a charger that falls within a safe range of the recommended voltage (+/- 5% - not 10%), and minimum current requirements (at least enough to support the phone if charging while powered on, and still have some left over to actually "charge" with), suffice for a timeframe in a pinch and have little if any long-term detrimental effects (whether detectible or not), well...yeah.

    Case in point for the last comment. Yesterday, I broke my own golden rule. My phone died with 0% and powered down itself. It was completely unresponsive to power button presses, and I had left my back pack home due to an unrelated issue, so I didn't have my charger with me. So I thought...no problem, I have a spare Motorola power/data cable at my desk plugged in at all times to do data transfer. I'll just plug in the phone and the USB port on my computer will charge the phone.

    I plugged in and the white light came on solid on the screen. Nothing else. I pressed the power button while plugged in, the white light flashed briefly - then nothing. So I am worried now. I decided to leave it connected to the computer and see what happens. In about 20 minutes, the screen popped up the familiar red circle with the Motorola logo and I was relieved. It booted into Charge only mode, the large battery icon appeared and it first showed simply a big ?...and after about 5 seconds, it showed 5%. Whew! I was really scared for a minute. So I let it do its thing and continued with my work. By the time I left to go home, about 2 hours later, I unplugged the phone, pressed the power button and waited for it to boot..........................................................NOTHING!

    Plugged it back in, this time NO WHITE LIGHT! Nothing...absolutely nothing.

    So I called my wife to tell her my phone was dead and that I wouldn't be able to speak to her on the phone until I got to my car and dropped the phone onto the Motorola Navigation dock which is connected to the Motorola Rapid Charger Adapter (which charges at 5.1V +/- 5%, 1Amp Max - 1000mAh). 10 minutes later when I arrived at my car, started it and popped the phone onto the dock, NOTHING. I disconnected and reconnected, and again, NOTHING, no light, no icons, no boot, nunya!

    So I proceeded to drive home. After 10 minutes into the drive the phone suddenly booted into Charge only mode and started with the ?, followed by 5%. I decided to let it do its thing for the entire drive home, another 20 minutes. Along the way, I kept checking...10%, 15%, 20%, waiting to see 25% but it never got there. I took it off the dock at home, walked in and plugged it onto the Motorola Wall Adapter, it booted into Charge only mode again and showed 20%. I left it and did some chores, came back 15 minutes later, now it's at 40%!

    Why did I go into all this? To once again say to those who believe deep discharging to 0% is no big deal, that I almost lost my phone to a deep discharge and to a USB charge that failed. SO... I'm on my soap box. I will not recommend, nor agree to bless anyone who uses any charger other than the one supplied by the manufacturer, at least until the "Charger Standard" is implemented in the USA. If it's already in play elsewhere I can't say and if so, then I say use at your own risk.

    I also say that if you can avoid it, don't let your phone go to 0% under any circumstances. It may be the beginning of the end for you.
     
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  2. Sydman

    Sydman Premium Member
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    Another thing to consider is when I first got my MAXX I followed the rules and never powered on the phone and plugged it in to charge. Thing is I didn't have a free outlet in my office at work, so I used the USB cable that came with the phone just without the AC adapter and plugged it into my ASUS laptop. I never got the big green charging battery icon, I left it on for almost an hour and it never got anywhere.

    If I briefly pressed the power button it would just turn the phone on, so I immediately powered off the device and unplugged my VOIP phone and used the factory USB cable attached to the AC adapter and right away the green icon popped up and it started charging.

    All of this to say that even if you are using the proper cable, the device you are trying to charge with may not work for you. And this is a brand new ASUS laptop with USB 3.0, so always be mindful of what tools you are using when charging your precious phone.
     
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  3. mattman5000

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    Sooooo, back to the original question about why the battery indicator doesn't seem to match the actual percentage. That has bothered me also. I'm using one of the battery monitor app that shows 1% increments. Here is what I have noticed about how the battery indicator correlates to the actual percentage.

    The indicator only has five positions: 100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, and 20%. The actual percentage is rounded to one of the 5 indicator positions as follows:

    100 - 85 -> 100
    84 - 65 -> 80
    64 - 45 -> 60
    44 - 25 -> 40
    24 - 05 -> 20*

    So you can see how far apart it can get at certain times. Like how the indicator still shows as full when it is actually 90% or less. Or how battery can be almost dead, but the indicator still shows 20%.

    *I haven't actually verified this one. I can't seem to make the battery go that low dancedroid
     
  4. Sydman

    Sydman Premium Member
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    It is like I said off the bat, that is a "relative" battery indicator. Thus the flood of third party apps in the Play Store for showing battery life, people want exact showing of battery left so they use another APP for that. The Android battery indicator gives you a pretty close enough life left for some, for those that is does not there are the other APP's.
     
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  5. StormyHeather

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    FoxKat:

    Thanks for all the info that you give on the charging of these phones. I do have one question: Can I use the wall charger from my DroidX on the Droid Razr MAXX? I have the charger from my MAXX, but I like to have a charger for my home and for my desk at work. If I can still use my charger from the DroidX, that'd be great. If I should get another charger for my MAXX, I will. So far, I've gotten good battery life out of my MAXX, so I'm a happy camper. :big smile:
     
  6. JohnnytheK

    JohnnytheK Senior Member

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    Actually +- 10% is the correct number. Of course it can fail, but what does that have to with it? These devices have charging circuitry that clips over voltages and wont charge with under voltage. I agree a gross over voltage/amperage is very bad, but this is not what I'm talking about.
     
  7. FoxKat

    FoxKat Super Moderator
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    I would actually question whether the increments are as you say but i never looked at them that closely. I would suggest that they would actually be like they should be. If I had a glass that had 5 lines on it with each representing a level of 20%, why would I call a level of 45% as having reached the 3rd line? I don't doubt you have looked at this so I would be surprised but don't doubt your findings.

    As for levels, I have a suggestion that I think everyone should follow:

    When you drive your car, I'll go out on a limb and bet you don't watch your gas gauge anywhere nearly as closely as you do your phone. You do put gas in at either regular intervals, and or to a regular level (perhaps "full"), or at intermittent intervals and in various amounts (perhaps $20 to get through the next couple days). In both cases, you should be making sure you have enough gas in the car so that you don't break down on a country road miles from the next nearest gas station, and when the "low fuel level" light lights and the car "bongs" to tell you that you are low on fuel, you will most likely make it a priority to get to the next gas station to either partially or fully replenish the gas tank levels.

    Why should your phone be any different? Do you know exactly when your car will run out of fuel? Do you know exactly how many Gallons (Liters) of fuel is in the tank when the gauge says "full"? When the gauge says it's half-full, do you know if that means you have 11.5 Gallons or 50%, or if it means you have 12.8 Gallons or 55.6%? If your car is "running on empty", do you blame the gas tank or the car manufacturer if it stalls out? Do you consider the gas gauge to be a relative representation of the fuel levels or an accurate one - down to the number of miles you can travel before it dies?

    Just use your phone battery and charger like you use your car gas tank and the gas stations and you'll be fine.
     
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  8. FoxKat

    FoxKat Super Moderator
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    Let's clarify...+/- 10% may work for you, but +/- 5% is what my Motorola charger says, so that's what I am sticking with. As for voltage, we've been down this road before, but to clarify... 5.1 Volts is 5.1 Volts, yes, but 5.1 Volts of well regulated power is NOT the same as 5.1 Volts of terribly regulated, "dirty" power. The latter may "work" (again a loose interpretation), but will impart any number of potential problems including excessive stress, heat, variances in meter readings, and can ultimately cause the meter to incorrectly read the signature indicating the battery is full and shut down power, instead allowing it to continue to charge and cause overvoltage of the battery and potentially runaway charge and catastrophic failure. Furthermore, when demand for current increases, the question is does the charger maintain that voltage accurately (hence the +/- 5%).

    I am still on my soap box.
     
  9. Rogus

    Rogus Member

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    So what does a person do if they lose their charger? I bet it's impossible to find an OEM battery charger and cable for the Maxx. I couldn't find one online.

    What do those of you do for a car charger if you don't use anything except the OEM charger?
     
  10. FoxKat

    FoxKat Super Moderator
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    These are very good questions. In fact, Verizon sells "authorized" chargers, both car and home, which meet with the Manufacturer's specifications and therefore will not void the warranty, and will (for those who say they can't void your warranty), operate in a manner which is approved by the manufacturer.

    Edit: Oh, and of course, Motorola would be happy to sell and ship the OEM charger(s) to you.

    Dual-Port Universal Charger
    &
    P893 Universal Portable Power Pack &
    Vehicle Navigation Dock for Droid RAZR/MAXX &
    P627 Dual-Port Universal Rapid Charge Vehicle Power Adapter &
    HD Dock for Droid RAZR/MAXX
     
  11. Rogus

    Rogus Member

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    But what about wanting to replace the lost charger that you just plug into the wall? What are you going to use if you can't find the one that some claim is specific to the Razr MAXX?

    Just saw your edit which must have been done as I was writing the above questions. I checked the Motorola site for chargers and they list a variety of chargers including what they call a "Dual Port Universal Charger" which looks identical to the charger that came packaged with the MAXX. None of the chargers listed mention being specific to any phone. It would seem to me that Motorola "approves" a universal charger for the MAXX. I would think this means any good quality charger would be fine to use. Perhaps the suggestion that one "only" use the OEM charger is a overly cautious? My take is that those who only want to use the OEM charger can do so. The rest of us can use whatever we already have without fear of an exploding phone.
     
  12. FoxKat

    FoxKat Super Moderator
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    I wouldn't read into that too much. Motorola may feel their charger is "universal" in that it will work with all of their USB charge based equipment, and will also be "safe to use" with any other USB charge based equipment, however even though it may be "safe", it may also not perform as well as the OEM equipment for that other manufacturer's device.

    Case in point, the iPad requires 2.1Amps (2,100mAh) to provide the proper charging rate for that device (which is what their charger is rated at). The "Universal" charger from Motorola on that link "may" be able to charge the iPad (at only 750mAh), but it will at least take a lot longer to do so. There is also the possibility that it would be insufficient to both charge and operate the iPad at the same time since the iPad may be pulling more than 750mAh at any one time, so that instead it might result in the charge of the battery actually being depleted while it appears it's being charged.

    This actually happens more often than many may think. In my case, the USB port on my computer caused my phone to respond as though it was charging however about 2 hours later, the phone was not only dead but wouldn't even respond to the Motorola Rapid Charger in my car (at 1Amp).

    Again, I say use the product for the intended purpose and try to avoid deviating from the OEM instructions, lest you be disappointed with the results. :blink:
     
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