Battery life questions

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid MAXX' started by BrodoSwaggins, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. BrodoSwaggins
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    BrodoSwaggins New Member

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    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!!!!
  2. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    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! :biggrin:
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  3. BrodoSwaggins
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    BrodoSwaggins New Member

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    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?
  4. xeene
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    xeene Well-Known Member

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    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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  5. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    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.
  6. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    ROFLOL!! :biggrin:
  7. jkaod
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    jkaod Active Member

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    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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  8. BrodoSwaggins
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    BrodoSwaggins New Member

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    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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  9. xeene
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    xeene Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes those battery saver apps will do more harm then good. Ever try using your phone without it?
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  10. BrodoSwaggins
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    BrodoSwaggins New Member

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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
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  11. BrodoSwaggins
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    BrodoSwaggins New Member

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    Screenshot_2013-12-24-23-32-57.png Screenshot_2013-12-24-23-33-01.png Screenshot_2013-12-24-23-33-06.png

    I guess I still have a pretty decent battery. Thanks for all the help Droido's!!!
  12. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Looks pretty good to me! :biggrin:
  13. jackiescivic
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    jackiescivic Well-Known Member

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    FoxKat, just to clarify for my own brain, you are saying that it is best to charge the phone to 80% and let it discharge only to as low as 20% and plug it in as needed to keep it between those levels. That will help with the life expectancy of the battery?

    Sent from my Droid Maxx
  14. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Actually Jackie, that's exactly what I'm saying. The evidence is overwhelming and shown in detail on www.batteryuniversity.com... Let me find the link.

    http://www.batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

    "Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count. The shorter the discharge (low DoD), the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid full discharges and charge the battery more often between uses. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine; there is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles to prolong life, other than to calibrate the fuel gauge on a smart battery once in a while. Read more about Battery Calibration."


    "Most Li-ions are charged to 4.20V/cell and every reduction of 0.10V/cell is said to double cycle life. For example, a lithium-ion cell charged to 4.20V/cell typically delivers 300–500 cycles. If charged to only 4.10V/cell, the life can be prolonged to 600–1,000 cycles; 4.00V/cell should deliver 1,200–2,000 and 3.90V/cell 2,400–4,000 cycles. Table 4 summarizes these results. The values are estimate and depend on the type of li-ion-ion battery."

    Charge Cycles.png

    The two quotes above when combined say that either charging to the maximum charge capacity (4.2V), or draining to the minimum capacity (about 3.65V) will both shorten the lifespan of the battery, and if you do both, the results are exponentially worse. Conversely, shortening the charging and discharging cycles to between 80% and 20% of full capacity should keep from both charging to high voltages (i.e. 100% or about 4.2V), and from discharging to the minimum (i.e. 0%, or about 3.65V).

    A 4.2V to 3.65V range gives you about a .55V range. So a .1V reduction in charge to 4.1V instead of 4.2V would equal a reduction of approximately 18.18% of .55V or 18.18% of 100% of capacity, or about 81.2% of a full charge when you remove it from the charger. Likewise, 0% plus .1V or 18.18% would leave the battery at 18.18% when you resume charge.

    By doing the above, you could extend the battery's lifespan to well over 1,000 100% charge cycles, and closer to 2,000 100% cycles, where each cycle would be about 1.57 charges and 1.57 discharges each of about 63.6% of full capacity. Rounding to 20% and 80% makes the math much easier... In other words, from 20% to 80% = 60% charge, and back down to 20% = 60% discharge. So to equal 100% charge and 100% discharge (a full charge cycle), you would have to charge to 80%, use to 20% (60%), then charge to 80% and use to 40% (40%), and so 60% + 40% = 100%), or any combination thereof.

    To make it easier, think of a gas tank that you always fill when it dips below 1/8 of a tank or so (since you never want to run out of gas), and the pump shuts off automatically at about 7/8 of its maximum capacity, since you KNOW you can ALWAYS get at least another gallon or two in there after the pump shuts off.

    So you would potentially be able to get as many as 1,000-1,500, or possibly 2,000 or more 60% charge and discharge cycles, as well as another 1,000-1,500 (or again possibly 2,000 or more), 40% charge and discharge cycles, or a combined total of 1,000-1,500, to upwards of 2,000 or more full 100% cycles.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
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  15. Luici
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    Luici New Member

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    I got my Droid Maxx last thursday, and I have charged the phone 4-5 times. I listen internet radio alot, I use Radio Tunein. Is this normal useage for the phone?

    maxx 013.png maxx 014.png maxx 015.png

    about 6h and the phone is dead.

    My old phone Razr maxx HD does way better, after 2h 45min of internet radio, theres still 75% battery left. And end of my work day, listening 7h internet radio, 30min facebook, theers still 10-15% battery left.

    Please don´t tell me thats normal for Droid Maxx.

    Attached Files:

  16. xeene
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    xeene Well-Known Member

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    What is H+ network? Considering your poor signal quality, I'd say it's normal.
  17. Luici
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    Luici New Member

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    I live in Finland, it´s finnish network sign. The razr maxx had same kind of signal, and the battery lasted alot better, so why maxx battery does not last longer. I tested this with Wi-fi, and the phone was dead after 6.5 hours, with full wi-fi signal.

    E = EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution)
    H/ H+ = Is faster version of 3G. data from the network max. 21 Mbit/s or max. 42 Mbit/s

    The network is bad because I work in warehouse, there is bad signal.

    When I´m home the signal is full, but the battery drains sooo much faster that my razr maxx.
  18. Luici
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    Luici New Member

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    Could someone test their own Maxx for example with radio Tunein. Starting with full battery and post how much the phone has power left after 1 hour. With Wi-Fi or with your phones network. I would like to see the differences and compare those to my own maxx.

    I´m very disappointed if the maxx battery really is as poor as it has shown to be. I love the phone but it´s useless to me with that kind of battery life and I need to take my Razr maxx back to use, theres a battery that still suprice me.
  19. Luici
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    Luici New Member

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    You are right, the bad signal killed my battery. I switched my network to use only GSM, and the signal is full all the time. And my battery does two times better than earlier.
  20. galletta
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    galletta New Member

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    Beware of Calibration Issues

    Professor Foxcat has provided some evidence that the batteries are better kept at 80% maximum and 20% minimum. One caveat is that we don't know the actual calibration of what the phone calls 100% and 0%.

    For instance, my Chevy Volt reports the number of miles, so in summer, when at full charge it says 41 miles. When it gets to 0 miles, I'm told it is actually at 15% of the remaining charge. I've read that will prevent electrical problems with the battery of some sort or other, which could cause serious harm to the battery.

    Therefore, Moto might have the charger to indicate 0% left in the same way, when the battery is physically at 15%. In the same way, who's to say that they call 100% the physical maximum? If 80% would result in more battery life and even perhaps more safe operation, my guess is that they would stop charging and call it 100% at whatever level is best.

    So I would not set an alarm to disconnect my phone at 80% or power it down at 20% without being sure of the top and bottom calibration limits. If they already have set 20% as what is reported as 0% and 80% as what is reported as 100%, then you'll actually be stopping the charging process at 64% (80% charged x 80% max) and powering down at 36% (100% minus 80% discharged x 80% discharged min). My math might not be correct but you get the idea.
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