Helping with battery life without rooting

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 3' started by fishacura, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. fishacura
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    fishacura Member

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    I'm a few days into my first droid and I have to say I am loving it! The one thing I had heard about that is already showing up is really poor battery life. I am sure this is because of some of my settings.

    When I look to see what's using the most power it says the following:

    Cell Standby: 28%
    Bluetooth: 27%
    Phone Idle: 24%

    This surprised me. It was fully charged this morning and down to 30% right now and I have barely used the thing today. Any suggestions? Bluetooth is on for hands free mode with the car...but why would standby/idle be so high?

    Cannot understand how it could lose 70% in 8 hours...seems odd to me so I am hoping there is some easy stuff I can try.

    Any suggestions would be welcomed and thanks!
  2. Fr33dom
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    It may take a few days for the OS to fully profile the battery. Once you hit 5 days if you notice no change, you could have a problem that might require a factory reset or a visit to the store.

    Your battery cannot be over charged. You can safely keep it in the charger until ready for use.

    Your battery was delivered partially charged. Hopefully you charged it completely prior to use. If not, it may take a factory reset to get you back to full operation. To start with, fully discharge your phone, turn it off and then charge it fully. Do not fully discharge your battery very often as it damages the battery. Since your phone is fairly new and you probably haven't forgotten your gmail password yet, now is a good time to do a factory reset. Look in the FAQ section of this forum for hard reset instructions. It is best to not allow your apps to sync automatically during the reset (this is not because of the battery though).

    If you have a standard battery, and you live in the USA, remove your SIM card. If you have a standard battery, you can reinsert it upside down so that it doesn't make contact and so that you don't eventually lose it. You can do this with the extended battery but no guarantees that it won't be damaged since it has to bend slightly to fit. Doing this is the same as setting your phone to CDMA only, except that the setting can revert in some instances.

    In Settings -> Battery & Data Manager, the following settings can be used to help:

    Battery Mode defaults to Nighttime saver but if you are around low signal during the daytime you may want to create a Custom Battery Saver to turn data off after 15 minutes during those times.

    Data Saver defaults of off, turning it on if you have WIFI will default data heavy tasks to the faster and more efficient WIFI network. This is helpful primarily if you spend large amounts of time away from WIFI.

    Data Delivery defaults are as listed below:

    Background Data on. Turning it off will save battery but you will not get things that require background data (email, facebook....)

    Data Roaming off. Unless you are on the road all the time this is the best setting.

    Data Enabled. I think turning this off will default data to WIFI only. If so, that would be the same as Background Data off when you are not around WIFI.

    Email and Corporate sync is greyed out, Look into Accounts to control this feature.

    Social applications has two settings, Sync over WIFI only which should save some battery, and data delivery frequency which I believe is set to Push by default. Setting it to 60 minutes should save a bit of battery as well.

    Under accounts, removing accounts can save battery at the cost of certain things. If you use the provided social networking applications then facebook sync will affect them as well as contact syncing. You can save some battery by ignoring those and downloading native applications for things like facebook. I'm not a twitter user and I suspect it could suck-down some battery juice, but I would bet a better app could be found in the market for it as well. Those built-in applications (bloatware) tend to gulp from the battery so I would avoid them.

    The more kinds of accounts you sync, the more battery you use so if you can avoid syncing both gmail and corporate/yahoo/whatever accounts you'll save some battery also.

    Turning off WIFI, Bluetooth and GPS during the day or more specifically when you are not using them will save some. If you are around a good WIFI signal though, you'll probably save more by keeping it on.

    Widgets can use lots of battery as well, depending on the widget. If it uses data in the background like weather and news apps tend to, then it will be drinking from the battery. Reduce or eliminate as much as possible.

    Same thing goes for apps. Some of them run continuously in the background and use data. Be careful what apps you load and do so slowly so that you can identify wasteful apps.

    The Verizon apps have been known battery gulpers. Avoid them at all costs. You do know you already have a native navigation app for Android and don't need the Verizon one right? (that was a rhetorical question.)

    If you haven't updated roaming, dial *22899. It may make you reactivate your phone (it did mine) but that is a painless operation.

    If you didn't get an extended battery, it would be a good idea to do that, but don't try to swap between that and the standard battery, you'll confuse the battery statistics. You will have to let the phone adjust to the new battery though.

    If you click on my name to the left you can look over my prior posts where I tested these suggestions and others to get an idea of what to expect. One other bit of advice is to use one of the battery saving apps in the market. Juice Defender is one I used on my Droid1 and liked, and I'm using it on my gTab as well so I can recommend it, but there are some who've said it has some problems with the Droid 3--and there are some who say it works well with it.

    There are probably more recommendations out there but these are the ones that will do the most in my experience.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  3. fishacura
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    fishacura Member

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    Thanks! Interesting that you said not to run it down all the way and charge regularly. I thought that it was just the opposite. With laptops they tell you the worst thing you can do is leave them plugged in all the time or keep running it 1/2 way and re-charging it. That actually makes the battery run out more quickly.
  4. NoBloatware
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    Good post. My thoughts:
    - discharging phone all the way and then charging it all the way up without interruption one time should properly calibrate the phone's understanding of the battery. Do this after OS update, factory reset, or putting in a new battery. Don't do too often as lithium ion's don't really like it. Do it every 1-2 months.
    - according to a VZ rep I recently spoke with, Data Roaming should be left ON for better battery life. This way, the phone can connect to a non-VZ tower as necessary instead of searching for signal (and really burning battery). As long as you are not near a foreign border (near Canada or Mexico) then you will not incur extra roaming charges.
    - I leave GPS toggled on so that it is available to apps as needed. I do not use apps/widgets that periodically ping GPS as it totally eats battery. I leave WIFI toggled on as it is efficient and I'm around WIFI networks. Be sure that your WIFI sleep policy is set to "turn off when screen turns off" though. wifi settings > menu > advanced opitons. Likewise, bluetooth can be left on all the time. Turn off the device you've paired to when done with it is good enough to save most of the battery power.
  5. Fr33dom
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    Fr33dom Member

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  6. fishacura
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    fishacura Member

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    see below
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  7. fishacura
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    fishacura Member

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    When I went to bed last night it was at 70% and when I woke up it was at 40%....this just doesn't sound right to me. It was in "standby" mode (meaning I just let the device sleep once the 2 minute timeout function kicked in). So in 12 hours of non use it used 30%. Sound odd to you?
  8. Fr33dom
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    Not really. As long as you are syncing data its going to use battery. Even on nighttime saver. Have you tried any of the suggestions above yet?
  9. fishacura
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    fishacura Member

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    When you say "not really" I assume you mean it doesn't sound odd right?

    Yes sorry I have tried the above but if it doesn't sound odd to you then that's fine. I just cannot believe it can suck 30% of battery overnight just sitting there. But if there's nothing wrong then that's fine....it's new so I just didn't know and my blackberry can sit around for a couple of days idle so this was new...but I also know it's much more powerful and I can live with it given the phone ROCKS!

    What's odd is that it's on night time save so it should not be syncing data at night so why the big batter draw? BTW, everyone here is terrific and THANKS for not flaming the noob!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  10. Fr33dom
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    Well it mostly doesn't seem odd because others have reported similar issues. We all believe there are radio "issues" with the phone and there is lots of faith (and some proof) that the coming update will fix that. What I stated was mostly to describe part of the reason, but even if you turned data completely off, it will use some battery. And its probably worse if you are constantly at low signal. This is part of the reason I bothered to mention that you didn't need to worry about overcharging. I leave my phone in the dock all night and pull it out when I leave for work.

    Nighttime saver turns data sync on every 15 minutes. Its better than leaving it off, but it won't leave you without data all night. It seems a bit silly to me--if I needed nighttime saver I would just set data to off completely until a half hour before my wake time. But I suppose they had other thoughts when they designed it. You could always replicate the settings using the custom feature and set it to turn data on less frequently.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  11. NoBloatware
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    Seems like the Droid 3 has a random issue where the battery charge just gets eaten up mysteriously. It also sounds like the update will address this issue.

    But if your battery is always draining:
    -be sure to dial *22899 to update PRLs
    -low signal areas will quickly drain battery power
    -corporate sync on the Droid 3 apparently drains battery (I would think the update will fix it)
    -closely examine your apps, widgets, and live wallpapers. Reboot the phone and look at what you've installed that's running. Consider uninstalling and reinstalling apps until you find a culprit (don't use auto task killers or antivirus)
    -the sync icon isn't constantly on in the task bar is it? Looks kinda like 2 arrows in circle
    -perhaps try a home/launcher replacement like Go Launcher EX, free from market
  12. celtic11
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    celtic11 Member

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    This is one I don't get. If using wifi saves battery.. how does turning the wifi off when the phone sleeps also save battery?

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  13. Yonnor
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    Yonnor I r Teh Greetest

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    Well if your phone is asleep, it would be benifited by less uneeded processes running, so that means a longer standy battery life with your phone not constantly feeding power to stay connected to wifi.

    Beamed down from my Droid 3
  14. Fr33dom
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    I have the same basic problem with that setting. I never set it that way, but I only leave WIFI on over the weekend when I'm mostly at home. Over the weekends I'd have the best battery largely because I was around good signal all day, but leaving WIFI on didn't hurt that.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  15. NoBloatware
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    The optimal WIFI setting depends on a lot of factors: how you use your phone, how strong the 3G signal is, how strong the WIFI signal is, how often you are around WIFI networks.

    It is pretty simple to experiment with the settings. We have:
    - WIFI (on/off)
    - WIFI sleep policy (when screen turns off/never/never when plugged in)

    Personally, I'm around a good WIFI signal most of the time. I tried setting sleep policy to never but it seemed to me that the phone used more power that way. My guess is that when the phone isn't being used, 3G actually allows the phone to enter a deeper sleep state than if you have the WIFI sleep policy set to never. Or, maybe when I'm not around WIFI having it's sleep policy set to never is just a big battery burner. Now, I don't know if this is true for all phones but it seemed the case for me. Try it out.

    I could probably go on and on a bit but I'll just say that I like the following settings:
    1) WIFI toggled on 24/7
    2) WIFI set to sleep when screen goes off

    I like it because:
    -don't have to worry about whether wifi is toggled on or not (no need for an app that polls my location to determine whether wifi should be toggled on/off. I'm into running lean and mean if possible.)
    -faster bandwidth and lower latency than 3G so I can have a better experience and get off the phone/turn off the display quicker
    -wifi shuts off (though not toggled off) when screen is off, which seems to use less battery power while still able to get data pushed via 3G.
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