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My Battery Life Writeup

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 2 Global' started by NiceGuysFinishLast, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    First: I'm no expert. I'm just a guy who reads a lot of forums, talks to a lot of nerdy people, and likes to tinker. I can only share with you what I've read, or seen for myself.

    Second: I take no responsibility for anything that happens to your phone. I didn't write any of the apps that I recommend, etc., etc.,

    Third: Some of the Apps I use require you to be rooted. If you haven't done it already, you should do some reading and make the decision for yourself. It's not hard (Z4Root is a one click root, with unroot option), and has almost zero risk, especially now that RSDLite 4.9 and the SBF are available. Now don't ask me any more questions about rooting (here, anyway), as that's not what this thread is for.

    Fourth: I obviously can't promise that what works for me will work for you (or anyone). Usage habits play a large role in battery life. To give you an idea, I work 8-12 hour days, 5 or 6 days a week. I use my phone as an mp3 player (with headphones) for almost the entire day straight, as well as text, email, a few voice calls, and some light web browsing during my lunch break. The majority of my usage is with the screen off, and data turned off which obviously increases my battery life. If you play games, or stream music constantly, my suggestions will only help, they won't get you battery life like mine.

    Fifth: I have the Motorola BP7X extended battery. If you don't have an extended battery, you obviously won't see battery life like mine, but my instructions should help prolong yours. I still regularly see >24 hours to go from 100% to 30% or so on my stock BP6X battery.

    If you want to buy an extended battery, you should know that you can't use the battery door with any case on the market right now, but if you take it off, the battery fits PERFECTLY inside, with any case that I've tried.

    If you have a WHITE D2G, you need this extended battery and battery door, which is for the Droid R2D2, but the white matches perfectly. The model number is the same as the regular one, but with a W on the end, if you go to the VZW store and they don't know about it, you can tell them that and they should be able to look it up.

    If you have the BLUE D2G, you need this extended battery and battery door, which is the matching blue.

    Before we begin, here are some articles I think you should read:

    Your battery gauge is lying to you, and it's not such a bad thing.

    Android task killers explained, and why you shouldn't use them

    If you use a task killer, I won't answer your questions in this thread, because I'm being very explicit when I say: Task killers are bad for your battery life, and unnecessary in Android 2.2.

    Ok, first off, things you can do without downloading or installing any apps:

    1. Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> Mobile Networks -> Network Mode -> CDMA if you're in the US and don't plan on going global with your phone. You can set System Select (right underneath it) to automatic, assuming you have a nationwide plan. Some say that the GSM radio is only turned on to search for a signal when there is a weak CDMA signal, but I figure why risk it?

    2. Settings -> Battery Manager -> Battery Mode -> Custom Battery Saver (Click the little gear next to it to access the settings)

    Set your off peak hours according to your usage. I don't often use my phone once I'm home for the night, or before I go to work, so my off peak hours start at 10PM and end at 8AM, with data set to go off after 15 minutes. During peak hours, data is set to always on (never know when I might ACTUALLY be using the GPS, or streaming music or something).

    Set the display brightness to fairly low after the battery <30%. For reference, I keep my screen at 28% brightness, and have that slider down around 15%.

    3. Settings -> Data Manager -> Background data
    You can uncheck this, but certain apps won't work, like the market. I generally keep both Background Data and Data Enabled unchecked except for when I'm actively using data. I have a shortcut on my home screen to this screen, so that I can disable them quickly. The advantage to turning your data off this way, instead of with most apps/widgets is that it actually turns off power to the 3G radio, whereas most apps/widgets simply change the APN, which doesn't actually turn the radio off. To make a shortcut, long press your home screen, choose activities, go to Data Manager, and it's the first process. If you MUST have a widget, I've found that SMODA Widget in the market works in the proper manner.

    4. Settings -> Display
    Turn off auto brightness. Set your screen to the minimum you can live with. I keep mine at 28% and it's usable outside, in sunlight, 99% of the time. (That's important, because I live in Florida). When it's not, I have an app that I use to quickly bump it up, but I'll get to that later.

    Go to Animation -> No animation

    Screen timeout -> Again, the minimum you can live with. I have mine at 15 seconds, but I use an app to keep the screen on when the phone is in use (as detected by motion and/or the orientation of the phone.. Again, I'll cover that later)

    In Pocket Detection: I don't know if it actually saves battery, but I recommend you turn this off. The forums are littered with stories of people whose phones turn the screen off when their finger gets too close to the sensor, and I found that whenever I forgot to turn the screen off and put the phone in my pocket, the phone never turned it off anyway, so what's the point?

    5. Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> Wifi Settings then press your menu key (the haptic one, at the bottom of the screen) and press advanced. Set your wifi sleep policy to never. This means that when you turn wifi on, your phone will ALWAYS try to send data over wifi first, which uses less battery than 3G. HOWEVER, if you are NOT in range of a wifi network that you can connect to, this will COST you battery life, as your phone will poll for an open network more often. So if you do this, remember to turn your wifi off when you're done with it.


    Ok, next: Bloatware. We all know the D2G comes with lots of Verizon crap installed that we don't want/need/use. Theoretically, this stuff shouldn't really tie up system resources, because android 2.2 should kill the stuff whenever it needs those resources. Well, the nerd in me isn't happy with that, I want that stuff gone. HOWEVER, you NEED all of the stock bloatware (Amazon, Kindle, Blockbuster, CityID, VZWNavigator, etc etc) to get any updates from Verizon. The reason for this is that the updates run as patches, so they look for the original system files, then update them. If ALL of the system files aren't there, the patch won't run (In fact, your phone won't even perform the CHECK for updates).

    So your options are to root your phone, and then use a root explorer program to find all the .apk files for this bloatware and change their names from CityID.apk to CityID.bak or something like that, so that they won't run, but when you want an update, you can go back and rename them to .apk. However, this is tedious. I use an app called Titanium backup to freeze these programs. It does essentially the same thing, but with a nice gui, and the ability to do backups of your apps and/or data, as well as doing it on a schedule if you choose.

    List of things I have frozen in Titanium backup:
    (Note, again, I take no responsibility for any of these causing instability in your system, but this works FOR ME with no problems)

    3G Mobile Hotspot 2.2
    Admin Notifier 2.2
    AdService 1.0
    Amazon MP3 1.8.14
    Android Live Wallpapers 2.2 (Obviously, you need this if you use live wallpapers)
    Backup Assistant 2.2
    Backup Assistant Client 1.0 (Need these if you use BA)
    Blockbuster 0.9.99
    Calendar 2.2
    Calendar Service 2.2
    Calendar Storage 2.2
    Calendar Sync Adapter 2.2.1
    CarDock 1.0
    CityID 1.0.30
    DLNA 0709.69
    DLnaSystemService1.0
    Email 2.2 (Note: DO NOT freeze Email Client, it will make your text messaging non-functional)
    Emergency Alert 1.0.0
    Global Phone Authorization...Mode Switch 2.2 (If you won't go global)
    Global Unplug 1.0: (This used to kill the "unplug your charger from the outlet" message, but since the last update, it doesn't... oh well)
    Help Center 2.2
    Home Screen Tips 2.2
    InPocket 2.2 (This never worked right for me, so screw it)
    Kindle 1.0.2.80600055
    Live Wallpaper Picker 2.2 (Again, if you use Live Wallpapers, don't freeze)
    Magic Smoke Wallpapers 2.2
    Manage Sim Card 2.2 (If you're not going global)
    MediaShare 1.0.0
    MediaSync 1.0.0
    News 2.2
    News and Weather 1.3.01
    Print to Retail 1.0
    Quick Office 3.3.67
    SIM Contacts 2.2
    SIM Toolkit 2.2
    Skype Mobile 1.0.0.20
    Social Networking 2.2
    Social Sharing 2.2
    Social Status 2.2
    Sync Service 1.5.7
    Toggle Widgets 2.2
    Voicemail 1.1 (But holding 1 to check your voicemail still works)
    VPN Client 1.0
    VPN Services 2.2
    VZ Navigator
    Weather 2.2
    Work Contacts 2.2
    World Clock 1.0
    Yahoo Contacts 2.2


    Ok, that's bloatware gone.

    Next up, Apps I have installed to help improve my battery life.

    1. Battery Indicator Pro doesn't really improve my battery life, but it's a nice app to have for monitoring it. It can place another battery indicator in your notification bar, with a text readout of the battery percentage, as well as color indicators. It can also display a window with approximate usage times left (Unfortunately, the usage times are set based on user defined times, not actual predictions, but it's still cool, if you have a good baseline to plug in).

    It looks like this in your notifications bar: (The battery icon changes colors to yellow and red when the battery hits levels you define)
    [​IMG]


    It looks like this when you click on it:

    [​IMG]

    The View Battery Use button takes you to the stock battery manager for a detailed rundown of battery runtime, usage statistics, etc.

    As you can see, it also has an option to disable the lockscreen, which works well, but seems like an odd additional feature haha.


    2. Quicksettings is a nice, free app for one click access to toggle things like GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth (And data, but it does the APN trick, so I don't use it for that), as well as adjusting things like volume, ringer, brightness, etc, AND it's got a built in flashlight. It's on my homescreen, and I love it. For maximum battery life, I keep ALL my data (including 3G) off except when I'm actively using it. I'm not important enough to need true push email, and when I'm at work, I'm generally too dirty to want to do a lot of emailing anyway.

    3. Screebl Pro is an app that monitors the orientation of your phone, and when it leaves certain, user defined ranges (different for portrait/landscape) it turns the screen off. But if the phone is being moved, or within those ranges, it will keep the screen on. This lets you set your screen timeout super low (15 seconds), without being constantly annoyed by the screen going off when you're browsing webpages, emails, etc. It also SAVES you battery life.

    4. SetCPU lets you set different profiles for your processor, based on different variables (how full the battery is, if it's plugged in, WHAT it's plugged into, if it's too hot, etc). SetCPU require root access. SetCPU lets you set a profile that has a maximum and minimum processor speed while the phone meets those conditions. It follows your profiles in order of priority. Obviously, the higher the priority, the higher the precedence. So for example, mine is set to 600MHz/300MHz(max/min) when the screen is off, but 1200MHz/300MHz when it's plugged in or fully charged (>60% battery). The screen off profile has a higher priority, so even if the phone is plugged in, it will throttle to 600/300 when I turn the screen off. You can tinker with these settings yourself. The priority numbers don't matter (as far as I'm aware) so long as they're in the right order numerically. Scaling should always be ondemand (that is, the system will speed up the processor as there is a demand for more power).

    My profiles, in order of priority from highest to lowest:

    Temp > 42.0C 600/300 (~40C is where performance starts decreasing and the battery actually drains FASTER, but I've read that the batteries are rated SAFE up to 60C)

    Charging AC/Full 1000/300 (This is to keep it from getting too hot while charging from the wall charger, which provides ~850mA vs the ~500mA that a USB charger delivers)

    Charging/Full 1200/300 (This is the standard profile, when the battery is >60%, and not plugged in)

    Battery <16% 600/300

    Battery <31% 800/300

    Battery <41% 1000/300

    Remember, the system can only read the battery values in multiples of ten (down to 20%, then it can read 15%, 10%, 5%, I believe), so that's why I have the steps at 16, 31, 41.


    So, what does all this do for me? Well, last night, I got my brand new BP7X in the mail (with the white battery door, I originally got the blue one, cuz I'm a tard), I plugged it in until it was 100% and I pulled it off. I haven't used it a whole lot, so this isn't NORMAL or anything, but here's how it looked this morning before I ran off to work:

    [​IMG]

    Here it was at 2:30

    [​IMG]

    I'm currently at 17h 29m 48s since unplugged, and at 90% battery.

    I don't have many more screen caps, but here's one from the other day, when I was using my stock BP6X battery, while waiting on my new BP7X to come in the mail:

    [​IMG]


    I think that just about covers it, for now. As I think of things, I'll edit this post. Feel free to add your input, I'll edit good things into the original post, and when we feel like this is pretty comprehensive, maybe we can get a mod to sticky it?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. EOK1335
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    EOK1335 New Member

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    fantastic job!
    i followed all the steps and cant wait to see the result:) i believe this is really helpful to everyone.
    btw there is an app called adjbrightness that can turn off fuction key backlight. this may also improve battery life a little bit.
  3. BayouFlyFisher
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    BayouFlyFisher Rescue Squad

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    You are getting excellent battery life and are to be congratulated on your systematic/analytical approach.

    A few minor "ditch" suggestions::)

    1. Ditch Setcpu. The Android OS will throttle the kernel up and down as needed. All those profiles are “cute” but really don’t do much for you. I was a “dyed-the-wool” Setcpu user for about 8 months. I’ve been “Setcpu free” for about 4-5 months now. No adverse effects.

    2. Ditch the battery apps. They are also “cute” and it’s fun to watch your battery level, but you don’t need it and it uses battery power. I’ve lived without one now for about 5-6 months.

    3. Ditch Screebl Pro. This is another app that I used to swear by. I loved it and suggested it to everyone that would listen. I now set my phone “screen-off” to about 30 minutes and simply turn the display off when I’m through with it. Saves whatever power Screebl uses.

    Good luck and thanks for excellent post!!
  4. want a droid
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    want a droid New Member

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    Awesome write up. I'm not against it, but I believe that those who have the extended batter shouldn't have to worry about battery. If you're getting >24 hours out of your battery that's great, but what's the point if you're not going to get 48 hours? What's the trouble with putting your phone on the charger while you sleep, when it only takes a few hours to charge from completely drained to full?

    I run my phone with sync always on, brightness at the highest (full), and I'm constantly using it. I can easily make it through the day without having to put it on the charger til it's time to sleep.

    Like I said it's a great write up, but why have to worry about carrying around your charger the next day when you could just charge it at night?
  5. kptphalkon
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    kptphalkon New Member

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    I know i dont have a defective phone. Ive rooted, used titanium to freeze everything i dont use, have setcpu profiles for temp/battery levels, and have my screen off in 30 seconds. Shoot i also use juice defender to manage my 3g when the screen shuts off. Battery stats tells me that my processes use hardly ANY power throughout the workday, and i even have the bp7x. Why is it i only get 12-18 hours of near constant standby use? My screen off setcpu profile is 300/300 and it scales down in 20% battery lvl increments from full proc to 1000/800/600.

    Id hate to say i have a defective phone here. I have done near everything to this phone to conserve power and yet i cannot nearly get the usage some guys report. 90% after 17 hours of standby? Im lucky to have 20% after that with very minimal use!

    Sent from the F-Zero cockpit on my D2G
  6. want a droid
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    want a droid New Member

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    Don't be disheartened. 17 hours with only losing 10% is basically using your $600 smartphone as a paperweight. Based on those who talk about their battery on this forum, you are most likely in the norm.

    Sent from my DROID2 using DroidForums App
  7. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    Again, I didn't say that was normal usage, but I thought it was neat to show. Also, the reason I use battery indicator Pro is that it uses a passive refresh. Whenever the system pushes updates about battery status, BIP reads them. No extra battery usage.
  8. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    I'm not saying I do this regularly. All my screen caps are from this weekend, I'm off work, and therefor not using my phone like I normally would. As I said in my post, an average day of use is 8-12 constant hours of MP3s + some text, web, email, and voice, as well as probably the navigation (I'm constantly driving to new job sites, and never know where they are). I like the fact that with my BP7x, I can listen to music all day (SUPER important to me, what's life without music?) AND use the other features and still be at anywhere from 20-50% battery when I leave for the day. I DO charge my phone every night, so that I can be sure it will be full when I go to work the next morning. Nothing more frustrating than having your tunes die with 2 hours of work left. Plus, my boss gets pissed if my phone dies and he can't get ahold of me..

    On weekends, aside from texting or calling people to find out what we're doing, I do almost nothing with my phone. That's why I posted that screen shot, because I had nothing else to post.

    Sheesh.. I spend an hour writing all this up and all anyone has to say is "That's using your phone as a paperweight"? Well no ****, I said that in my original post. I was just showing what I had at the time. Some people don't see 17 hours of standby out of an entire battery, so 17 hours to 90% is an achievement to them. Hell, some people say they can't get 10 full hours out of a charge, even on standby. I'm currently at 36hrs (almost exactly) and 60% charge.


    1. You are the first person to ever tell me that.. Do you have some documentation or something that says this? I feel like this would be a more highly touted feature...

    2. Like I said in my last post, BIP uses a passive refresh, so whenever the Android system pushes updates in battery status, BIP reads them. Since it doesn't auto-update, there's almost no additional battery usage (And I find the textual readouts, color changes, and time estimates to be quite useful)

    3. I like the way screebl works.. I don't even care if it saves me battery, I like that I can set my timeout to 15 seconds, but my screen will stay on when I'm doing stuff. Having my screen lock when I'm browsing the internet or something is SUPER frustrating to me.


    Hrmmm... how long do you get in normal usage, and what do you consider normal usage? Part of the reason I get such long usage, even when I'm doing things like playing MP3s is because my screen is off for a higher percentage of the time than most peoples'. I work in a very dirty, dangerous environment (usually), so I almost never pull my phone out of my pocket. At the start of the day, I put my music on, and every once in awhile, I pull the phone out to skip a song quickly, but mostly I just let it run in my pocket all day. I don't get to check the web/email too often, and when I do, it's only for a couple minutes at a time. I also run most days without data enabled, because I don't really care about getting push emails, as I'm not important enough for that shizz to matter. So I say again, my battery life IS NOT NORMAL, or to be expected for most users. I have a very unique usage pattern. I was just hoping that this could help people in some way, as well as show what CAN be done.
  9. kptphalkon
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    kptphalkon New Member

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    I check the time on my phone about every 15 minutes, but I hit the power button to turn the screen off. I maybe listen to 6 minutes of music while i am outside on a smoke break, browse for a total of 15, a few texts, maybe some gaming on break and after a 5 hour work shift it might be at 40%, most times less. This is including ext batt, juice defender and setcpu, display at lowest, as mentioned.

    :/

    Sent from the F-Zero cockpit on my D2G
  10. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    Have you frozen all the bloatware like I recommended? Do you have any apps/widgets that update frequently? Is your wifi/bluetooth/gps on constantly? That seems low for an extended battery. I'm pretty sure I could get 5 hours of internet browsing on wifi with less than 60% drain... Hmm.. next time I charge my phone up, I'm going to turn on all the data, and use it intensively, to see how quickly I can kill it. I'll be sure to post the result here. The only thing I can say is that I ditched juice defender and just turn my data on/off manually.
  11. kptphalkon
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    kptphalkon New Member

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    See that is my problem, i literally have all radios but 2g turned off when the screen turns off. This is at work and i have a pretty active job so i dont need any data working.

    As for bloatware, i need to run through your list and shut everything off to see if i even like it first. Call me crazy but this is my first smartphone and i kind of like some services that come with blur. Aside from the last time i heavily disabled bloat it deleted all of my phone contacts!

    Sent from the F-Zero cockpit on my D2G
  12. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    Nothing I listed disables any of the basic blur functions. Except like the news/weather widgets, but I hate those, so no loss for me.
  13. gqiq
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    gqiq New Member

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    Why turn off animations?

    And no juicedefender?

    Sent from my DROID PRO using DroidForums App
  14. EOK1335
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    EOK1335 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    just a feedback. This is my battery status after i followed this writeup. several regular calls, browsing, and about half-hour skype call during this 21 hours. Im still using bp6x. this is more than expect for me. Thanks alot for the great suggessions:)

    Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using DroidForums App
  15. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    Animations just use processor time, which equals battery and they take up time. I'd rather have my drawer snap open/closed than do a neat animation.. But that's just me, do what you like.

    Juice defender is neat, and I used it for awhile, but I don't see the point of having an app running to save battery... I just do everything that JD did manually before I put my phone away... problem solved.


    Edit: I did just see a video review of the latest update to JD, and I'm considering downloading it again, just to try it.
  16. gqiq
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    gqiq New Member

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    Okay you're the man but I have another quick question. How can you tell the exact percentages of your display brightness?

    Sent from my DROID PRO using DroidForums App
  17. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    In quicksettings, there is an option for a brightness slider (also useful for toggling auto brightness), that shows % brightness.
  18. chrstdvd
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    chrstdvd New Member

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    I did all of this on my D2 today. Even if it does not work, it was worth it to "Disable Lock Screen". Good residence.

    I surf the web a lot. The heaviest use is listening to Radio Stations. I like talk radio and it is mostly AM so these live streams are so much better than an actual radio. I listen with the speaker not the ear buds, so I will never get much more than 3 or 4 hours from a charge anyway.

    I really did not like the screen going off in 15 seconds but screeble fixed that fine. I had it set to 30 min before and like one poster just turned the screen off when I put it down. Basically I still do 'cause it is habit now.

    I do not not have "activities" when I long press the screen, so my data settings remain the same. I did turn "Mobile Data" off but then I could not use the net. My 3G was gone, but I do not know if the radio was actually off.

    "To make a shortcut, long press your home screen, choose activities, go to Data Manager, and it's the first process." Any other way?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  19. NiceGuysFinishLast
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    NiceGuysFinishLast New Member

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    You could try one of the apps like anycut or bettercut that let you make shortcuts to pretty much anything on your phone. It appears that is a difference between the D2 and the D2G. Also, I've discovered that quicksettings DOES turn off the 3G radio, and have switched to using the toggle in that app, if that's helpful.
  20. bgrade
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    bgrade New Member

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    Thanks for this writeup, i've had my global for 3 weeks now and with moderate usage and extended battery on a GSM network, i can now go 1 day and about 4 hours on a single charge (after breaking in the battery of course). heres what i did.

    -Stock ROM
    -Rooted
    -Extended battery
    -Bloatware removed with the bloatware removal script in this forum
    -Freeze news and weather app with titanium backup
    -keep screen on lowest brightness and never over 30% when im outside.
    -use SMODA widget to turn off data when im not using it (in my case sometimes using the quicksettings option to turn off data, sometimes causes data to have trouble turning back on, so SMODA is the most reliable option for me)
    -Use setcpu to force the CPU down to 300mhz when the screen is off and 800mhz when the CPU gets over 45*C.
    -Ive set my screen timeout to 2 mins and just turn the screen off when im done using it
    -I make at least 2-3 hours of phone calls per day with 190-220 texts per day.
    35 minutes of web browsing per day.
    -Keep things off using the power control widget and turn them on only when i need them.

    And thats about it, right now my phone has been unplugged for 1 day 3 hours and 46 mins and its at 40% with only about 190 txts and 40mins of phone calls and 10mins web browsing.
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