Solved Phone thinks battery is dead when it isn't, shuts down at most activities

Discussion in 'Android Tech Support' started by reverse, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. reverse

    reverse New Member

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    It's been a couple of months and I've had this problem with my phone, I was hoping someone could help me out finding a solution since I'm not exactly an Android expert.

    What happens is that whenever something is running, which includes most apps AND being in a call, my phone would just suddenly shut down, sometimes doing the actual shut-down logo animation, sometimes abruptly. When this happens, the phone will absolutely refuse to turn back on even after countless tries, exactly as if the battery was dead. To solve this, I have to plug in the charger, and when I do that you can see that the phone immediately recovers and realizes its battery's actual charge level, which is usually far from dead.

    In hopes that these may help with the issue, here's some additional info about the phone:
    -It's a Samsung Galaxy Y Pro GT-B5510
    -Android Version 2.3.6 (Gingerbread I think? I'm not sure about version names.)
    -When this problem started to happen, I was using the app Winamp (a software to play audio files) and listening to an hour long track. One day, out of the blue, opening the app would slow down the phone perennially and not play said track (which was the last one I was playing, so it was automatically selected as soon as I ran the app). I have since deleted this track (from the SD card) and this problem went away, so it may be unrelated. Also, after not being able to use Winamp unless I deleted that track, I was able to listen to it via the default player without any issues nor the phone shutting down ever.
    -YouTube is a guaranteed insta-shutdown. Winamp takes a bit but also shuts the phone down after not long. Being in a call almost guarantees a shut-down after 2 minutes or so.
    -A lot of time ago, some water got to the phone and it went into Factory Mode for quite a long time. This problem has fixed itself and never happened again in about 5 months or so, so it might be unrelated.
    -I looked for solutions and some suggest it's a RAM issue, because the phone is old and the apps are always more demanding in power. I tried to undo any possible update (which I don't do often, but sometimes I'd connect to the internet and updates would start automatically without me stopping them) but the problem is persisting.
    -I also read about wiping all data from the phone as a possibility, but that didn't seem to work for the guy. I'd like to avoid that if possible but I guess I'll try it as a last resort.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
    #1 reverse, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  2. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum!
    It could be any number of things, and water damage is not out of the realm of possibilities, since corrosion can take some time to start causing issues.
    Have you tried pulling the battery for a few minutes? After that, a factory data reset is you best bet, at least to start with.
    I would then reload only those apps you absolutely need. Having an older device is much more difficult to diagnose, but hang in there for some other suggestions... we'll do our best to get you fixed up.
     
  3. reverse

    reverse New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!

    The reason for which I felt like excluding the water problem is because this doesn't exactly seem like a hardware problem, since it has somewhat specific triggers related to apps. Also, as I said other people have had this problem from what I could find on the internet and none of them reported of hardware damage, but of course that could mean they just forgot to mention or they don't know their phone is damaged, sure.
     
  4. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    It could be simply a combination of the app(s) running which pull a significant amount of power AND the phone call which also pulls significant power. Excessive combined current draw can pull down the voltage on a battery quite significantly. Voltage and Amperage (current) are inter-relational and one essentially "feeds" off the other. So when you place a large current demand on a battery or other power source, the voltage is "depressed" in sympathy of, and in an effort to allow more current to pass as the demand is calling for it.

    You can see this on a power meter on your home line current, when your large window air conditioner's compressor kicks in, or another appliance that pulls large current activates. It's also the reason why the incandescent lights in a room may dim slightly for a brief moment while the compressor demands a high current rate to get the compressor motor spinning. Once the motor on the compressor is able to get going and is spinning past a certain RPM, the current draw is reduced significantly and the voltage of the line current is allowed to rebound, and the lights in the room get bright again.

    This same thing can essentially happen with the phone and the battery, however the voltages don't rebound so quickly with a battery, and instead take time to "recover" once the current load is reduced or removed. This then fools the phone's charging and metering circuit into thinking the battery has reached or passed below the minimum battery voltages required to prevent the battery from going into protection mode. So the phone either makes a decision to power down and preserve the battery, or the voltages dip so low that the metering circuit kicks in and does a hard power interruption (similar to a "deadman's switch), which causes the phone to "drop dead".

    Once this happens, the circuitry is maintaining the "protection" of the battery by preventing the phone from powering back up under battery power. However once you plug in the charger, the voltage of the circuit jumps back up where it should be and the metering circuit recognizes the higher voltage, and "releases" the hold on the battery allowing it to power up and operate the phone normally again.

    This can be an inherent problem with the design of the phone, either due to a poorly managed power design which doesn't properly balance current draw while doing multiple high-current tasks, or can be due to having spec'd a battery that is too small for the job. This can also be due to a battery that has aged and is either approaching or has passed its "useful life", which is when the battery won't take at least 80% of the originally rated mAh current capacity when charged to 100% (i.e. a 3,000mAh battery that won't take a charge greater than 2,400mAh on a full charge). This would normally happen once the battery has been charged/discharged about 300-500 times, or after 1.5 years or so, however if the battery was abused it could happen significantly sooner.

    My suggestion would be to replace the battery first.
     
    #4 FoxKat, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  5. reverse

    reverse New Member

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    That makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for the explanation and suggestion, I'll look into batteries that are compatible with this device and get back at you.
     
  6. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    You lost me at centrifugal switch.
    Good luck @reverse....let us know how you make out.
     
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  7. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Awww, come on. You're not as naïve as you'd like others to think you are. Maybe I should trim it down a bit though...

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    LOL....just bustin your chops!
     
  9. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    There's truth in virtually every joke... I've taken out the Flux Capacitor and Centrifugal Interrupt Switch, Captain (he says in a Scottish accent), but I'm not sure if the Dilithium Crystals will be able to carry the load on their own...



    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
  10. KaosMaster

    KaosMaster Senior Member

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    I am a doctor Jim! Not a miracle worker!! ;) good luck on that battery!! Sounds like the issue to me. Make sure you charge overnight and with phone off. This will reset the battery status also correctly in the device
     
    #10 KaosMaster, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  11. reverse

    reverse New Member

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    Haven't checked with a new battery yet, but today I asked a friend to lend me his (same model but with higher voltage) and he told me it would be pointless because he's been having the exact same problem, and he suspects it's the battery as well. Not only that, he also noticed my battery is "kinda swollen" and that it's sign that it's dying? So perhaps it really is the battery.
     
  12. KaosMaster

    KaosMaster Senior Member

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    Yes...spend the money and buy a new battery! Swollen = dying!
     
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