Post-ICS, Battery Drains While Charging If In Use
11-06-2012 08:23 AM
- Howdy, guys! First post, though I read the forums regularly for info from Android powerusers.
I've owned my Bionic for quite a while, and am loving the new ICS update!
Unfortunately, I've been having some battery issues. I often use my phone as a kind of second computer, having it plugged in next to my couch, for light reading while I'm watching TV or something.
I've noticed that my battery actually drains while it's plugged in, if I'm using it! I don't know very much about batteries beyond the basics (charge to full, deplete to empty, charge to full again, when you first get the phone, but that's all I know), or about different kinds of chargers and whatnot.
Is this a problem with my charger being not high voltage enough, or something? I'm using the same charger I've always used; I used the same charger way back with my dumb phone, many years ago, and am thinking perhaps there is more to a charger than just whether the male connector is compatible.
Does anybody else have this problem? If I browse the internet for maybe half an hour on my phone while it's plugged in, it'll go from 100% to 90%. I'll let it sit with the screen off for another half an hour, and it'll go back up to 100%. I find it hard to believe that it actually uses charge faster than it gains, but it's true! I have tested it quite thoroughly before posting here.11-01-2012 04:32 PM
- The only way I'm able to use more power than the charger can deliver is in the car, with several GPS-related programs running along with some web browsing and maybe a phone call or two. My Bionic is currently hooked up to my old Palm Pre charger, which has charged it from 60 to 90 percent in about the last half hour or so.11-01-2012 06:38 PM
- In my experience, the most common issue is the cable itself going bad. Loosing charge while plugged in is usually the first symptom, but I've also seen it cause wonky touch screen response (like a Swype trace shooting across the keyboard when you lift your finger up, or seeing the home screen jerk about when holding your finger still), loss of charging indication as if not plugged in, and occasionally a charging active indicator when it isn't plugged in. It's my personal belief that USB for charging was a very poor choice because the cables don't hold up near as well as older forms of charging cables. So my first suggestion is try another known good cable.
You mentioned using an old charger from another device, which can cause issues. I doubt this is your problem if it's strong enough, unless it's really old and just wearing out. All chargers put out the same voltage for USB (5.1V I think), but it's the amperage that you need to look for. The stock Bionic charger is rated at 850 mA, so make sure any other one you use is rated for at least that. If not, you will see a power drain when plugged in, especially under heavy use, the charger will be quite warm and go bad prematurely. It's ok to use a higher rated charger because the phone will only draw the amperage it needs and also doesn't work the charger as hard for potentially longer charger life.
My final suggestion is it could just be the phone is getting too hot. Not enough to damage the phone or trigger the cool down protection, but high temps cause the battery to stop charging. When I'm doing heavy gaming or net use and the ambient temp is already warm, I will start loosing charge while plugged in. Usually this happens when battery temp tops 100-105 F. If you're not doing much on the phone, I doubt this is your issue, but something worth checking and could mean something else is gong on if it's hot while just sitting idle.
Hopefully this helps you some. I've dealt with this issue a lot in the past. Mostly it's the USB cable gong bad that's my problem. Sometimes I'm lucky to get a month out of one. With the port on the Bionic on the side, simply having mine in a cradle makes it do a sharp bend, which puts a lot of strain on the internal wires.11-01-2012 06:41 PM
- RyModerator CaptainThe only way I'm able to use more power than the charger can deliver is in the car, with several GPS-related programs running along with some web browsing and maybe a phone call or two. My Bionic is currently hooked up to my old Palm Pre charger, which has charged it from 60 to 90 percent in about the last half hour or so.11-01-2012 06:41 PM
- I have seen this issue in the past, and it was always related to the cable.
I primarily use two different cables to charge my Bionic. Overnight, I use the cable that came with the phone, connected to a wall outlet with a built-in USB port. During the day, I use a Mediabridge USB cable connected to the same type of integrated wall outlet. I have no issues charging, and the battery level will increase if the phone is in use. This is true post-ICS, both with the standard OEM battery as well as the extended OEM battery.
Try a new cable and see if it fixes your issue.11-01-2012 07:02 PM
- I haven't experienced a draining while charging, but I'm not surprised. Immediately after the ICS update I noticed that power consumption went way up. Where previously my battery would last the day, it now only lasts 2-3 hours. I don't know what's happened, but I also notice that my issues with 4g connections went away. I am assuming that the 4gLTE radio is a major culprit here.
As to discharging while connected to a charger means the phones mw consumption exceeds the charging capacity of the charger. Some of the limiting factors include the gauge of the cable feeding the phone and the milliamp rating of the charger. Also, lithium-ion batteries do degrade over time.
I think, more importantly, the ICS power management software module needs a bit of work, and I encourage Motorola and Verizon to do some work in this area..11-02-2012 11:11 AM
- Well, let's see. The car dock charged the phone most of the way a couple of hours ago. With a couple of stops after that and no voice calls occurring during that time frame I'm at 80% now. WiFi is responsible for fully 33% of that usage. Next after that is the screen at 24%, phone idle at 12%, cell standby at 10%, the Android OS itself at 8%, and then we're down in the clutter zone. Taken as a whole, the various radios account for 55% of the usage. Just a data point, for those to whom it may be helpful.11-02-2012 07:21 PM
- The battery, cable and charging were fine before ICS, but now they aren't? Does that make sense as a response. The question is what has changed in the OS that is causing this and is there anything setting wise that can be done to improve or eliminate it. All of us that are experiencing this did not suddenly develop bad cables and inadequate chargers.11-05-2012 04:55 PM
- 11-05-2012 05:24 PM
- OK, could be. I will check that. My real question is are there any setting changes we can make to reduce the drain that seems to be caused by the enhanced network sensitivity. My phone used to go all day and now I need to change the battery after about 8 hours. Same usage as before ICS. It seemed to me it used to be if I kept it connected to a strong WiFi it did not seem to care about a week cell data connection causing it to consume extra power trying to pull data from the cell. Now I think it still tries hard to maintain that cell signal despite the good WiFi connection. Since I work in a semi basement this scenario is present.11-05-2012 05:51 PM
- You can use LTE OnOff to toggle to 3G only since that was removed from regular settings. It's listed as being for the HTC Thunderbolt in the Play store, but it's confirmed to work on the Bionic and can really help if you don't need it searching for a 4G signal. I also use Smart Actions to disable cell data altogether when connected to wifi. Disabling bloatware apps have also been reported to make a difference, but couldn't hurt. Just keep in mind that you've essentially doubled the processor at least, being able to fully utilize both cores on ICS, and possibly bumped from 1 to 1.2 GHz. So even if everything else was the same, battery life will be less for that reason alone.11-06-2012 01:42 AM
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