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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    For several weeks, my battery life has been unusually poor, and more recently, I've experienced sudden drops, like from 30% to 0% in a matter of minutes. Or one minute the phone is at 19%, then it's dead.

    [Screenshots below]

    Also, I'm finding that the phone charges very fast.

    This is the original battery on a Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, purchased Oct. 2011.

    I have a lot of news apps (Flipboard, Current, Pulse, Facebook, several newspapers), but their polling wouldn't explain sudden drops and fast charging. The phone often is very hot, which I always assumed was due to poor Sprint signal in the area. This evening, the phone remained hot even after I put it in airplane mode.

    Do I need a new battery or a new phone?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Battery fast discharge, fast charge-sc20120803-211202.png   Battery fast discharge, fast charge-sc20120803-211151.png  
    Last edited by Cyber Warrior; 08-03-2012 at 10:37 PM.
  2. #2  
    Cyber Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    Judging by your signal...you have very poor reception for both wifi and carrier. From what you mentioned it looks like a combination of a bad signal combined with background processes/data running in the background. Social networking apps, weather apps, basically anything that's set to constantly update will kill your battery quickly with that poor of a signal.. it will also cause the phone/battery to become hot because its working harder overloading the system.

    Also for the future, I noticed you were having trouble uploading pics, please do not host them on personal websites, either use an image hosting site or use the built in file attachment option using this site as a host.
    Thank you
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    CW, thanks for the quick and helpful response.

    For the period covered by the screen shots above, I wasn't near any WiFi. Plus, I was in an area known for very poor Sprint coverage. What looks like a break in WiFi is the period when I had the phone in airplane mode.

    I've experienced this erratic battery behavior in a number of situations lately. The image attached here shows another period Thursday and Thursday night.

    Doesn't the very rapid charge seem unusual?



    Sorry about the issue with posting images. Thanks for fixing it for me, and I hope I have it righ this time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Battery fast discharge, fast charge-sc20120803-030828.png  
  4. #4  
    Cyber Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    Rapid charging is unusual.. unless you're running a custom ROM/kernel that has that built in.

    I'm looking at your notification bar.. I'm not familiar with that phone so maybe someone can help you out better but it looks like you have wifi turned on and airplane mode which is strange. Is that your wifi icon I'm seeing with the one dot?
  5. #5  

    Default

    How can you tell the signal is poor. Do the colors represent signal strength?

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Android Central Forums
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    No custom ROM, no rooting.

    At night I put the phone in airplane mode to avoid phone calls when I'm sleeping; but I keep WiFi on so I get emails overnight.

    Also, as I get very poor signal in my basement, I will sometimes turn the phone off, route my calls to a landline or Gchat (via Google Voice), but keep the WiFi on.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    Delldude, the colors do mean something, but there doesn't seem to be total consensus on what color means what.

    2.3 gingerbread - What's the meaning of signal strength colors in battery usage screens? - Android Enthusiasts
  8. #8  
    Cyber Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    I'm not even going by color.. your screenshots all show that you have 1 or less bars out of 4 for wifi according to the icon in the notification bar which is bad.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    I called Sprint tech support. Of course they can't test a battery over the phone. They speculated either the battery was defective, or maybe there is a short in the phone.

    I took the phone to my local Sprint store. They didn't really look at the phone at all. Told me my battery was swollen due to overcharging. I shouldn't be charging the phone overnight, they explained, as it results in overcharging. (Don't most smartphone users leave the phone on the charger whenever possible.)

    Is a swollen battery my fault, or is it defective?
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    its definitely the phone signal.. I have had similar issue when i upgraded from ginger bread to ICS... i did a force update using recovery and it messed up the antenna.. the phone signal was in brown orange on battery stat... then i did factory restore and it was back to normal.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: Battery fast discharge, fast charge

    Quote Originally Posted by jlehrer100 View Post
    I took the phone to my local Sprint store. They didn't really look at the phone at all. Told me my battery was swollen due to overcharging.
    Next time find someone who actually knows what he's talking about.

    1) The charging circuit in the phone will shut off when the battery is fully charged, then kick in to top the battery off as the charge drains down.

    2) Overcharging a LiIon battery doesn't result in swelling, it results in heat - which usually results in a fire or explosion. (Remember the defective batteries a few years back?)

    A swollen LiIon battery usually indicates an internal short in the battery. The sudden discharges seem to indicate that one cell has developed a dendrite - a little mineral shard that grows during discharge. That pierces the separator, shorting the cell, resulting in rapid discharge.

    Is it a defective battery or misuse on your part? Hard to say. Most battery manufacturers will replace the battery without trying to determine what caused the dendrite (because modern batteries shouldn't develop dendrites), but whether Sprint will or not is another matter. You'll probably need the battery replaced, one way or the other. Then, with the new battery, fully charge it before using it the first time (keep the phone off). Then wait until it tells you to charge it, or turns off, before charging it again. Go through this cycle (full charge/full discharge) 3 times. From then on you can charge and discharge it however you like.

    I shouldn't be charging the phone overnight, they explained, as it results in overcharging.
    Nonsense. At worst, the charging circuit failed to stop charging the battery (still their fault if they sold you the phone).

    (Don't most smartphone users leave the phone on the charger whenever possible.)
    Probably not. But overnight? Probably. (I've left LiIon batteries on charge for months at a time. And I still expect - and get - at least 3 years from a battery. In fact, the original battery in my V-550 phone - about 8 years old - is still working fine. [The phone is pretty useless, but the battery is good.])

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