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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default New to smartphone - May return $400 Galaxy S4 Mini to Sprint

    I just got a new S4 mini from sprint. This is my first smartphone. I have been using a Sanyo Rl-4920. I am writing cause my battery life seems extremely poor, particularly to my Sanyo RL-4920. I felt I could leave the sanyo for a week or two before recharging. However, my $400 smartphone appears to need to be charged daily.

    Recharged S4 mini all night last night (turned off). I turned it on today at 10 am, made one 5 minute phone call, did nothing else with the phone all day. At 10 pm, battery saver software says battery is at 42%. I am going to leave it on all night to see what happens. It appears though the standby is about 24 hours. The specs from samsung is 300 hours. If the actual function of the phone is only 10% of advertised, it essentially is not functioning. What good is a smartphone if you can't turn it on due to a dead battery? The features are neat, but not worth it if I essentially have to leave the phone plugged in, I would rather use a laptop.

    Anyways, is this normal? I turned off everything I thought I could that would not disrupt phone calls and text messages. I did not put it into airplane mode. I tried to turn off/uninstall unused programs but the phone seemed to restart a lot of services automatically. Screen brightness at lowest setting, but its not even on when I am not using it. I would do some real experiments between the two phones to better understand battery life to see if I am delusional but I have to make a decision by sunday whether to keep it or get my money back. I thought I would be able to use features of the phone but if it dies this quickly, I don't think I will even get to use them. After looking at the sprint store, this phone appears to have a longer battery life than even there basic phones, so if I return this, what do I do? I don't really want to spend more money to get the new LG or whatever. I have been looking at ebay to get another RL-4920, but they are all so old now.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    The S4 mini battery should not drain so fast during standby. My guess would be that you have a wake lock issue that prevent the phone from going to deep sleep. Try using Gsam battery monitor or wake lock detector app to identify the problem.

    I'd also like to point out that you shouldn't compare the battery life of any smartphone to your old Sanyo. The smaller /lower resolution screen and low specs will barely drain battery.

    Sent from my Xposed LG-G2 using Tapatalk
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Thanks for the response. I really want this phone to work. I have not tried this type of app yet. I have gone ahead and installed it. I will see if this helps.

    One thing that is happening for sure is that the Wi-Fi keeps turning it back on. I specifically restarted the phone last night to make sure there were no apps running in the background. I checked to make sure the Wi-Fi/bluetooth and all that jazz was off. I feel like I have no control over what the phone is doing. Its like windows automatic updates times 10. I find throughout the day I get notifications of programs updating, data roaming warnings, wi-fi turning on and off. I can't seem to control the phone. I keep turning stuff off but it seems to keep turning on.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    I have Disabled about 30 system apps [See my thread Android System Structure, SGH-I257M ]. My experience so far is that with virtually no use the battery uses 20% of its charge on the first day, then it may not be a linear loss over the next few days - it may lose more per day after [not enough experiments to know for sure]. My Nokia non-smart phone would run for almost two weeks in the same circumstance. The best advice i have so far is to charge it every night.

    On a few of these forums there is talk of a known bug [known to Samsung and to many technical users] that causes battery drain. This should be fixed as Kitkat 4.4 is released over the coming months [or weeks perhaps!].

    However, your problem is more than these. Something is wrong.

    Some info that may be helpful ...

    Increase the battery life - xda-developers
    How to improve the battery life of Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini - Galaxy S4 Mini Archive - Custom ROMs, Tips and Tricks
    How to Totally Maximize the Battery Life of Your Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung GS4 softModder
    How to Speed up your Samsung TouchWiz phone - Android Junkie - Android News, App Reviews, Tips and Tricks

    More threads on various forums if you Google S4 mini battery.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Thanks for the response. I tested overnight and the drain was 1% per hour. That should give me a 100 hours standby time if I absolutely don't touch the phone, which still seems high. I did look up that bug, but those individuals appeared to be losing the entire battery in just an hour or two. I will read through your posts.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobucks1234 View Post
    I just got a new S4 mini from sprint. This is my first smartphone. I have been using a Sanyo Rl-4920. I am writing cause my battery life seems extremely poor, particularly to my Sanyo RL-4920. I felt I could leave the sanyo for a week or two before recharging. However, my $400 smartphone appears to need to be charged daily.

    Recharged S4 mini all night last night (turned off). I turned it on today at 10 am, made one 5 minute phone call, did nothing else with the phone all day. At 10 pm, battery saver software says battery is at 42%. I am going to leave it on all night to see what happens. It appears though the standby is about 24 hours. The specs from samsung is 300 hours. If the actual function of the phone is only 10% of advertised, it essentially is not functioning. What good is a smartphone if you can't turn it on due to a dead battery? The features are neat, but not worth it if I essentially have to leave the phone plugged in, I would rather use a laptop.

    Anyways, is this normal? I turned off everything I thought I could that would not disrupt phone calls and text messages. I did not put it into airplane mode. I tried to turn off/uninstall unused programs but the phone seemed to restart a lot of services automatically. Screen brightness at lowest setting, but its not even on when I am not using it. I would do some real experiments between the two phones to better understand battery life to see if I am delusional but I have to make a decision by sunday whether to keep it or get my money back. I thought I would be able to use features of the phone but if it dies this quickly, I don't think I will even get to use them. After looking at the sprint store, this phone appears to have a longer battery life than even there basic phones, so if I return this, what do I do? I don't really want to spend more money to get the new LG or whatever. I have been looking at ebay to get another RL-4920, but they are all so old now.
    No, it`s not normal, I fully understand you why you want to return it.
    Did you use daily wifi, listening to music, chatting or any other thing that might consume your battery so quickly?
    To expand the lifetime of your gadget, go to settings and adjust the brightness, limit the access to mobile internet, maybe it works
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    I immediately put screen brightness to lowest setting when I got it because I knew that was a big drain. I have turned off wifi, however, I am now 100% certain that it automatically turns back on but I don't know why or exactly when. I have downloaded maybe 10 apps, with 4 of those being battery savers. I would consider my total wifi use since I got the phone under 1 hour (active internet searching, pandora for about 20 minutes, download of apps, updates of current apps already installed). I am not a big phone guy. I usually use a laptop. I feel reasonable computer literate, I write VBA macros, use msconfig to turn off all services in windows, used LabView to "write" some programs for work, etc... One thing I was trying to find was a way to turn of the cellular data (3G is what its called I think). I could not find anything like that in the settings where I turn off the WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, etc... So I see the 3G icon in the status bar turning every once in awhile.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    When you are at your main home screen, swipe down with one finger. The home screen will scroll off down the page and you will have the notifications page. Tap the icon in the top right corner to reveal a bunch of icons for things you can turn off and on.

    I keep Power Saving, Sound, and Screen Rotation ON, the rest OFF until i may need one. You can re-organize these so the the ones you want are in the top row, and display at the top of the home screen.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Yeah, I have the same things on, Power saving, sound, and screen Rotation. Wifi keeps turning on without input from me, which I keep turning off. I think I was able to turn off the 3G data. I went to Data Usage and unchecked Mobile Data.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobucks1234 View Post
    Yeah, I have the same things on, Power saving, sound, and screen Rotation. Wifi keeps turning on without input from me, which I keep turning off. I think I was able to turn off the 3G data. I went to Data Usage and unchecked Mobile Data.
    Sprint puts something on all their phones which automatically restarts WiFi. If you look on their forums (sprint.com) you'll see some threads about it. I hope you'll have good battery luck and enjoy whichever phone you keep or get.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk 2
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Okay, I am pretty certain the wifi is being triggered by sprint's "Connection Optimizer". I turned that off.
    I tested a movie with mxplayer that I put on for 1.5 hrs. It used up 12% of battery life (Lowest screen brightness). That seems about right.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Okay, I did a few more tests. Anyways, I have to pretty much decide tonight to keep this or go find something else.
    I found a way to turn off "mobile data" which turns off the 3G/LTE data connection as well (so everything I know to turn off except for the standard cellular connection for phone calls). Two tests in this state: home 9 hrs 4% (4-5 bars cellular) battery lost. Work 9 hrs 15% (1-2 bars cellular). Seems pretty rough.
    Nevertheless, thank you all for your help.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobucks1234 View Post
    Okay, I did a few more tests. Anyways, I have to pretty much decide tonight to keep this or go find something else.
    I found a way to turn off "mobile data" which turns off the 3G/LTE data connection as well (so everything I know to turn off except for the standard cellular connection for phone calls). Two tests in this state: home 9 hrs 4% (4-5 bars cellular) battery lost. Work 9 hrs 15% (1-2 bars cellular). Seems pretty rough.
    Nevertheless, thank you all for your help.
    Don`t forget to update us by the end of the story. I strongly believe your S4 mini will be just fine, after this adventure
  14. #14  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    I'm in just about the same boat. New to smart phone (don't really want most of the apps/features!). Had the phone since Wednesday and have noticed horrendous battery life. Tried a lot of things suggested on this forum and am monitoring daily. If I find some miraculous combination of things that works I will post here. By the way, I suspect some kind of network issues, because the biggest battery drain (32%) seems to come from cell standby. Yesterday I let the battery run almost to nothing to see what would happen--below is the battery status just before I charged. By the way, I did almost nothing on the phone for the 18+ hours... made a couple short calls, sent a few texts. I realized some automatic updates were on so I turned those off. But it is frustrating that there are so many variables to consider and so much the phone does "behind your back."

    Mostly I need my phone because I'm on call, so I can't afford to have it run out of battery. Maybe this isn't the phone for me...

    1 day 9 hr. 15 min 32 s on battery
    cell standby 32
    screen 25
    device idle 14
    android os 13
    android system 4
    phone 4
    system ui 2
    connections optimizer 2
    google services 2

    at 7 percent at 7:41 p.m.
    100 percent 10:27 p.m.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Audrey K View Post
    I'm in just about the same boat. New to smart phone (don't really want most of the apps/features!). Had the phone since Wednesday and have noticed horrendous battery life. Tried a lot of things suggested on this forum and am monitoring daily. If I find some miraculous combination of things that works I will post here. By the way, I suspect some kind of network issues, because the biggest battery drain (32%) seems to come from cell standby. Yesterday I let the battery run almost to nothing to see what would happen--below is the battery status just before I charged. By the way, I did almost nothing on the phone for the 18+ hours... made a couple short calls, sent a few texts. I realized some automatic updates were on so I turned those off. But it is frustrating that there are so many variables to consider and so much the phone does "behind your back."

    Mostly I need my phone because I'm on call, so I can't afford to have it run out of battery. Maybe this isn't the phone for me...

    1 day 9 hr. 15 min 32 s on battery
    cell standby 32
    screen 25
    device idle 14
    android os 13
    android system 4
    phone 4
    system ui 2
    connections optimizer 2
    google services 2

    at 7 percent at 7:41 p.m.
    100 percent 10:27 p.m.
    May I suggest to try using your Mini one week with its stock battery and the other week with an external battery? In my case, I sensed the difference, the external type is more powerful, it will help you get rid of one headache.
    Concerning the apps doing their jobs behind your back, some can be turn off from your settings and others are a lost cause. They behave like this on every Android based gadget, probably on iPhone too
    Thanked by:
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Okay, So here is what I did. I downloaded power toggles. I put the power toggles widget on the home panel. I included WiFi on off, Mobile Data on off, GPS on off, Settings button (I customized this app so it appears as if it is part of the phone OS, very nice). This has been the best, most useful app I have found.Turning off mobile data and having a good signal appears to dramatically improve life of the phone.

    I was looking for an alternative to this phone (cost/features/etc.. benefit). There are some phones like the Nokia 105 (bare bones phone, >month standby, for India China) and others that appear to do what I would ideally like but I can't use them with sprint. This means I would have to switch to Net10 or some other discount provider, however this change for me, is not as simple as I would like. So kinda stuck with this phone and sprint.

    So far I would give the phone overall 1 star out of 5 for what it should be (I believe all other sprint phones would get this rating for me (this might be a great phone compared to other smartphones)), much of it to do with android OS. I am trying to get it into USB mass storage right now and that feature appears to be missing (seriously?). I think we just have to accept that these phones are poorly designed with poor user interfaces, and very poor management of power along with companies fraudulently listing specs. I would love to see the standard protocols that Samsung, other companies are using to determine standby time.

    As for the battery, not much we can do. The only thing I have found is Ankers 15000 mAh backup power supply, which I might get for trips, camping etc...
  17. #17  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobucks1234 View Post
    Okay, So here is what I did. I downloaded power toggles. I put the power toggles widget on the home panel. I included WiFi on off, Mobile Data on off, GPS on off, Settings button (I customized this app so it appears as if it is part of the phone OS, very nice). This has been the best, most useful app I have found.Turning off mobile data and having a good signal appears to dramatically improve life of the phone.

    I was looking for an alternative to this phone (cost/features/etc.. benefit). There are some phones like the Nokia 105 (bare bones phone, >month standby, for India China) and others that appear to do what I would ideally like but I can't use them with sprint. This means I would have to switch to Net10 or some other discount provider, however this change for me, is not as simple as I would like. So kinda stuck with this phone and sprint.

    So far I would give the phone overall 1 star out of 5 for what it should be (I believe all other sprint phones would get this rating for me (this might be a great phone compared to other smartphones)), much of it to do with android OS. I am trying to get it into USB mass storage right now and that feature appears to be missing (seriously?). I think we just have to accept that these phones are poorly designed with poor user interfaces, and very poor management of power along with companies fraudulently listing specs. I would love to see the standard protocols that Samsung, other companies are using to determine standby time.

    As for the battery, not much we can do. The only thing I have found is Ankers 15000 mAh backup power supply, which I might get for trips, camping etc...
    I think I would try this app, to see how it works, from your description looks great
    Ankers is ok for the beginning, currently I`m using Zerolemon, after a bad experience with this brand and Hyperion
  18. #18  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Here's an update two days later: I seem to have solved the problem. After completely draining the battery in less than 24 hours while doing virtually nothing on the phone and with mobile data off for most of the time, I recharged. Then I went to settings>more networks>mobile networks>network mode and set to CDMA only. In the 24 hours since, I have lost only about 15 percent of the battery. I can live with that. Hopefully this will help others!
    Thanked by:
  19. #19  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Audrey K View Post
    Here's an update two days later: I seem to have solved the problem. After completely draining the battery in less than 24 hours while doing virtually nothing on the phone and with mobile data off for most of the time, I recharged. Then I went to settings>more networks>mobile networks>network mode and set to CDMA only. In the 24 hours since, I have lost only about 15 percent of the battery. I can live with that. Hopefully this will help others!
    Thanks for the update! Naturally, customers facing this problem at a certain time would know this little step make the magic
  20. #20  

    Default Re: New to smartphone - May return $400 S4 mini to sprint

    A couple things here. The best battery Samsung phones are predictably the Note 3 and the Mega due to their huge batteries. Sprint Connection Optimizer will scan and force wifi back on if the phone is not in Airplane mode, this is because wifi data still uses less power than cellular data. Disabling 4G typically improves battery for the same reason disabling 3g used to improve battery. Faster methods use more power to remain stable. Disabling the phone radio works well if your Sprint account is mated with a Google Voice account, when wifi is available you can set Airplane then turn wifi only back on. Calls come in via Voice and your battery life is saved.

    Do not expect any smart phone to last more than two days of reasonable use, a couple hours screen time per day and maybe an hour of calls. Anything longer is a blessing or a reward for micro management. Keep a top-up cable near your work area if you cannot set it to Airplane.

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