New Incredible Battery Life Sticky: Please Contribute
This thread will supersede this thread, which was formerly stickied. I'm trying to consolidate battery life recommendations into a single thread, that weeds out the complaints and other side conversations that have occurred. Not that either are bad, but I'd like to make it easier for members to quickly find the explanations and tips they are looking for without having to read through pages of posts.
That said, I would like to solicit everyone's help
1. Please read through what I've written below. Feel free to PM me with any statements I've made that you feel are inaccurate. Again, please use private messaging to let me know.
2. If you have a *proven* battery saving tip based on personal experience, that you think would be helpful to someone reading this thread, please post it here. Include a detailed description of the tip and any supporting information as to why you believe it saves on battery life. If there are negative side affects or loss of functionality due to implementation of your tip, please list that as well.
Any posts that do not meet this criteria (questions or complaints about battery life) will be deleted. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just want to keep this thread clean and useful.
Battery life. It’s one of the most discussed topics in the Incredible forums. Most members would agree that battery life on this phone is not stellar. Is it result of defective hardware, the OS, network connectivity, Sense UI, or other 3rd party apps? Instinctively (particularly if you’re new to the world of Smartphone’s) the rapid depletion in battery life - even with light to moderate usage - might lead you to believe the Incredible has major problems in this area and HTC had better do something to fix it.
I’m of the belief that there are always areas of improvements in how each of the above variables affects battery life. For example, there could be future ROM update that enhances OS efficiency, task management, or the UI HTC's provided via Sense. But truth be told the real culprit is that battery technology and capacity have not evolved as rapidly as the power and functionality in Smartphone’s like the Incredible. I will add one caveat: HTC, for whatever reason, decided to deviate from their other recent smartphone offerings that standardized on form factor and a rating of 1500mAh capacity. I can't explain why they chose to downgrade the Incredible battery to 1300mAh, when the 1500mAh battery fits perfectly and provides an increase of 200mAh.
That aside, in terms of energy usage, cars are very similar to our smartphones. I own an Audi S4. It has a powerful 352HP V8 engine. I absolutely love the extra power this car provides. It’s fun to drive, and provides all the features I’m looking for in a car. However, the 352HP engine comes at a price. It sucks gas like nobody’s business (I rarely drive it anyway), and like the EVO requires a source of energy to function. The S4’s source of energy is stored in a 14-gallon gas tank in the rear of the car. If I push the car to it’s full potential – I get approximately 10 miles per gallon. My buddy owns an A4 and his 4 cylinder engine averages twice the number of miles per gallon, and has the same size gas tank. Smartphone’s aren’t any different.
That said here are some of the most common items (based on my unscientific tests of various Smartphone’s) that are the highest consumers of battery life. Most are manageable from a user perspective, some are not. I’ve left out the most obvious one of all – extended voice call activity. Just remember there is a trade off between performance/features and the amount of power you’re willing to devote to each.
- 3G connectivity/activity by streaming audio/video apps, web browsing, instant messaging apps, and apps that poll the network at regular intervals for updates (Facebook, RSS readers, Friendstream, etc).
See those little white arrows at the top of your screen? When they are light grey in color, network utilization is zero. Contrary, when they are solid white, network usage is occurring. If they are constantly white (as they would be when streaming radio for example) battery consumption is at it’s highest.
- Bright backlight settings: Regardless of backlight settings, the screen is still a major power consumer. Having said that, slight changes in backlight settings can make a dramatic difference in battery consumption. I would recommend avoiding the very brightest setting. My preferred setting is to let Android manage screen brightness, while others have manually enforced a constant low to medium brightness level. The latter will have the greatest positive affect on battery life.
- High CPU, backlight, and network usage by graphics intensive and/or poorly written applications: Graphics intensive programs often consume large amounts of CPU power and RAM, which translates into high battery consumption. Combine this with a network intensive streaming media application; the Incredible is sucking the life from the battery at an extremely high rate (remember it only has 1300mAh per charge available at best). Applications that were not designed for the Incredible or are buggy in nature might causing the Incredible's CPU to be working excessively hard. If your Incredible is warm to the touch and running particularly slow, there’s a chance that a 3rd party app is to blame.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth sucks down power. I’ve experienced this on every phone I’ve ever used. The Incredible is no exception. Turn it off when not in use.
- GPS: Like Bluetooth, it consume large amounts of energy while updating coordinates and communicating with satellites orbiting the earth. Combined with turn-by-turn directions and an always-on backlight, in order to see the maps guiding your way, you’re pushing battery consumption to the limits. I often read posts from people who are using the Incredible as a full time GPS device in the car. One common complaint from these users is that USB chargers are only maintaining the current battery level – or worse – when GPS is in use. Since the Incredible limits USB host connections to 500mAh of power input, this is a good indicator of how much GPS consumes. In other words, 500mAh of continuous power to the Incredible is not enough to charge and take advantage of GPS/turn by turn directions at the same time.
- Signal Strength: Whether 3G or WiFi, week signal strength can affect battery life.
- CPU/Memory: I often read posts from members who have most of the above features disabled. Yet they still report warm to the touch Incredible's and unusually poor battery life (3-4 hours per charge). In my experience, this is usually caused by 3rd party CPU intensive applications. Many people reach for the nearest task manager. Others can’t imagine which application they’ve installed that would cause such an issue. Regardless, if you reach to other forum members for assistance, please provide the following information that varies from the out of box configuration of the phone:
o Task managers in use (I believe these cause more harm than good – but there’s a totally different sticky devoted to that).
o A list of all 3rd party applications (including battery percentage widgets & instant messaging applications)
o Update frequency settings for each application in settings > accounts & sync.
o Detailed information from settings > about phone > battery use
o GTalk auto sign in settings
o 3G data arrow activity (frequent solid white arrows?)
o Email configuration (update frequency for Exchange, IMAP, Gmail, POP)
o Type of charger being used (OEM vs. 3rd party) & input/output specs.
o HTC Widgets in use.
The best but least practical solution to battery consumption is to disable every single feature possible that this phone has to offer. My recommendation is to find a balance that works best for you and come to the terms that the attributes that make the Incredible one of the best converged devices available requires increased energy & negatively impacts battery life. This amount of energy available in a fully charged OEM battery is 1300mAh. This is not a design flaw. Instead, it’s the reality of battery technology competing against consumers demand for bigger, faster, and more feature rich devices.
- 06-20-2010, 07:20 PM #3
Someone should probaly explain bump charging in detail, but here's how to do it.
Charge your Incredible to max (green light).
Unplug the phone and then turn it off.
Plug it back in (should have an orange light now) and charge it to max again.
Unplug the phone and turn it on. Wait for it to boot up.
Turn the phone off and then plug it back in (should be an orange light again).
Charge it to full (green light) again.
Repeat this process until the light is green immediately upon plugging it back in.
- 06-21-2010, 09:46 AM #4
I cannot take credit for this as I found it on one of the forums, but if you go to
Settings > wireless and networks > mobile network settings You want to uncheck "Enable always on Mobile D".
In my experience, you still get all of your e-mails, texts and phone calls, they may be just a little delayed.
Since I've done this, I've noticed a huge gain in battery life.
- 06-21-2010, 10:42 AM #5
- 06-21-2010, 11:40 AM #6
- 06-21-2010, 03:33 PM #7
Also, like I said in my first post:Please read through what I've written below. Feel free to PM me with any statements I've made that you feel are inaccurate. Again, please use private messaging to let me know.
- 06-21-2010, 11:11 PM #9
- 06-22-2010, 12:35 AM #10
- 56 Posts
Twelve Hours And Counting
After watching my1300 mAh battery life just disappear before my eyes when I first got my phone, I tried some of the suggestions offered on the forums to lengthen battery life. These days, I can count on getting through an entire day on one charge with average use. That means with making phone calls, checking e-mail and all the news sites I like to check during the day, I have no problem getting through the day with one charge. Today, I went off the charge at 8:30a. I've used my phone exactly how I wanted to use it all day and, at 11:59p, I still have 57% of my charge left. That's with using a live wallpaper, too.
Besides unchecking the mobile network, what else has worked for me is leaving my wireless network on. That's right, on. Seems counterintuitive, but it works. Wi-Fi uses a lot less of the battery than 3G. It helps with battery drain even when I am not in range of a wireless network. I have also set my screen timeout to 1 minute and I have my phone on auto brightness.
I carry my charger with me, but the only times I have had to charge during the day are when I use Google Nav or I access the internet on 3G for hours at a time.
- 06-22-2010, 12:26 PM #11
- 626 Posts
- Standard 4.1 Jellybean
This is basically something that I have noticed and others have as well. As of now, the Incredible doesn't run off of external power when the battery is fully charged; it immediately switches to battery even though it's still plugged in.
The tip is this... If you charge overnight, or if you are using the GPS on a long trip and the battery is fully charged, you will have to remember to unplug the charger, let the battery sensor zero in on the actual charge left, then plug back in the charger. This isn't really "topping off", it's just recharging what the phone used when it should've been running on external power. I know many know the "bump" procedure, but this is WHY the bump procedure is needed most of the time.
I notified HTC and they agree this should not be happening. They are forwarding the issue to their engineers for testing.
- 06-23-2010, 03:11 PM #12
- 06-24-2010, 09:12 AM #13
- 06-24-2010, 10:35 AM #14
I tried this yesterday morning and was extremely pleased with the results. Normally I need to recharge my phone by early evening, if I don't use it a lot I'd have to recharge by 7 or 8 in the evening. Last night at 11pm the battery was over 25% - best ever. And this was after heavier use than usual - including some streaming World Cup action!
Cory - feel free to delete this post if you feel it doesn't meet your guidelines.
- 06-24-2010, 11:02 AM #15
- 11 Posts
I bought two generic 1500 mAh batteries and charger off ebay for $10. So far (three cycles on each), I've been very happy with them and I think my experience with them, using the charger (which charges the battery out of the phone) confirms CRKhead's theory posted above.
Powering off the phone, I put in a wall charged generic battery and attached my USB charger. I then powered up the phone and the charging indicator stayed green -- no reversion to red.
After about an hour of use (emails and light internet), I was at 95%. Normally (no bump charge) I would drop 10-20% in that first hour with similar use. (Bump charging would reduce that to 5-10% for me).
I'm not sure this would work out the same way for others, but for me, bump charging helped, but the external charger and 1500mAh battery helped even more and got me to the point where I do not need to "recharge" during the day (unless I use extensive GPS or hours of 3G data).
- 06-29-2010, 10:08 PM #16
One thing I noticed that was a huge suck of battery life, and kept my DInc from charging in the car was the Car Dock app. Ive tried both the HTC Car Pannel and the Car Dock app from the market place. When using either of these with GPS Nav and BT speakerphone my Dinc would slowly loose battery even while plugged into the car charger.
However, if I just used the Navigation app alone and then hit the Home button to get to the phone or voice dial, my charge would increase while using it.
I use my phone a lot through the day. Im in the car about 2 hrs a day driving between sites. I use the Nav often and make tons of calls while driving on the speakerphone. I also use the Wi-Fi and several network discovery / Wi-Fi discovery apps as well as the internet and e-mail while on site.
I admit Im a zealot when it comes to only turning the radios on and off as I need them, but when I was using either of the Car Dock apps I would be at 20% Battery by the time I got home at 8:00. Without using the Car dock apps Im still at roughly 80% and its 10:00.
Hope this helps.
BTW, Im using the stock battery and the plain Jane VZW car charger. I have only bump charged once (and it did make a big difference).
- 07-01-2010, 05:40 PM #17
Ok I have to say I thought that Kareden was full of it when I read this post earlier and I have to say that the advice below is absolutely right. Phone has been off the charger for over 6 hours with a fair amount of use, checking and posting on Facebook/twitter, web-pages, e-mails, lots of texts, couple of phone calls, and spending some time customizing my homescreens and I still have 75% of my battery, much better than normal for the stock battery. Impressive, thanks for the help.
- 07-03-2010, 11:43 PM #18
- 07-13-2010, 04:29 PM #20
- 9 Posts
On the phone part, I use "Advanced App Killer" and it seems to help. I just kill everything right before I put the phone back in my pocket. Still need to try bump charging, haven't had the time yet. Any other apps out there that you guys use that helps?
- 07-14-2010, 03:38 AM #21
- 3 Posts
Ok, I started trying the bump charging process after reading and learning how to perform the process yesterday. I cannot seem to get it to give me the green light immediately after powering down and plugging the charger back in. I tried the bump charge process from about 4pm until midnight yesterday, and again this evening while at work, from about 7pm until 11pm. Still not able to obtain green light upon immediate plug in. Utilizing the stock battery.
All of that said, it did seem to make a huge difference for me, as I was testing last night.. tried running the charge into the red, was downloading apps, surfing forums, checking email, txting, etc. I always have my WiFi on and Bluetooth enabled. Seemed to help immensly.
I'm now at the point I am going to try running without a task killer, keep trying to bump charge until I - hopefully - obtain the green light after power off and plug in, and see how things go..
Would love not having to purchase an extended life battery..
Anyway, my 2 cents.. probably nothing that new added to the thread, but wanted to contribute. Any ideas why I'm not getting the green light on power down/plug in? I've repeated that part of the process more times than I want to remember, and still no green light.
- 07-16-2010, 10:18 AM #22
- 4 Posts
I don't care for my Incredible's battery life, but I also don't care to tweak settings and disable features to extend it's life. I found on eBay a pair of cheap batteries and external charger for CHEAP ($16). I carry a spare battery and swap batteries if power fades when I'm away from the charger. The cheap batteries only last about half as long as the OEM, but did I mention they are CHEAP? So far I've been able to make it through the day on two batteries and have never used the 3rd. WiFi and bluetooth on all the time because I don't care. I have a spare battery in my pocket.
One note on carrying a spare battery. Carry it in a plastic pouch. If it shorts out against your keys it will give a whole new meaning to "pants on the ground."
- 07-17-2010, 02:13 PM #23
- 9 Posts
This is probably a no brainer, but I am from Arizona and recently was away in Ohio. While away I noticed that my battery life was worse than before and I couldn't figure out what I was doing on my phone that was using so much. I updated my roaming by dialing *228 and pressing 2 when it prompts you. This greatly increased my service, speeding it up, and my phone seems to last longer since I updated. I will have to update when I get back to Arizona, as this seems to make a difference.
- 07-18-2010, 11:36 AM #24
- 2 Posts
this is the best tool i have found to diagnose battery usage issues. it's a tiny cpu monitor that runs in the task bar. it has four bars that scroll left to right. i have it set to poll every 3 seconds, so with that i have the past 12 seconds of cpu activity available. with this you can learn exactly what processes are using the most battery WHILE IT IS HAPPENING, not after the fact.
usually when you close an app or hit the home screen, the cpu activity will spike for a few seconds and then settle. if it stays at 100% and wont go down, you can either hit your task killer button or use something like OSMonitor to see exactly which process or app is sucking up the juice. i've noticed the gallery app from the nexus one will use 100% of the cpu when i remove and reinstall my SD card (i assume it's refreshing its database or whatever). i can kill it, but everytime i turn my screen on it tries again. so i just plug my phone in and let it go to town.
one thing i have noticed is that when i turn my screen on, CPUmonitormini will appear to indicate that the cpu has been at 25% with the screen off. i'm pretty sure this is not the case, and it immediately goes to 0% (no bar) with the screen on.
sorry, long post, but you get the idea. and i know someone is going to ask so no, this app (when set to poll every 3 seconds) does not use a lot of battery (which would be quite ironic). i've gone from full to 20% at 2:00pm to having about 30% left at bedtime simply by keeping an eye on my cpu activity, and i am a heavy user of the crackternet.
- 07-19-2010, 11:50 AM #25
1. Disabling "always on mobile network" DOES NOT delay delivery of your emails if you are on an Exchange server, nor delivery of Gmail (at least using the Gmail app -- I can't speak delivery of Gmail via the Mail app). And it does make an appreciable difference in battery life. It does interfere with syncing of things like the Facebook and Friendstream widgets, but I personally don't give a crap if I have to manually refresh those. It also interferes with syncing of things like the Sense weather widget and the Genie News Widget, if you use those.
Edit: forgot, one thing that it does interfere with on the Mail and Gmail apps is syncing your "read" items, so if you read your new items on your computer, you have to access the app to have it sync the "read" (or deleted) status.
2. I've been experimenting with the bump charge technique. I've done it since I got this phone in May. I get better results with only a single "freshen up" charge, rather than multiple "until it comes on green" charges. So basically, I charge overnight, then in the morning, I turn it off, plug it back in for 20-25 minutes, and stop there. I get about 25% more up-time out of the battery (Seidio 1750 battery) using this method rather than unplugging, replugging an additional 2-3 times. I'm not an electrical engineer, so I don't know why additional charging would lead to a decreased charge, but that seems to be happening with my Seidio battery.
3. Advanced Task Killer is wonderful, as would be any task killer that prevents data-using apps from running in the background.