1. 13brv3's Avatar
    (I changed the subject line after determining that the problem was with BT interference. Hopefully it will help with future searches)



    Greetings,

    I've been struggling with battery life on the previous S2, and sadly, the S3 isn't any better. The only way I could ever get through a whole waking day of very limited use would be to keep my phone with me at all times, so the watch never loses BT connection. This of course defeats the entire purpose of having the watch.

    Of course, I've tried all the usual suggestions to improve battery life, but the real problem seems to be the power it takes to communicate when BT is lost. Unfortunately, BT range is soooooo limited that if I walk into the next room it drops. During the day, I spend some time in an area where the connection is on the borderline, so it drops, reconnects, drops, etc, and I'm sure this is consuming a lot of battery.

    I've tried leaving the cellular "always on", because someone mentioned that it takes a lot less power to maintain it than to make the connection initially. Unfortunately, that turned out to use even more battery power.

    The main question (for anyone who's still reading <g>) is about WiFi communications. Should the watch be able to communicate directly to the phone if they're on the same WiFi, or does it always have to go out through internet then back to the phone? I've noticed that it first connects to WiFi, then even though it can make a connection, it also turns on the cellular, which makes no sense to me.

    Thanks,
    Rusty
    12-21-2016 10:54 AM
  2. daves221's Avatar
    Can't answer your question but I never have a battery issue and get really good BT range (sometimes I can't believe how good the range is) .. just head's up in case something's not right with your setup.
    12-21-2016 11:54 AM
  3. 13brv3's Avatar
    That's the really odd thing about it. Some people seem to have pretty good battery life, and others don't. My S2 made it through a normal day pretty easily at the house we were in last year, but the living room was literally on the other side of the wall from my office where the phone was. This house has two walls between the office and living room, and that seems to just be too much for BT.

    Rusty
    12-21-2016 01:09 PM
  4. daves221's Avatar
    Which phone?
    12-21-2016 05:51 PM
  5. 13brv3's Avatar
    Which phone?
    Galaxy S7. I had 3 different phones over the course of using the Gear S2 watch, and I never noticed any difference in BT range when changing phones. I joke that BT is line-of-sight, assuming you're nearsighted :-)

    I tried experimenting this afternoon, and best I can tell, wifi doesn't do much for me. Anytime it loses BT, it goes to wifi and also cellular. If you turn off the cellular connection, then it goes to wifi and just doesn't seem to sync to the phone. I was really hoping it would have the same functionality on the local wif as it does with BT, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Rusty
    12-21-2016 07:36 PM
  6. afblangley's Avatar
    Maybe your watch is defective. Can you exchange it? I never use BT, my watch makes it through the whole day in standalone mode with AOD.

    Do you have GPS running in the background? Are you using 3rd party watchfaces? I'm trying to think of other reasons why the battery would burn more than 4% per hour...
    12-22-2016 12:40 PM
  7. 13brv3's Avatar
    I suppose the watch could be defective, but it is better than the S2 was, though not by much. The S3 battery isn't that much bigger, and of course there's a larger display and faster CPU, so I wouldn't expect the S3 to be all that much better in battery life. I ordered it directly from the Samsung site, so it might be worth asking them where the other 3 days of my battery life is :-)

    As for usage, I have the cellular link set to auto, BT is on, WiFi is off. The GPS is set to location off and I don't see any other way to limit it. AOD is on at a setting of 4 and autodim. The arm gesture option is on. The display is one of the free displays with simple white writing on a black background.

    The only apps I added were the timer and stopwatch, which I think were both installed by default on the S2. I have uninstalled every app that it will let me remove, which isn't nearly enough. I have zero use for S-Health, Samsung Pay, or many of the other apps they won't let you remove. I've throttled them back as much as possible, but the battery useage screen continues to show usage for S-Health, despite having all of it's features turned off. I did just turn off the altimeter/barometer, which I think was installed by default.

    Is there a way (maybe another app) to show more detailed battery useage? The screen on the phone only shows apps, and doesn't break down the items like BT, WiFi, cellular, and GPS.

    One other note is about overheating and cooling. Has anyone else seen their watch overheat? The S2 used to get very noticeably warm when it was searching for signal. The very first day I had the S3 it actually showed a screen that said the watch was overheating, and it appears to go into airplane mode. A few minutes later, it shows another screen that says the watch is cooled enough to go back to normal. I've seen that a number of times when on the border of BT range. Has anyone else seen that?

    Thanks,
    Rusty
    12-22-2016 06:14 PM
  8. Green Samot's Avatar
    I have an s7 edge and the frontier. My watch lost 4% battery at night over a 6 hour period. It's not far off that in the day when in use.
    It's rare it loses connection to the phone. Range around my home is great. Going upstairs etc doesn't result in a loss in connection.
    12-22-2016 07:01 PM
  9. 13brv3's Avatar
    I have an s7 edge and the frontier. My watch lost 4% battery at night over a 6 hour period. It's not far off that in the day when in use.
    It's rare it loses connection to the phone. Range around my home is great. Going upstairs etc doesn't result in a loss in connection.
    Wow! I can only dream of such performance. I'm at 52% now after 13 hours of very limited use, and almost entirely in range of BT. If I go in the living room (where the BT kicks in and out) and watch TV a couple hours, I'll be lucky to be at 20% by the time I go to bed.

    Thanks,
    Rusty
    12-22-2016 07:25 PM
  10. daves221's Avatar
    How is the cellular service where you are?I wonder whether it is weak and the watch is trying to compensate and chewing up your battery? My non LTE never comes close to overheating. And I don't have to jump through all those hoops to save battery. Normally moderate use with aod on, and will be at 50% by end of day.

    When you say free watch face, do you mean preloaded? Try a pre loaded with mostly black dial (vs free but downloaded).

    Something's not right and I'd put money on that cell radio.
    12-22-2016 08:55 PM
  11. 13brv3's Avatar
    I think the watch face was one of the original choices- Simple Digital Dark. I might try the most basic face as a test, but I'd sell the watch if I couldn't use a face that has the info I want on it.

    As for signal strength of the cellular, you have an interesting thought. The 3G (voice) signal at this house is nearly unusable, but the 4G LTE is quite good. I actually work from home using the 4G for internet, and even though it worked pretty well, I added a whole house amplifier. The amp is always on, and it does a great job for voice and data if you're in front of an inside antenna, and an acceptable job otherwise. Of course not much can be done about the cell signal other than what I've already done, so it is what it is as they say.

    What might really help is if the phone would sync to the watch over wifi as it does on BT, but best I can tell it does not.

    Cheers,
    Rusty
    12-22-2016 09:38 PM
  12. daves221's Avatar
    I'm not sure how the s3 LTE radio works vs WiFi but if your phone had service and your watch has wifi it should be able to sync and why would it matter whether that ended up being local or not?

    Interesting experiment write be to turn off your local LTE amp and see if that helps your watch. Again I don't know how they LTE radio is working but what if your watch sees both the real LTE signal and your local amp and spends time switching between the two, or CPU deciding what to do.
    12-22-2016 10:03 PM
  13. 13brv3's Avatar
    I've done a few experiments, and the only thing that's come out of it so far is increasing my BT range. I have some RF experience, and I know that it's really not a good idea to put wireless devices near each other if you can help it. I've always kept the phone on the desk with all the other various wireless gizmos, and I've been amazed at how well this generally works. I guess BT is the least robust of the wireless technologies, because I was able to move the phone just one foot over on the desk and get measurably better range. I can move it 6 feet over to the next table in the room and I can stay connected via BT anywhere in the house.

    I'll leave the phone over on the other table for a couple days and see what that does to the battery life. I'm sure it's going to be an improvement, and hopefully it will be a big one.

    Cheers,
    Rusty
    12-24-2016 04:36 PM
  14. daves221's Avatar
    With my note 5 and frontier, I can go to different floors in my house (wood frame) and still have BT connection .. odd .. I am really impressed with the BT range of the watch because usually BT is 3 meters for me or a bit better (I've gotten up to double) .. Of course it has to do with they phone too, but thought I would share this example
    12-24-2016 05:33 PM
  15. 13brv3's Avatar
    As a final update, I'm happy to report that my battery life is greatly improved. Over the past two days, I've only lost connection to BT once briefly inside the house, and my battery usage has dropped to 2.1 % per hour. It's really nice to be able to put it on the charger at the end of a normal day with mid 60% battery remaining.

    To summarize, it appears that BT battery usage goes up significantly when the connection is strained due to interference from nearby RF devices.

    Cheers,
    Rusty
    12-27-2016 09:23 AM
  16. daves221's Avatar
    That's great!
    12-27-2016 10:41 AM

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