The so called Nexus 4 battery woes

peejay1977

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Ok, thought I'd start a new thread on this, not for people to complain about battery life but to discuss maturely the possible causes of battery drains. I'm no Android expert, in fact the Nexus 4 is my first Android phone (previously Blackberries and iPhones), but I am in the world of IT so I like to think at least I have a logical mindset for this sort of thing.

First off, I'm of the opinion (until I'm proved otherwise) that with the exception of a few defective units which is inevitable, that the majority of the battery issues are software not hardware related. I've had battery drain issues on the iPhone and Blackberry in the past and it's always been down to software issues.

One observation I have made, is that alot of people seem to be comparing the Nexus to iPhones stating things such as "My iPhone never drained this bad, what a farce Google, sort it out" and similar. I like to liken Android vs iOS in the same way as I do Linux vs Windows.

I work in Windows Server infrastructure support and although Windows is configurable to a degree my brief look into Linux shows the power of what can be done, if you know how. Much more freedom available, but with that comes more chance of issues creeping in.

This is what drew me to Android, as much as I loved my iPhone (and still do) as a self confessed nerd I dislike being prevented from having choice, such as my default browser, but while this annoys me it's also worth noting that iOS is specific OS for specific hardware, which means the chances of issues is "probably" much less than with a more open source OS.

With the options Android gives app developers its no wonder that sometimes the combination of all these apps, all asking for a slice of the pie (so to speak) causes issues with conflicting processes or battery drains.

I got my Nexus, immediately performed the OTA 4.2.1 update, unlocked the bootloader and rooted it, then proceeded to pile on a lorry load of apps which I used to run on my iPhone, then plonked Nova launcher over the top. It then became apparent just how many settings each app had, which weren't being restricted and vetted by the underlying OS.

My battery life was awful, even with NFC off, auto brightness, WIFI off and Google syncing off I was down to 30% left within 8 hours and VERY minimal use. My initial reaction was to complain and write off the phone as a bad device (especially with the hassles of ordering it) but then the geek in me cut in and I started to monitor the usage. First thing I noticed was how long the phone was being "Held awake" and also how high the Maps usage was. It wasn't super high (sub 10%) but it seemed high considering I hadn't been using anything that required location services other than Facebook and Google+. I even turned off all the Google Now stuff so it wasn't constantly looking for my location to offer up helpful cards.

I decided it would be a good idea, and this was my IT head coming into play, to do what I would do with a badly running laptop or server, reinstall everything. So I downloaded the full 4.2.1 image from Google and using Defmouze's instructions for ADB, wiped and reflashed the phone.

I then signed back into my Google account and sync'd everything back and proceeded to install the apps I needed most, after installing each I made sure if they had any auto update settings they were either set to minimal or turned off completely. I then noticed in the Maps application this setting :

batt5.png


The 2 options at the top puzzled me as they both seemed to mean the same thing, just worded differently. I left the top option as it was but turned off the bottom one, apps can still locate me and my location is still working in the Maps app itself so not sure exactly what "stuff" needed this to work, I had a weather app which was updating my location every 6 hours fine so maybe it's uploading to Google? Who knows.

Since the reflash and this app setting I am getting 16-18 hours out of the phone, with approx 3-4 hours of screen time, which for a quad core phone with a sizeable screen I think is perfectly acceptable.

Not sure if there is an underlying point to this thread but it seems to me people are giving up very easilly on the phone and writing it off as a bad device instead of actually taking a look at the underlying root cause. If you have everything turned on and constantly communicating then you are going to dent battery life.

Comparing it to other phones, especially ones with modded versions of Android (Samsung or HTC for instance) is unfair as this is both a vanilla OS and also, it's new.

Give it a chance folks, if you want a phone you can install apps willy nilly and be safe in the knowledge that the OS will prevent them from draining the battery, get an iOS device.
 

Incrediboy

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I think this is a reasonable assessment, multitasking is great... but it does chew on the battery.

Beware of task killers as they appear to chew on the battery as the applications and killers vie for dominance...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
 

V-Tech

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Great thread!

This is no different than any other thing we do with computers. People buy computers and load them with tons of programs that run in the background 24/7 and then dont understand why the computer works so slow and it takes forever to load anything.

Everything has a "price". If you want all the functions ON and tons of apps running you should know that it takes energy and your battery will die quickly.
 

Citizen Coyote

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Great, well-written post. I'm not going to say that every person complaining of bad battery life is mistaken or wrong as there are undoubtedly some lemons out there given the popularity of the phone (and will be true of any phone). I do feel that some posters have an unreasonable idea of what battery life should be like, and are equating overuse (borne from excitement or necessity) with terrible hardware. It's entirely possible and likely that 4.2 has bugs that need to be worked out, and we'll see updates that hopefully minimize conflicts between software and hardware that result in abnormal battery drain. In the meantime, we just need to put on our geek hats and trouble shoot until we find the culprit.
 

anon(847090)

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also wanted to add a point that if you see media server on the battery stat. its because of bad/corrupted music file on your phone.
i had that problem where it took 70% of battery then i fixed it. I believe. i need to wait and see one more day.
 
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I am now thinking that not too many programs are really optimized to use JB yet, even though they do work on JB, I think many of these programs are more like alpha/beta programs but not really release programs. and yes they aren't ready to take or use JB properly.
 

digitalslacker

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I am now thinking that not too many programs are really optimized to use JB yet, even though they do work on JB, I think many of these programs are more like alpha/beta programs but not really release programs. and yes they aren't ready to take or use JB properly.

JB was released back in June. They aren't alpha or beta at all.

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 2
 

V-Tech

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I am now thinking that not too many programs are really optimized to use JB yet, even though they do work on JB, I think many of these programs are more like alpha/beta programs but not really release programs. and yes they aren't ready to take or use JB properly.

JB was released in June (6 months ago) and i believe that the major apps that's releases by big companies are compatible with JB.

Take Whatsapp for example, it was last updated on today actually so i'm sure they worked the JB issues if they had any.

The other smaller apps that's made by private developers are problems not 100% compatible yet.
 

peejay1977

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I think there will be another OTA release soon, the camera software is in need of a tweak, the flash is way too powerful and the white balance detection indoors is shocking, but I'm confident it's again software not hardware, it'll come in time :)
 
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Google bought out Snapseed which I seen a review of the app on another sight and it is wonderful and free for now. That could really help tweak some aspects of picture from N4.
 

dbareis

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My battery life has decreased a lot since upgrading my Samsung Galaxy Nexus to 4.2 (and 4.2.1). I think there are some OS issue and possibly some apps that need to be updated, if the latter Google needs to work much closer with developers to point out possible compatibility issues in their upcoming OS.
 

D3lit3

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I have been getting FANTASTIC battery life with Juicedefender installed. It made a drastic difference and I can actually get through a day of heavy use now. Highly recommended.
 

KwietStorm

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also wanted to add a point that if you see media server on the battery stat. its because of bad/corrupted music file on your phone.
i had that problem where it took 70% of battery then i fixed it. I believe. i need to wait and see one more day.

And what exactly was the fix?
 

jian9007

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Ok insert my foot in mouth, so most programs should be compatible, but I was just hoping that could be why the major drain.

You're not entirely wrong about some compatibility issues as even though Jelly Bean has been out for awhile, that was version 4.1. With the Nexus 4, it has the fresh 4.2.1 build. Some apps had to be updated for that. As for power issues, my Nexus 4 is running well so far. However, when I first got the Nexus 7, I had major power suck that ended up being from the Google Play apps such as Play Books, Play Magazines, etc (after shutting them down it helped, and you could see the high % drain in the battery stats when they were running). After they pushed out an update, the apps no longer drained my battery. Other than some bad Nexus 4 units out there, there are always 3rd party apps or Google apps that can potentially cause more of a drain on your device.
 

nexus4backordrsuckz

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I am seeing very inconsistent battery life random high levels of drainage etc. just based on reasoning on my part I can't see this being the phone, if the phone had a bad battery it would have consistently bad life but this doesn't its all over the place I just hope the update fixes whatever's up with it

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
 

The Hustleman

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Going to have to read this later.

sent from the best smart phone (not phablet) on the worst network- the galaxy S III unfortunately on T-Mobile
 

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