November 29, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
Since the beginning of Android, hardware changes have been easy to notice. Quad- and octa-core devices are nothing unusual now, and RAM and storage capacities make phones as powerful as some traditional PCs in certain respects. Unfortunately, they all have one major weakness: battery life. Even the biggest batteries still last a day or two of intensive use on phones and maybe few days on tablets.
Aftermarket kernel improvements can save a bit more of battery, which is a good beginning. Luckily, XDA Senior Member onexuan wrote an application to optimize battery usage in many ways. OnePowerGuard Pro gives users a chance to conserve the battery in six predefined modes, which turn on or off selected services depending on day time, usage, or other personal preferences.
Onexuan states that his application tweaks the phone on kernel-level and optimizes many of factors that can cause battery drain for an overall reduction of 70-80%. Naturally, the app requires your phone or tablet to be rooted. It’s easy to say that something does wonders, but the best way to verify it is trying.
If your battery seems to let you down, you may want to give OnePowerGuard Pro a shot by visiting the application thread for additional details.
As our devices acquire larger screens, higher resolutions, and an increasing numbers of cores, so have their power demands. And while battery capacity is going up as well, it can’t quite keep pace our demands, giving us less battery life than some of the less fancy alternatives.
Luckily for us, there are currently no shortage of apps that are aimed at getting back some of that battery life through various means. While the majority of power consumption in a device at use invariably comes from the display, quite a bit also comes from the device’s SoC. And if you don’t keep your display powered on for long, your processor’s battery thirst will likely be its biggest battery drain.
Because of the power demands of modern SoCs, XDA Senior Member seaskyways created Quad Core Manager. It aims to give users better control of their devices’ multi-core processors, and in turn, achieve greater device longevity. So how does the app work? Simple. You can use the app with any multi-core device to disable specific cores other than the first core. In other words, if your device has two cores, you can disable one core. And if it has four cores, you can disable three of them. The donation version of the app also contains an additional feature, whereby you can automate this under certain conditions, such as if you would like to disable a certain number of cores while the device is in standby mode.
Head over to the application thread to get started.
For most smartphone users, battery life is a key concern. As devices become more and more powerful, the need to conserve battery increases since battery technology itself isn’t evolving at the same pace. That’s why people are always on the lookout for battery saving tips. If you’ve got a Sony Xperia P and have noticed it consuming significant amounts of battery while idling, we’ve got a simple tip for you that may help you get some more juice out of your battery with little effort.
When XDA Member PGTomsk was tired of experiencing up to 20% battery drain overnight at idle, so he tried looking for solutions. By trial and error, he stumbled across the most simplest of solutions. It seems the stock Weather widget was the culprit, and removing it resulted in just under 5% of battery drain overnight.
You can visit the forum thread to read up further on it or join the discussion.
March 11, 2012 By: ElCondor
It is an issue many with older devices face: once the battery percentage hits the 15% or so, the device simply shuts down without any notice. What’s the reason for this problem? Battery aging. The process of battery aging isn’t inherently the cause, but as XDA Forum Member theGanymedes points out, it is the fact that your Desire thinks your battery is actually brand new. TheGanymedes puts it this way:
… your device thinks it has more capacity, when it’s actually empty (which occurs at 15-20% depending on the battery) and shutting down at weird percentages.
You’ve probably heard of ‘battery calibration’ before. It is a mod widely used for solving this exact problem. However, TheGanymedes points out that there are issues in the code of specific kernels that are the key to a properly calibrated battery. Fixing those issues would make an end to these 15% shutdowns. Luckily, the developer has come up with a patch and flashable zip that to do just that. These files and all (technical) details can be found in the development thread.
February 18, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
Early this morning XDA Junior Member Liferules reported in our forums that a new update had appeared for his Asus Transformer Prime. Since the previous update (220.127.116.11), intended to improve GPS performance, Prime users have experienced random restarts and decreased battery life. XDA Senior Member demandarin, shortly after the release of the update, posted this screenshot, showing the system using the previously disabled low-power CPU frequencies. Countless other posters confirmed improved battery life and several even claimed improved WiFi performance (not confirmed).
If you are a rooted Transformer Prime user out there make sure you use OTA Root Keeper to maintain root access after the OTA update. Please also note that you WILLl lose root even with Root Keeper if you install the update using anything but the official over-the-air update. Updating using extracted blob files will break root no matter what.
Most users that received the update already were in the United States with the exception of a few users in Mexico. European Prime owners, sit tight. Representatives from Asus have confirmed that the EU version of the device will get the update early next week. Already installed the update? Want to follow the progress as users report their findings? Be sure to heck out the original thread here.
February 8, 2012 By: Former Writer
It is a rare feat when someone goes out of their way to truly study their device. It is rarer still when that study warrants relevant information that’s beneficial to other users.
XDA Senior Member bedalus has performed what amounts to a case study to test battery usage with a variety of kernels and battery features such as under-volting and various levels of idling for the Samsung Nexus S. The study is rather extensive and tests the phone under a variety of conditions such as screen on/off, while music is playing, with different governors and even CPU Clock frequency. Of course, bedalus wanted to make a special note. Do NOT try this at home, it could be very damaging to your Nexus S.
The results were rather startling. As it turns out, many of those techniques and features that many people use don’t actually work. Says bedalus:
The main shock was that Deep Idle did not work as intended. There are three forms of Deep Idle: the CPU Idle backport from kernel 3.2, Eugene’s Deep Idle, and Ezekeel’s. All three were tested, and no battery saving was measured. I also tested Deep Idle in Carbon (Jonathon Grigg’s ICS themed Oxygen 2.3.1, android version 2.3.7, gingerbread) using Ezekeel’s last kernel for gingerbread, and that showed no battery saving either. With the option for ‘Screen Off Maximum Frequency’ set to ON, the battery drain was higher (both in ICS and GB).
What that basically says is, with all respect to the developers who worked hard on these features, that none of these features actually help the battery. For all intents and purposes, a user might as well not have them. This has a number implications, but none more important than giving said developers statistics with which to base their next release. Why continue working on something that has been proven not work? Or, perhaps the better question, is that is there a way to make these features work better against the stock settings?
Please note that just because one feature on a kernel/ROM/mod doesn’t work doesn’t make that piece of work bad, it just means there’s a feature that doesn’t work. At least they don’t cause higher battery drain. In the poll posted in the thread, voters have shown that they do save power with the Deep Idle. However, there are variables that cannot be measured, such as what each user has otherwise installed and how they use their phone, so it’s worth taking note but does not disprove the research.
Continuing on his observations, bedalus also noted:
If you use NStools to undervolt, don’t bother. No gain to be had from undervolting either ARM or INT voltages. I tested this to the extreme. Check the spreadsheet, near the bottom. (Tested in both ICS and GB).
So that puts that to rest. Much like Deep Idle, there are users who claim undervolting saves them battery. However, the numbers are pretty clear that it doesn’t, so it can be assumed that, once again, there are other variables at work such as apps running and how the user actually uses their device.
This leads us to observation number three, as bedalus says:
The other main result was that mathkid95′s matr1x kernel offered the greatest battery saving. However, it should be noted that I have suffered reboots while performing other benchmarks on this kernel, and the solution was to raise voltages. (It’s not as if doing that is going to drain your battery faster.)
If you were looking for a kernel that saves battery, then this one is it. XDA Recognized Developer mathkid95‘s kernel has shown, by way of statistics, that is does, in fact, have the highest battery saving. Of course, battery saving isn’t the only reason users choose a kernel. Some may want performance, others stability, but for those who need that extra battery capacity then mathkid95′s is the one that survived all the testing.
And the final observation made by bedalus:
If you have an AMOLED display, black saves the most power, then red.
This is something that many users could have already guessed, as black has been the go to color for battery saving for a long time. However, it’s nice to finally have some numbers to put to the belief. And to those running black and red themes, bet you never thought that theme was saving your battery did you?
All of these observations are backed up with a very impressive and easy to read spreadsheet. It’s a Google Documents spreadsheet, so be sure you’re logged in to Google before attempting to view it, as it will probably alleviate any problems, but if you have five minutes then it’s highly recommended you check out the original spreadsheet. There is a boat load of useful information in there and shows all the results that bedalus has come up with and all the mentioned, and unmentioned, parameters he tested. This also includes Quadrant Standard and AnTuTu benchmark tests.
Along with the spreadsheet and detailed explanation, bedalus was also kind enough to post two videos showing users exactly how he tested these processes and how he read the results. This not only proves he actually did the research, as opposed to blowing smoke, but also gives the experts and average users alike a chance to see how it was done. In an internet community, if you don’t post a screen shot, it didn’t happen. For bedalus, he posted videos, that’s a step up.
For anyone who wants to read the full coverage of the Nexus S battery consumption research, they can do so in the original thread. The first couple of posts explain the parameters of the testing and the conclusions. Post three covers how he tested the battery, including hardware specifications and how/why he did what he did. Post four includes further explanation for test methods and plans for future testing.
The best part about bedalus’ work is that there is a plan to continue testing using better equipment and more parameters. So it is definitely worth it to keep tabs on the thread as there will eventually be more, not to mention more accurate, information to be had.
And, as bedalus will have you note:
REMEMBER I ADVISE THAT NO ONE SHOULD ATTEMPT THIS.
The quest for better battery life is never-ending: our gadgets seem to never last long enough. There’s an interesting thread in progress over in the Android General forum where user MartyLK is on a crusade to increase the battery life of a few of his Android phones. So far he’s tried removing all homescreen widgets, he’s stopped syncing for apps that don’t need to sync regularly (Twitter, Facebook), and he even reduced the number of homescreen he has down to two. This begs the question: what extreme measures do you put in place to squeeze out every minute of battery life from you Android? Join the discussion!