Synaptics Touchscreen Fix For OnePlus One Drains Battery

Synaptics Touchscreen Fix For OnePlus One Drains Battery

Ever since the launch of the OnePlus One, users have been reporting touchscreen issues on the flagship killer which seriously hinder normal usage of the phone. The issue was profound enough to push several buyers of the OnePlus One to RMA their phone and not look back.

OnePlus recently did acknowledge that the touchscreen issues continue to haunt their users. Quoting Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus:

“Although percentage-wise the number of touchscreen cases is very small, we understand that our user base is very vocal. We take your feedback seriously and have been putting the One through a battery of tests and determined that there are different issues at play, some software and some hardware. We have, and will continue, to stand behind our products and honor warranty.”


Post this, OnePlus worked closely with Synaptics to issue a “final firmware fix” to hopefully iron out the issue for all. This firmware fix was merged by the CM team on May 15th 2015, and as with nightlies, made its appearance in the May 15th build. Users on our CM12.1 Nightly Discussion thread confirmed that the fix, for once, actually worked:


“It’s deffo the jgcaap boot image that’s losing root.
Fished back stock 14/05 boot image and got root back
However it’s taken 5 times as long to enter this text.
Definitely not placebo with the fw
I can live without root for a night”
fards, XDA Recognized Developer


“i can confirm, the boot.img massivly improved typing for me, seems like the issue is gone! Will have an eye on that, i hope it will stay that way thanks!

failed to say that this is very interesting, my device is very warm and still functioning very good.”
nucky thomson, XDA Senior Member


“Can someone confirm if it registers 2 touches on the same horizontal line?
After flashing boot.img

Found the answer myself
Sent from my A0001 using XDA Free mobile app”
vacenzo, XDA Member


“Today’s build totally fixed all my touch problems. This phone feels new. No more ghost swipes, works hot or cold, typing messages doesn’t take forever and a day. I’m blown away.”
mattardz, XDA Member


And many more. With the sheer number of users mentioning the update to having fixed their issues in the forums and elsewhere on the internet, this was definitely not a placebo effect.

All is well that ends well. But this did not end here. Along with improved touch responsiveness, users began reporting a sudden battery drain on the 15th May nightlies.

“On the flip side I think there are new issues that were introduced with the new modem and/or blobs. I notice that is the leading battery drainer per GSam. In the regular battery info, it shows the settings gear with no title. No keep awake time from it. Maybe it’s just represented differently but I’m not seeing the 8-10mA drain in BatteryMonitorWidget I was seeing earlier. It’s reaching deep sleep fine, but the power draw seems a bit higher, like 30-50mA drain.”
tiny4579, XDA Recognized Developer


“Initial testing indicates it might be the touchscreen firmware itself causing the initial drain. More testing is needed to be certain, but I tried this and was still seeing the increased drain, even on the previous nightly and firmware with the new touchscreen drivers.

Edit: Further testing only confirms it.”
tiny4579, XDA Recognized Developer


“My android system (replaced by some random icon) has huge amount of CPU time too.”
Emama, XDA Senior Member


As it would turn out, the touchscreen fixes actually lead to the increased battery consumption, even during deep sleep. This led to CM reverting the firmware:

Revert “synaptics: Update firmware to 14001227”

* Causing 30mA sleep current. Revert until new version is ready.


Of course, the very definition of nightlies is that they contain software which has not been thoroughly tested, and is meant to give users access to the bleeding edge features which are still in a beta state. The fact that a commit was reverted between nightlies is a common occurrence, and is not a big deal as such nightlies are not intended for use of the common user who cannot troubleshoot his problems. The revert message does indicate that a new firmware is being worked on, which should fix all issues without hopefully creating others.

If you are amongst those that are experiencing touchscreen issues which were fixed in the firmware fix, you can try the fix mentioned:

“If you want a workaround, try disabling the double tap to wake and the proximity check and gestures. It seems it doesn’t play nicely with the new drivers.”

Saw this posted here:
tiny4579, XDA Recognized Developer


If you would still like to have the latest CM changes but would prefer having the touchscreen firmware too, XDA Recognized Developer tiny4579 has posted an unofficial build which includes other recent changes up to May 17th 2015 along with the updated touchscreen firmware. The dev recommends disabling double tap to wake to avoid battery drain.

We do hope there is a final fix in order to end all touchscreen woes plaguing OnePlus One users. It would certainly be a shame to end such a promising smartphone on a bad note. After all, they don’t want us to settle.

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]