The ultimate thread to discuss why everyone experiences different battery life!

Discussion in 'Motorola Q' started by Jimbro727, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    The ultimate thread to discuss why everyone experiences different battery life!

    OK everyone, I've spent alot of time on these forums, and I have noticed that almost everyone has completely different experiences with their battery! I'd like to discuss, and ultimately determine, why this is. Some people claim 1 or more days on the slim battery, others can't make it a few hours on that thing. Some make it a day on the extended battery, some make it a half day. Some only make it a day on the 3200mah super extended battery, and for some that would last them a week!

    Why is this?

    Even personally I've experienced vastly different battery life with the same usage and same 100% charge!

    So let me start this off by saying what I do, and have done, and what my battery life is.

    I recently did a hard reset, which seemed to double my battery life! I always close tasks when I'm done with the task manager. My phone/net usage varies, but yesterday I used alot (over an hour) of internet, and spent probably around 15 minutes on the phone (alot for me), and the battery still had power after 16 hours. Some days with that same usage, it'll die in 8 hours or less. I almost always have bluetooth ON, but use it only in the car, and not for very long. I also use push e-mail, and probably average 20 pieces of mail a day. My txt usage varies, but I usually average maybe 5 (in+out) per day (some days more, some days less).

    I charge my phone every night, and on average, the extended 1640 battery dies before I get home. Some days it'll surprise me and last, and some days it refuses to. I also know about removing the battery and rebooting, and sometimes that'll give me 2 extra bars and let me run for hours more, and sometimes it does nothing.


    What's everyone else's experience? What are your theories? Let's get to the bottom of this!

    --Jimmy
  2. ZATZAi

    ZATZAi New Member

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    What Sips power, grouped and somewhat in order from most tob least power usage (Based on usage experience so may not be 100% accurate).

    Streaming Video
    Video
    Streaming Audio
    Audio
    Intensive games

    Full backlight (Not dimmed with Candlelight App)
    Heavy downloading
    Instant Messengers

    Bluetooth Comm
    Infrared Comm
    Push email
    Frequent email checks

    Long backlight / screen timeout
    Not using keylock when pocketed
    Lost of active programs

    Weather (Colder is better)

    ...

    Not to mention the size of your battery, and it's age...
  3. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    hey thanks for the info.. as far as your list goes, I only recently started streaming Sirius, but I haven't noticed a major hit in battery life, probably because i dont listen to it very often. Infrared I never use, I shut off whatever option I found in settings.. but Im not sure if it's 100% off or not.. push e-mail i do use, and it's a must... i have the shortest backlight timeout, and I don't use keylock, but I also use a clip holster. Would locking it still help me there?

    I have heard alot about candlelight around here, does it really make the life that much better? I'll get it if it does..

    And I've heard alot about battery age also... perhaps both of mine are old? I just ordered a new 2100 I think it is Seidio battery, so maybe that'll help alot since it's bigger and *hopefully* newer.
  4. lexluthor

    lexluthor New Member

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    I think signal strength is the #1 factor.

    I'm in a weak area where I get around 1 bar. It was switching between Ev and 1x every so often. I guess when it drops to 1x and tries to search out an Ev signal that really runs the battery.

    I saw a dramatic increase in battery life when I set it to just 1x only.
  5. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    See I've heard that, too.. and to be honest I don't know how good my signal strength is.. I'll have anywhere between 3 and 1 bars depending where I place the phone on my desk! I rarely notice it dropping to 1x, however. Maybe I'll force it to 1x and see what that does for my battery.. process of elimination!
  6. ZATZAi

    ZATZAi New Member

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    Ah yes the EVDO switch, I don't suffer from that so it's easy for me to forget. There is a way to change it around here somewhere... you just dial a special number. But if you reboot your phone, you have to re-apply it.

    I doubt keylock will help you if you use a clip on holster, but remember you can turn off the screen quickly by holing down the mail key on the bottom left.

    Candlelight makes a big difference, but it also makes the device hard to read in bright light (Outside). I always kick myself when I forget to turn it on.
  7. Skipper

    Skipper New Member

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    Well, my experiences include purchasing the silver q early on and the battery life was horrid to begin with. that was with a fresh wipe and everything. BUT I just bought a Black Q and its like night and day (no pun intended). From what I understand is the framework. the newer Q's have the newest version of framework and supposedly motorola got enough complaints to work hard and improve the life of the slim battery.

    soooo. not sure if this helps, just my experience and thoughts.
  8. qnoob

    qnoob New Member

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    this may not exactly battery life related, but my problem now is my Q keeps showing 4 full battery bars all the time and the only way I'll know it's time to re-charge is when it goes dead.
  9. SafeHarbor

    SafeHarbor New Member

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    I get GREAT battery life!

    My secret to great battery life on my VZW black Q is that I don't use it to surf much, don't make many calls, seldom play games with it, don't poll email with it), and don't tell anybody my cell number. Tuesday will be four weeks with it, and so far I've had four calls. Two of them were from Verizon to see how I was doing with it, one from my mom, and one from my boss.

    I get GREAT battery life this way. Right now it's showing a full battery and three bars of signal, and the last charge was leaving it plugged in to my work PC day before yesterday. (Friday - this is Sunday afternoon.)

    Oh, and I have Candelight installed and infrared beam is turned off.

    Lamar
  10. TAG1976

    TAG1976 New Member

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    Bluetooth was the killer for me in the beginning. I work out of a "Company Issued" Dell Axim, and I would transfer files back and forth to and from my storage on the Q. I never thought that leaving BT on would be an issue. I would get a full day out of my Extended battery with BT on and moderate use of other services(Web, Calls, Email, Etc) Now that I turn BT off every time + kill all unececessary processes, I can see an easy 2 days out of my phone.
  11. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    LOL thanks! So the key to getting great battery life out of the Q is to not use it! :tounge:

    I'll try leaving BT off as much as possible then! I rarely use it, but when I do, it's conveniant to just turn on my headset and have the rest taken care of automatically. I suppose having to turn BT on when i want to use it is a fair trade for reasonable battery life though! I received my new Seidio 2100mah battery yesterday so I'll try that for a day with BT on tomorrow and see how it holds up, then I'll try it with BT off.

    Thanks for all of the input guys!


    I've also heard some speculation elsewhere that certain Qs just have bad battery life for whatever reason, perhaps on a hardware level, does anyone know of there's any truth to this possibility?

    Oh, and for anyone looking into getting that battery, I haven't actually used it yet, but I can tell you a few things that I have NOT read elsewhere:
    • It is the same size as the Motorola extended battery, but it is NOT the same weight! It is a bit heavier, although I don't really notice the difference when holding the Q. However, I did notice a significant difference when holding the batteries.
    • The battery fits slightly better than the Moto extended battery, it doesn't feel as loose.
    • The Seidio battery cover that comes with this battery fits WAY better than the Motorola cover!! The moto cover feels like it does NOT fit properly, it's loose, and makes odd creaking sounds when you squeeze it. The seidio battery fits perfectly, and feels amazing in your hand, it doesn't make the Q feel like it's not really supposed to have an extended battery.
    • I'll post again when I try the battery out to let you all know how the life is!
    --Jimmy
  12. alanb1

    alanb1 New Member

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    You left out maybe the most important battery drainer on typical use:
    Phone reception - if you are in a building or other area where there's no or little signal, watch out - the phone pumps up it's power output to search and drains the battery right down.
  13. Flash_699

    Flash_699 New Member

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    LOL: Well NO WONDER you get great battery life. And why exactly did you get this phone?:2cool:

    Just kidding. None of my business. Enjoy!
  14. SafeHarbor

    SafeHarbor New Member

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    Hey, I was having fun with that answer, but I do leave it attached to my PC for at least part of the work day, and when I use it to run Mapopolis in my truck, I always have the travel charger attached so Bluetooth won't kill the battery. Weekends are about the only time I really watch the battery indicator.

    And ditto with the headset - in the vehicle, the Q is on the travel charger.

    I upgraded from an MPX200 to the Q. It's a remarkably better Smartphone.

    Lamar
  15. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    hehe yeah I figured, I just found it funny because it's TRUE! I think MS really needs to work on efficiency, it's not such a big deal on desktops and even laptops, but when you're writing an OS for a smartphone, where battery life is so crucial, it's important that it be as efficient as possible. Not putting a native and intuitive method for closing apps is definitely NOT a step in the right direction. Perhaps WM6 will attend to this, although this has been a problem since the dawn of the pocket PC, so I doubt it!
  16. razgr1z

    razgr1z New Member

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    EVDO switch?

    EVDO switch? What's is it and how do I do that? Can it be done quickly and easily? Does it really help battery life that much, cause my Q can't go overnight so I can use it as an alarm clock even when it has a full charge just before I go to sleep.
  17. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    He's referring to forcing the phone into 1x only, because the phone uses more power when in 1x (because it keeps searching for EvDO), so in areas where it's constantly switching between EvDO and 1X, it often pays in battery life to force the phone into 1X all of the time, since it stops searching for EvDO. The obvious trade-off is that you will never be able to use EvDO (unless you change the setting back).

    In short: this only really pays if you notice your phone switching alot. If you decide to give it a try, the forums have alot of info on how to change the setting. It involves going into the service menu on the phone, if I remember correctly.

    --Jim
  18. lexluthor

    lexluthor New Member

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    Change to 1x only.

    Dial ##*
    Select B
    Select E
    Change setting to CDMA only.
    Click Ok.

    Make sure you ok yourself all the way out properly or the setting won't save.

    I tested this and, for me, it gave me at around 30-50% increase in battery life. Very significant.

    I'm usually hovering aronud 1 bar, sometimes 0, sometimes 2 and I did see it occassionally go from Ev to 1x and back.

    When I use data, I either deal with the slower speeds (it's barely noticeable when I check email or use a weather application to grab and update) or I create a speed dial for ##* and change it back to Automatic for longer data sessions.

    Maybe someone can add the 1x instructions to a FAQ somewhere?
  19. Flash_699

    Flash_699 New Member

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    Actually, one of the simplest things I've found to do to increase battery life on my smartphones after changing the settings for IR, bluetooth, and screen/backlighting (I've been using Smartphones since they first came out) is to always put them in my pocket (or holster if you prefer) so that the back of the phone faces away from my body. That improves signal reception to the phone which minimizes the switching from EVDO to 1X (or the old digital to analog signal) and seems to have a significant impact on the battery life for me.

    It's a simple thing, but has an obvious impact on the days I forget. My old Samsung SPH-I600 used to get pretty hot when when it got turned around in my pocket. For some reason the additional work to keep a connection with the antenna next to my body made the phone heat up. A hot spot on my thigh (no comments from the gutter please:laugh2: ) was my first hint that the darn thing had gotten flipped around. Battery was always pretty drained by then.

    Haven't had the Q long enough to confirm that with this unit, but did do a little test to confirm that the signal drops off when turned so that the back of the phone faces my body compared to the other way.

    Flash
  20. Jimbro727

    Jimbro727 New Member

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    Good tip! I always keep it in its holster clipped to my belt, so I guess I'm getting the best signal possible!

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