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[REF] Known identified battery drainers

18th October 2011, 02:22 AM |#1  
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In many cases, people who have battery drain issues have a tendency to end up being found to be using a known battery draining app or configuration. To help these people, I'm going to try to start a list here. I will, in the case of known rogue apps, include the reporting date so people can try updates to see if drain is fixed. (For example, Facebook is rarely a culprit any more, but it was the #1 most common battery eater in 2010.) The primary focus here will be things that shouldn't drain your battery but do.

Firmware bugs:
  1. The UCKK6 OTA update contains a number of issues with wifi and bluetooth. Among these is that an oddball feature of our Wifi/Bluetooth chipset goes nuts and wakes up the phone once per second intermittently. Rebooting temporarily fixes it, turning off wifi temporarily fixes it, only permanent fix is to ditch UCKK6. for more details - Appears as a variant of the Android OS "bug" - this is the only one that is actually 100% a firmware bug. International XWKK5 is also affected.

LAN Environment (WiFi):
  • Broadcast LAN traffic can wake your wifi chip often. This also manifests as the Android OS "bug", but it's a small problem with the firmware base (XXKI3 and UCKK6 are known to be affected) and mostly a network problem. Examples I've seen so far include:
    • Windows Client Backup
    • UPnP (DLNA) SSDP
    • Dropbox Lan Sync Discovery Protocol
    • Buggy piece-of-**** routers that spam lots of ARP requests continuously - The 2Wire routers that are required for UVerse access apparently fit in this category.
You are more likely to have the above issue on some firmware bases than others. For example, XXKI3 disables all of the chip's packet filters, making it vulnerable to this sort of thing. UCKH7 and XWKL1 don't, leading to significantly improved life on "dirty" networks. UCKK6 almost surely also has the same problem.

Configuration issues:
  1. Hotmail calendar sync
  2. Misconfigured Microsoft Exchange servers - 1) is a special case of this. At least one person has reported that calendar sync to a non-Hotmail account was problematic for them, but email sync was OK
  3. A bad Exchange configuration - the client apparently goes nuts if it can't contact the server
  4. BLN - On Galaxy S II devices, there is no stable BLN implementation that does not hold a wakelock when a notification is active. This means that an active BLN notification will drain about 4-5%/hour. I say this in bold letters in my kernel thread, but somehow people still don't realize it...

Rogue apps:
  1. Words with Friends (October 2011)
  2. Skype (October 2011) - Particularly insidious, as it does not directly hold a wakelock. However, it causes lots of background network activity, and this activity keeps your phone awake. Since most of the time is spent wakelocked in the network stack, Skype drain shows as Android OS.
  3. Any IM app that works similarly to Skype is likely to have the same issues.
  4. AP Mobile Widget on stock AT&T ROMs - this one also blows through your data allotment quickly if you don't have unlimited data
  5. AT&T Smart WiFi can sometimes hold excessive wakelocks - this is why AT&T bloat is bad for you.

The Obvious:
  1. 3D or animation/action-intensive games

The Rare:
Apps that occasionally go nuts, but not frequently
  1. Facebook - I've had it wakelock me once, and also, Facebook chat may have triggered my first obvious "AOS bug" episode once - so far, it's been responsible for drain once this month
  2. StartingAlertService - some sort of Calendar notification related bug

The False Blame:
  1. GPS Status and Toolbox - may appear to be high-drain but is actually not draining - this is an Android battery reporting bug - see for more details. Thank you for the info and the great app rhornig.

If you're having battery drain issues, I suggest the following:
  1. Install BetterBatteryStats. The XDA edition from the author's thread on these forums is free. (Market version is paid.)
  2. Also, having CPUSpy to see deep sleep percentages is VERY useful
  3. BBS now shows kernel wakelocks - make sure to check these. If you have an older version that doesn't show kernel wakelocks, use the instructions below.

Get ADB up and running (Google it, and if you're on Windows, Googling Droid Explorer may help)
Using ADB, do the following:
adb shell cat /proc/wakelocks > wakelocks.txt
adb shell dmesg > dmesg.txt
Zip em' up and post em' here for analysis.

Edit: Specifically, to get a good baseline measurement of idle drain - make sure to have CPUSpy installed for this procedure:
Charge phone to full
Reset timers in CPUSpy, otherwise the percentages and bars will be wacky
Let the phone sit for a while - Overnight is best. Then provide data:

Deep sleep percentage
Time the phone was sitting
Percentage battery drained
I don't need screenshots of the above, just the numbers. Screenshots use up massive amounts of thread space
Grab /proc/wakelocks as mentioned above and post it, OR use BetterBatteryStats 1.4 or above to pull kernel wakelocks.

Note: If you're at or below 1%/hour idle drain, not much point of posting your wakelocks.

If you have high wlan_wake, wlan_rx_wake, or svnet-dormancy wakelock times, then you have an app eating data or one of the wifi wakeup bugs described above. Install Shark for Root -

Start it, and change parameters from:
-vv -s 0
-vv -s 68
This tells it to only capture the first 68 bytes of each packet, which is all we need for this purpose. This provides two benefits: A smaller capture, and privacy for you. (It captures packet headers but not contents)
Then start a capture and let it sit for a bit.

Note that your drain will be higher during the capture than normal - we're collecting data here, not directly nuking the drain.

After a while where you are positive you are encountering drain, stop Shark and then pull the .pcap file - load it in Wireshark on your PC or post it here. If you post it here, MAKE SURE you have a truncated capture as instructed above!
Last edited by Entropy512; 1st March 2012 at 02:15 AM.
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18th October 2011, 02:38 AM |#2  
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Thank you sir. Will do in a few.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using XDA App
18th October 2011, 03:30 AM |#3  
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Words with friends is an insane battery drainer. I had a screen on time of 4 hours and 15 minutes with 35% battery use and Words with friends had a 45 min cpu usage and was 26% of the battery drain...There is no way that should be so close to the screen usage. CRAZY.
18th October 2011, 03:35 AM |#4  
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Originally Posted by chase10784

Words with friends is an insane battery drainer. I had a screen on time of 4 hours and 15 minutes with 35% battery use and Words with friends had a 45 min cpu usage and was 26% of the battery drain...There is no way that should be so close to the screen usage. CRAZY.

I spent a while testing that app before finding out it is a phone-wide issue. Emailed the dev today but we'll see how it goes. Not a small dev anymore.
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18th October 2011, 04:06 AM |#5  
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Yea I hope they fix it...I love playing it but it kills my battery. If that app didnt run I may have like 5 hours of screen time on a single charge if not more. I looked at many of the reviews of it and many of them mention the battery killing it does.
18th October 2011, 04:20 AM |#6  
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Just discovered an interesting feature built in to the stock rom. Go to task manager > storage and you'll see itŠ.
18th October 2011, 04:21 AM |#7  
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The tower defense game Sentinel 3 will put a HEAVY drain on your battery.

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20th October 2011, 01:45 AM |#8  
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Originally Posted by gtg465x

Just discovered an interesting feature built in to the stock rom. Go to task manager > storage and you'll see itŠ.

Huh? What happens?
20th October 2011, 02:04 AM |#9  
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Apparently an app I come to love and use on all my devices is Battery Monitor Widget. According to to someone's post from the BBS thread and due to my own investigation. BMW will cause a lot of wake time up to 970 awakes over a 12 HR period. That is a lot time consuming battery and resources.
20th October 2011, 04:43 AM |#10  
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rebooted my phone reset cpu spy and going to leave it not charging and I will abd into the phone and get the demesg and other file and post here.. been losing 30% over night on about 8 hours which I know is way off... no skype I have wifi data sync and gps on as well as syncing a google account twitter tango and facebook.... which I understand might be alot but shouldn't this phone be able to handle all that? I also live in a basement with poor service but right next to the router... getting a microcell on Friday which I hope helps. My AOS is around 65% in battery status and suspend and events/0 are definitely running more than one minute every 10 hours, more like 20 minutes at least every charge, and my phone is lasting 11 hours give or take with minimal to no use
Last edited by penskyc; 20th October 2011 at 04:52 AM.
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