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Always on Mobile Data 9 6.38%
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SGSIII / General Android Battery Tips (Can triple battery life!) | Updated 8/27/12

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Default SGSIII / General Android Battery Tips (Can triple battery life!) | Updated 8/27/12

This thread that I've revamped from my Evo 4G/3D days, hoping to share some of the love with newer users. Over the time I've been on android, I've learned a few simple things that can greatly assist in the battery life of our wonderful smartphones.

If you get anything out of the thread, please don't hesitate to rate it and drop me a thanks!




If you read the thread and like the tips, have a new one to suggest, or have a revision, please post it.
On a similar note, moderators, thanks for the sticky!


General Lithium Ion Battery Information
^^This link includes stuff about charging, including trickle charging aka SBC (Why NOT to use it, or at your own peril)

My tips for good battery life:

Tips for Non-Rooted users

1. Turn off all radios when not in use.
(Bluetooth, wifi, data, 4G/Wimax/LTE, NFC, etc) Use a widget like the default power widgets, Switchpro, or a similar app from the market. Newer android versions generally allows users to access these radios and other settings from the notification pulldown menu, , under the "Quick Settings" tab or a row at the top of the pulldown. The radios of the phone draw power if on even if the user isn't actually utilizing the radio's functions. A radio searching for signal (if you are in a low-signal area) drains more than a radio with good signal, so again, turn 'em off when you aren't using 'em.
To manually turn off radios without a toggle, go to menu>settings>wireless & networks.
Wifi uses less battery than 3G, so use wifi when you can.

Unlike the others, GPS radios only draw power when you actually need them, so you can leave it on all the time.

2. Juice Defender is one of my favorite apps. Basically it controls your data for you to maximize life.
More explanations are on their page, search it on the market for free, or upgrade for more features.
Here are my settings for it: Click me
Note that for me at least, juice defender likes to deny apps data privileges whether you allow them or not, so screen on = data on works best for me.


3. I love live wallpapers, and I’ve always been a fan of pixel zombies, but they are really only good for showing off due to their battery drain.


4. Sadly, the "always on mobile data" setting is gone. This tip is invalid.
Go to menu>settings>wireless & networks>mobile networks>disable always on mobile data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Product F(RED) View Post
To clarify, "Always On Mobile Data", when turned off, lets the 3G modem go to sleep after the screen has been off for 5 minutes. It doesn't interfere with anything like email or any other application that requires an internet connection at that moment because it turns on on-demand rather than being on all the time and wasting battery.



5. Set your screen timeout to something that fits you.
The screen is the highest drain of battery power on any smartphone. BY setting the timeout, you can prevent your phone from staying on when you don’t manually turn off the screen. Also, manually turn off your screen when you’re done with your phone.
Menu>Settings>Display>Screen Timeout
I use 30 seconds.


6. Task killers used to be the shiz, but no longer.
Here is the ultimate, in depth, graphically assisted, explanation by the famous Fresh ROM's chef, Flipz. Shortly, in light of recent testing, really don’t do anything but force apps that the android OS needed to be open, and thus didn’t close, to re-open. So try not using them, unless for stuff like trying to figure out why your phone isn’t sleeping with system panel. You really won’t notice a performance difference, and the adverse effects you aren’t seeing will stop :P

+=+ A good alternative is the application SystemPanel Pro. It has a free version, but I highly reccomend purchasing the paid app. It basically monitors everything going on with your phone's usage both in real time an in terms of usage history. If your battery is draiging fast, it tells you what app was doing it, how much it was doing it, and allows you to stop it.


7. I'm sure you have all heard around that your phone isn't "sleeping".
This is referring to the phone's "awake" time, hence the name. When you go to Menu>Settings>About Phone>Battery>click on the small battery graphical, you can compare the two lines, time on and awake. Generally, up time refers to the amount of time since the last reboot. The "awake time" is how long the screen has been active. The problem is, a lot of the time, due to the endless possibilities of inconsistencies between apps/ROMs/kernels/phones, the phone will not go to "sleep", drawing power proportionate to the screen being in use when it reality the phone is sitting idle.
If you compare these numbers, and they are the same, or if you note the difference, turn off the screen for a minute, then re-check and they are the same, then your phone is not sleeping.
One solution is to reboot.

I recommend two apps to help monitor:System Panel and Better Battery Stats. These two apps (explained in their FAQ's and descriptions greatly aid in finding those rogues.
Usually, SystemPanel will show an app that has gone "rogue" and is keeping your phone awake.
-This is done by hitting menu>settings>monitoring enabled. Then after some time has passed, ht menu>monitoring>history>change tab to top apps, and see if anything is above, say, 2-4%.

Uninstall applications/reinstalling them slowly, checking after every install to see what is causing it is one tedious but surefire solution.
Lastly,
Follow these steps that I have discovered almost always work.
1. Reboot phone.
2. Instantly upon reboot, as soon as you gain control, open up some type of monitor/taskkiller
3. "kill all" tasks on startup; about 5 times in quick succession should do the trick.
4. Turn off the screen and leave it for about five minutes.
5. Check the up time v. awake time and see if they are the same.
6. If they are, repeat steps 1-5. If they are different, you are good.


8. Apps and Combinations to watch out for!
-Facebook- Tries to sync live feed all the time, HIGHLY recommend unchecking this box, as it creates a massive draw on data
-Skype- This app reportedly (I've seen it myself) likes to sync random data and open up the network for fun. Sign out of app when not in use to fix
A rogue process called "gsiff_daemon", associated with the gyroscope. Changing its name seems to be the only semi-permanent solution. It's located in system/bin.
Lightflow is a pretty damn cool notification/led manager, but it eats up ridiculous system resources using its alarm wakeups. Use at your own risk.



9. Manage your syncing.
This is a big one, and it differs from person to person. Go to Menu>Settings>Accounts and Sync, and take a look at what's going on there. The green or checked or activated box to the right of the option means that there is an account syncing data. I for example have four email addresses, facebook, dropbox, box, weather, etc. That is bad. You should go through and turn off syncing for nasty apps you didn't even know where accessing the internet, or limit the access of apps and services that you do want to allow.

The problem lies in the way this syncing is handled. Each app/service runs on its own schedule, making it particularly likely that your phone could almost always be establishing a data connection and trying to download data for your various apps. See step 2 regarding the app Juice Defender to handle this problem.



10. Vibrate Settings
Vibration and haptic feedback eat up a surprising amount of battery. If you have the haptic feedback enabled, then every time you press anything your phone puts out some juice to make itself dance.

At least on the GSIII, the settings are in menu>settings>sound
Some apps have their own haptic feedback settings, and notifications are their own set entirely.


Root Tips LIVE
Tips for Rooted users:

1. Try out custom kernels.
By going to the Galaxy S III Android Development section of the forums, you can see all of the different kernels being developed. These allow for all kinds of modifications like underclocking the CPU and undervolting, both of which save battery. To see how to use them, read the FAQ's in each thread's OPs.
Here is a great guide to custom kernel's by mroneeyedboh.

2. Use SetCPU in compliance with whatever your custom kernel allows.
This site will explain the basics of SetCPU: http://www.setcpu.com/
-Profiles from SetCPU should usually involve these for battery life optimization:
-Screen off at the minimum clock speed for both, with the max raised on level if sluggishness is apparent
-A temperature greater than “X”
-General power related profiles that lower cpu speed at lower battery levels
-Here are my SetCPU profiles: 1 , 2 , 3
-My profiles change a lot as time goes by, because different kernel creators recommend different settings. I suggest reading up on whatever kernel you are using to gather settings.




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTES:

*Some apps or processes begin to run at startup and keep the phone awake. These apps are not detected by things like spare parts or system panel, unless sometimes represented in the "system" process, in which case its usage will be unusually high.
This shouldn't take more than three repeats, and if it does, you need to factory reset, and slowly add apps back to see what's causing the problem.



___--- When it comes to actually "calibrating" one's battery, there are a couple of methods floating around. The method I first learned is to charge the phone all the way, boot into recovery immediately, and "wipe battery stats". Then reboot quickly, and run your phone all the way to death without charging it, then charge it all the way without interrupting it, and you should be good to go. Do this when changing ROMs/kernels for best results.


----When it comes to people claiming 20 plus hours of moderate/heavy use out of their current setup or other ridiculous absurdities, consider my position: No matter what you do, the Evo battery is the Evo battery. You can tweak it and customize it with kernels, ROMs, and settings, but none of that will turn it into a car battery. The main problem (besides a false sense of pride) that leads to these reports is the misunderstanding of what the usage levels are, so here’s my best summary:

* *Light usage – Phone screen actually on for maybe 0-2 hours. Things like a few texts, some emails, 20 minutes web browsing, etc.
* *Moderate usage – You watched a few youtube videos or similar apps, sustained web browsing, hundreds of texts, some games. Hours range from about 2-5 of screen on
* *Heavy usage – LOTS of video watching and games, 3D pics or video, or some high def gaming/movie watching for at least an hour to an hour and a half in total, with lots of emails and texts, browsing, and other app shenanigans. 5+ hours


*I’m sure everyone doesn’t agree with all these numbers, but this is most likely a good average of what powerusers think. All specific hourage may vary due to differences in phones, batteries, ROMs, and kernels… Which also means that most battery comparisons are pointless; it’s only what you can improve on that counts!

I’ll update this whenever I see good stuff, people remind me, or I remember/come across things I do.

Hope it helps everybody!

Hit the "THANKS" button if I help you!


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I'm not quite sure if leaving the GPS on actually eats up battery now. I've seen articles now that state that GPS is only used if a program needs it. When I go into battery and usage, GPS will only show it has been used only a couple times with the apps that I opened such as Facebook, Speed Test or Gas Buddy. I think with ICS, it has changed in the way that GPS actually works and it is not actually constantly using battery.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhuff83 View Post
I'm not quite sure if leaving the GPS on actually eats up battery now. I've seen articles now that state that GPS is only used if a program needs it. When I go into battery and usage, GPS will only show it has been used only a couple times with the apps that I opened such as Facebook, Speed Test or Gas Buddy. I think with ICS, it has changed in the way that GPS actually works and it is not actually constantly using battery.
This is correct and I have confirmed it. Just haven't updated the op.

Thanks for calling that to my attention.
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The one about turning radios off is one that makes all the sense in the world, but I'm not sure in practice if it makes a significant enough difference to override the inconvenience of having to flip things on and off as needed.

I can only speak from personal experience but for about two weeks my wife and I, both with S3's, were shutting radios off when not needed out of habit from our Epic days. However, since then (well over a month now) we just leave everything on all the time... and I do mean *everything*: GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, cell radio, BT... and the difference has been... wait for it... so little it's actually been hard to quantify!

My own take on that rule is to leave everything on and see what you see... it's always easy enough to turn things off if you find your battery life not living up to expectations and if it winds up being a trend, so be it, leave things off as suggested in the OP. For my wife and I at least we can get through an average day and finish up before going to bed around 30%-40% battery most days. To me, even if I could get that to 40%-50% left, that 10% difference I can accept for never having to worry about what's on or off.

Laziness has a price, and it's around 10% of my battery life apparently
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great tips!!!! definitely improved my battery with these!
 
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The radios are extremely dependent upon your area, signal strength, the walls of your house, the apps you have installed that actually call upon the data... So ideally, if your area has amazing signal, your walls are hyper radio permeable, and you don't have many data intensive apps, then you can probably get by with minimal loss. People who are feeling the itch to test should certainly go ahead and try, but the same could be said with most of these tips. This is simply a guide of suggestions. YMMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by fzammetti View Post
The one about turning radios off is one that makes all the sense in the world, but I'm not sure in practice if it makes a significant enough difference to override the inconvenience of having to flip things on and off as needed.

I can only speak from personal experience but for about two weeks my wife and I, both with S3's, were shutting radios off when not needed out of habit from our Epic days. However, since then (well over a month now) we just leave everything on all the time... and I do mean *everything*: GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, cell radio, BT... and the difference has been... wait for it... so little it's actually been hard to quantify!

My own take on that rule is to leave everything on and see what you see... it's always easy enough to turn things off if you find your battery life not living up to expectations and if it winds up being a trend, so be it, leave things off as suggested in the OP. For my wife and I at least we can get through an average day and finish up before going to bed around 30%-40% battery most days. To me, even if I could get that to 40%-50% left, that 10% difference I can accept for never having to worry about what's on or off.

Laziness has a price, and it's around 10% of my battery life apparently
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Default Gps Radio?

Really? The radio, even if left on, uses power only when an app needs the position. I am kinda boggled by this? Wouldn't it take longer to aquire the location from the 3-7 sateilites upon the request and then shut back down. What would be the diference? This can't be true about the GPS not sucking any power in ICS when idle.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 551skydiver View Post
Really? The radio, even if left on, uses power only when an app needs the position. I am kinda boggled by this? Wouldn't it take longer to aquire the location from the 3-7 sateilites upon the request and then shut back down. What would be the diference? This can't be true about the GPS not sucking any power in ICS when idle.

BUMP
Try leaving it on for the day and go into battery and click on the graph. You will see that it should be black across the board for GPS if the signal was not used. Only time it would be green is when a program utilized it.
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ICS changed the Battery Stats. It doesn't display that information in About Device. Uptime is there but awake time isn't.
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