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[Q}Lollipop Yotaphone 2 battery life - any fixes?

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ridgemagnet

Member
Jun 21, 2013
38
7
Maidenhead
Hi all,
Having just bought a Yotaphone 2, latest model 801 processor and with Lollipop installed, I was impressed with it... lovely screen, sharp response, great display on the back ....until I realised that battery life on the EPD or indeed doing nothing was (and is) terrible.

This somewhat negates the point of having the EPD. Because whether you use the EPD or not, as others have found, the processor seems to be spending 100% of the time doing something like trying to connect to Google headquarters to report my unethical swearwords as I look at the battery level heading south.

To try and make sure the phone was using the least power, I went through all the running apps and services and terminated as many as I could, turned off things like Yotafit tracking, turned off the service that sends all your contact details to the Kremlin, and so on... then, I turned on the Yotaenergy mode and despite that, we are at less than 24 hours with virtually no phone usage at all. Fully 50% of all the energy according to the battery stats is being used by Android System and Android OS processes when the system is in standby. And the historic battery screenshot shows that the processor is active 100% of the time., even though the phone has not been touched. (sorry, not attached, I'll post at some point, but its not very interesting)

So, does anyone have any clues about how this can be fixed? I have seen screenshots where people have shown that their processors are not active the whole time, and I imagine they have Lollipop? I have heard Lollipop has got some kind of bug which means that data connections are live the whole time, not sure if this is related.

(This might explain the sudden appearance of half price devices on eBay around six months after launch in the UK.)

Many thanks in advance!
 

Jeopardy

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2007
156
72
YotaDevices has acknowledged the problems on Lollipop battery life, which is the reason they won't be shipping devices coming to USA preinstalled with Lollipop, but with KitKat. Now that I've played around with the EPD and created some widgets/applications for it, I can spot many places where things can go wrong in maintaining battery life and still keep things working.
Personally I've been lucky with the battery life on all versions of Android. When I updated to the last version of Lollipop (firmware 1.44), the phone did show poor battery life for hours after the installation was finished, before calming down to the promised 5 days stand by. Are you on the very last firmware? (Settings - about phone - build number)

As a last resort if your device won't settle down, I guess you could roll back to Kitkat, which had a very good battery life for pretty much everyone. You can install it with Yota's flasher tool: ftp://fw.ydevices.com/YotaPhone2/YotaPhoneFlasher/yotaphone2_flasher.exe
Just carefully select your own region and then the last version of KitKat (4.4.3) they offer. As you are rolling back from one major version to another, I would suggest flashing pretty much everything. You will lose your data.

Yota has said that they are working on bringing Lollipop 5.1 or 5.2 to Yotaphone 2. Let's hope that that works better.
 

ridgemagnet

Member
Jun 21, 2013
38
7
Maidenhead
Thanks that was very useful. The question is, will Yota do another build ... or build another device? I'm hoping the Y2 has a bit of life left in it yet and they do launch in the US - it can only help the development community!

I reset back to factory/Lollipop last night as it was eating battery so fast I could not believe it, and I am on the latest build 1.44EU (and was before). Since then.. it doesn't seem to be misbehaving so much, but it does seem to insist that the WIFI is on (when it is switched 'off' in the settings) by 'on' I mean the battery usage recorder... I wil take your advice and 'take it slow' for now, but may flash back to Kitkat if necessary. It is a bit tedious having to reinstall all your apps by hand but this seems to be the only way to ensure it is relatively clean. :rolleyes:

The screengrabs below show the phone doing nothing at all in Yotaenergy mode - per first post.
 

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Jeopardy

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2007
156
72
Thanks that was very useful. The question is, will Yota do another build ... or build another device? I'm hoping the Y2 has a bit of life left in it yet and they do launch in the US - it can only help the development community!

I reset back to factory/Lollipop last night as it was eating battery so fast I could not believe it, and I am on the latest build 1.44EU (and was before). Since then.. it doesn't seem to be misbehaving so much, but it does seem to insist that the WIFI is on (when it is switched 'off' in the settings) by 'on' I mean the battery usage recorder... I wil take your advice and 'take it slow' for now, but may flash back to Kitkat if necessary. It is a bit tedious having to reinstall all your apps by hand but this seems to be the only way to ensure it is relatively clean. :rolleyes:

The screengrabs below show the phone doing nothing at all in Yotaenergy mode - per first post.

I am quite confident that they will release updated Lollipop sooner or later. They don't have the resources to piss off all their customers just yet. ;)

Your Wifi still does some scans on its own for Google's location service, even if it's not enabled. You can disable this feature in the advanced wifi settings. But that is not the cause of your battery problem. Basically your device is awake all the time, meaning something is holding a wake lock. And by something I mean one of Yota's EPD compoments, which are counted as part of "Android OS" and "Android System" - your biggest battery hogs. It could be one of the EPD widgets that is misbehaving, or it could be some specific combination of them, or just something out of your control.

You could try removing ALL the widgets from the rear screen from Yotahub, then restart the device, and then let it run for an hour with the screen off. Then check the detailed battery log if the device went to sleep or if it was awake. If it went to sleep, you can try adding widgets back one at a time, and then check again if the device sleeps. Basically all the widgets which update periodically hold a wake lock momentarily (time, battery, calendar, weather etc). Of course if the problem lies on Yota's EPD framework, then this wont help at all.
 

ridgemagnet

Member
Jun 21, 2013
38
7
Maidenhead
I am quite confident that they will release updated Lollipop sooner or later. They don't have the resources to piss off all their customers just yet. ;)

Your Wifi still does some scans on its own for Google's location service, even if it's not enabled. You can disable this feature in the advanced wifi settings. But that is not the cause of your battery problem. Basically your device is awake all the time, meaning something is holding a wake lock. And by something I mean one of Yota's EPD compoments, which are counted as part of "Android OS" and "Android System" - your biggest battery hogs. It could be one of the EPD widgets that is misbehaving, or it could be some specific combination of them, or just something out of your control.

Agreed, I suspect the YotaFit app going bonkers despite my efforts to kill it.... or the Yotagram service, the thing is, looking at the Yota specific apps, you don't really need them, as you can flip the screen with the Yotamirror, and then use any Android app. Sure it would be nice to have notifications on the EPD, but my main focus for this phone is use in bright daylight, and long battery life, not to actually look at the thing 24x7 so I can respond to emails every 30 seconds.

At this point though I'm just trying to determine how bad the underlying hardware is. The GPS on this phone seems to a bit flaky, as does the basic reception of mobile signal. (And I'm not using a metal bumper.) So, I'm happy to flash back to KitKat 4.4.3 to try and give it the best chance..

So, any clues/links about the Yota flash tool? I've put the phone into USB debug mode, installed the flash tool on my windows 7 desktop, and installed ADB/Fastboot as well, but at this point I'm having a bit of an android driver problem, and ADB can't see the phone so that probably explains why the Flashtool says 'waiting for device' when I fire it up. I will go digging to fix that, but I assume that the Flashtool will do all the stuff like putting the phone into bootloader mode, unlock etc...
 

Jeopardy

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2007
156
72
Agreed, I suspect the YotaFit app going bonkers despite my efforts to kill it.... or the Yotagram service, the thing is, looking at the Yota specific apps, you don't really need them, as you can flip the screen with the Yotamirror, and then use any Android app. Sure it would be nice to have notifications on the EPD, but my main focus for this phone is use in bright daylight, and long battery life, not to actually look at the thing 24x7 so I can respond to emails every 30 seconds.

At this point though I'm just trying to determine how bad the underlying hardware is. The GPS on this phone seems to a bit flaky, as does the basic reception of mobile signal. (And I'm not using a metal bumper.) So, I'm happy to flash back to KitKat 4.4.3 to try and give it the best chance..

So, any clues/links about the Yota flash tool? I've put the phone into USB debug mode, installed the flash tool on my windows 7 desktop, and installed ADB/Fastboot as well, but at this point I'm having a bit of an android driver problem, and ADB can't see the phone so that probably explains why the Flashtool says 'waiting for device' when I fire it up. I will go digging to fix that, but I assume that the Flashtool will do all the stuff like putting the phone into bootloader mode, unlock etc...

The widgets I'm running at the moment without any problems are Time, Mini Calendar, weather, battery, and communications (the small widget which shows phone calls, notifications and sms). And of course my own widget. ;)
The best way to make sure there are no useless services running is to root the device and uninstall them completely, but that's another story.

For the flashtool to detect the device, you need to boot it into download mode manually. The easiest way is to turn off your device and plug the usb in while holding volume down -button. The screen will show "download" or something in very small white text. After that the flashtool should find the device. You probably don't have to flash the user partition (it asks for it separately), i.e. the simulated sdcard section which holds all your photos, documents and music.

Edit. And when you have kitkat installed, the first thing you might want to do is to disable automatic system updates. Otherwise it will nag you about the Lollipop update all the time.
 

ridgemagnet

Member
Jun 21, 2013
38
7
Maidenhead
thanks gents, oddly, the advice to let the phone 'calm down' seems to be working. I decided not to revert to KitKat (yet), as every day I use the phone the battery life seems to improve. Yesterday it was down to 40%, today 60% after about a days use. I'm thinking a week of running in will give it time to stabilize. I would love to root the phone but I want to use the Good app, and that doesn't run on rooted phones... (shame but I guess that's the flipside of working for a big corporate for you!)
 

Jeopardy

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2007
156
72
thanks gents, oddly, the advice to let the phone 'calm down' seems to be working. I decided not to revert to KitKat (yet), as every day I use the phone the battery life seems to improve. Yesterday it was down to 40%, today 60% after about a days use. I'm thinking a week of running in will give it time to stabilize. I would love to root the phone but I want to use the Good app, and that doesn't run on rooted phones... (shame but I guess that's the flipside of working for a big corporate for you!)

Try putting the battery widget on your epd. If it shows 5 days remaining when you are above 85% and you don't use the phone, then the device works as advertised.
That Good app sounds like a real killjoy. There seems to exist some Xposed modules to disable the root check, but they seemed to be rather finicky to setup and very easy to mess up.
 

scdoyle

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2008
274
85
I was suffering from terrible battery life after the lollipop upgrade and the EPD battery widget was never showing much above 1d anymore. After much research and tinkering, it has now improved and I am seeing greater than 3d again. I think the culprits were maybe google fit tracking which I have now turned off and I also de-installed and re-installed the google play services updates which is a tip I saw in an android forum. I also over the last two days have received several yota widget updates which may have also helped. At least for now I am seeing a comfortable day's use again!
 

Jeopardy

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2007
156
72
I experienced poor battery life out of blue again. I went through all the settings, cleared dalvik-cache and cache partition, tried disabling everything, but nothing helped. It only showed <1 day battery life at 100%.
But then I went to mess around in the developer settings, and when I set the animation scales from 1x to 0.25x and enabled "Force GPU rendering", the battery life returned instantly to 5 days.

Just thought I'd add this to the list of things to test out if someone's experiencing poor battery life. The forced GPU rendering might have some unexpected effects on some software rendering based games.
 

kam1962

Senior Member
Jan 16, 2012
56
5
dont know if this will help but just seen some of the new features of android m "marshmallow" one of which is doze and there is a separate app available on play store for this. i have installed and it has helped battery life !!!
 

zute333

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2012
214
48
Canterbury
I was going through terrible battery life after Lollipop as well. Suffered, tinkered, tried various things. Eventually I just said screw it, backed everything up and factory reset it from recovery. Since then it seems like it's almost back to it's old self. Obviously having root and using some kernel control apps, greenify and some other things helps it but It will happily do at least a couple of days with little-normal usage. Still don't think it's as good as KitKat but it's not too far off. The EPD really does help spread battery out too.
 

Rarelyamson

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2009
95
2
I did the same thing but a 3 weeks on, the battery is as shocking as ever.
Today, on battery since 0730, now @ 1115 51% and 3hrs left!??
No obvious apps causing battery drain, just google services!
 

silvorla

New member
Sep 18, 2015
1
0
I did the same thing but a 3 weeks on, the battery is as shocking as ever.
Today, on battery since 0730, now @ 1115 51% and 3hrs left!??
No obvious apps causing battery drain, just google services!
I have had the phone nearly a week, and these are similar figures I experience. What's the point of the epd if my battery dies by lunch!

Sent from my YD201 using Tapatalk
 

sportsfan986

Member
Dec 21, 2011
12
3
I think it is something with Android 5.0 that is causing the drain issues. I can go anywhere from half a day to a week with good batteyr life and then it will randomly start draining again. Some background activity seems to hold a permanent wakelock and will not let go of it. I am unable to pinpoint what app is creating the wakelock with better battery stats or wakelock detector since there isn't access to kernel wakelocks in either of the apps for our phone. A restart always fixes things though, so I have a tasker script now that lets me know when idle battery drain exceeds a threshold for too long so I know to do a restart, it's not elegant, but my battery life is exponentially better and gives me enough battery life to make it through the day without a recharge and leave the eink screen on all night as a tv remote.
 

ridgemagnet

Member
Jun 21, 2013
38
7
Maidenhead
I got a new phone

I think it is something with Android 5.0 that is causing the drain issues. I can go anywhere from half a day to a week with good batteyr life and then it will randomly start draining again. Some background activity seems to hold a permanent wakelock and will not let go of it. I am unable to pinpoint what app is creating the wakelock with better battery stats or wakelock detector since there isn't access to kernel wakelocks in either of the apps for our phone. A restart always fixes things though, so I have a tasker script now that lets me know when idle battery drain exceeds a threshold for too long so I know to do a restart, it's not elegant, but my battery life is exponentially better and gives me enough battery life to make it through the day without a recharge and leave the eink screen on all night as a tv remote.

In the end, I got a new phone after my Yotaphone decided to brick itself. Its a Zopo Speed 7, Octacore, dual SIM, nice screen, and does 4G very well in my part of the world. It is also around $200 at time of writing. Its a Chinese phone typical of the genre, Zopo seem to be moderately responsive to bugs compared with Yota... This Zopa phone is running 5.1 Android and I can tell you that Lollipop is not the problem...
Screenshot_2015_10_06_06_56_42.png

That's after charging the phone and leaving it overnight, with the battery saver mode on... not too shabby. Of course it won't actually last 28 days, but this phone is nothing special and it is capable of running without all those services running that the Yota has.
The Yota spent its entire time when I had it trying to contact Moscow with that dodgy 'dictionary app'. What (honestly) is the point of the e-ink display if it doesn't save power...
 

stapo101

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2015
107
61
If you are experiencing "always awake" and wifi always on despite your settings saying otherwise it may be worth going into your advanced wifi settings and changing "wifi frequency band" from "auto" to "2.4 GHz only. I remember reading this tip somewhere else for an Android 5.0 phone that was having battery issues similar to this. I made this change about 24 hours ago and have noticed a dramatic difference in battery drain when the screen is off. When I look at my battery stats I am no longer seeing a solid bar for both wifi and awake. Worth trying.

For what it's worth, I have had fairly light use today, some checking of emails and facebook, 40 mins or so of music via bluetooth (with screen off). Total screen on time of 35 mins. The phone has been off charge since 06:30 this morning. It is now 17:00 and is showing battery of 71% with an estimated 2d and 8h left. Better battery stats show deep sleep of 71% whereas previously it had shown awake at 100%. Far better than I had before.
 

Argon0

Member
Mar 1, 2010
23
1
If you are experiencing "always awake" and wifi always on despite your settings saying otherwise it may be worth going into your advanced wifi settings and changing "wifi frequency band" from "auto" to "2.4 GHz only. I remember reading this tip somewhere else for an Android 5.0 phone that was having battery issues similar to this. I made this change about 24 hours ago and have noticed a dramatic difference in battery drain when the screen is off. When I look at my battery stats I am no longer seeing a solid bar for both wifi and awake. Worth trying.

For what it's worth, I have had fairly light use today, some checking of emails and facebook, 40 mins or so of music via bluetooth (with screen off). Total screen on time of 35 mins. The phone has been off charge since 06:30 this morning. It is now 17:00 and is showing battery of 71% with an estimated 2d and 8h left. Better battery stats show deep sleep of 71% whereas previously it had shown awake at 100%. Far better than I had before.
Have you tried using the setting so Wifi is only on while screen is on? (Unless on charge...)
 

robinmalmberg

Member
Jan 31, 2006
22
4
I think I found the issue, at least with my phone.

I was syncing with exchange, and there is a nasty bug with android 5.0 and exchange sync. The sync is taking forever and doesn´t sync everything. Calendar and contacts missing.

Then I removed the ActiveSync connection on my phone and set up the app Nine to sync instead.

After that I got much better battery. This may help for others as well. The phone is just hammering the exchange server all the time and this takes up a lot of power.
 
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  • 2
    YotaDevices has acknowledged the problems on Lollipop battery life, which is the reason they won't be shipping devices coming to USA preinstalled with Lollipop, but with KitKat. Now that I've played around with the EPD and created some widgets/applications for it, I can spot many places where things can go wrong in maintaining battery life and still keep things working.
    Personally I've been lucky with the battery life on all versions of Android. When I updated to the last version of Lollipop (firmware 1.44), the phone did show poor battery life for hours after the installation was finished, before calming down to the promised 5 days stand by. Are you on the very last firmware? (Settings - about phone - build number)

    As a last resort if your device won't settle down, I guess you could roll back to Kitkat, which had a very good battery life for pretty much everyone. You can install it with Yota's flasher tool: ftp://fw.ydevices.com/YotaPhone2/YotaPhoneFlasher/yotaphone2_flasher.exe
    Just carefully select your own region and then the last version of KitKat (4.4.3) they offer. As you are rolling back from one major version to another, I would suggest flashing pretty much everything. You will lose your data.

    Yota has said that they are working on bringing Lollipop 5.1 or 5.2 to Yotaphone 2. Let's hope that that works better.
    2
    Agreed, I suspect the YotaFit app going bonkers despite my efforts to kill it.... or the Yotagram service, the thing is, looking at the Yota specific apps, you don't really need them, as you can flip the screen with the Yotamirror, and then use any Android app. Sure it would be nice to have notifications on the EPD, but my main focus for this phone is use in bright daylight, and long battery life, not to actually look at the thing 24x7 so I can respond to emails every 30 seconds.

    At this point though I'm just trying to determine how bad the underlying hardware is. The GPS on this phone seems to a bit flaky, as does the basic reception of mobile signal. (And I'm not using a metal bumper.) So, I'm happy to flash back to KitKat 4.4.3 to try and give it the best chance..

    So, any clues/links about the Yota flash tool? I've put the phone into USB debug mode, installed the flash tool on my windows 7 desktop, and installed ADB/Fastboot as well, but at this point I'm having a bit of an android driver problem, and ADB can't see the phone so that probably explains why the Flashtool says 'waiting for device' when I fire it up. I will go digging to fix that, but I assume that the Flashtool will do all the stuff like putting the phone into bootloader mode, unlock etc...

    The widgets I'm running at the moment without any problems are Time, Mini Calendar, weather, battery, and communications (the small widget which shows phone calls, notifications and sms). And of course my own widget. ;)
    The best way to make sure there are no useless services running is to root the device and uninstall them completely, but that's another story.

    For the flashtool to detect the device, you need to boot it into download mode manually. The easiest way is to turn off your device and plug the usb in while holding volume down -button. The screen will show "download" or something in very small white text. After that the flashtool should find the device. You probably don't have to flash the user partition (it asks for it separately), i.e. the simulated sdcard section which holds all your photos, documents and music.

    Edit. And when you have kitkat installed, the first thing you might want to do is to disable automatic system updates. Otherwise it will nag you about the Lollipop update all the time.
    2
    Similar findings here. After blaming the Android for 2 days and doing couple re-flash actually found 2 apps overwriting the OS settings for wifi and keep pumping it with no indication. Just hidden endless loop to scan/connect to wifi. Apps were showing nowhere that they are forcing the phone to use wifi. So the first and most common - Viber! Under settings there is Wifi setting which says to always use wifi... Idiots! How you can place such a setting on by default? So powerful to fool your OS and using the adapter in the background. Second app was Zoiper but mainly the Viber is what people can have for everyday use. I did a good couple hours elimination app by app checking battery stats until figure it out. You are aware of all standard Wifi settings that needs to be stopped so the wifi is not scanning when is actually off etc. I'm on latest RU 134 build. Charged in the morning to 98% after 6 and a half hours with 1 hour use and 4G always on now the phone is on 82% battery! Awesome!!!