rkazares
1 Copper

Streak Battery life

I have been using my Streak since the day it came out - and the divice is most (if not all) of what it is advertised to be.  BUT - I have yet to go a full day without the battery draining completely.  Having read the reviews, the battery life should be pretty good - but I'm not using the phone very much (less than 30 minutes talk time on any one day - so far) and I'm not using Wi-Fi - just 3G - and pretty much limiting use to some web searches and e-mail downloads (probably an average of 30 messages a day) - and the phone is dead by 7:00 PM AT THE LATEST!!!!

Anyone else having a problem with this - or is it my phone or battery?    Thanks.

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14 Replies
sakanagai
1 Nickel

Re: Streak Battery life

To get a better idea of what is using how much power, Android keeps track of battery usage for you. Go to Settings->About device->Battery use to find out which processes or components are most to blame. The biggest users of battery life on my Streak are the display and the cellular hardware (cell standby).

-Check your screen's brightness. Don't keep it higher than is necessary. The dimmest (25%) is sufficient for most indoor use.

-If you have access to a wireless network, connect to that rather than rely on 3G. Your cellular antenna is slower and consumes much more power than WiFi.

-If you are not in a WiFi coverage area, disable WiFi either in the settings menu (Settings->Wireless and Networking), the status bar, or via a widget such as Power Control.

-If you are in an area with very weak cellular signal, consider disabling cellular data (settings or status bar) either directly or enabling Airplane Mode that disables all wireless communication.

Even if you aren't actively using a network connection on your Streak, certain applications and processes, such as RSS and Twitter clients, consume data in the background. Consider changing update settings for these applications in their respective settings/preferences menus to limit wireless communications.

rkazares
1 Copper

Re: Streak Battery life

thank you for your very well organized and really complete description - but my concern is not how to optimize the power usage - which I have already done - so let me explain why I'm concerned.

I know about the battery usage display - and ran a test this morning.  I shut down every application (application killer) and simply let the phone sit - with the screen off for exactly 1 hour.   The battery usage meter showed cell phone idle at 50% and cell phone stand by at 50% - while the total batter remaining still showed 100% on the front panel.  That seems pretty good - at the rate of usage shown, the batter life would be infinite!!!!   LOL

I have the screen set at about 50% brightness - which is a good all around setting for the way I use the phone in different environments.  Also, I almost NEVER turn on the WiFi - and rely on 3G - due to my constant moving around - I don't want to waste battery life seeking a WiFi signal which would only be useful occasionally.

My real concern is that when I used the phone for simply general use - (some web activity, checking e-mail, a few phone calls) - nothing special or extensive the battery was DEAD by 7:00 PM!!  My previous "smart" phone (a Blackberry Bold 9700) - would have gone at least 3 days on a single charge with the same usage pattern!!!!   

I don't expect this device to match that performance - as it is so much MORE CAPABLE than the Blackberry - but I DID expect it to last through ONE DAY!!!!!   Having to swap out the battery every day of the phone's life is simply not an acceptable choice - at least to me.

I was trying to find out if my particular battery life was TYPICAL - or is something WRONG with my specific phone.

Again, thanks for the reply.

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sakanagai
1 Nickel

Re: Streak Battery life

I switch between an iPhone 4, a Nexus One, and now a Dell Streak as my phone, but my usage environment is likely different than yours. I spend a majority of the day in an area where there is only 2G coverage and even that is spotty enough that whichever phone I'm using has to frequently scan for signal, wasting a lot of power. During the week, my Nexus One lasts a day (5AM-10PM), the iPhone gets close to 2 days, and the Streak made it about 9 hours before I felt it necessary to remove the SIM and switch phones. During the weekends, when I am in good coverage all day, the N1 can make it through with one recharge. Under the same conditions, I expect the Streak to last the full day.

There was no start time indicated, so how long from the time you disconnect the charging cable until the battery dies? Keep in mind that Android has a lot more going on in the background than your Blackberry and your task killer doesn't stop everything. Critical processes are still up and running as are non-idle ones that may involve regular updates (weather apps, email, twitter, etc). It may be worthwhile to check such applications and adjust their update frequency. Also, the hardware is a lot more powerful than that in the Bold and as such requires more power to operate. As I said above, I only get a day out of my Nexus One and that is about in line with what I got from my old iPhone 3G. You could try calibrating the battery (fully charge battery, let sit connected to charger for a couple hours, fully discharge, let sit for a couple hours, recharge to full) to see if that helps any, but no guarantees.

Sounds like keeping WiFi off is the smarter move, but relying solely on 3G will have a definite impact on battery life. I won't be able to do a more "realistic" test until this weekend, but I don't see why lasting one day on a charge should be out of reach.

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rkazares
1 Copper

Re: Streak Battery life

Wow - that is LOT'S of information - and maybe the following would be usefull (for anyone reading this blog). 

I performed a battery test today - at 8:30 AM I disconnected the phone from an over-night charge (it was at 100% indicated).  Excatly 4 hours later - with absolutely NO USE, and all of the applications that I could actually "kill" - turned off - the indicated battery power was at 84%.  There were no phone calls and very few e-mails downloaded in the background.  The battery use was evenly divided - 48% call standby and 48% phone idle - and there was 4% "Android system" also shown.  Remember - the phone was not turned on during this time and neither made nor received any phone calls.

If one does the math - assuming that you get 100% battery use (which you actually do not) 100/16= 6.26.  if you muliply the 4 hours of the test by 6.26 you get a projected MAXIMUM - (assuming NO PHONE USE) run time of 25 hours.  That would be the maximum standby time of the phone - which is advertised at 8 days!!!!!!!  

At this point in the day (it is now 10.5 hours since the charger was removed) the phone is showing 58% power remaining. The probem is that I only used the phone an absolute minimum of potential use (for this test) - approximately 10-15 minutes MAX of actual phone use - and no more than 10 minutes of browser and e-mail use.  That is less than 30 minutes of TOTAL use of the phone - which is WAY less than I would use the phone on a "normal" (non-test) day.  At this rate, the phone would last the complete day (assume the day effectively is "ended" at 10 PM) - but that would mean not really USING the phone or (more importantly) its features very much.  So what is the point of having it?   On a trip, for example, I would be constantly worrying about the battery going dead - meaning I'd have to carry a spare battery (FULLY CHARGED) at all times  whihc I've NEVER done for a mobile phone - even in the ANALOG days!!!!

Comments?

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sakanagai
1 Nickel

Re: Streak Battery life

Calm down, there. I think your expectations for the battery are unrealistically high. Keep in mind that the Streak is advertised as a tablet with optional 3G capability. Using airplane mode most of yesterday, the probable circumstances for their advertised estimate, I saw the battery indicator (status bar pop out window) report 100% after three hours,  97% after six, and after some moderate use 92% after nine. Assuming accuracy of the power report (not tested), 8 full days of standby may be a bit much, but it should last several days. Starting from airplane mode today, it is still reporting 100% after 4 hours of standby.

The most important fact to keep in mind when you have wireless communications enabled, especially cellular hardware, is that standby is not the same thing as off. Depending on active services, location, and strength of signal, cellular hardware in standby can use a lot of power. Not necessarily as much as talking on the phone or browsing over 3G, but it is certainly not negligible. All because you only used your phone for 25 minutes on that charge doesn't mean it can't run more. I ran a pretty grueling trial over the weekend in an area with a good signal, using only 3G for data, frequent web browsing, some talk time, a few texts, Pandora while idling, and a few videos from Youtube. Even with all that, it still lasted most of the day, shy of 20% remaining after 8 hours. That's about in line with a full day of standby.

From what you've said, your battery and phone appear to be working properly. Calibrate your battery. Use your phone. Before charging it again, look at the usage list and compare again. One day on a charge is not unusual with these powerful handsets. It's a price you have to pay for the features. The runtime observed so far isn't terribly different from other Android/iOS phones I've seen and used so far, no small sample size. For what it's worth, I have a spare battery for my Nexus One that I bring with me when I travel, but have never actually needed it between car chargers and using airplane mode when flying.

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PopaTim
1 Nickel

Re: Streak Battery life

I suspect you may indeed have an issue with your battery. I got my Streak this past Friday, fully charged it and have used it quite heavily (for me) and am just putting it on the charger now. This is approximately 77 hours of battery time with much web surfing, photo taking, calls, Mapping, Chatting, and more texts than I can count plus my wife used it for a few hours also (she wants one now too-LoL).  This indeed not my blackberry, I could go about 7 days between charges on that but so far I'm happy with the battery life. Too bad it won't always last me 3 days; you just gotta love brand new lithiums....  (got 10 days easily on the BB when the batt was brand new)

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henage
1 Copper

Re: Streak Battery life

I'm guessing you have a bad battery too.

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millerd1
1 Nickel

Re: Streak Battery life

I'm seeing post content elsewhere that the mapping and locate me features are running consuming power, unless you turn them off somehow.  To get a GPS position your antenna has to be alive

rkazares
1 Copper

Re: Streak Battery life

Thanks for all of the responses - and suggestions.   I was just about to call Dell to return the device - when reading about the location features.  I turned off the GPS locate (kept the cell one) - and more than DOUBLED the battery life.  Today was the first day that the phone actually lasted the full day (with moderate use) - and still has 54% indicated battery life (after about 12 hours of "standby" (3G) use, some web browsing, several e-mails and about 30 minutes of phone use.

With the GPS enabled - the phone would have been totally dead at 10 hours.   

As for "airplane mode' - if you have to keep airplane mode ON - in order for the battery to last a day - the phone is no more useful as communications device than a banana - and a lot less tasty!!!!

I purchased a spare battery and will test the phone with that to determine if the original battery is a dud.

thanks again for all the help.

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