Ask LH: How Can I Fix My Android Battery Problems?

Ask LH: How Can I Fix My Android Battery Problems?

Dear Lifehacker, The battery in my Samsung Galaxy S II is really lousy. I never get a full day out of it. I have Android version 2.3.3 How can I improve the battery life? Thanks, Not Yet Charged

Dear NYC,

I’ve only played a little with the Galaxy S II but, like many of its Android (and smartphone) bretheren, maximising battery throughput can seem like a challenge even when you’re running the newest available version of Android on the phone. Fortunately, this is a topic we’ve covered in some depth in the past, so rather than repeating myself, I’ll just point you towards our comprehensive guide to improving Android battery life. Good luck!

Cheers Lifehacker

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send an email to [email protected], and include ‘Ask Lifehacker’ in the subject line.


  • One trick i found that works really well on my SGS is to disable any bands not used by my mobile network… you don’t need to root the phone to do it either.

    Not sure the steps for doing it on the SGSII.

  • I have a SGS2 and I can have it on for a day with no issues. I use Llama for location profiling to turn on and turn off my wifi (so it connects to Wifi when I’m home or at work). Then I have Watchdog to blacklist a process called ‘Wifi Sharing’. From what I read (and observed on my own), this process occasionally takes up processor for no reason, most probably a bug. Blacklisting it kills the process (it didn’t affect my wifi) when it goes beyond 25% CPU for more than 5 minutes.

    Last time I checked, I still have 45% battery after 16 hours of use. I have always-on 3G and background data, with sync to 4 different services/accounts.

  • A colleague at work says that a number of optus services use up a chunk of his battery. I think some can be turned off and some he might have done something similar to the above commented blacklisting

  • I use a combo of juicedefender (have 3G turned off with 1hr updates on e-mail etc.) and timeriffic (for turning wireless off when at work and putting phone on silent). I get a good 2 days out of my phone with normal use

  • I have a Sony Ericsson ARC x12 and I too have this same problem with battery life, I barely get a whole day out of my battery. I might try this juicefender app as peter suggested.

  • My htc desire would rarely last through the day. If i didn’t put it on charge at night, it would be in the yellow by morning. Being my first smartphone I thought that was normal. I had heard that smartphones used a bit of power and would just put it on charge whenever I was at my desk.

    It wasn’t till my wife and I went on holidays and I noticed that her identical phone got through the day easily that I realised something was wrong.

    No amount of tweaking or monitoring would fix it. It was only when I reflashed it with the same firmware it already had that it started working properly, even though I put all the same apps and settings back on it.

    It might be something to try, reflash not factory reset.

  • I have a SGS II and it was playing up from the very beginning (minimally at the start – although it got worse) and had very crap battery life. I ended up taking it in to Vodafail (I know .. they are horrible) and they gave me a new one which had a much better battery life. Thus, it could be the phone itself – Bad batch perhaps? I got one of the first SGS IIs’ mailed out by Vodafail if that helps?

  • Samsung phones suffer badly in areas of low signal.

    I know this sounds insane compared to the other advice here, but try moving your phone around on your desk at work – on one side of my desk I would go flat in hours, on the other side I could get days.

  • I have a galaxy S2. I don’t use any powermanagement app. With normal use ( HSDPA+ push email, bit of youtube, wifi, simple 2D games) I easilly get through two days (with about 30% battery to spare).

    The only “customization” I’ve done to the handset is rooting and removing some of the samsung apps (IE all the hub apps). If you have a branded phone, maybe try removing the carrier apps?

  • I’m late to the party on this one, but here are my tips:

    Firstly, for general battery care – make sure you’re taking good care of your battery. You should have conditioned it when you got the phone (full discharge before initial charge, then full power cycle 2-3 times following); but also try not to let your battery run flat as much as possible. Li-ION batteries age faster when they’re fully discharged, so as soon as you notice your battery is below 30-50% – look for your charger.

    Secondly, look into purchasing a Mugen after-market battery. They generally have higher MAh capacity than what your phone’s manufacturer provides, and people have reported up to 2-2.5 days without having to charge.

    Software wise, try JuiceDefender. Worth the money to buy the full version, it’s fully customisable, but its preset profiles will make a huge difference without any changing of settings

    If you’re already using it (and if not you should), Tasker can turn your WiFi/GPS/Data on and off when user set apps are loaded and closed. Worth doing in case you frequently forget to turn your GPS off after using Maps/Navigation.

  • I believe vodafone is a large problem with my battery on my sgs2, so when i am in battery saving mode i switch to 2g to make sure it isnt switching signals all the time, this also has the advantage of no call dropouts as vodafone’s 2g network is awesome pity about the 3g 🙁

  • I’ve found my android battery life pretty crappy of late to be honest. I often wonder how much the mobile network performance impacts on battery life.

    • How much? Serverely.

      Switching radio’s on and off to switch between bands, or between 2G/3G networks sucks it up in truckloads.

      Apps like JuiceDefender save power by switching these connection types off, and only turning them on periodically in a controlled manner when required – ever 30-60 minutes or so.

      When you’re in low reception areas however – your phone is practically continually switching between modes trying to establish the best connection it can.

  • I easily get 2 days of normal use from my SGS2 without relying on third party apps. I have 3G and background data on permanently. My WiFi policy is set to turn WiFi off on screen off which made a huge difference to my original battery life. Running stock (unnranded) 2.3.3.

  • Something else you could try is reducing screen brightness.

    I have a Galaxy S and I see on the power usage chart that my biggest battery drainer is my screen, sitting at a whopping 90% of all usage.
    I don’t reduce my screen brightness all the time (what’s the point – the beautiful AMOLED is a serious drawcard) but if batter’s dangerously low and I need it to last, it’s one of the first things I do. It seems to work.

  • it doesn’t matter how smart, thin or light your phone is once the battery runs out, it is just a paperweight.

    I want a true 24 hours out of my phone, I use it most in the afternoon evening, when it is most likely to let me down.

  • It seems theres a bug in the Gallery app.
    Restart your phone, then dont touch the stock gallery app. Instead install a third party one such as Quickpic or Just Pictures.

    I found that if I open the gallery app my battery drains to 30% in a few hours. If i dont use the stock gallery, my battery goes down to 70% after 10 hours.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!