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I've heard around these forums that LTE will not drain a phone's battery any more than 3g on newer phones.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 though and that seems not accurate in my case to the point where I almost dread LTE showing up because I'll be having to go on airplane mode within a couple hours.

 

Even when I go to a place with strong Sprint LTE signal with high data rates (e.g.; 20 mbps), my phone will only last a few hours at most before I am in the yellow.  If I am on 3g though with that kind of signal and general use, I can generally last a day without charging.  

 

Is the Samsung Galaxy S3 just not good at LTE battery life or is LTE simply a battery hog?  I am hoping it is the former since I'm going to be upgrading soon. 

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What phone do you have?

 

 

According to his signature, David has:

  • Phones/Devices:HTC ONE, Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC EVO 4G LTE, EVO 3D

Which leads me to a question: I have had the GS3 for about a year.  Has anyone else noticed that their GS3 battery isn't holding a charge as well as it did when new, or am I imagining that mine discharges faster now?

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After a year on my HTC Evo battery it did not hold charges very well either. I'm sure there are utilities to look up the cycles that you have put on the battery or one that tells of its condition. Such as on my macbook pro, after about 500 cycles it can only hold about 90% of the charge it did when it was new. So its part of the deal with cycling the batteries hundreds of times. A new one would fix the issue of course. 

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my gs3 on lte does not drain any faster than 3g

 

however

 

if you are in a weak area of 4g and losing signal going to 3g back to 4g that will depending on how much your phone is going back and forth will diminish your battery

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According to his signature, David has:

  • Phones/Devices:HTC ONE, Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC EVO 4G LTE, EVO 3D

Which leads me to a question: I have had the GS3 for about a year.  Has anyone else noticed that their GS3 battery isn't holding a charge as well as it did when new, or am I imagining that mine discharges faster now?

 

 

i have three spares... 2 of the three are sstill pretty comparable one of them drains way faster...

 

i usually always buy more than one battery for this reason... a shipping error got me three for this phone but if you have been using the same battery and only one battery for a year you would see diminished  charge capacity by a spare they are cheap 

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According to his signature, David has:

  • Phones/Devices:HTC ONE, Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC EVO 4G LTE, EVO 3D

Which leads me to a question: I have had the GS3 for about a year.  Has anyone else noticed that their GS3 battery isn't holding a charge as well as it did when new, or am I imagining that mine discharges faster now?

 

Depending on the wear on the battery, it does loose some of it's capacity after some time.

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I had an S3 for 9 months, battery life was ALWAYS better on LTE then EVDO. I've had an iPhone 5 3 months now and it's the same story. 

 

Also, at 8 months my S3's battery was indeed getting a bit weak. I put a new one in and all was good again. Average time before the battery in the S3 starts to go bad seems to be between 8-10 months. 

A popular Android fanatic on Youtube said the same thing back when I first got my S3 and I thought he was full of it til I experienced it myself. 

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Guys and gals, there's a reason that, even with Sprint's "total equipment protection", batteries are only warrantied for one year. With typical smartphone use of (what I've witnessed) around 1.5 cycles per day, sometimes more, they will degrade quickly - not to mention overcharging through leaving devices plugged in overnight, and then all day at work, and then again...

 

If you're going to use a device for 20 months, I would honestly recommend purchasing a new battery at 12-16 months, if you're a moderate to heavy user.

 

Anyways, one big thing I've noticed is that, while devices will generally get around the same battery life with LTE vs 3G (signal strength concerns aside), people on LTE tend to use their devices much, much more. As these ARM devices are designed to spend most of their time asleep with the screen off, you will notice the battery life being considerably diminished with increased usage.

 

Another thing is, on Android, check to make sure you're not having some kind of wakelock issue. I have no idea if it's even possible for a wakelock to only occur on LTE, but it seem plausible. Samsung Touchwiz is prone to severe wakelock issues, above and beyond the normal Android problems and Facebook.

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I've heard around these forums that LTE will not drain a phone's battery any more than 3g on newer phones.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 though and that seems not accurate in my case to the point where I almost dread LTE showing up because I'll be having to go on airplane mode within a couple hours.

 

Even when I go to a place with strong Sprint LTE signal with high data rates (e.g.; 20 mbps), my phone will only last a few hours at most before I am in the yellow.  If I am on 3g though with that kind of signal and general use, I can generally last a day without charging.  

 

Is the Samsung Galaxy S3 just not good at LTE battery life or is LTE simply a battery hog?  I am hoping it is the former since I'm going to be upgrading soon. 

For a SGS3, this is very very bad battery life.  Sounds like you have a background application that uses a lot of data when it sees a fast connection.  I personally notice no difference in life between CDMA only and LTE areas.  I can run the hell out of my S3 and it wouldn't die in less than 5 or 6 hours of continuous screen-on use.

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Guys and gals, there's a reason that, even with Sprint's "total equipment protection", batteries are only warrantied for one year. With typical smartphone use of (what I've witnessed) around 1.5 cycles per day, sometimes more, they will degrade quickly - not to mention overcharging through leaving devices plugged in overnight, and then all day at work, and then again...

 

[truncated]

 

Another thing is, on Android, check to make sure you're not having some kind of wakelock issue. I have no idea if it's even possible for a wakelock to only occur on LTE, but it seem plausible. Samsung Touchwiz is prone to severe wakelock issues, above and beyond the normal Android problems and Facebook.

 

The charging circuit in the phone does not allow the battery to be overcharged.  The recommendation to unplug the charger isn't for the phone's sake, but for the use of electricity by the idle charger remaining plugged into the wall.

 

While it is true that batteries using lithium based chemistries do not like being stored at full charge, this does not mean that float charging them for a few hours will damage them.  If it were days on end that the device remained plugged in, I could see some chemistry related issues decreasing battery life, but not over night.  Incidentally, this phenomenon is related to migration through cell dividers, not  overcharging.  Overcharging of a lithium based battery is bad, very bad, at least damaging the battery instantly, at worst, this damage is catastrophic and possibly pyrotechnic in nature.

 

As for the wakelock bit, absolutely.  There are great programs out there that will specifically display wakelock activity, GSAM battery monitor is one of them.

 

And before someone starts arguing by presenting articles written by silly popular tech sites on the internet, let me tell you that those articles aren't written by electrical engineers.  This post was.

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While it is true that batteries using lithium based chemistries do not like being stored at full charge, this does not mean that float charging them for a few hours will damage them.  If it were days on end that the device remained plugged in, I could see some chemistry related issues decreasing battery life, but not over night.

Heh, you should see how some folks use their phones. Charge 8 hours overnight, let it drain for 15 minutes while driving in to work. Charge for 8-9 hours while working, let it drain for 15 minutes while driving home. Charge the rest of the time when it's at home, repeat. And for many of them, you can ignore the section about driving, thanks to car chargers. I'm fairly certain that's damaging. Not an expert, just fairly certain.

 

As for the wakelock bit, absolutely.  There are great programs out there that will specifically display wakelock activity, GSAM battery monitor is one of them.

After checking out various battery life apps, my recommendation falls to Wakelock Detector. Set it to advanced mode, and you've got a lot of incredibly useful data. The GS3 in particular can easily suffer from a wakelock involving the Media Scanner Service, which is almost always caused by corrupt media files. Usually, these files come from "FREEEE MP3 DOWNLOADER PARADISE HAPPY" apps, or something similar. Such apps also are known to display ads all over your phone and harvest your personal information, so, you know.

 

And before someone starts arguing by presenting articles written by silly popular tech sites on the internet, let me tell you that those articles aren't written by electrical engineers.  This post was.

Well, shouldn't we be asking for the expertise of a chemical engineer? :P
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It's actually good to charge lithium ion batteries frequently and often. Discharging the battery way down, is more harmful than frequent charging.

 

As stated above, the charging circuit is not over charging the battery. Overcharging is unsafe.

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Heh, you should see how some folks use their phones. Charge 8 hours overnight, let it drain for 15 minutes while driving in to work. Charge for 8-9 hours while working, let it drain for 15 minutes while driving home. Charge the rest of the time when it's at home, repeat. And for many of them, you can ignore the section about driving, thanks to car chargers. I'm fairly certain that's damaging. Not an expert, just fairly certain.

 

After checking out various battery life apps, my recommendation falls to Wakelock Detector. Set it to advanced mode, and you've got a lot of incredibly useful data. The GS3 in particular can easily suffer from a wakelock involving the Media Scanner Service, which is almost always caused by corrupt media files. Usually, these files come from "FREEEE MP3 DOWNLOADER PARADISE HAPPY" apps, or something similar. Such apps also are known to display ads all over your phone and harvest your personal information, so, you know.

 

Well, shouldn't we be asking for the expertise of a chemical engineer? :P

I absolutely agree about car chargers with typical use. the problem isn't with car chargers, but with the way people use them.

 

There are 4 basic behaviors that are injurious to lithium batteries:

 

  • One is never disconnecting in the charger, the endless float. Phones don't usually have the smartest charging circuits. A good charging circuit will go to standby and not engage until the charge level is below 95% or so, even and if disconnected and reconnected will still not begin charging if the battery is over 95%. Remember that it is possible to run the phone off of external power without the charging circuit being connected to the battery.
  • The second is repeated shallow charging. This is where somebody runs a battery down by just a few percent, and then charges it by another few percent. This is what happens with car chargers, plug in at 45%, unplug at 49%, plug in at 23%, unplug at 28%, so overall the charger meter doesn't move by more than 5 or 6 percent.
  • The third is prolonged and deep discharge. Never store your battery flat dead. Charge it to 40 to 60 percent, and put it away somewhere out of direct sunlight or heat, ideally with temperature that will never get above about 75 degrees fahrenheit.
  • The fourth is repeatedly topping it off, which more or less fits into #1. If your battery is not run down by more than 10 percent, say to 85 or 90 percent, don't charge. Thinkpad models, for example, won't engage the charger circuit if the battery charge is above 94 percent, unless the charging behaviors are altered. The computer will run on the adapter, but not connect The charging circuit to the battery.

Another big thing to remember is that your battery may be good for a half life of 500 cycles, which means your capacity falls by half in 500 cycles of charged to dead and back, but if you only half-cycle it, with a maximum charge mobility of 50%, you will get around 1400 half-cycles, so the half life effectively becomes 700 cycles. Remember that the loss of capacity is not an immediate thing that happens once you hit that magical half-life cycle count. Capacity is lost each and every cycle. Once you hit that half way point, now you have another 500 or whatever cycles until your capacity halves again, for 25% of your original design capacity, and so on.  That's why we see laptops with VERY weak batteries that work for ten minutes or something, despite claiming 100% state of charge.

 

The bottom line is that you should always charge for at least 15%, avoid running below 10% frequently, don't top off for the hell of it, and remember that for every 24 hours your phone is flat dead, your full charge capacity falls by about .8%. Cheap chargers aren't a big deal anymore because the charging circuit on anything with USB is built into the phone, so you don't have to worry there, as long as you are getting a relatively clean 4.8 to 5.2 volt power supply.

 

Original post was written mostly by Google dictation.  It is now edited to clear up formatting and some remaining word mistakes, for easier reading.

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snip

Thank you, this has actually been very informative for me. You know what you should do? Submit an article for the wall here! I think it'd the kind of info most of us would be interested in. After all, every smartphone has a Li-Ion battery these days...
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I am always surprised how many strange, totally nonsubstantiatable things regarding batteries that are floating around out there, often perpetuated by people who place themselves in a position to advise.

For example, Verizon tells people it is best to charge a phone only when the battery is below ten percent charge and then to charge it all the way without interruption. The latter part is accurate, but the former couldn't be more wrong. It also happens to be the same recommendation given with by Verizon with my old analog Motorola DPC550, which used a NiMH battery, in which case, as with all nickel based chemistries, it is the correct recommendation for proper battery care.

I love debate, but I steer clear of the battery subject now, since 9/10 things popularly perpetuated are wrong.

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This is a great discussion.  One thing that occurs to me with this however is where the Android phones are going in the future.  It appears that most ff the phone manufacturers are moving us to the built-in non-removable battery.  Even the much anticipated LG G2, has the locked-in non-removable battery and has caused me to possibly not consider it, even though I love the tri-band receiving feature it will have. My family has a few phones and we all have had to purchase new batteries after a year of so as the batteries with them have tended to fade.  This will be an issue with the new wave of phones where we will not have easy options to replace the battery as they fail.  I think the phone makers know that as phones become faster and better, they will soon be in the same situation as PCs, where most users don’t need to update their PCs as often as they are fast enough for most users.  To get around this, the phone makers are producing phones that must be replaced after a couple of years, even if their specs are still pretty close to the top.  I want the G2 as mentioned, but as a guy on the move with bad charging habits, I tend to do many of the things noted above. (over charging & under charging at times). It is tough spending $600 plus for a phone that will need to be battery repaired or be a throw away in 1.5 to 2 years.  Who would buy a new Laptop that had an internal battery that could not be replaced? Think of the labor charges and the overpriced battery costs.  Reading this discussion convinces me more that if the phones continue down the path of non-removable batteries,, we will be pushed to prematurely disposable phones.  I hope this movement does not continue as I hate knowing I have to keep a charger on hand everywhere I go after the phone is over a year old…..  . 

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