2010-06-01 02:48 - General

On Nexus One/Anrdoid and Battery Life:

I've got a love/hate relationship with my N1. I generally love it, it does a lot of stuff I like. I use it extensively, virtually every day. But the battery life leaves a lot to be desired.

A typical day for me means picking the phone up (off the charger), heading to work, and getting back home somewhere in the range of twelve hours later (some sooner some later). It's common in this case to get home with 20-50% remaining battery charge. If I go somewhere else before heading home, sometimes I seriously worry about the phone dying, within one day's waking hours.

The problem seems to be twofold: one, that typical day includes a bit more than 2 hours spent underground (subway) and a bit more than eight hours spent in a giant concrete-and-steel building with lots of metal wiring everywhere. A horrible place for radio signals. Android, the Nexus One, or both handle this situation poorly.

As a result, my habit is usually to leave the phone on the charger literally all the time at home. I want it at 100%, when I leave, so it will make it through the day. I'm much less likely to need it at home than at work.

Most weekends, but especially this three day one, are a bit of an exception. It will often sit on the charger unused. (Occasionally I'll use it for a minute or two, still connected to the charger -- so ingrained is my keep-it-charged habit.) But this weekend now, I've left it unplugged for 36 hours straight, and the system says 64% charge remaining. That's more like it!

The difference of course is that it was lightly used (display time is about 40 minutes, or perhaps one light typical day's worth of active usage) -- and much more important, almost consistent presence in a good strong signal environment.

The upside of this is that an android phone (or just an N1?) in a poor signal environment kills its battery somewhere around three times faster than a good signal environment. Blech!
Sam E Sam E
I actually picked up a Zagg Sparq. And it's pretty solid!
http://www.zagg.com/accessories/zaggsparq.php

Sure, you have to carry it around with you, which might be silly, but it definitely relieves the tension of your phone dying.

You can also find coupons for it here for 20% off.
http://www.retailmenot.com/view/zagg.com
Jun 1, 2010
Anthony Lieuallen Anthony Lieuallen
I've got a MintyBoost ( http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/ ) but yeah, I'm not carrying that around. I just wish it didn't waste so much battery in a "poor signal" situation. Then it would be just about perfect. Jun 1, 2010
Sam E Sam E
True. I guess sometimes it pays to have a man purse...

Is there a way to set it to "Airplane mode" when you're in low signal areas? That would probably save you some juice. But it's annoying to have to set it and unset it all the time.
Jun 1, 2010

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