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Batteries Gone Wild
Samsung Galaxy Gobbles Away

 12:09 am on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

My Samsung Galaxy phone is usually pretty decent on battery life and consumes what I would consider a reasonable amount until it gets into a situation of low signal fading in and out of roaming.

Then, I don't know if it's an Android bug of a Samsung bug, but the dang phone suffers from what would appear to be separation anxiety from the 3G network and starts trying to reconnect continuously and the battery drains faster than a broken car radiator on a hot desert road.

I've tried everything and the only solution I've come up with that's simple to turn on and off again is to put the phone in Airplane mode until such time you change locations where there's a substantially better signal strength.

Has anyone else run into this and maybe found a better solution?

I think the real problem is I need some kind of app that monitors the battery and alerts me to the problem before it's beyond hope, which has happened a time or two already, and maybe even put the phone into airplane mode automatically when it detects a massive drain before it dips below 50%. When the screen is off and there's no phone call in progress and the GPS isn't active, it's kind of a no-brainer to detect the battery is in crisis when it's plunging faster than blue ice falling from an airplane lavatory.



 2:27 am on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

my solution has always been to buy phones with field-replaceable batteries and carry fully charged spares.


 2:29 am on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

IIRC they all try to locate the nearest relay about one time very 15 or 45 seconds ..and when they don't get a good lock ..they boost power to try to find a relay..and the battery drain is made even worse..runaway train effect till "no battery"

SMS or texts is/are sent on the back of this "keeping in touch with the mother ship" behaviour..and so should be free ( mine are ..but I have "everything unlimited included" with my carrier/ISP..

you could write an app..there is a least a market niche of one..:)

I actually thought the thread was going to be about spring break and those with XX and........"devices" and was staggered that it had got past mods :) and was then disappointed


 2:53 am on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

my solution has always been to buy phones with field-replaceable batteries and carry fully charged spares.

there is also a thing called e-charge ( I have one ) a charger that comes with a set of 4 ni-mh batteries and a lead and plugs for almost every phone under the sun..
you can charge the batteries that are in it and use them ( with another small part of the device and the correct plug ) to charge your phone via its usual charging socket ( micro USB )..or you can use 4 duracells or similar ( energizers) and put them in the same part of the device..and charge your phone from that..it also has a solar charger to charge its ni-mh batteries from ..or you can plug it into a wall...

Uses four LR6 batteries .."straight" or rechargable..whole thing with all the parts is about as big as two galaxy notes back to back..and without the batteries weighs very little ..the plugs and leads store in the cap..cost me about $50..oo

As my cameras use LR6 batteries, 4 at a time ..I just carry it and few cards of 4 LR6 Duracells ..Canon Superzoom bridge and phone..

Those with idevices ..may wish to ponder the ( non ) wisdom of their choice of shiny phone..


 5:26 am on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

my solution has always been to buy phones with field-replaceable batteries and carry fully charged spares.

That really doesn't solve the problem of the phone gobbling 20% of the battery in 30 minutes or less and as irony would have it, when I went to the store after posting this there was some issue with my local cell or bad connectivity inside the store and my phone ate almost 50% of the battery while shopping for groceries for less than an hour.

I didn't notice the issue until it hit about 35% and quickly put it in airplane mode to stop the bleed.

Damned annoying and I'm thinking about telling Sprint I need a different phone or else as they wouldn't be the first cell company I've ever broken out of a contract without paying the 'penalty' if they refused to replace it. It was easy to do too because a service contract implied service and I've had Sprint at my current location for quite some time and the salesman assured us our area was fully covered and that means either the phone they sole me is defective or their coverage of my is now defective and it doesn't matter which but lack of functionality does not constitute service which is how I've bailed before when it didn't work.

It's really sad because the Samsung Galaxy, other than this issue, is probably the best phone I've ever used and I really enjoy it but it's quite possible it would work much better on Verizon which is where it was roaming :)


 5:52 am on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

That really doesn't solve the problem...

at least when your only warning is a dead battery you don't need the sun or a bulky battery backup or a charging plug and a wire connected to a wall or lead/acid battery to recover.
i'm back up and running in a minute or so at full charge at which point i can go airplane mode if still necessary.


 12:18 pm on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I leave my phone in airplane mode as default.

A normally carry a spare battery for my camera although that seems to last a weeks holiday without a recharge while a couple of checks of my emails seems to be a killer for the phone.

Andy Langton

 12:31 pm on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

You could try an app like AutoPilot (com.verobapps.Autopilot) to avoid the manual switching.

Also, there are a lot of apps that can trigger battery problems (via bad coding usually). Try an app like Better Battery Monitor or Gsam battery monitor to definitely point to the cause. If you're right about the issue, "cell standby" will be eating your battery. Otherwise, the most common problem I see is apps preventing phone from properly sleeping.


 11:27 pm on Mar 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I already use Advanced Task Killer to terminate any apps idling in the background that could suck power and that's not the issue.

This is definitely an OS or vendor software problem as it happens even when the phone is basically freshly rebooted if it can't get a decent connection.

Luckily I always have a charger handy and the phone charges pretty fast so I'm in pretty good share except when I'm traveling, but this is a serious flaw that shouldn't exist in such a device.

Maybe if I tell it roaming is OK it won't have a panic attack trying to reconnect to it's own network, haven't tried that yet cause it's kind of dangerous if you're in an area that doesn't have reciprocal roaming agreements with Sprint like Verizon does.


 9:31 am on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

if you're in an area that doesn't have reciprocal roaming agreements

it never occurred to me that was still an issue - i haven't thought twice about roaming in ...
10 years?

Andy Langton

 10:32 am on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Advanced Task Killer

Task killers on Android are usually a bad idea, and make battery life worse. See [lifehacker.com...]

It also won't stop certain apps from potentially keeping the system awake (e.g. Google's location apps). The built in battery monitor just won't tell you that, and the task killer would just kill such apps and make them reload from scratch again.

The single biggest difference I managed to make to battery life was with apps that give you more detailed stats on what's actually using the batery.


 12:54 pm on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Task killers on Android are usually a bad idea, and make battery life worse. See [lifehacker.com...]

That's possible but I was having a problem that the task killer solved with measurable results.

I've got an app that shows who is gobbling battery resources and when the phone gets into iffy connectivity situations with 3G is always shows Android itself as the spike in battery usage.

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