How to Improve Battery Performance on the Motorola Droid Bionic

by Brent on September 19, 2011 · 4 comments

by Brent on September 19, 2011 · 4 comments

Motorola Droid Bionic Battery Usage

I received a very interesting HeyTell message this morning from Rod, as well as the graphic above, indicating that his Motorola Droid Bionic has turned into a battery monster and has gotten to the point where he is ready to just pitch it. As you can see, he is 4h 25m into a fully recharged battery and the phone is nearly dead. The major culprit according to the phone itself? Cell Standby. What does that mean? It means that his phone is spending most of its juice looking for a better signal. This is a clear indication that Motorola is going to have to tweak the Radio code for this device to make it more efficient. This is actually not uncommon. You will recall that when the HTC Thunderbolt (the first LTE device on Verizon) first released, the Radio code was upgraded twice in short order, to get the battery usage under control.

HeyTell Message

What Can I Do?

SystemMonitor

The best advice that I can give is to get the Motorola Extended Battery. This nearly doubles your battery potential and for me it makes all the difference in the world. Right now, with an Extended Battery, I get an average of 12-13 hours of actual usage per day, as long as I am not doing heavy downloading. As you can see from the graphic above, this really is the case. The 3 days shown here were my last three, spent on the road, at customer sites and traveling. And I didn’t have my phone in standby mode on the airplane, but used the device to listen to an audiobook. That being said, I fully understand why this is not an option right now for Rod, as he is unwilling to invest more in a phone he isn’t sure he can keep.

Using Existing Settings to Help

SettingsMenu

The tendency is to ask “What app can I download that will solve this problem for me?” The reality is that you have just about everything you need right on the Bionic to make a huge difference. Let’s go through the Settings Menu and look at all the things you can do to help your battery life.

Battery & Data Manager

BatteryDataManagerUsage

Even though this is not first in the list, this is the best place to start, because you need to KNOW what is happening with your device to adequately solve the issues you face. So, let’s find out how your battery is really behaving. Every one of the elements in the left graphic will lead you to an important menu for configuring your phone. If you touch the battery graphic, you get a view shown on the right. This will show you what is consuming the most power on your device. If the very first thing is Cell Standby, then you are facing exactly the same issue Rod is. Next most likely culprits are other radios (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and then the Display. In my case, I am fully aware that Wi-Fi is consuming a large portion of my power budget because I have found that my phone operates much better on Wi-Fi in the house, as my 4G service is very marginal. I just have to remember to toggle it off when I leave.

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  • Larry Wade

    Why settle for 4 or 5 hours when can get 15 to 20 by just turning off LTE?  Just go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile Networks > Network Mode and set your preferred network to CDMA only.  

    I got my Bionic day one, but, I had a ThunderBolt before it and the battery is at least 20% to 30% better, so, I don’t think it is the phone.  LTE is just a huge battery drain.  You really don’t need all that speed if the phone is in your pocket so just turn off LTE when you aren’t actively using it.

    • Elliot

      I want to agree with you and considering the article covers that setting and the dramatic impact you are correct. The problem is if users know to toggle off 4G, and the phone has a setting called in pocket, it would stand to reason they could automate this somewhat.

      They have battery modes yet none talk about auto switching between 3G / 4G when data demands are low.

      This user need to manage something as simple as manually toggling this option is somewhat of a failure on Motorola, Google, and Verizon.  The returns on this device are high as the average user does not know to search for this buried setting.  Worse yet you gave up your unlimited plan to revert back to a slower network for battery life with optional bursts to high speed…assuming you remember to toggle back on.

      Hopefully Apple or Microsoft will get this right.

       

  • http://twitter.com/RodSimmons Rod Simmons

    You are correct @b4364868d25fe3c2f86cfe605b594281:disqus turning off LTE has a major impact on battery performance. I agree with @8ca9ae3e52dc03f5d7119fa09e50c6e1:disqus  that there needs to be an automated way to manage this. WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4G are the battery killers on this device.

  • RohanKandwal

    battery performance usually decreases due to many apps draining the battery out of your phone here is an amazing free android app to manage memory to increase battery http://www.itcse.com/2012/08/improve-android-speed-performance/