I got my Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch in mid-December. I used it and I noticed right away that the battery life absolutely sucked. I mean it was horrible. It was worse than other Android phones that I have used. It was dying by 11 am or so each day, and it did not seem to be holding a full charge. I would plug it in my car to charge and then heading in to a store the battery would be the same as it was when I plugged it in. It was driving me nuts. I actually thought that I had a lemon phone, and I was ready to return it.
Then I thought about the fact that there were probably things running in the background that I did not need to use. Think about when you buy a new PC. There is always a load of bloatware installed. These things can take up valuable hard drive space, and some of these items run in the sys tray taking up RAM. Because of this, I sometimes will reformat a new computer as soon as I get it to clear the nonsense. I had never thought about a smartphone that way until now. It's the same deal. This is especially true of Android phones. If you get one from a carrier, they are likely to have installed their versions of apps on it for you to use. For example Verizon TV or Sprint Mobile. Just having these things installed might not cause any harm to your phone. Unless… upon setup they are running and sucking up valuable battery life. Usually when we get a new phone we are so excited to have it that we turn it on and quickly setup our accounts to start using it. But, maybe we shouldn't. When I was troubleshooting my phone I decided to start fresh. I backed up the few pictures that I had accumlated and then I reset the phone to factory settings. No, this does not wipe the carrier installed apps. But, it might just stop whatever is running in the background from sucking the life out of the phone too soon.
After that I went browsing for a battery saver app. I had tried Juice Defender on my Droid Bionic. I did not like it much. The customization options were complicated. And in order to fully customize options you have to purchase the full version. When running as default it just seemed to stop everything. And there was a bug that would sometimes just keep data off even when the app was not enabled.
I settled on Easy Battery Saver. It gets the job done very well. The options are easy to change and it is highly customizable.
The app works by limiting network access when it is not needed. So, instead of it just constantly running in the background and draining the battery is runs only when needed. It also controls only things like GPS and screen brightness.
For options I chose Advanced Mode so that I could choose exactly what I wanted to allow and when. I also chose to use the Night Schedule because who needs to receive emails when they are sleeping. 🙂 It turns the network off at 11:30 and turns it back on at 6:00, but you can set this to whatever time you choose.
So far everything has worked great. It just took a little bit of tweaking to get it to work as I want it to although it can do the job well by itself. Out of habit, I still turn off 4G when I'm home and switch over to WiFi. I still turn off Bluetooth when it is not needed.
Also in the phone settings I enabled Power Saving Mode. I have it set to turn on when the battery reaches 50%. You can toggle what you want it to disable in the options. I allow it to turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS when those things are not in use. And it will adjust the brightness down to 10%.
These things combined have really saved my phone. It's a shame that we have to go through all of this, but we do. My iPhone 4 would last all day long. Android phones don't have that luck. I wish they could just steal whatever technology Apple is using for their batteries. 🙂
So, the moral of the story is that Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, syncing and screen brightness will kill the battery if over used. Using tips like above can help. Or just installing a program like Easy Battery Saver which will do most of it for you.