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I've had my HTC Desire (latest legit firmware) for 18 months or so, and I believe this problem has existed for a while but it getting worse. It might just be time for a new battery but in case there's something I can do to fix it I'll explain.

I charge the phone overnight, everynight. If I use it for surfing/texting on the way to work (25-50 mins) plus leave it checking for emails every 15 mins or so, plus with data enabled, then there's a good chance it'll have less than half the charge left by lunchtime. If I don't charge it in the afternoon then there's a good chance the commute home will make the phone power down due to lack of power.

Looking at the battery graph it seems that the phone gets to about 15% power then runs out, often without warning or just the one warning. And when I charge it, the charge on the graph climbs from zero up to about 85% then jumps to 100%. It's as if there's 10/15% which isn't available for me to use or charge any more.

I've read - and tried, unsuccessfully - some "trick" when you charge the phone, turn it off and charge it, then turn it on and charge it. It made no difference at all.

My phone's not rooted and I'm not desperate to do so.

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Do you have any reason to believe it's not the battery? –  Matthew Read Jan 26 '12 at 1:31
    
I've had similar trouble with batteries. Someone once told me that if you don't fully charge the phone before first using it, you'll hose the battery and it cannot be recovered. I don't know if this is true, but this person is to this day happily using an old G1 -- which model I owned in 2007 and got rid of because the battery life was so bad. He fully charged before first use; I didn't. –  offby1 Jan 26 '12 at 2:46
    
I think you should get a new battery. –  Leandros Jan 26 '12 at 7:32
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1 Answer

It could be that the battery is not calibrated correctly. This can cause the phone to think that the battery level is much lower than it actually is, as well as the "jump" when you disconnect from the charger. I'm not sure how to fix this without rooting, but if you do decide to root, the Battery Calibration app in the market can reset the calibration, then guide you through recalibration.

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