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Why is it that Samsung devices (and perhaps others) show the battery charge remaining in multiples of 10% whereas other devices are able to show a more accurate percentage like 96% etc?

Is this a limitation of the hardware or software and can this behaviour be changed to show an accurate (non-multiple of 10) display of the battery remaining?

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My Samsung Vibrant shows 1% increments. What phone specifically do you see this behavior with? –  Matthew Read Mar 31 '11 at 18:44
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My motorola milestone shows only 10% as well. The exception is when it gets below 20%, then it shows 15% and 5% correctly. I believe it's a hardware thing and can't be changed software. Honestly though... I can't see why I'd need to be more precise. It would be nice, but I don't find it annoying or anything. –  Bruce Connor Mar 31 '11 at 19:09
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As far as I know, it is just a hardware thing. I also have a droid and it does as Bruce says (10% until 20%, then 15%, 10%, 5%, dead) –  Bryan Denny Mar 31 '11 at 19:17
    
Spica usually have 5% increment, but using SamdroidMod or CyanogenMod, there are options to have either the regular battery meter or 1% battery meter. –  Lie Ryan Mar 31 '11 at 21:36
    
I have a Spica, GT-I5700 running Eclair. –  Sparx Apr 1 '11 at 7:46

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't believe this is a hardware limitation, but just the way the phone's manufacturer chose to implement the battery reporting code. My Droid 2 also only showed by 10% increments. However, on my current setup I'm using the Circle Battery Widget available on the Market and it displays the percentage in 1% increments.

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My only counter example is that on my Droid if I flash a new OS (CyanogenMod, for example), it still shows the same battery percentages. It could be possible that Circle Battery Widget is "approximating" battery percentage for devices that do not report it? –  Bryan Denny Mar 31 '11 at 20:53
    
@Bryan - I've actually been wondering the same thing. I know that after an update all the Moto Droid phones started showing 1% increments in Circle Battery Widget, but haven't seen anything from the programmer on how that was accomplished. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that it is an approximation. –  LeoB Apr 1 '11 at 12:24
    
My Droid 2 (actually, the EU variant Milestone 2) used to show 10% steps with stock -- but displays 1% steps since it's running CM7.2. Same experience with the Circular Battery Indicator on stock, btw. If it's an approximation, it's a fairly good one, to my experience. Note also that several "system monitor" apps (including the internal one at *#*#4636#*#*) seem to report it in 1% steps. –  Izzy Apr 23 '13 at 20:30

Most likely it's a battery saving feature. Polling the battery state too often will drain it quicker, so manufacturers adjust the polling periods to sacrifice accuracy for better battery life.

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If you visit the Market page for BattStatt, the developer's site for Battery Left Widget, and this Motorola Owners' Forum thread you'll start to notice a theme.

Several Motorola phones do not report their battery levels in increments of 1%.

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