3 hours since unplugging my phone, and at light usage it's at 61%. It is the kind of problem I've had with my previous phone, and I have with my current phone, often starting a few months in and intermittently.

GSam indicates that app usage is 88% of it, with Kernel (Android OS) being 38% and Android System being 21%.

I know it is probable that "some apps" are using some OS functions and that would be the culprit.

Seeing it's a problem that hasn't been solved in more than a year, (even in Lollipop) I'm submitting it here so there's a definitive place to show the solution when it's found, instead of checking endless forum threads on XDA. (Hence note the answer must offer some kind of solution instead of "it's impossible")

I am not willing to take stabs in the dark such as disabling Google Now or Location tracking without a definitive proof. I have Wakelock Detector and it does not show anything unusual.

How do I definitely find out which app is responsible for the drain?

Similar questions

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How to troubleshoot overheating and high battery drain in an Android Device? - while thorough, does not address the share of the "Android System/OS/Kernel" items, specifically
Why do "android system" and "androd os" take 30% battery - accepted answer says "we're not there yet", I'm looking for the way or a workaround to get there
What can cause "Android OS" process to use high percentage of battery? - Is from 2011/Gingerbread and discusses possible example causes rather than a solution

  • +1, 1) Is the battery calibrated? 2) Do you live in a zone where the 3G or LTE connectivity suffers and the device is set to 3G or LTE? 3) What does Settings -> Battery indicates with your light usage (and what's your brightness settings), 4) Try BetterBatteryStats and Amplify to go close for pin-pointing the culprits. // Compared to your case, I did specify my Android device in that second similar question. :)
    – Firelord
    Jul 4, 2015 at 20:23
  • 1,2 : No; 3. The drain is with the screen off. 4. I'll look at BBS, but Amplify, I'm not looking to mess with the defaults
    – jonallard
    Jul 4, 2015 at 21:00
  • 1
    @Firelord 1) happens automatically with that amount of drain. If after 3h the battery is already half down, it's most likely below 20% when re-attached to the charger. Given a full, uninterrupted recharge, calibration is already done. Whether the batterystats.bin file might been borked and showing the wrong culprits is a different issue.
    – Izzy
    Jul 4, 2015 at 21:33
  • Thanks for putting a good question ,I can help track and find the problem ,I gonna need more info 1/ I need a logcat for a 1 min with screen off 2/ download "kernel adiutor" from the play store open it once and close it then use your phone normally for 3-4 hours then open the app again go the the frequencies table you will find a stat of all the CPU freq used by the phone post the stat you find then I will post a proper fix or at least locate the problem Jul 6, 2015 at 20:14


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