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What can I do to increase battery life on my Android device?

My Desire is absolutely great, but with my usage the battery life is really a big problem.

I have a few apps running and polling in the background, obviously the Google stuff (Gmail, Talk, Maps probably poll because of Latitude). Then I have Twitter running (checks every 5 minutes), Google Listen (checks every hour). Google Market also checks for updates sometimes apparently, don't think I can switch that off.

My usage is pretty heavy, on my bicycle I listen to Spotify or a podcast for 20 minutes, then in the morning train (45 minutes) I will usually read Twitter and Google reader (the web app). Then I get to work and my battery is down to about 75%-70%. I usually charge it but if I don't then I will be out of battery by about 6PM. So thats 9 hours of battery life. The commute back is pretty much the same, battery will be dead before I get home.

I don't want to give up on instant notifications, so the 3G will always be on.

When I went camping for a weekend I turned all of the above polling off and only checked Twitter about 4 times, didn't use the phone for the rest of the day. Battery life improved slightly to about 14 hours. Still not great, I was hoping for at least 24 hours.

WiFi is always off by the way!

I've tried rebooting but the timings are mostly the same. Is it wise to buy a battery that can provide more mAh? Is there any good solutions for backup power when I don't have power available, when camping for example (aside from buying extra batteries)?


4 Answers 4


Go to StartScreen/Menu Key/Settings/About Phone/Battery/Battery use. It tells you which of your applications are using how much energy. Then you can make a more informed decision about whether certain applications are worth their energy usage.

  • I forgot about this option! But it seems to be really wonky, it keeps saying that Gowalla is using 90+ percent of my battery, that's is just silly, I hardly even use the app, notifications are off an I killed it with a task manager..
    – sebastiaan
    Commented Jul 21, 2010 at 19:21
  • This answer android.stackexchange.com/questions/9/… suggests that task managers aren't the right way to go about this.
    – Amanda
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 16:04
  • In the battery usage display, which category is 3G in?
    – awe
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 14:07

I would say that unfortunately your experience sounds fairly common with android. I use this: http://us.kensington.com/html/15460.html it's like carrying around an extra battery but it has the bonus of working with any device's USB charger.


When I first got my Desire, I did the same as you because I had found on my previous phone (Nokia E71) that with WiFi turned on the battery would be dead in 4 hours vs. 2 days on 3G.

I have found the opposite to be true of the Desire. If you have a WiFi signal available, use it. The WiFi chip in the Desire appears to be much more efficient than the 3G data radio. When I am out and about on 3G, the battery drains as you suggest - lucky to get 10 hours from it. When on WiFi at home, I will usually have 30-40 percent remaining when I go to bed at night. So turn that WiFi back on!

GPS is the other big killer. I've you've got Latitude or something like it that requires positional updates, I have found using WiFi and cell positioning (rather than GPS) saves a lot of battery (although it does lose accuracy of course).

  • GPS and 3G are the big killers for me, too. WiFi seems to be way more energy efficient compared to 3G. I have been to another country a couple of times and because I turned of data roaming my battery lasted for 3 days. Only had WiFi on when in the hotel and otherwise just used it as a phone. But of course that cuts the 'smart' out of the Desire. Probably just cutting back on the Twitter polling will already help.
    – Turismo
    Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 11:27

The most crucial information for figuring out what EXACTLY and HOW exactly your battery is being used to find relevant remedies can be found by typing this on your phone:


You will gain access to the testing facilities in Android and you can check DETAILED usage statistics, battery history and battery information.