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I ran some tests in my Moto G and it was quite disappointing. The first hour was dedicated to measure the performance in 'Intelligent Power Saving Mode', followed by an hour of the app uninstalled. This was repeated for a total of 6 hours and the results are in:

App installed

  • 1st hour: 66-61 = 5
  • 3rd hour: 58-55 = 3
  • 5th hour: 52-45 = 7

App Removed

  • 2nd hour: 61-58 = 3
  • 4th hour: 55-52 = 3
  • 6th hour: 45-42 = 3

The numbers indicate the percentage of battery charge consumed. During the test, the phone was in standby all the time. What's going on here? This app has more than 800k ratings averaging a 4.5 score! Am I doing something wrong? Is the app supposed to run only when not in standby?

4

Most of the battery saving applications are better termed as "settings managers", if you already know how to turn things on & off there isn't much they can do for you. Plus it is another application now running.

Newer phones also have employed better hardware , better techniques and more power savings into the whole system, improving that before installing these. The newer phones are also going to sleep/standby using less power than they did before, still staying radio connected to the towers. Plus the phones have thier own settings for user adjustable power savings, like WiFi off when screen off , and data control.

Larger screens taking more power, plus major cpu sleepy modes, means there are times when a automatic backlight control could save more than (something like) turning off bluetooth. Again all depending on how you use it.

The displayed percentages of a battery and its voltages are not a great indicator of a specific ammount of power used, Or capacity left. Depending on the method employed to provide the battery level vision to the user. Testing for a whole battery cycle even might not determine a small ammount of savings achieved. High power use can drop the voltage seen quick, and other factors that do not represent the actual capacity left, or the moment it will no longer be able to make a call.

So in conclusion the usual battery management applications would be more useful for the unaware, and uncontrolled use of a phone, the automation that can save some power, most of it the same control that a user in controll can do manually. The phones themselves being much better at it , than when the origins of this type of application would have shown more differances.
You would also have to test for days, not hours, somehow doing everything exactally the same as before, which includes odd things like distance to the tower, which is more power employed to connect to it.

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What you did cannot really count as a testcase. How much a battery "drops" depends on many criteria – including the amount of charge left. Furthermore, just to check for single hours gives no meaningful results. If you really want to measure how much that (or any other app) might save you, you'd need to setup a real testcase, at least repeating each step 2, better more times. This could e.g. incolve:

  1. charge the battery to 100%
  2. start the app
  3. disconnect the charger
  4. let the battery run down to at least 20%
  5. check how long that took

Compare with: Same procedure, omitting step 2. Now, having done that in standby with display off, you have some results – but still, nothing really useful. What should the app save when nothing runs? It consumes some battery itself, as it needs to run and check the device's state from time to time. So I wouldn't wonder if your device was running down faster with the app installed – it rather seems quite logical.

So additionally to the order of steps and their starting and end points, you'd need to apply the very same usage patterns: Leave standby, use the device as you would do normally. Or, to have something for more exact results, setup yourself a schedule like "from 9 to 9:30 read news, from 10 to 10:15 watch a youtube video", etc. Then follow the same schedule with and without the app. Repeat it, best multiple times, to have average values from both cases. Now you have meaningful results you can compare.

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