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2017-04-19 04:49 PM - edited 2017-04-19 04:55 PM
Table of contents
- Keeping your Xperia up to date
- Battery saving features
- General advice which will improve battery performance
- Further troubleshooting
Smartphone’s are known for consuming a lot of battery power and depending on your configuration your phone might last longer or shorter than other phones. This topic contains some advice and info about what you can do to increase your battery time.
When using your new Android phone it will take approximately up to a week or so before the phone settles in its battery usage and power management, depending on applications installed and the amount of content in your phone. It’s worth mentioning that this evaluation that the phone runs in the background at first period of use will happen again after a master reset or after reinstalling/repairing the phone’s software. So if you have just reset or reinstalled your phone, this power management evaluation process will run again, therefore it might seem like your phone is consuming more battery power than before the reset at first, but it’s completely normal.
If you have been using your phone for a couple of weeks and still think that the battery time is a bit too low, here’s some advice that will increase the battery time!
Keeping your Xperia up to date
First things first, make sure that your device is running the latest software to ensure that you have all the latest features and improvements available.
There are mainly 2 ways to update your device, the first of which being FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air), which as the name implies, is done over the air directly in your device. You will receive a notification in your device whenever a new update is available, and you will also be able to find it directly under Settings > About phone > Software update.
Should you instead be presented with this screen stating that ”Your device is up to date!”, then you’re good to go!
In addition to FOTA, you may also update your device using a computer and our Xperia Companion software which you may find using the following link: http://support.sonymobile.com/global-en/xperia-companion/
If there’s an available update, you will see a pop-up inside of Xperia Companion prompting you to update, simply press Update and follow the on-screen instructions.
Battery saving features
Once your device is up to date, we can start by looking at some of the built-in battery saving features. To access these, let’s go to Settings > Battery.
One of the primary battery saving features we have available is the app standby, which may be found by tapping on Menu (3 dots in the top right) > Battery optimisation. What this feature does is that it preserves battery life by suspending the background network activity of unused applications. The feature is enabled by default and is recommended for better battery performance, but of course you may exclude certain applications of your choosing that you wish for to have background network activity.
An app will be set to standby if one of the following applies:
- It has not been in use for over 2 days
- It has not shown any notifications for over 12 hours
To exclude an app from the optimisation, simply tap the checkbox next to an app and it will be moved to the ”Not optimised” tab. Excluding an app here will also exempt it from STAMINA mode which is the next point in this guide.
This feature reduces battery consumption by restricting device performance, some features such as vibrations and image enhancement, location services and most background data. In later Android versions of Xperia devices you may also adjust the STAMINA level, which means that you yourself choose to which degree the performance is reduced in favor of battery time.
Let’s start by finding the STAMINA mode, it’s located under Settings > Battery > STAMINA mode. You are now presented with 2 options (once the mode is activated in the top right of this menu), these are to have the device Auto-start the STAMINA mode, or to always keep it on. If you choose to have it on Auto-start, then it will automatically enter STAMINA mode when the set battery percentage is reached (default at 15%, edit it to your liking by tapping the cogwheel to the right of it).
Once we choose if we want to have it on permanently or only at certain battery percentages, we can move on by tapping STAMINA level in order to choose how much STAMINA reduces performance in order to save battery.
The STAMINA levels are divided into 3 different categories:
- Battery time preferred
As this implies, battery time will be preferred over performance and it will be restricted the most and will affect the general usage of your device. It also restricts Background data, GPS, Image enhancements and vibrations.
- Balanced power-saving
This level is the middle ground between performance and battery time, as performance in regards to general use is only slightly restricted. It is not recommended to use apps which require high performance as they may not be as smooth as they would be with STAMINA turned off. It also restrics Image enhancement.
- Device performance preferred
This is for you if you wish to save battery to a degree, but also not have general performance restricted. It will restrict games that require high performance to a minimum degree, but most apps should be smooth. It will also restrict Image enhancement.
Ultra STAMINA mode
Oh dear, if you thought that the Battery time preferred level of the normal STAMINA mode was power saving, then you have a whole new level of battery life ahead of you. This is the ultimate power saving mode, and as such, it will restrict the use of your device significantly. It may be found under Settings > Battery > Ultra STAMINA mode.
What does it restrict? First off, please note that as the Internet connection through both Wi-Fi and Mobile data will be disabled, functions such as data synchronisation and Wi-Fi calling will be unavailable. The home screen will also be replaced by the Ultra STAMINA mode Home. Your apps will also be limited to a few pre-installed apps in order to maximize the battery performance, these are:
- Phone, Contacts, Messaging, Camera, Album, Calendar, Clock, Calculator, FM radio, Settings and Music.
Please note that after you have activated this mode, it will restart your device upon deactivation and you may have to enter your PIN code for unlocking the device once it has been restarted.
General advice which will improve battery performance
Here is a list of general tips which will help and improve battery life. I understand that not all of these may be applicable, but feel free to pick and choose the advice which suits you and your device personally!
- Set your synchronisation applications (used to synchronise your email, calendar and contacts) to synchronise manually. You can also synchronise automatically, but increase the synchronisation intervals.
- Uninstall applications that you are not using.
- Turn off Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi® when you don't need these features. You can turn them on and off more easily by adding the Quick settings widget to your Home screen.
- Disable Wi-Fi® scanning.
- Disable Keep Wi-Fi® on during sleep
- Remove all widgets in Home screen that you are not using.
- Disable the Image enhancement in the Display settings menu.
- Lower the screen display brightness level.
- Enable the Smart backlight control in the Display settings menu.
- Change the notification level for applications.
- Turn off the location-sharing permission for applications
- Keep your device in standby whenever possible. Standby time refers to the time during which the device is connected to the network and is not being used.
- Areas with poor reception or signal strength increase the drain on the battery and shorten talk and standby times. Operating the device for a significant amount of time in areas with poor signal strength results in less than optimum battery performance.
- Turn off your device or use Airplane mode if you are in an area with no network coverage. Otherwise, your device repeatedly scans for available networks, and this consumes power.
- Use a Wi-Fi network instead of roaming when abroad. Roaming is scanning for your home network and puts additional demands on your battery as your device must transmit with a higher output power. If low signal strength is displayed on the device, it means that it must transmit at a higher output power to reach the cell tower, putting additional demands on the battery.
- Switch to a wallpaper that is not a Live wallpaper.
Here we are, closing in on the ending of this guide – but the last step may actually be the most important step! If you have gone through the guide up until now and adjusted your settings and usage accordingly, then you will very likely be experiencing better battery times. However, one of the most important steps in troubleshooting battery life is actually finding out what process or app is straining the battery the most, and this is what we will find out in this section.
First, start off by charging your device fully, all the way to a 100%. Once you’ve done so, use your device as you would normally during your daily usage without charging it until it reaches about 5%. Now that we’ve done so, go to Settings > Battery > Tap the battery icon at the top. This will present you with a chart on top outlining the battery usage over a period of time from the last full charge, but also show you a list of apps and processes that have been consuming battery. It will be using this list that we will troubleshoot.
You may notice that the device also displays an estimation of the remaining battery time, for example ”13 h 33 m remaining”. This is calculated on your use from the last charge and should in some cases be taken with a grain of salt.
For example, if you fully charge your device and then use the first 10% for heavy gaming and it took an hour for these 10% to be dropped, then it should display something along the lines of ”9 h remaining” because it may think that all you do is heavy gaming – but this may not be accurate at all depending on your use throughout the day. It is most accurate when you use your device as your normally would, and let it calculate for a chunk of percentage before checking.
If you notice that the screen is taking up a large portion of the used battery, then you may consider lowering the brightness. If you see that an app consumes a lot of power but you don’t really use it, it is simply refreshing and syncing in the background, then you may consider closing it and so on.
For in depth use of details, simply tap an app and you will be presented with a lot of information as to what the device has been doing. Here are some examples of how it may look in the menu:
If you feel that there is something which this guide might be lacking or if you have any other advice on how to improve the topic, feel free to shoot me a PM!