How to improve HTC Sensation battery life

Posted by By at 21 April, at 22 : 04 PM Print

The HTC Sensation comes loaded with a powerful 4.3″ qHD touchscreen, LTE capability, and new and improved Sense UI, among other features may kill your battery really fast, leaving you will a power phone with no life, USELESS. There is no magic app or single technique that will make your battery last all day with heavy use, but if you utilize some of the following tips you WILL notice a significant increase in your battery life. Most of the tips  are about disabling features and services that if left on while not in use will continue to drain your phone’s battery.

1. Settings: (use an app or widget that helps you quickly toggle them, eg. built-in widgets, or from market such as Elixir, Quick Settings, or MySettings)
a. Screen –go to settings/display, turn down Brightness (20-30%), set Timeout to 30 secs, manually turn off by quickly pushing top button when not using anymore (instead of waiting). I have personally found that I like setting timeout at 1 min better, and manually turning off the screen with the top button every time I am done using it before I put it down or away in my pocket, that way it doesn’t waste itself timing out or shut off on me when I don’t want it to yet.
b. GPS – always turn off when not using, and plug into car charger (or car dock if you have one) during extended use
c. Bluetooth – always turn off when not using
d. 4G – always turn off when not using, only use when you need the speed, (the TB will get a toggle either in an update or in app form at some point, in the meantime there are several methods to accomplish this)
e. Mobile hotspot – always turn off when not using, plug into charger when in use if you can
f. WiFi – turn off when not near a WiFi signal for an extended period of time, but always use when available (faster than 3G, uses less battery), go to settings/wireless & networks/WiFi settings, press menu button and tap Advanced then WiFi Sleep policy and select“Never”, this sounds counter-intuitive, but it actually uses less power because when WiFi sleeps 3G or 4G wakes up to sync, get email, and retrieve other data (WiFi connection disables 3G/4G). Also uncheck Best WiFi Performance if its checked.
2. Background/wallpaper – use a static image instead of a live wallpaper (but these are cool, so use one if you really want to, they only drain for the short amount of time you are looking at the launcher screens). Many say the live wallpaper drain is minimal, but I noticed a significant amount while using a live one so I went to static. Have any of you tried both and noticed much of a difference yet?
3. Window animations – go to settings/sound & display/animation and select“no animations”
4. Keyboard vibration – turn off vibration function (haptic feedback) for when you hit a key (helps with speed too), go to settings/language & keyboard/touch input/text input and uncheck vibrate when typing, you can disable haptic feedback in other areas of the system by going to settings/sound, and uncheck vibrate feedback
5. Notification lights – unless you really want/need to know when something happens on your phone when you are not looking, go to settings/display/notification flash and uncheck all the boxes
6. Vibration – unless you really want this function, go to settings/sound, and uncheck vibrate

7. Monitor battery use – go to menu/settings/about phone/battery use, this will show you what is eating the most battery, uninstall troublesome unneeded app, use Running services widget by going to shortcut/settings (helps identify processes running in the background and foreground), if you want more detail check out SystemPanel in the app market, if you want to be alerted to “rogue” apps check out Watchdog Task Manager in the app market
8. Disable“always-on mobile data”– go to settings/wireless & networks/mobile networks, uncheck “Enable always-on mobile data,”you will still receive emails, texts, and phone calls, as well as internet usage, but it may cause connectivity problems in some third party apps (use manual refresh feature when opening apps to update online data)
9. WiFi and 4G network notifications – go to settings/wireless & networks and uncheck Network notification box (so phone will not constantly scan to look for open networks to tell you about)
10. Background data – if you are not using Google life-management services, go to settings/accounts & sync and uncheck Background data box (so that apps cannot sync, send, and receive data whenever it wants to, even if not currently using them). Add a homescreen shortcut to quickly toggle this (allows you to update/sync only when you want/need to).
11. Auto-sync – uncheck Auto-sync in settings/accounts & sync, or at least limit what apps are set to sync, it is better to manually sync/update/refresh in the app when you open it (set to update at launch), set update/notification frequency (polling schedule), if you do not want to turn off auto sync, just change widget or app update/notification frequency (refresh interval) in settings/accounts & sync to 30 mins or 1-2 hours, or better yet set it to update at launch, useful for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, news, weather, Google apps, and stocks, be sure to manually sync/back up your contacts every once in a while in case you lose your phone or break it
12. Email – change sync option in settings, set email check frequency to 30 mins or 1 hour, or as items arrive, or better yet set it to never and manually refresh when you want to check/read your email
13. Camera app(s) – make sure they are not running in the background when not in use, exit/close when done
14. Video chat app(s) – make sure they are not running in the background when not in use, exit/close when done
15. Streaming app(s) – make sure they are not running in the background when not in use, exit/close when done, try to limit use or plug into a charger during use if you can
16. Google Talk – press Menu then tap All apps/talk/menu/settings and uncheck automatically sign in, make sure you exit the application by going to menu/more and selecting sign out when you are done (exiting the app by pressing home or back keys will not sign you out), if you want to receive IMs just open the application again
17. Adobe Flash Player – open browser, hit menu key, go to settings/enable plug-ins and set it to“On demand”(this way the browser only loads flash content when instructed to do so)
18. Update apps – hit menu key and to go My Apps to check for updates, even if you have selected“update automatically”because some apps require you to manually install updates (apps often get updated to use less power)

19. Location settings (updated) – go to settings/location settings. It is ok to have all of these checked, because it is theapps that use the GPS and consume power, not having these settings selected. GPS is only active when apps using it are in use.

20. Task killer – do not use them, uninstall if you currently have one, can harm phone and consume battery, just use back arrow key to exit apps instead of home key, simply monitor rogue apps instead and uninstall/replace. These are especially bad on pre-installed apps and services (many things rely on each other), so never “auto-kill” or “kill all.” If you must use one, only use it on apps that you have installed that are misbehaving, otherwise let Android do it on its own.
21. Anti-virus – do not use them, uninstall if you currently have one, only download and use periodically or when you suspect a problem, do not download suspicious apps (check reviews and rating in market first)
22. Ad blocker – do not use them, uninstall if you currently have one

23. Battery meter accuracy – go to data/system and delete“batterystats.bin”after you have charged your phone to 100%

24. Tasker – can be used to automate settings (eg. based on time of day or app launched)

25. Juice Defender + Ultimate Juice – can be used to automate settings (eg. based on time of day or location)

26. Screebl – keeps backlight on while holding phone in “use” (vertical) position and turns it off when laying flat

27. Rebooting – reboot phone every few days

28. Delete unnecessary apps – determine which apps you do not need or use anymore and uninstall them, determine which apps you keep are causing the most battery drain and see if a comparable replacement from the market will do better

29. Widgets – turn off animations, do not use too many of them (choose them wisely), and delete unnecessary ones, they pull data in the background. At least make the interval/frequency of sync/updates longer for the ones you have. It may be better just to open some apps themselves instead of using the widget. Disable auto-updates on HTC Weather widget or at least set it to every few hours, manually update by tapping update icon on bottom of widget. Note that widgets that display battery, CPU, and memory utilization consume some power because they are polling the system for information.

30. No service – turn off phone or go into Airplane mode when you are in an area that does not have cell service

31. Chargers – have them handy at home, at work, and in car, and plug in when available. Try to get a 1A charger (same as included wall charger), many cheap aftermarket car chargers are only 500mAh and will not be enough to handle the GPS. VZW’s car charger is 750mAh.

32. Rooting – (there are a lot more techniques that can be used with a rooted phone, such as removing bloatware and underclocking when then screen is off, but I will save that for a later thread)

33. If all else fails, buy an extended battery or have a spare handy just in case

Update1 – I came across another technique, it sounds a little strange but it apparently came from HTC regarding the EVO…some users appeared to have experienced gains from it:
34. “Calibrate” battery – (1) Turn device ON, charge it for 8 hours (or until LED turns green), (2) unplug and turn it OFF, plug it back in and charge for 1 hour (or until LED turns green), (3) unplug and turn it ON, wait 2 minutes, turn it OFF, plug it back in, and charge for 1 hour (or until LED turns green), (4) unplug it, turn it ON, and use normally. Repeat once a month or so.
Update2 – I found a few more things to suggest
35. Blockbuster app – open app, download update from market, then go to menu/settings and tap “disable movie updates.” The app is set to automatically periodically scan for updates by default, and requires the new update to turn this off.
36. Friendstream – delete the widget from your home screen, open app and go to menu/settings and select update when opened. This way it isn’t constantly refreshing, but rather only does so when you want to look at it by opening the app.
37. Signal strength – whether 3G, 4G, or WiFi, if whatever you are trying to connect to has a low signal strength the TB’s battery will be draining trying to connect. Keep an eye on your connections, and try to be aware of when you are in poor signal areas and toggle off or switch connections if you can. Also keep in mind where your “fringe” areas are (ie. bounces between 3G/LTE/1X)
38. Apps – not all 3rd party apps are optimized for the TB, be sure to read reviews/ratings in the market to see what problems other users have had with them. Monitor your apps to see if any of them are hogging system resources (eg. CPU, RAM) and draining your battery, and delete or replace them accordingly. And remember to set the sync/update/notification frequency at longer intervals in settings within the apps that connect to the internet frequently.
39. Power saver – go to settings/power, and check enable power saver, the go to power saver settings and tweak (basically does a lot of the things we’ve talked about here for you automatically when you get low on battery, in case some things are left on or on higher settings than needed)

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One Comment

  1. Richard Tubb, 2 years ago Reply

    Some great tips. I love the HTC Sensation but the battery life is a killer. These tips have really helped. Thanks for sharing!

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