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Almost all dual-core Android phones suffering from power consumption issue?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Almost all dual-core Android phones suffering from power consumption issue?
Power consumption management in Android might be significantly flawed and it’s a software issue, if we are to believe Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin who summarizes reports about battery consumption issues in a tweet claiming that all dual-core Android phones running on a version prior to 2.3.4 suffer from battery problems.

The software flaw has reportedly been fixed in the latest 2.3.4 version of Gingerbread. Battery fixes have been made in the latest Gingerbread, but reports about the final outcome are controversial at best. Judging from previous reports it’s only 0.03% of all Android phones that employ 2.3.4, so it’s mostly Nexus S users who got to test the version, but chances are if you have a dual-core phone with Google’s platform – your phone could improve after the update.

We’ve been hearing promises about battery life improvements with the arrival of dual-core architectures on cell phones, but while we’ve seen some of the amazing new features like 1080p full HD video playback and new inspiring graphics in games, poor battery life is still an issue. The big expectations about optimized software seem to have largely remained only expectations: dual-core heavyweights like the Motorola Atrix 4G and the T-Mobile G2x have somewhat disappointing battery life, while overheating is becoming a common issue after the HTC ThunderBolt was suffering from it and now some initial reports about overheating of the Samsung Galaxy S II have come in.

Almost all dual-core Android phones suffering from power consumption issue?
Theoretically, dual-core architectures should allow you to squeeze more juice from your battery as the second core could be employed for a variety of tasks, but even simple garbage collection handed to the spare core should make for a perceptive improvement. Finally it all comes down to your final say on the matter, what’s your experience with dual-core Androids and battery life? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below.

source: Eldar Murtazin (Twitter), Google Mobile Forum

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posted on 24 May 2011, 05:06 2

1. Darthmaul (unregistered)


Hey guys. I have had a chance to use both Samsung Galaxy SII and Xperia Arc over the last couple of weeks and my answer is as follows.
SGSII had a horrible battery life when I bought it, around 8 hours during first full discharge (terrible). I upgraded to the latest FW (also with 2.3.3) KE2 and the result was hugely different: when I sold it it has 48 hours since fully charged and still had 15% of the battery. Same moderate use (no push notifications , internet only when needed, some pics, texts and calls). That phone is amazing!!
As for the Arc, no difference between FW 181 and 183 regarding battery life. Actually I found 181 more stable, not so many bugs. But I am sure this is just me.:) So at fisrt battery life was terrible, absolutely horrifying , with almost 7-8 hours at first full charge. After that I found out about the Camera issue, which means Camera application has to be Force Closed from the applications menu after each use, do to huge bug leading to a massive battery drain. Once I restarted my phone and done that after each camera use, my battery is now at 30 hours since unplugged and still has 53%.:)
I hope this helps.

posted on 24 May 2011, 10:50 2

17. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


WOw, you mean getting the single core Thunderbolt was a good idea after all. LOL! Please someone make me feel good about buying this unstable @ss phone. :)

posted on 25 May 2011, 14:37

39. remixfa (Posts: 14077; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


umm.. well.. sorry but the LTE radios suck down massive juice.. and it also runs on a single core snap dragon which is among the worst for battery life of the 1ghz processors.
But hey, thats the price u pay to be the first on the block with the new LTE phone right?

posted on 24 May 2011, 05:32

2. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1008; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


I think that this issue was coming becauz of what the phone is capable of. I almost bought the Atrix and I'm glad I didn't because I would've used the phone a lot more than I do with my current phone, the Inspire. The Atrix is still a good phone, but they should have done more research in developing a better battery

posted on 24 May 2011, 05:40 4

3. Darthmaul (unregistered)


Actually the battery itself is great in Atrix. The Android system is not optimized for using it, unfortunately. I am avoiding the Atrix just yet.

posted on 24 May 2011, 06:35

4. Bob (unregistered)


What happens to dual core devices still on Froyo?

posted on 24 May 2011, 07:01 9

5. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


This article is very wrong. First, the Atrix doesn't have horrible battery life. Second, the Droid X2, which you guys have been playing with, and which runs Froyo, has been reported as having average to better battery life in the reviews about it. Third, you use the Thunderbolt to support your claim of battery issues, but the Thunderbolt is not a dual core phone, it's a 4g phone.

It's possible that 4G phones have a power management/overheating issue. Buut there's nothing major supporting the dual core phones suffering from universal issues right now.

posted on 24 May 2011, 09:45

12. vantenkiest (Posts: 308; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)


extremely true

posted on 24 May 2011, 11:41

20. biggles (Posts: 213; Member since: 15 Oct 2009)


How about the G2x? And the SGS2? Both are HSPA+, not LTE. The Droid Charge has pretty good battery life, so there doesn't seem to be anything supporting 4G being the culprit, either.

posted on 24 May 2011, 17:21

27. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Right, so maybe certain phones just have suckier batteries. Point is that I don't think it's the dual cores that are the culprit.

posted on 25 May 2011, 00:45

32. md213 (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 May 2011)


A big part of the Droid Charge's better battery life is the simple fact that the Droid Charge has a 1600 mAh battery (the HTC Thunderbolt comes with a 1400 mAh battery).

posted on 24 May 2011, 20:39

29. cheetah2k (Posts: 859; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


I agree, I have both Moto Atrix (on u4.2.1.1 FW) and the SGSII (on KE7 FW) and both run into the 15% battery remaining at around the 40-48hr mark.

posted on 12 Jun 2011, 01:34

41. BIbekdwa (unregistered)


that's exactly true. I own an Atrix, and I am happy wid It. battery life's good. i use it whole day, playing games n surfing net. yesterday, I found it difficult to drain my battery to nil. i tried everything but it didnt.

posted on 24 May 2011, 08:18 4

6. remixfa (Posts: 14077; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


ya beat me to the punch sniggly. what does the thunderbolt have to do with dual core phones,PA?
Also the atrix comes with a MONSTER battery. That should have been first clue that they are compensating. Now when they figure it out, the atrix will probably have the best battery life around.
In the review PA did, it said that the SGS2 had great battery life.. now they are claiming that it doesnt. which is it?!?! lol

posted on 25 May 2011, 02:09

35. g (unregistered)


Looks like they're saying that the SGSII suffering from overheating like the Thunderbolt, and the dual-cores are not getting the maximum possible battery life due to software, right?

posted on 24 May 2011, 08:25 2

7. remixfa (Posts: 14077; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


oh.. also.. darthmaul.. you never go by the first charge battery life. it takes 3 or so full charges for the battery to settle.

posted on 24 May 2011, 08:33 1

8. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


if we read the tweet and the post
"Google have issue with Android 2.3.2 - battery consumption is high for dualcore CPU. Issue will be solved in 2.3.4. Affected all 2xcore "

the issue is on "2.3.2" not all dual core phones, only those with "2.3.2" witch at this moment are? yeah thought so.... none of your both sources actually back up your statement

posted on 24 May 2011, 08:39

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


with the pros on your Atrix review your arguments hold no waterhttp://goo.gl/5KJdb

posted on 24 May 2011, 08:53 1

10. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


also there are no cons on your review about horrible battery life on your galaxy s2 reviewhttp://goo.gl/AR8je

ohh and your GX2 review makes me think what where you thinking when you wrote this articlehttp://goo.gl/EoyFC

"Contrary to the popular belief that the dual-core Tegra 2 will suck the life out of your battery faster than you can say “1500mAh”, the LG Optimus 2X behaved quite gently with the juice pack. It is rated at almost 8 hours of talk time in 3G mode, which is on the long side for an Android handset, and, indeed, while we handled the phone we didn't notice a shorter battery life than the other high-end Android smartphones."

posted on 24 May 2011, 09:15

11. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


taken from GS2 review
"We were worried that the 1.2GHz processor will have battery life issues. Samsung has done a good job optimizing the chipset, though. The display has an intelligent power-saving mode, automatically learning from your usage patterns, and the handset had a separate “Power saving mode” section in Settings, which lets you choose which power-sucking options to turn off automatically when not in use.

Even without the battery-preservation modes, the Samsung Galaxy S II is not a power-hog, and you will be getting the usual for high–end Android phones day of very intense usage, two with light usage and the occasional Full HD video recording and playback. Samsung hasn't posted official talk and standby times yet, but we did one unscientific test by just using the phone lightly over the weekend. We disconnected the fully charged handset from the cable at 23:05 on Saturday and went out, and the phone turned off due to lack of juice at 12:58 on Tuesday, roughly 62 hours."

posted on 24 May 2011, 09:48

13. vantenkiest (Posts: 308; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)


not bad at all.. if you can do a super heavy use with 3g and report your findings. most my phones last around 5 hours before needing charged.... but im constantly surfing gaming downloading listening to pandora and so on.

posted on 24 May 2011, 09:56

14. vantenkiest (Posts: 308; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)


i really really hope they have one for vzw sometime in the semi near future. but i dont know I may switch to a gsm network so i cna use voice and data at the same time

posted on 24 May 2011, 10:02

16. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


4G is supposed to allow voice and data at the same time tho, still waiting for it to be stable?

posted on 25 May 2011, 00:50

33. md213 (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 May 2011)


Motorola was supposed to launch the Droid Bionic already (dual-core), but rumors are that Verizon rejected the Bionic (for bugs) & instead Moto will launch the Targa instead of the Bionic. Oh...and some rumors state this launch could be as soon as the next 4-6 weeks.

posted on 24 May 2011, 10:00 1

15. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


thats not my comment, Its part of the Samsung galaxy S2 review I quoted, you can see more at the links i posted and tell me your opinion on how their review completely contradicts this post

posted on 25 May 2011, 04:11

36. HD9D (unregistered)


Galaxy S2 (and Galaxy S) seems to have cpu frequency management that are helping a lot in "battery life". Other phones don't have such management. So when you install a power (and frequency) management software like setcpu, in almost all cases you will have a big improvement with LG X2 (but you will have the same improvement with non dual core phones like SONY Arc). It seems that for galaxy s, as there is already a power management, it is difficult to have an additional improvement in battery life (look at setcpu comments on various android markets).
This has to be taken into account.

posted on 25 May 2011, 11:58

38. HD2D (unregistered)


Galaxy S2 (and Galaxy S) seems to have cpu frequency management that are helping a lot in "battery life". Other phones don't have such management. So when you install a power (and frequency) management software like setcpu, in almost all cases you will have a big improvement with LG X2 (but you will have the same improvement with non dual core phones like SONY Arc). It seems that for galaxy s, as there is already a power management, it is difficult to have an additional improvement in battery life (look at setcpu comments on various android markets).
This has to be taken into account.

posted on 24 May 2011, 11:09 1

19. klee (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Dec 2009)


I just wish people would read and use their minds before just saying something stupid about how PA did this and did that. PA gave a review on the Samsung Galxy S II. A great review actually. I almost thought about spending almost $800 for the dang phone. Then PA posted something that they thought would interest some people about dual core phones and battery life. No one at PA wrote this article they just posted it to give a different perspective. Just breathe it will be ok. You can't take everythinig to heart.

posted on 24 May 2011, 14:41

23. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


sorry, read this article before posting like 5 times before giving my opinion, the and the whole article is misleading

you take the first source, a tweeter comment referring a bug on 2.3.2 that affects all 2.3.2 dual core devices, now you see the claiming on this post that all dual core phones needing the fix, second how could they comment about disappointing claim that ''dual-core heavyweights like the Motorola Atrix 4G and the T-Mobile G2x have somewhat disappointing battery life'' when their review said they are above standard android phones

posted on 24 May 2011, 11:44 1

21. biggles (Posts: 213; Member since: 15 Oct 2009)


I was switching batteries at lunchtime, daily, on my Incredible. Rooted and running 2.3.3 (compared to 2.2), it goes on the charger at bedtime with about 25% battery left. Is it the OS upgrade or the lack of carrier bloatware? Maybe the latest G-bread release is just better across the board, regardless of processor.

posted on 24 May 2011, 14:16

22. mr. droid (Posts: 278; Member since: 21 Aug 2010)


I have an htc incredible 2 right now, and before it, had the droid x and droid 2 global, and ALL of these heat up to the point that they are almost too hot to the touch, especially when in the charger. this has me rather concerned to say the least. I have come to find htc phones to be the best choice, and was thinking about replacing my incredible 2 with a thunderbolt, but maybe this is not such a great idea??

could someone please weigh in here and shed some light on the subject..

posted on 24 May 2011, 15:20

24. andro (unregistered)


This bug if it at almost present mustn't be affecting devices that much as many many reviews have stated the battery life of the galaxy s2 as almost 2 days upon testing. If this bug does exist then the battery live of the galaxy s2 must be mighty impressive once its gone

posted on 24 May 2011, 16:39

25. monstermash1234 (unregistered)


Had a G2x and a Galaxy S, installed gingerbread on both of them. I would text and email occasionally and make a few phone calls throughout the day, check calendar and do a total of an hour of web browsing during commutes throughout the day. Had to plug in both phones. Power consumption on Android is a BIG issue. Yes, gingerbread helps a bit with consumption, and running stock android helps as well, but don't let anyone fool you into thinking you'll have excellent battery life on your android phone without sacrificing some of it's key features. I'm a big push email guy, and if you disable background data on the android phone...you have to manually refresh your email, twitter feeds, facebook feeds, etc. If push email and updates aren't your thing, then turn off background data and enjoy your phone...but I think more effort should be put into either fitting larger capacity batteries into android phones or somehow improving the battery life. I thought the trade off was worth it, however, most people have micro ucb chargers and wires in their homes and you're almost always near a computer or if you drive a car a power source is readily available to you, but for someone who commutes to work or school on long train rides, and doesn't have access to a charger, then stay away from android phones. Especially the dual core handsets. Although I'm not a fan of iOS and think Android is much better, at least Apple gave the iPhone 4 a great battery life.

posted on 24 May 2011, 16:40

26. monstermash1234 (unregistered)


Had to plug in both phones twice throughout the day*

posted on 24 May 2011, 20:30

28. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I got the GB leak on my Droid X and it works fine, no battery issues. Thats a leak at that.

Before that, got nice battery life on my DX1 and Droid 1 on Froyo. Think the DX1 has a lil better battery life or the same as the Droid 1.

Battery life isnt a big issue on Android phones overall. It may be an issue with certain phones, it may be an issue depending on what you do on, to, with your phone.

The iPhone 4 and DX1, in total battery life it beats the DX1 by 1 hr, 30 min - 2 hours. Battery life for the iPhone 4 and Droid Charge? Charge beats it by probably an hour. The Atrix is about 1 hr behind the iPhone 4.

Then there are certain things like with an Amoled screen, black pages, backgrounds helps alot with battery life. LCD screens dont really need to do that.

One thing is with Android there is sooo much you can do to and with your phone out the box. Factor in updating widgets and you could be using alot of battery when you dont have to.

posted on 24 May 2011, 20:49

30. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Oops, actually the Atrix edges the iPhone 4:


iPhone 4 25.8 hours = 1 day 1 hr 50 min

Atrix 26.6 hours = 1 day 2 hrs 40 min

This is talk time, wifi and 3G web browsing tests on Anandtech. Of course if doing other things on an Atrix it will effect battery life more. The Charge might edge the iPhone 4 by more than an hour.

posted on 24 May 2011, 21:30

31. yanfeng (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 May 2011)


do to huge bug leading to a massive battery drain?
Project Standard 2010
Microsoft Office 2007
Microsoft Office 2010

posted on 25 May 2011, 01:35

34. md213 (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 May 2011)


ps - Samsung also makes a 2600 mAh battery for the new Droid Charge:

http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-acces sories/EB124465YZBSTD

...but it doesn't come with an extended battery cover. You have to buy that seperately:

http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-acces sories/EBC-994EBZBSTD

Not sure why it says the cover (or, printed on the cover) & battery are for the Galaxy S. Perhaps it fits both phones.

posted on 25 May 2011, 09:41

37. G2x'sbest (unregistered)


i really havent that much of a problem with my g2x although i am not a real heavy user although i think battery life could be a tad bit better

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 20:09

40. nik516 (unregistered)


I got the gs2 when it came out from the uk and the battery like has been shocking since, the os usage was off the roof at 80% and would drain 1% of battery ever 15-45 min. But now that i have had the phone for more then a month i have noticed the phone has levelled it self out and is ok on battery life. I get 1% usage every 3-4 hours on standbye and a goot 12 hours of heavy use ( youtube, tv shows streamed , calls, pictures/video ).
The phone has great potential and i am not giving up on it yet, but the first chance i get ill root to standard 2.3.4 rom with no samsung components like touchwiz or hubs, they are my biggest problem.

Dont discount the dual cores yet they are still in there infancy and desire some room to evolve :)

posted on 13 Jul 2011, 05:33

42. jcksa (unregistered)


Battery life remains an issue as stated here, I believe for all Android handsets. I had a Galaxy and now sport an SII. Both had battery life issues. Since the platform is Android OS and a limited number of processor types the problem is pandemic. I believe many users that claim good battery life are either married to their phone and refuse to say the truth or do not run 3G service and other high power services. Consumers and dreamers are asking for the thinnest, the lightest, the most powerful, the brightest display, AND WE DON"T WANT TO RECHARGE EVER. Get serious and real. As for me, I would be happy to see the industry get off the "thinnest, lightest" craze and just deliver a unit that has good battery life. I'd be happy if my Galaxy SII were twice the weight and twice the thickness and had a day or 2 of battery life.

posted on 28 Jul 2011, 13:31

43. pan. (unregistered)


I have had the atrix since it came out. When I got it, it had pretty good (decent) battery life. Moderate use throughout the day left me with 25-40 percent battery left at the end, so I could survive the next day if I forgot to charge that night. I also got a task manager and I noticed both cores on more often and clocked at higher speeds -670-1000 mhz per core most of the time. I just got the gingerbread update and the battery life is way better. I can go through the day and be left with 60-65 percent battery at night. But, I also noticed one core is shut down more frequently (but turns on as soon as its needed) and the clock speeds come down to 216 mhz pretty fast when the phone is idle. But, my observations for all that processor s**t are cursory.

posted on 31 Aug 2011, 12:34

46. Damien (unregistered)


Android 2.3.4 battery usage is in-cre-di-ble ! I own an Atrix 4G which has been running 2.2 for months. With the kind of usage I do, I was depleting the battery (

posted on 31 Aug 2011, 12:35

47. Damien (unregistered)


Android 2.3.4 battery usage is in-cre-di-ble ! I own an Atrix 4G which has been running 2.2 for months. With the kind of usage I do, I was depleting the battery (less than 15%) within 16 hours (wake at 6:30 end day and recharge at 22:30.

Installed 2.3.4 yesterday and have been using my phone very extensively today (discovering GB) and even including some WiFi. So far, 8 hours in the day, I've just hit 80% battery remaining.

Do the maths and it's an easy 2x increase in battery duration ! I've also noticed the phone runs way cooler than it used to.

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