OnePlus 3 after the update: terrible battery drain (Google 'partial wakelocks' to blame)


The OnePlus 3 rippled the calm waters of the phone industry with its outstanding value for the money offer: a new Snapdragon 820 device with fast performance and very good camera at a $400 price, about half the official price of mainstream alternatives with similar power like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple iPhone 6s Plus.

We also praised OnePlus for making a device that features no bloatware, has a well thought-out, stylish and thin design, and overall, like a phone that is polished very well and provides great user experience.

In our OnePlus 3 review, we were not perfectly happy with battery life: we found it was below average, but definitely not terrible by any means.

That has changed after we received the big software update that delivered changes like the addition of the sRGB color mode in developer options, improved RAM management, and other improvements. Unfortunately, along with the improvements, it also crippled our experience with the OnePlus 3 significantly: the phone now has very significant issues with battery life.

To be perfectly precise: we're now experiencing a battery drain of around 1% every 4 minutes, even when the phone is idling. 

Picking up the phone to use it results in even more drastic battery drain, but the end result is that you have to charge the phone up to three times a day, and using it has become a little exercise in frustration.

We've tried uninstalling the Facebook app and removing the fingerprint scanner as these are often quoted to be the major reasons behind such a weird behavior of the OnePlus 3, plus, we've tampered with Greenify to see if we can kill some nasty background processes, but all to no avail. This is a significant issue and we're hopeful OnePlus is working on an update that would fix this soon.

Update: We've traced this to the well-documented 'partial wakelock' issue (external link) that has been widely reported to ruin battery life for many phones. The one to blame here is Google, not OnePlus. The problem seems to be that once this issue occurs, the phone will basically fail to fall asleep and it will instead stay awake at all times. The ball is in Google's court and we hope that this issue will be addressed as soon as possible.

Related phones

3
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh

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59 Comments

1. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Seems they throw out reactionary updates to appease the reviewers without thorough testing... :\

7. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

1℅ every 4 minutes? This ain't no iPhone 4 baby. Why OnePlus usually trash with updating stuff?

21. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

This seems like the kind of thing that happens when you install updates sometimes. Before your system "settles" there's drain and whatnot. This really does seem like Google play services and the android system, as the slope is entirely too steep. No plateaus, no nothing. Well, I'll have to wait a bit longer before I get a new phone, as I don't want one with issues in the updates.

38. p51d007

Posts: 703; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

That's the business model for Oppo/OnePlus...let the CUSTOMERS do the testing. Toss it out, wait for complaints, fix it with no testing, see what breaks and on and on until the OnePlus is "stable" (whatever that is), THEN slap a different case on it, toss in a removable battery, SD card sell it for a higher price and call it an Oppo phone. People still haven't figure out this sham company.

2. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I've seen this happen on a lot of phones of late after latest updates, general problem going on with android itself?

9. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

But this couldn't explain the good battery life before update.

25. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Well sure it can, one of the updates contains a bug, that causes something to use excessive battery?

33. Sabres

Posts: 26; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

The thing is Android phones don't kill apps in the background. Talking about most of them. My Huawei P8 Lite does it and gives me a day's usage no matter what. And the updates simply improve the battery life. So that's why I'd always choose a Huawei phone even if it is a Chinese phone

41. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

it effectively stops anything that doesn't ask to run in background, or should, obviously can be faults in various brands. But when an update that brings most stock android changes causes bad battery life across multiple brand, it might just be the update.

11. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Zero issues with my S7 Edge and my wife's S6. OP admitted that they reason for OP3's ram management was to deliver a better battery life, so it is expected that the 1st thing a better ram management will affect would be battery life. Again, OP compromised and in a big way, a 2016 5.5" phablet shouldn't have a 3000 mah battery.

48. aenews

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 25, 2015

Yep people just jump to conclusions and like blaming the manufacturer. These drops in idle battery life are due to wakelocks from google services. Wakelocks prevent a phone from entering low-power deep sleep, and google services/applications are normally the largest culprit aside from Facebook. Wakelocks are anything but consistent, so idle battery life will vary greatly between devices as always. That's normal.

3. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 402; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

It's probably Android itself. Join us in windows 10 mobile insider you won't have those problems. Plus the surface phone and HP x3 elite will change your life.

6. Troysyx

Posts: 181; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

.........HAHAHAHAHAHHA

13. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Not that funny! Every OS have it's problems

18. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

But Windows Mobile's problems outweights Android's. Apps support being a major one. LULZ

34. Sabres

Posts: 26; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

My Huawei P8 Lite never got a battery problem no matter how many times I've updated it. It is because Huawei Phones kill apps in the background unless you turn the protection on for them. So, Android has that problem solved as well. People just don't do it

42. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

You sound like religion converters

4. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

No problems here, try a factory reset. Or install Greenify, root your device and don't worry about this ever again.

30. Nopers unregistered

Essentially the feature that one plus removed.

5. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Facebook does do its job in battery life. Never ever install it, just use Messenger alone.

49. aenews

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 25, 2015

Yes and install Metal instead of Facebook

8. Tejas9

Posts: 95; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

This is something quite strange actually. I have seen 3 percent drop per hour on dual sim standby. Using data alternatively on both sims, greenify too. I have no issues on my One Plus 3 about battery. Ram management is well addressed now, camera is quite a performer.

10. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

I have a oneplus 3 and I have about 1% drain an hour on WiFi or about 2% on LTE. That's not good, but certainly not bad.

16. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Are those Doze'd battery drain?

17. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

No, normal battery drain. Doze drops down the drain even further. But still the android system drain is way too high.

20. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

That's great for me, I don't use wifi all that much and 2g for telephony, and I don't think my battery drain is any better than yours (Moto X Play). Unless you meant not turning on the screen/idling with the networks on.

26. Retro-touch unregistered

That's quite bad. I have a Oneplus One and drain 1 or 2% overnight on WiFi on latest COS13.1 (MM). Sounds like something went wrong on this update or maybe it's time to install better battery stats and investigate what apps or services are the culprit.

39. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

My drain is pretty similar overnight too because of doze. It doesn't drain anything after the first two hours. Google services is the culprit, mostly Google now. Thinking of disabling it.

50. aenews

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 25, 2015

I recommend managing wakelocks with Amplify. I always recommend Greenify, Amplify, and Power Nap. Greenify works best in Root/Donation/XPosed Mode.

12. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Lookalike update affects every other phone differently!!!

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