Sony says STAMINA Mode is back with the latest Xperia Z5 update, but it really isn't. Here's why
Sony's STAMINA mode has been a beloved feature of the Xperia smartphone line for years now. It limits background processes and apps from accessing the Internet when the phone is in standby, drastically improving battery life and helping the Xperias reach their praised “Two-day battery life”. The feature also offered a whitelist option, where the user could include the apps they didn't want to be limited by STAMINA, such as chat apps, business emails, et cetera. As a result, one could keep STAMINA mode on at all times and get all the benefits of the extended battery life with no apparent drawbacks.
However, with Android 6 Marshmallow, Google baked a very similar feature right into the operating system. Called Doze, this new code kicks in after the phone has been in standby and stationary for a while, and it does a very similar thing to Sony's STAMINA, limiting Internet access and saving lots of power. In order to prevent duplicate features on its smartphones, Sony removed the beloved STAMINA mode.
Users were displeased with this move. The fact is that Google's Doze mode only kicks in some minutes after the phone has been resting – leaving it on the desk at work, or on the nightstand when going to bed are perfect examples. For the rest of the time, apps are free to do as they wish and download packages from the Internet at whatever intervals they see fit. As a result, battery life under Doze mode was noticeably not as good as when STAMINA was active.
Sony took note of user feedback and promised that STAMINA will return with the latest Xperia Z5 update. And return it did, but is it the good-old STAMINA we've come to know and love? Drum roll, please!
No, no it's not. In fact, at plain sight, it looks like Sony just changed the name of Android's native Power Saving mode and called it a day. Here's why:
- The new STAMINA mode does not function like the last one did. Before, it would only limit background processes from accessing the Internet when the phone was in standby. Now, STAMINA limits display brightness, animations, vibration feedback, GPS, and we are warned that background data is also restricted at all times.
- There is no whitelist. On the topic of background data – you no longer have a choice of apps to be left unscathed by the limiting.
- Keeping the new STAMINA mode on at all times is no longer a viable option. While it is most certainly allowed in the settings menu, keeping it constantly on will severely hamper your experience. In contrast, the old STAMINA mode was barely noticeable and any Xperia user was used to just have it on at all times.
Check the screenshots below to see how the Xperia STAMINA mode used to look before, and how very similar it is to Android's Battery saver now. Disappointed?