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Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Journeyman

Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

I bought a new Galaxy S III last week and I've been having bad battery life problems with it. I would charge it fully and take out the charger at 11 PM without using it. When I woke up at 8 AM the next morning, the battery life indicator shows only 73% remaining even though I didn't even use anything.

I used my phone for 3 hours yesterday by playing games (chess) and making a couple phone calls and I used up a full 100% of the battery charge.

I went to the Sprint Store today and they told me I had a faulty battery. They gave me a new battery as a replacement. I just charged it up completely and the battery life indicator shows the phone has been turned on for 37 mins and 16% of the battery has already been used. I barely even used it. I checked my gmail account a couple times, but that's all I've done.

The screen is set to medium brightness and I have the power saving mode on. I don't think it's any of the apps that are running in the background either that are draining my battery because they're the same ones I've used on my old phone and I didn't have this problem.

Has anyone else run into these bad battery life problems with the Galaxy S 3? This is unacceptable to me that the battery would drain that fast.

18 REPLIES 18
Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Are you in a low signal area?  Or an area with A LOT of people?  (Like you live next to an amusement park, or a concert venue)  Those conditions can make any smartphone battery die prematurely, at least if you still have auto-sync and all that stuff on.  Be sure to be connected to your home wifi.  A lot of people will tell you to turn wifi off to save battery, but actually in many cases it can help preserve your battery.  (Like in those situations I mentioned)

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

I'm in Downtown LA but from my office building, it's hard to get a signal. I usually have only 1 or 2 bars signal strength and usually have some difficulty loading websites when I'm at work. At home it's much quicker though.

I turned off all auto sync like you said. Thanks for the tip. Could there be any other things draining my battery? I don't use it much at work but the battery still drains.

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Well basically anything you can do to reduce data usage will help.  When you're in a low signal area data usage will eat your battery more than when you are in a decent signal.  (I won't bother with the full explanation as to why in this forum.  If you are curious and want to know, which I applaud, then just google around.  There are countless pages explaining why).  Depending on your usage, you could also possibly help your battery simply by turing on wifi and connecting to a network.  I'm just assuming that in your office you have some WiFi to connect to.  Again, I won't go into the full blown explanation, but I'm sure you can understand that your phone would have to do less work while on a wifi connection that's only a quarter mile away and only sharing with 50 people vs a cell tower that's a mile away that you're sharing with 1000 people.  Again, it's not that simple, but for the sake of explanation, it is. 

If you really want to get hardcore about battery preservation, I suggest you get Google Voice.  Sprint is the only carrier so far that supports full Google Voice integration, so not only does that mean you could use your cell phone number for it instead of some other number you make up, but it also means that you can use Google Voice to turn a 300 minutes/300 text messages a month plan into a completely unlimited one.  (EVERY google voice call, no matter who you're calling, will count as mobile-to-mobile).  But as far as battery, and why I tell you to do this, Google Voice will then allow you to take your texts through the data connection, and will allow the same (when using the proper app, i.e. GrooveIP) for calls.  So this means that when you are on WiFi you can actually put your phone into airplane mode and still get 100% of your calls and messages.  While in airplane mode the cell radio is 100% off, which saves buckets of shitloads of battery...

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

I'm not sure of the exact details, but I remember seeing a post somewhere (possibly at XDA-developers) that there's a bug in both the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3 firmware that prevents the phone from going into deep sleep after USB charging until you reboot the phone. To test this theory, try rebooting the phone whenever you unplug any USB cable from it (whether for charging, tethering, file copying, software development, or any other reason) and see whether it makes a difference. Apparently, it makes a HUGE difference.

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Thanks for your help guys. I tried all of your tips and looked up more ways to save battery life online, but I still got sucky battery life from my Galaxy 3. Last night, I browsed the internet for awhile and got only 3 hours + of battery life from a full charge.

I ended up returning the phone to get a new one. Hopefully this one will be better. I really like the Galaxy s3 and hope it was just that I got a defective one.

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Well, before you spend TOO much time making yourself miserable trying to minimize your data use, try my suggestion... anytime you unplug a usb cable from the phone, reboot immediately and see how much of a difference it makes.

Other things that can help: turn off 4G if you know it's a lost cause. However, if you're in an area with good 4G coverage, turning it off won't really make any difference to your battery life.

Turning ON, and remaining connected to, wi-fi is probably the biggest single thing you can do to extend your battery life unless you're literally sitting under a tower and have a 5-bar signal. In most places, when you're indoors and connected to wi-fi, it takes less power for the phone to maintain the wi-fi connection and use it to communicate with Sprint than it takes to (metaphorically) shout loudly at maximum power so the tower can hear its pleading for a status update.

Wi-fi is a weird beast when it comes to phones. It sucks down lots of power like there's no tomorrow when you use it continuously to stream data nonstop, but it uses very little power (compared to a weak tower) for "bursty" data. Most of the time, if you're indoors, wi-fi will save you power. Just keep an eye on the signal strength meter, and manually disconnect if you find yourself somewhere (like the back yard, or out in the garage) where the phone can struggle to maintain a weak wi-fi connection, but has a strong EVDO signal available to use instead.

GrandMaster

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

by the by does this phone have a "best wifi performance" option? if it does he might try shutting that down as well. over with the EVO LTE turning that off has improved battery life by about double.

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Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

I am so happy to have found this post - I thought I was losing my mind!!  I have been to Spring 4 times regarding this...

1. Complained about connectivity and battery life.  They did some signal boost which did help connectivity (at FIRST) and they said I had a defective battery.  Of course not in stock so come back.

2. Came back for battery but by now (mind you it had been only 4 days) my connectivity sucked again so I left it for a technician to look at.  When I came back he announces that I have a defective battery AND a defective phone.  I was so happy I could have kissed him - I'm not crazy!  Of course I had to pay the $36 fee cuz' it had been 30 days not 14.  I was not a happy camper but I decided to pay it to avoid a long drawn out fight.

3. Came back to fetch my phone and new battery.

4. Went back in (to a different store) TWO days later because although the battery was better...it still didn't perform the way all the reviews kept claiming.  They said the battery was fine and I had too many apps running + wifi + bluetooth blah blah blah.  I told them I close apps and they start up on their own! 

I'm losing 40% battery AT WORK.  All I do at work is answer the occasional text message.  WTF should I have to close anything...reviewers are claiming to have enabled wifi, bluetooth, GPS and watched a 90 minute movie and only got down to like 80%.  What a load of ****.  I even posted my grievance on their FB page.  The arses deleted it AND never even bothered to contact me. 

I hope they come out with a fix/patch/miracle because I am so irritated and so not impressed.

Has anyone done anything and noticed an actual improvement?  At this rate I'm gonna have to buy a spare battery.  That is so not on.

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Sandra, you should return it for a new phone if possible. They gave me the exact same run around that you got. My phone would drain about 30% in a couple hours without me even touching it. I brought it back and they said it was a defective battery. I still had the same issue even with the new battery.

The next time I brought it back, I opened the Settings > Battery and I showed the manager that I started with a 100% charge and it drained down to 0 in about 5 hours of very minimal use. At first, he said I was getting normal usage rates, but I repeatedly told him that it WAS NOT normal and I barely used it. I was really insistent with him that I get a new phone. Those Sprint reps don't know jack squat and I've lost a lot of respect for Sprint employees because of this. They will say anything to avoid giving you a new phone, either because of laziness or dishonesty.

One thing I've noticed about my old defective Galaxy s3 was that it got really hot when I would use it (even for browsing and texting). My new Galaxy s3 stays cool during use. I think that's a good sign of whether you have a defective phone that drains battery life or not.

Don't trust the reps there because they don't know anything and be insistent that you get a new phone. The Sprint employee who helped me set up the phone told me that I could use it right away and only charge the phone until it said 100%. Any longer and it would damage the battery, he said. It turns out that is completely wrong. Instead, you should turn off the phone after setup at the store and charge it for 7-8 hours even after the indicator shows 100%. That's the only real way to condition your battery for long life. I found that advice here and it works. http://dottech.org/tipsntricks/17705/    Hopefully you can get a new phone and new battery and can follow this advice too because it seems like you have a defective phone and a battery that hasn't been conditioned right.

I brought back my old phone and got a new Galaxy S III and I'm very happy with the new one. I followed the tip I found in the link above and I'm now getting about 16 hours of use on my Galaxy S III instead of the 5-6 hours I had before. Don't let them tell you that it's because of all the programs running in the background. I have a bunch of programs running in the background and I do just fine. I use my phone moderately. So I use about 2-3 hours of browsing, 30 min. of games (chess), send a few texts, and make a few 10 min phone calls. Screen is set to brightest setting and I use wi-fi whenever possible.

I hope that helps and I hope you're able to get a new phone.

Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

Hey Johnlert22 - thank you!!  I can't believe the exact same thing happened to you.  How has this happened?  How could they have launched a bunk phone??

Anyway...I just got off of a live chat with Sprint.  They are going to contact me and I am going to throw my toys out of the cot.

Will let you know what happens!

S

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Journeyman

Re: Having problems with Samsung Galaxy S III battery life

There is likely nothing wrong with your phone or battery.  Sounds to me like an app or service is causing a wakelock, which is preventing the phone from entering sleep mode when the screen is off.  This sort of thing happens with every Android phone on the market.   One way you can tell if the phone is having trouble sleeping is by going into settings -> battery, then tap on the graph at the top.  Down at the bottom you will see blue bars, which represent when the corresponding items were active.  If you see a lot of blue next to "Awake" when the screen is off, then you know something is preventing the phone from sleeping.  Troubleshooting further would require an app like BetterBatteryStats to see which processes are causing a partial or kernel wakelock. 

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