Sunday, May 06, 2012

Battery Drain on Samsung Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich


If you've recently updated your Samsung Galaxy S II (SGS2) to the latest ICS firmware, you may have noticed worse battery life - at least I did.  But give it some time and it'll get better.  Just take a look below.

Firmware
Source: Samsung Official Kies
Android version: 4.0.3
Build Number: IML72K.XWLP7

I used to get about 2 days of battery life with light-medium usage on my SGS2 but immediately after the update I got less than 2 days of battery life on light usage:

I did notice that automatic Twitter, calendar, and GMail sync over WiFi quickly drained the battery. Oddly enough, my Exchange e-mails get synchronized automatically when I turn on WiFi even though I have my synchronization schedules set to manual. I haven't figured out what caused that sudden drop between 70-50%.

But after using the phone after a week and not leaving my WiFi on, I can get much better battery life:

That's over 3 days of battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S II.

With Gingerbread 2.3.4, it was a challenge to get 2 days of battery life but with Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3, it's easy to get 2 days and hitting 3 days has become the new challenge. Here are some battery stats after upgrading to ICS:
  • On average usage I get 35 minutes of battery life for every 1% of battery loss.
  • With WiFi on browsing web pages without Flash, for every 1% of battery I get 3 minutes.
  • Assuming the battery readout is accurate, charging rate is 36% per hour with the included Samsung 700mA charger.  USB charging provides 500mA so expect about 25% per hour.
  • Leaving the phone on with display off, all data off, RAM memory cleared, and no background apps running, I get a little over 1 hour for every 1% of battery loss.
I suspect, after the update, Android needs to recalibate the battery so you get better battery life after a few charge/discharge cycles and there's a bug with the included Exchange e-mail sync.

Are you seeing similar improvements to your battery with Ice Cream Sandwich?

Addition (6/16/2013): Battery drain has been dramatically improved with the Jelly Bean update so upgrade when you can!

20 comments:

steph said...

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your post. I just upgraded to ICS yest, and found that my battery drained faster too. I'm hoping it will get better like yours..

Anonymous said...

Factory reset cured this problem for me. After all, it was pretty easy after backup to Google. I lost only my sms messages. Now my SGS2 + ICS works great! 20 hours on battery and still 50% left!

Timo

Jon Shipp said...

I found my S2 wouldn' even last a day between charges after updating to ICS,and I thought at first that leaving it on charge overnight had finally ruined the battery.
Yesterday, the phone restarted itself (is this due to an OTA update?)but since then the battery has been better than ever.
Its been on 24hrs so far and still at 53%...
jonswepiii

eric said...

I'm on a custom from (slim ics) and I get 1% per 2 mins when browsing FB web on 3G/H. That's bad IMO...I remember my old gingerbread as better. Wifi improved it a bit, similar to yours. Idle drain is 1%/hour too.

tom said...

what do you mean give it some time, what did you do to make it last longer?

Matthew said...

After my update to ICS I get about 6 hours on a good day; 4 on a bad day. One morning at work I didn't touch the phone at all and it had practically drained itself in the 3.5 hours I had it sitting there. My phone gets extremely hot now and will not charge for anything when I plug it into a USB port on a computer but it works fine on the wall charger at home. Now, or so it seems, that plugging it into a USB port is just for transferring stuff from the phone rather than charging. Before ICS I wouldn't have a problem with battery life as much as I do now. The phone drains the battery extremely fast now.

Eric said...

@tom a reboot and a few recharge cycles seemed to work for me.

@matthew do you have WiFi left on? Are you using the same USB cable for plugging into your computer USB port and into the wall charger?

Rahul Soni said...

i recently updated to ICS on my Galaxy S2...the battery life for me improved (Touch Wood)...25 hours and still 36% battery left

Paul (The Minnow) said...

Just had the upgrade yesterday on my Galaxy S2 and noticed the battery drain right away. I chalked yesterday up to all of the app updates and syncing. However, turning it on today - I turned it on 30 minutes ago and it has gone from 100% to 84% - no Wifi, just looking at some email for 3-4 minutes. Yuck!

Common Sense said...

Same here with massive battery drain. I factory reset and am charging now...Hope that works, thanks for the good post.

Anonymous said...

Doing a Factor Hard Reset will resolve the problem. Learned that on another website. My battery is back to normal consumption rates.

mvsagar said...

I too had batter drain problems immediately after updating android to ICS 4.x. After frustrating two weeks are over, tried factory reset after uninstalling all apps. The problem persisted for about two days approximately after factory reset. But after that my battery drain stopped! Make sure you backup your data before you do factory resent. I did not wipe sd card before the factory reset. Good luck!!!
-- mvs

Unknown said...

I have my S2 for about 10 month...
Battery warning temp - after 6 month, replaced battery
Power button deal after 8 month
USB port broken after 9 month, not charging properly...
Restart itselfs avery othervday, battery in stand by will drain after 10 hours...

Updated to ICS, no improve.

From my point of view, S2 is the worst phone ever...

Jim Peake said...

While the phone works great when it has battery life it totally sucks that the whole system sucks after they did the Ice Cream Update, network failures, visual voicemail is not visual, dropped calls. This same thing happened to me with the Nexus S, update to Ice Cream Sandwich and battery was f*cked. For the amount of money I paid for the Galaxy II (I bought 2 phones, one for me and the other from my kid) I'm hosed.

Stephan said...

Mmm, I am having the opposite experience at the moment. Gingerbread drained my SII almost completely...after the update to ICS, I still have plenty of battery life at the end of the day. I just upgraded to ICS the other day so hopefully it isn't a fluke.

Anonymous said...

I just upgraded to ICS 4.0.3, if we factory reset it, will it back to GB or stay at ICS?

Eric said...

A hard reset will remove all settings and data but bring you back to ICS 4.0.3. You'll need ODIN to flash back to an older firmware. I upgraded to 4.0.4 which fixed my issues

Anonymous said...

After the ICS update my battery status says discharging and my battery life is about 3hours. Any advice?

maira hedge said...

Yes i also noticed a bad drain in battery after the ICS upgrade. but techno geek of my acquaintance suggested me to perform a hard reset, i was like why !! but he said try it, and i did as he told me, and you know what, it worked--the battery issue has gone away now. the method he suggested me is here http://howmobile.net/samsung/2150-how-hard-reset-samsung-galaxy-s2.html to hard reset galaxy S2. you guys can also try this and i believe that it will work for you as well. hope for the best. thanx

Lakendra Wiltse said...

Well in addition to it, the updated ICS firmware is another reason why your smartphone battery drains rapidly. There are also other factors, such as your usage. One simple way to help prolong battery life is to dim the phone screen. The brighter the screen is, the more power it takes from the battery. Also, if your phone has an AMOLED screen, using black wallpapers can help save power. The darker the screen you use, the less power the phone needs to illuminate LEDs.