Galaxy Nexus Battery Life Proves Disappointing – LTE or Display To Blame?

One of the best features of the Galaxy Nexus is the phone’s big 4.65-inch display. It’s what makes Android 4.0 feel less crowded than it might on a smaller screen, but it’s also one of the big reasons why the battery life on it is disappointing.

This is not entirely surprising given that it’s also a 4G LTE device. Verizon Wireless customers often have to trade great battery life for speedy mobile Internet. The Galaxy Nexus is not, apparently, an exception.

However, when we looked at what’s been using the battery the display is definitely the biggest culprit, responsible for up to 60% of the battery drain.

Galaxy Nexus Battery Life

Chris switched his Nexus to auto brightness and found that battery life improved afterwards. I have the screen permanently set below 25% percent, and I’m still not seeing great longevity. Earlier today I checked and the phone was down to 38% after 6 and a half hours of medium usage. My Thunderbolt is only just now down to that much after 10 hours, and that was with heavy usage.

Laptop Magazine found that the Verizon version of the Nexus fared worse than the Thunderbolt on their battery test, which involves constant web surfing over 4G with the screen on constantly at 40% brightness. Under those extreme conditions the Nexus lasted 3:40, the Thunderbolt 3:56, the Droid Charge 6:42, and the Droid RAZR 4:48.

Interestingly, the Galaxy Nexus running on T-Mobile’s network lasted for 5 hours on this test, which means the network is a big part of the problem, too.

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Josh discovered that leaving the Wi-Fi radio on is a major drain as well.

This weekend I’m going to try some different tweaks and tips for other large screen phones to see if I can’t figure out ways to cut down on the battery drain.

What kind of battery life are other Galaxy Nexus users seeing? What’s draining your battery most?

  

Comments

  1. marcus aurelius says

    Hi K.T. Bradford, I’ve got a #GSM #GalaxyNexus for 2 wks from @CloveUK and #BatteryLife is terrific. I’m getting little over 2 DAYS  and that includes my normal day to day usage. My last battery check was 2 Days 2hrs and 21mins and that was with 19% left over! This is WAY better than my #AppleiPhone4S, never thought I’d see #Android beat #Apple in the #BatteryTest. Suffice it to say that I’m 100% satisfied with my #GalaxyNexus.

  2. Anonymous says

    Battery drainers are always the same: radios. I have no problem lasting a very full day on my Galaxy Note and its 5.3″ screen, but it usually only has Wifi and voice on. No GPS, no Data, no Bluetooth, no 3G, and of course it doesn’t even have any faster radio.
    Also, the Note has a “power saving” mode, which makes the phone less responsive especially coming out of sleep mode, but must save some battery.
    And finally, AMOLED screens eat more power for “on” pixels than for black ones, so I’ve set as much as I can to a flat black background, which is what I prefer for legibility anyway, luckily. Means no fancy animated widgets and wallpapers though, which I don’t care for either.

  3. Slim says

    I got one yesterday. I turned off the location services, wifi, bluetooth and sync, and I set the screen brightness to the minimal level. I charged it to 100%, unplugged it and went to bed. It was dead by morning. Total piece of crap. You can’t use a phone if it can’t hold a charge.

      • Jaime Ramirez says

        really that weird it only drop 2% of battery over night and this was from 9pm-730am it was 98% when i check…. something wrong with your battery.

        • Gogetgary says

          unplugged phone at 100% charge went to bed, 7 hours later it was at 81%. This has happened for the first two nights. What settings have you changed to only have your battery drain 2%?

    • Myfacetwitterbookspace says

      Even if you turn wifi off, you still have to turn of the wifi location service. Turning off the wifi doesn’t automatically turn off the “search for wifi” if you selected it. This is usually the culprit.

  4. chongo2515 says

    I got about 9.5 hours with heavy usage texting/tweeting/a little gaming. My nexus was idle for about 3-4 hours 

  5. Anonymous says

    If I get the same battery performance for the next week that I got today, I will be returning it. Fully charged this morning, down to 15% about 2 hours later, using voice half of that time. Seemed strange so I disabled an app that does some location based stuff even though the OS said it only used 5%. After charging to 100% phone is back to 15% 8 hours later. A few phone calls and minor use.

    In my opinion not promising on the battery front so far. We will see how it goes this weekend. I have 4G off.

    • Hoe says

      I am so pissed very little 4G coverage and im in a great 4G location per Verizon….spent 1 hour last night and 2 hours today on the phone with Verizon tech aupport and tgey couldnt figure it out so they made a ticket to send to there network specialist and they said that they would call me….still no response and no 4G —- battery drains because GN is seaeching for 4G . Obviouslyverizon doesnt fuckin know what tge F to do. Any advice ?????

        • Martnez says

          I’m also returning my Galaxy Nexus due poor battery life within the 14 days. I also had to turn everything off. 4G in Baltimore is not that great from Verizon. The iphone is looking better as a substitute. easier interface to use.

  6. Kevin Jepson says

    The phone is looks great, works great, but mine too has sh**ty battery life. I don’t get a full day of use. Then I turned everything off and the screen way down, which helped but not that much. I’m not buying extra batteries to carry around, that’s why I bought a thin phone. That’s just stupid. I’m really disappointed and I think I’ll return it, as what’s the point of having the phone that you have to turn all the stuff you want off to have power to run it! Samsung you screwed up on this. 

  7. Mrogers says

    I just got the nexus (leaving my blackberry).
    Battery life is a deal breaker. I need my phone available for more than 10 hrs a day.
    I’m retuning it. Androids are fun, just not for business. shame

  8. Kevin says

    The day will come that some “genius” will figure out that we would rather carry a little thicker/heavier phone with a larger battery and be able to use it all day.

  9. Dan says

    My Nexus appears to me like the battery dwindles to quickly.  I see opposite results that the OS is the #1 consumer of battery.  Which makes me think some of things I’ve read about the OS not really going to sleep are true.

  10. James Carroll says

    t’s impossible to make a fair comarison between networks with just one phone for each network in just one area. I’ve found battery qaulity to vary widely – one reason I like US Cellular’s free battery exchage .  you’s havce to use the same btttery in two devices to make that  comparison.  Secondly, differences in signal strength make a big difference in battery power usage too.  Then there is climatic differences and even difference depending on the time of day and how many are usinga given tower at the time.  I aapreciate the effort, but it’s far more complex than you would like to believe.

  11. AlphaRider says

     Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a very fast phone but has one fundamental issue:  Battery Life is Horrible!

    Can barely last through half a day compared to my Nexus One which is quite ridiculous. Use to be that my Nexus One can last throughout the day without hiccups.  I have to bring my charger with me when i use the original battery

     Wish 4.0.4 update will address the battery issue here as this is becoming unbearable.  In the meantime, i am using an extended battery which addresses the issue for an bit of extra thickness to the phone

    http://www.amazon.com/QCell-Verizon-Samsung-Extended-Compatible/dp/B00746TQVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333084783&sr=8-1&tag=notebookscom-20

  12. Chris says

    Samsung Nexus 4g LTE – fully charged. Turned it off and left it for 10 hours. Turned it on and battery is dead. Graph shows a huge discharge in the last 2 hours. Why would this happen when turned off??!

  13. vTheory says

    With light usage, I get about 3 days and change. With moderate to moderate-heavy usage, I get about 30 hours to about 20 hours. I get about 8 to 12 hours with constant heavy usage (like a recent road-trip [jumping cell antennae uses lots of power] using navigation with the screen on bright).

    I don’t have facebook installed or anything else that constantly polls the antennae and background data on the cell network is disabled. Those two things helped tremendously. I turn WiFi and GPS on only as needed, but I like to keep my screen on 50% to 90%, not dim.

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