The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge both have a lot to offer, including nearly all-day battery life. The Galaxy S7 has a 3,000 mAh battery and the Galaxy S7 Edge is even bigger, at 3,600 mAh and both support fast wireless charging. However, users are still encountering battery life problems. Here are some tips to fix battery life, including the recent problems with the Oculus app rapidly draining the battery.
Samsung made a big effort to improve battery life in 2016. The Galaxy S7 now has a bigger battery, fast charging and is more efficient over all. It’s a great phone that many love, but battery issues are frustrating some.
Since being released we’ve heard a few reports of abnormal battery drain, but they’ve been increasing as of late. If your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge isn’t lasting as long as expected, below are a few suggestions to fix bad Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge battery life.
Overall we’ve been rather pleased with the battery life on the new Galaxy S7 Edge. It comes in at 5.5-inches yet still packs a huge 3,600 mAh battery, the biggest of any Galaxy released in the US aside from the Active. It’s even bigger than what comes inside the Galaxy Note 7.
Our Galaxy S7 Edge Review we came away satisfied with battery life, but the regular Galaxy S7 didn’t do quite as good. It’s still far better than last year, but not as great as buyers hoped for. As a result, we’ve gathered some tips, tricks, suggestions and apps below that could improve the battery life on both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
How to Fix Bad Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Battery Life
Running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow these phones have countless battery saving features, quick charge built in, and more. However, we can always squeeze a little more out of them. This guide will get better battery life on Samsung’s new smartphones. We’ll also address the Oculus app draining some users phone in less than 3-hours.
Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery
The first recommendation we always make if battery life isn’t as expected, is check on third-party applications. If you want to fix your bad Galaxy S7 battery life, you’re going to want to keep an eye on applications for potential problems. They can drain a battery faster than anything else, at times.
Read: Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Whether these are stock apps that came on it, or 3rd party apps downloaded from the Google Play Store, there is a chance a rogue app will put a huge dent in battery life. This goes for all Android devices, not just the Galaxy S7.
If you use an application a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. But there are also times where bugs or issues might cause an app to go rogue and start abnormally draining the device’s juice. That’s been happening with the Oculus app that comes pre-installed for the Gear VR, whether you use it or not.
Above is a screenshot showing a good day with the Galaxy S7 Edge. Getting nearly 23 hours of usage, with more than 4 hours remaining and over 4 hours of the important “screen on time”. This is how battery results typically look for me, but others aren’t enjoying the same experience.
The biggest drain on battery life is “Android System” shown on the bottom left of the screenshot above. That’s a bit high, but I used the device a lot. Users will want to look for some rogue app being at the top of the list, with a high percentage. If so, uninstall that app to prevent it from draining battery. Or try reinstalling it to fix whatever problem is causing unusually high battery drain.
Oculus Battery Life Fix
Users have noticed the Oculus VR app is absolutely killing the S7 series battery, and even more so after a recent update in September. The new Oculus Rooms feature seems to be the culprit, although we’d recommend users disable the app completely if it isn’t needed.
Head into Settings > Applications > Application Manager and scroll down to Oculus. Select the app and choose the “Disable” or “Uninstall” button. Most likely it can’t be uninstalled. This will completely disable all aspects of this app, which has been found to really hurt battery life. Alternatively owners can turn off auto-updates inside the Oculus app, or disable and unistall the new Rooms feature too.
Reboot Your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge
Oddly enough, I’ve found that if battery life is dropping at a fast rate after pulling it off the charger, there’s a reason for it. GPS, WiFi, or an app could be draining things. Something isn’t right, but we don’t know what yet. A quick reboot will often fix this, and save owners from dealing with a dead battery later in the day.
If the phone is getting hot for no reason, seems to be lagging or working unusually hard, long press the power button and choose “Restart”. Another option is to press and hold power and the home key for 7-8 seconds to do a hard reset.
Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
Having a big 5.1 or 5.5-inch Quad-HD display cranked up watching videos or playing games can easily drain a battery. Screen on time under the battery stats page in settings is important, as the display will usually be at the top of the list. As a result you’ll want to head into Settings > Display > Brightness and choose something that works for you. Auto isn’t ideal for conserving battery, and I use somewhere around 30-40% brightness. Setting it to auto means it changes on the fly, but the constant up and downs will slowly make battery life worse throughout the day. Or just change the brightness in the pulldown bar.
While we’re in display settings some owners will want to lower the “screen timeout” option. This is how long the phone stays on before the screen auto dims and turns off to save battery life. By default many are set to 1 minute, try 30 seconds. This way every time a user turns on their phone it isn’t staying on for 1,2, or even 5 minutes at a time. This all adds up when we check our phones 100 times a day. Turn the Screen Timeout down to a lower setting.
WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS
If you aren’t using WiFi or Bluetooth, you might as well turn them off. Even though they’re minimal when it comes to battery drain. It’s one more quick and easy step. If you’re in a WiFi location (coffee shop) yet not using WiFi, certainly turn it off as the device will continuously search for a network. It’s a huge battery saver at home to use WiFi, but if it isn’t being used, disable it. Bluetooth being enabled isn’t much of an issue, but while we’re here, disable it if you haven’t a need for it. These are right at the top of the notification bar, or the first few options in settings.
Then of course, using things like Tethering will drain your battery, so use this only when necessary. Anything using 4G LTE and data often will drain the battery. Use WiFi as often as you can, but turn it off when not in use.
However, the biggest drain on battery is location services and GPS. So using Google Maps, letting Facebook messenger use GPS to find your location, and other things of that nature. The GPS chip is very power-hungry, and can kill a battery extremely quick, especially the Galaxy S7.
The image above is what we’d recommend. Head into Settings > Privacy & safety > Location > and select Location Method, then choose “Battery Saver” or the middle WiFi and Mobile networks. Unless you need Google Maps daily, don’t use GPS for location, as it will be a big drain on battery life.
Use a Black Wallpaper
Switching to a black or dark wallpaper could help deliver better Galaxy S7 battery life thanks to the way Samsung’s AMOLED displays consume power. By default the background image is black and blue, but the darker the wallpaper the better. This is a small difference, but everything adds up in the long run.
After you’ve downloaded one, go to Settings > Personal > Wallpaper > From Gallery > and then set your black Galaxy S7 wallpaper.
Install Battery Guru
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge software have plenty of battery saving features we’ll go over below, but if you install the free SnapDragon Battery Guru software you’ll see better Galaxy S7 battery life with changes you rarely notice. This app learns usage habits and where you connect to WiFi and more to customize when settings turn on and off. Then does it automatically. Which results in nothing for you to do, but enjoy a longer lasting device. Only the US Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have a Snapdragon processor, as models outside the US run Samsung’s own chip.
This is an app that works on any Snapdragon powered device, and early tests show it works pretty good on the powerful qua-core Snapdragon 820 in the Galaxy S7. It basically turns on and off features for you, rather than messing with them all day long.
Galaxy S7 Software Features
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has many software features that can hurt battery life, and others that improve it. As a result we’ll want to disable some, or try using others if the situation presents itself.
By default the Galaxy S7 has tons of gesture and motion controls enabled out of the box. Like swiping a hand over the screen to take a screenshot, keeping the screen on if the sensor above the screen senses eyes looking at it, to even putting the phone up to your head while reading a text message to instantly call that person from the text message. These are all nice, but all consume battery power.
Head into Settings > Advanced Features > and turn off things like Smart Capture, Palm Swipe Capture, Direct Call, Easy Mute, and disable “Smart Stay” in the display settings. All of these require battery to use sensors inside the device to perform tasks most people never, ever use.
Battery Saver Modes
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge also have some battery saving modes we can use. In fact, there are two different options. Under Settings > Battery you’ll find “Power Saving Mode” and “Ultra Power Saving Mode”. These both do similar yet different things, and can prolong battery life for the end of the day, when you really need it, or in cases of emergencies and more.
When you enable Power saving mode, it will limit the quad-core processor performance, reduce screen brightness and overall frame rate, turn off the touch key lights, turn off vibration feedback, and reduce the time before the screen is turned off when you receive notifications. It’s a great way to get that little 30% leftover to last the rest of a night out.
When it’s really needed, or in case of emergencies we have Ultra power saving mode. Ultra power saving mode will turn the screen to black and white, a grayscale theme, and basically turn the Galaxy S7 into a regular flip phone, with limited text, call, and web browsing support. Samsung claims the phone will last hours and hours with a few percentage on this mode, so use it when it’s truly needed.
Other Quick Tips
Everything we just explained are small but worthy tweaks that actually make a noticeable difference on battery life. Users can always get apps like BetteryBatteryStats to see what apps are causing problems. It’s what we used to find the Oculus issue. Things like rogue apps you may want to uninstall, or simply battery hogs.
In April Samsung sent out software updates to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge with a few changes and battery life improvements. We’ve also seen updates to the always-on display. Make sure you’re running the latest software by heading into settings > about phone > and checking for software updates.
Above are some great Samsung accessories, and that list includes a battery case that nearly doubles S7 battery life. Meaning the battery can last 2-4 days with it. Get a battery case, external chargers, or other things if needed.
Owners on a flight or taking the train with no service, enable airplane mode to save it for when you arrive. Airplane mode turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days on airplane mode. Occasional device restarts can also help to flush out the system and memory, and give your device a clean slate for the day or work week. It’s also a good idea to do a factory data reset (which erases everything) if you are experiencing extremely unusual battery life results. This is a last resort, but could fix Galaxy S7 battery problems for some.
These are just a few of many different options available to users without getting deeper into the Android OS. Try a new launcher, download third party text apps, or even better, uninstall Facebook. If you’re still not satisfied with battery life or need additional juice while out and about, take advantage of the fast charging technology in the Galaxy S7 and buy a fast portable battery charger.