How to Fix Bad DROID Turbo Android 5.1 Battery Life

At the end of June after over six months of waiting the Verizon Motorola DROID Turbo finally received the highly anticipated Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update. It had been rumored for months, delayed a few times, then finally rolled out to owners on July 1st. However, the update brought a few problems with it, most notably battery life issues.

Android 5.1 Lollipop, the successor to Android 4.4 KitKat, was released in November of last year just a few weeks after Verizon debuted the DROID Turbo, which is part of the reason it never received the original Lollipop release, as Google quickly released multiple updates to Android 5.0 Lollipop, including Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

Read: DROID Turbo Lollipop Problems & Fixes

So far the Verizon DROID Turbo Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update has been running extremely smooth for the vast majority of owners. That said, as you can see from the link above the update did bring problems or issues that multiple owners are facing, and here we want to try and tackle one of the most important problems, which is battery life. Read on for a few details and some potential fixes.

When the Moto DROID Turbo Android Lollipop update arrived it brought an entire new experience to the powerful smartphone. Android 5.1 Lollipop completely changes the entire look and feel of the device with Google’s material design interface, the lockscreen and notification bar changed, tons of animations and effects were added, not to mention new features, and much much more.

Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

The link above compares stock Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0, which is very similar to the current software on the DROID Turbo. There is a lot that’s new, and a lot to see. However, not listed in the huge changelog of features and improvements were a few problems.

We’ve been hearing complaints about a few different things, but the biggest one is without a doubt, battery life. The DROID Turbo has a huge 3,900 mAh battery that Verizon promises will deliver 48 hours of battery life. Users are complaining that it no longer lasts two days, and in fact, some are claiming they can’t even make it through an entire day of moderate usage. Meaning Android 5.1 is draining the battery at a substantially faster rate. There are a few things we can do to try and relieve this problem, so lets get started.

DROID Turbo Lollipop Battery Life Fixes

When it comes to figuring out why battery life is suffering, a lot of things come into play. A few quick ideas are disabling apps or bloatware installed by Verizon. Uninstalling apps you don’t use very often, or look under the battery setting and see which apps are using the most battery life. Try a few of the steps above, but make sure to also wipe the device cache after the Lollipop update, which we’ll explain how to do below.

Another big one is a WiFi setting where the DROID Turbo constantly scans for a WiFi network, and notifies you when one is available. Head into settings > Wi-Fi, then hit the three dots or settings button and tap Advanced, and turn off Wi-Fi scanning.

Location and GPS

Another large drain aside from the actual screen is location data and GPS. These chips inside the phone can constantly be talking to Facebook, Google Maps or Navigation, and other 3rd party apps and will make a huge dent in your battery life. With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Google changed this, and it’s even better in Android 4.4 and Android 5.0 Lollipop. The screenshots below are from Android 4.4, but should be in the same place now that the DROID Turbo is on Lollipop.

Turbo-location

Head to Settings > Location > and set the mode to Battery Saving. This uses WiFi and mobile networks to determine your phones location, rather than the power-hungry GPS chips inside your device. Navigation may not be as accurate, but still seems to work just fine and get me to places when battery saving mode is enabled. For navigation you’ll need to switch back to high accuracy for best results.

Clear Cache

The last thing we want to do, but probably the best bet for an improved experience, is a factory data reset and erasing all user data. However, before we try that clearing the cache typically cleans up some fragmented update files and junk, and will improve performance and battery life. So here’s how to clear your cache on the DROID Turbo after you’ve updated to Android 5.1 Lollipop.

  • Power off the DROID Turbo.
  • Press and hold the Volume Down button and Power button for 3-5 seconds then release.
  • From the ‘Boot Mode Selection Menu’ screen, select Recovery mode.
  • Navigate by hitting volume up/down to scroll, and power to select.
  • From the ‘Android system recovery’ screen (Android figure lying on his back), press and hold the Power button then press and release the Volume Up button to display the menu options.
  • User volume up/down to navigate to and select wipe cache partition. (Do not select Wipe Data)
  • Let this finish then select reboot system now.

This will clear your cache and all the temporary files from app installs, software updates, and other things. Clearing everything up to allow for better performance and battery life.

Factory Data Reset

If all of the steps above don’t improve battery life, the last resort but probably the best route is a factory data rest. I do this after every update to start with a fresh clean slate, but it will erase all user data, apps, files, pictures, downloads and information. Essentially making the device the same way it was out of the box, or from the factory.

This is a last resort if the existing problems or battery life is still enough to warrant such a drastic move.

Read: How to Backup Android in 5 Easy Steps

To factory reset the DROID Turbo head into Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory Data Reset > and tap Reset Phone. This will completely erase everything, reboot, and start fresh. Users can then use the new Android 5.0 Lollipop restore function to download all previously used apps. The new Tap n Go restore works great, if you have another device to restore from, or hit the drop-down option and select your DROID Turbo, and restore all apps from your Google sync account.

Turbo Charging Slower After Lollipop

We’re also hearing a few reports of slower charging after the update, which we’re investigating. The DROID Turbo has a feature called turbo charging, or Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 that lets it charge quicker than most devices. Something we’ve seen from recent Samsung, LG, and other devices. However, users are claiming that after Android 5.1 the Turbo Charging doesn’t charge as fast.

There’s no solution to this at the moment, and we’ve reached out to Verizon and Motorola for additional details, and will report back once we know more. Are you experiencing slower charging speeds since updating to Android 5.1 Lollipop? The clearing of cache or a factory data reset may fix this as well, so give those steps a try if charging is truly an issue.

Battery Saver

The DROID Turbo update to the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop introduces a new battery saver mode that’s rather useful and customizable, and this is something Turbo owners can do to preserve battery life when they actually need it. This turns off non-essential apps and services once your battery gets to a certain point, to save as much as possible for important things like calls and texts.

Battery Saver mode can be turned on by heading to Settings > Battery and flipping the battery saver mode option. W-Fi, Bluetooth, and data for browsing the web, Facebook, voice controls, screen brightness and more will all be lowered or turned off. This turns the phone into a regular phone (not smart) but 20% remaining can last for hours in case of an emergency.

Give all of the steps above, and if battery life problems continue we may see an update from Verizon and Motorola to address the problem. We’ll keep an eye out for information, and report back if an update becomes available.

24 Comments

  1. Mdog

    07/11/2015 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks but unfortunately still have poor battery life :( please fix Motorola/ Android !!

    Reply

  2. Billy

    07/21/2015 at 11:57 pm

    Good advice, Cory. My Turbo’s battery life had diminished after the Lollipop upgrade. I did the cache wipe (kinda scary when you go into the phone’s guts – it paused for a while but eventually worked). That and the change in location settings have brought back the robust battery life that attracted me to this phone.

    Reply

    • Stormy Sharp

      08/14/2016 at 1:17 pm

      I tired the instructions and only got so far as the android on it’s back then nothing. So I don’t know if it is fixed or not. But it sucks that the battery life on this unit is not as advertise, since that is why I purchased the phone to begin with.

      Thanks
      Dianna

      Reply

  3. Scott

    07/23/2015 at 7:26 am

    I there a way to get the “Group” back for my contacts? I can select a new contact into a group, but there is no option for groups to search for a contact! This Sucks!

    Reply

  4. Erik

    08/15/2015 at 11:34 am

    Thanks great tips that I’m sure will make a difference in battery life and get this great phone back to normal.

    Reply

    • jesse

      09/22/2015 at 10:28 am

      I dont have a problem with the battery coz Im still on Kit Kat and love the 2 days battery life. What I found useful in this article is how to wipe the cache. I had to do this because a week back or so my phone started automatically to download by force the lollipop update (the 770MB file did you show in search results) and then every time I started on and off the internet a notification appeared to install llp update. Had to wipe the cache.

      Reply

  5. edreyed

    09/15/2015 at 10:07 am

    My turbo’s battery life has gone from 2-3 days to 8 hours.!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  6. Davos

    09/18/2015 at 11:13 am

    This really bites. I’ve tried all the suggestions and more…short of the factory wipe. I loved this phone before Lolliop killed its ability to be used as a solid reliable device. I get 6 hours or so life now with minimal apps running. Has anyone tried just claiming the device as defective with their carrier?

    Reply

  7. Matt

    10/01/2015 at 4:29 pm

    I tried, Davos, but they have you run it in safe mode, which didn’t have any battery issues, and then claim its my software and not the hardware, so they’re not liable. The top two items on my battery are always screen and Android OS with any app never having more than a few percent. Can apps drain battery without showing up in these percentages?

    Reply

  8. B.U.

    10/13/2015 at 2:01 pm

    Lollipop sux!!!!!!! My phone gets hot as sh*t, email is buggy, battery sux, list goes on. Went from the best phone I’ve ever had to nearly the worst in the click of a button. What exactly is better about the so called “upgrade”. I liked it better before, when it actually worked

    Reply

  9. Jessica

    10/15/2015 at 4:22 pm

    Thank goodness I found this post before I bought a new battery and cracked open the phone! I have poor charging, only 8 hours of battery life and phone is constantly overheating.

    Reply

  10. Barry

    10/20/2015 at 11:07 am

    My droid turbo is fairly new, so I don’t have much experience with pre-lollipop, but I will absolutely say that since my update (to lollipop), my battery life has been crushed. Like many, I chose this devise for the big battery. My original 2-days of battery life has diminished to than 8 hours, unless I choose the Battery Saver mode, which is unacceptable to me for business. I also noticed that the device gets frigg’n hot in the afternoons…never in the morning, and when it does, my battery REALLY goes to heck, understandably. I’m now trying the Wiping Cache, but I’m not optimistic, after reading reviews. This is super disappointing as I otherwise like the devise, and it’s different — not another Apple or Samsung.

    Reply

  11. Dee

    11/03/2015 at 10:22 am

    I will NEVER purchase another droid phone. My daughter told me to get an iPhone but nooooo, I didn’t listen and went with the droid because the rep made it sound so good. I be glad when my contract is over with this phone and Verizon. I’m ditching this phone and Verizon. I’ve had nothing but bad service since I’ve had this phone and giving Verizon my business. I’m returning to T-Mobile or AT&T. I truly hate Verizon!

    Reply

  12. Barry

    11/03/2015 at 11:54 am

    To Dee’s commentary, I’m in the same boat. I have been a die-hard Droid guy for four phones now, including my Droid Turbo, maintaining my stance that Apple is really nice…as a toy (smile). But with this experience, a combination of my Droid Turbo with Verizon, I would jump to an Apple in a NY second! The battery issue may be the final straw, but there are other UNacceptable things that I have experienced with this phone that are completely unique, and possible Verizon-related (Message+, the Dialer application, the Contact application, etc.). I’m no technoid, but I have never had these problems with Samsung phones (pre-Lollipop) with AT&T. And regardless which it is, Android, Motorola or Verizon, I don’t have the time or energy to figure it all out. I’m getting so PO’d that I’m about ready to pay out of my (new) contract with Verizon.

    Reply

  13. David Knake

    11/17/2015 at 5:16 pm

    There’s obviously a scam that’s been pulled by Vrizon and Motorola! They replaced my phone yet I still have issues with email, and battery life! And I bet I will loose my speaker again! I’m ready to sue both companys! Come on people, stop and think WHY IS THIS HAPPENED? WHAT IS REASON PHONE GETS HOT? WHAT KIND OF CRAP HAS BEEN PUT IN BY THE SOFTWARE? Are you foolish enuf to believe this wasn’t done on purpose?!! THEY MUST PAY FOR THIS! VERIZON HAS PURPOSELY RIPPED ME OFF FOR THE LAST TIME! It’s time for a “CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT”! THE BULLYING MUST STOP! THEY MUST BE FORCED TO TREAT CUSTOMERS WITH RESPECT!

    Reply

    • Jennifer

      01/13/2016 at 6:10 pm

      I have had these same problems with this phone. They have sent me a total of four replacement phones and I have only been with Verizon for 6 months!! It’s ridiculous the first phone my speaker went out the second replacement the screen was completely black the next phone I had trouble with the battery now I have the latest replacement and it isn’t holding battery life either. I asked them after my second replacement for a whole different phone and they tell me no!!

      Reply

  14. Frank

    12/02/2015 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve noticed over the past month my Google services usage % is much higher than the past. In 24 hours the Google services is at 14-19% with light to medium use. It’s at the top of battery consumption on the list. I did the partition chache and factory rest and still it’s the same. How’s yours looking?

    Reply

    • Matt

      12/02/2015 at 8:57 pm

      I didn’t want to deal with it anymore, so I traded it in on Droid Turbo 2 on Black Friday. I was looking at the S6 but beard it had much worse battery issues. Here I am a few days in with a brand new battery and today I was down to 2% at 5:30 pm (had been off charger since 5:45 am) then I charged it up to 30%, barely used it, and its back down to 3% at 10:54 PM. Doesn’t seem right that even with a top off and almost no usage in the evening that I should drain 30% in 5 hours on a phone that is supposed to last 48 hours. I can’t imagine a less intensive usage pattern than over the last 5 hours and it used 30%. Screen, Android OS and Google services are all in the teens.

      Reply

  15. George

    04/08/2016 at 6:53 am

    I have a 1st gen Moto X with Android 5.1, that was purchased in October of 2013. I used to rave about the phone and wrote up a stellar review on Amazon, where I bought it. Now, I’m not as happy.

    Lately it has been suffering issues and it’s been around the time of the 5.1 upgrade but not all necessarily due to 5.1. It seems, but I can’t prove, that the battery life, especially is less than half of what it used to be. That’s not my only issue with the phone lately.

    The issues include: intermittent wifi, losing internet; intermittent sound abnormalities like crackling; terrible battery life; warm to the touch phone; noticeably slower performance. It’s also developed a failure with the shaking phone to bring up the camera. It consistently now comes up with an error in loading the camera (I have been unable to solve this new problem.)

    I followed all the instructions and did have some noticeable “improvements”.

    I did the cache procedure and I don’t know if it really solved problems. I cannot yet say. I went to another site and got detailed instructions. It’s a little unnerving to go into the OS and get really close to the reset/reformat. But following detailed instructions I had no problems.

    This morning my phone was in my pocket and got hot. So I turned on battery saver, turned off location, and turned off wifi scanning. The combination keeps the phone running much cooler to the touch, definitely. (If the phone is warm or hot, the battery is going to drain.) So some progress!

    I speculate that several apps were asking for location? I may try putting the settings back, one at a time and see if it gets warm again. I checked the battery graph in settings/battery. It’s clear that since I put it in saver mode along with the other changes, the battery is draining down and a tremendously lower rate. It’s clearly depicted in the graphics.

    I also have a relatively new and recent problem where the wifi will intermittently lose the internet. My two PC computers wired to the same router have no problems whatsoever and my wife’s identical phone seems to have no problems. Not sure what is going on here with my phone, but Very Annoying. When I go into the phone and shut off the wifi and turn it back on, it seems OK again for a while but the problem comes back. I just went into the settings, had it “forget” my wifi. Then I reentered it. We’ll monitor to see if this helps. If this problem continues, when combined with the other degradation, I may give up on the phone entirely.

    Too many apps?
    I do have a lot of apps installed. I might try to get rid of as many as possible and see if I get my old reliable Moto X Android phone back again. In spite of the fact that most of the problems do “seem” to be since 5.1 upgrade. It’s possible that the OS is not the cause of the heated phone and low battery life. I really believe that Android should take some responsibility. There should be some kind of check against apps that cause problems. It should at least set a limit if there is one necessary. And if there are “bad” apps, we should be informed, somehow.

    My wife has the exact same 1st gen Moto X now also with the 5.1 upgrade. She has no problems.

    This is convenient for troubleshooting. I can compare the two. She’s not having any of my problems. I just checked and her phone is cold to the touch. Unlike mine that frequently is quite warm and was quite warm this am before I made all the setting changes. Her battery saver is “off”. Location is “on” and in “high accuracy” mode. Wifi scanning is “off”. The two phones, hers and mine, are identical. The only difference is all the apps that I’ve added to mine. I have to speculate that the apps are running in some fashion in the background and taking battery power and heating the phone. It’s possible that it’s a single app but that will take some time to figure out. This does point to apps in my phone as the root cause of many of my issues.

    It is unfortunate and somewhat sad that problems of this magnitude are left to the user to resolve. Even if it is third party apps, it’s shifting responsibility to the customer. That’s not a good policy. After many years of use, this phone and Android is hands-down much better than anything Microsoft and Windows have ever delivered but it’s likely not as clean as the Mac products. Perhaps I should break down and get an I phone.

    I have to say I’m really disappointed with the Google/ Motorola sales to China. For a time I was overjoyed that a US company was doing a job comparative to Apple/Mac and their I phone reliability. But I have grave doubts going forward. I’m sure it’s coincidence that my Android and Motorola problems began about the same time as the company changes.

    Reply

  16. Allyson

    05/10/2016 at 12:03 pm

    I am heartened to hear that I am not alone in my battery issue with the Droid Turbo since the Lollipop OS update. I have a few months left before I can get a new phone and now I am torn. I have never like the iPhone. I have always resisted the iPhone. I have always preferred the Droid OS. But now, if this issue is across the board on all phones that operate on Android (and isn’t unique to Motorola or Droid), I am seriously torn.

    Anyone have any intel to share?

    Reply

    • Droid lover

      05/10/2016 at 3:35 pm

      I’ve learned by going to storage and clearing cache that way also holding down the power button for a reboot about 8 seconds helps me out.

      Reply

    • Frank

      05/10/2016 at 3:38 pm

      Also doing the partition cache every 6 months just for the heck of it.. I don’t know if that actually makes a difference.

      Reply

  17. Tk

    06/15/2016 at 12:12 pm

    My phone’s on the charger and it still is draining quick any help on that many bad battery or something only had phone for 3 months

    Reply

  18. Annie

    12/02/2016 at 8:08 am

    One of the reason’s I bought this phone was the battery life and it worked great until about 6 months ago (Jul 2016). I clear my cache on a regular basis and I don’t have a ton of apps installed but the battery life sure seems to drain quickly. I have added the suggested tips and will see if this helps with the longevity of the battery and report back
    12/2016

    Reply

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