Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge battery life problems continue to surface for some users, even with faster charging technology and bigger batteries. With that in mind today we want to show you how to fix bad Galaxy S7 battery life.
Now that the phone has been available for over a year, countless updates have arrived to fix issues, including Android 7.0 Nougat. However, for some, the battery still doesn’t last as long as expected.
Even with a big 3,000 mAh battery on the Galaxy S7 and a bigger 3,600 mAh battery for the Galaxy S7 Edge, the quest for a longer lasting phone remains. Our tips will cover everything from misbehaving apps, changing settings for a better experience, and other problems you can address right away.
How to Fix Bad Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Battery Life
Running the latest Android 7.0 Nougat these phones have countless battery saving features, performance modes, and even quick charging technology. However, we can always squeeze a little more out of them.
This guide will help you get better battery life on Samsung smartphones and prepare you for the future. Abnormal battery drain can happen at any moment, and you’ll need to be ready. Whether that be the Oculus app draining the battery or something else.
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. Keeping an eye on your apps is one of the biggest yet easiest steps to take. They can drain a battery faster than anything else, at times.
Read: Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Whether these are stock apps that came on your phone, 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 juice. That’s been happening with the Oculus app that comes pre-installed for the Gear VR headset, 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”. Battery life will vary from person to person, but that is an average day for most.
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 random rogue apps topping the list instead. You shouldn’t see regular apps here but if you do something is wrong. If so, uninstall that app to prevent it from draining battery. Or try reinstalling it to fix whatever is going on. Recently Facebook and Facebook Messenger had a similar problem. The company suggested simply restarting each app once to fix it.
Oculus Battery Life Fix
Users have noticed the Oculus VR app is absolutely killing the S7 series battery, and even more so after an update in late 2016. The new Oculus Rooms feature seems is the culprit, and we recommend users disable the app completely if you don’t use the Gear VR.
Head into Settings > Applications > Application Manager and scroll down to Oculus. Select the app and choose the “Disable” or “Uninstall” button. This will completely disable all aspects of this app, which has been found to hurt battery life. Alternatively, owners can turn off auto-updates inside the Oculus app, or disable and uninstall 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 acting up. 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, 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 reboot. This won’t erase anything but restarts the phone with a clean slate.
Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
Having a big 5.1 or 5.5-inch Quad-HD display watching videos or playing games at full brightness 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, as it goes up and down throughout the day on its own. Personally, I use somewhere around 30-40% brightness at all times. You can also change this quickly in the notification pulldown bar on most Samsung phones.
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 dims and turns off after a set amount of time. By default, it is set to 1 minute but try 30 seconds instead. 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, or remember to hit the sleep/power button when you’re done using it.
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, using things like Tethering will drain your battery so use it only when necessary. Anything using 4G LTE and data often will drain the battery. Use WiFi as often as you can, then turn it off when it is not needed.
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 on the Galaxy S7.
The image above is what we 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 display consumes 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 right away. This app learns usage habits and where you connect to WiFi to know when settings turn on and off. After learning your habits these settings will turn on and off automatically. Which results in nothing for you to do but enjoy a longer lasting device. This only works with the US version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge as they use a Snapdragon processor. Other models use Samsung’s own in-house chip.
This app actually works on any Snapdragon powered device, and so far we’ve seen great results on the Galaxy S7. It basically turns on and off features for you, rather than you messing with them all day long. Those with an international Galaxy S7 will need to find a different battery metering tool.
Galaxy S7 Software Features
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a lot of 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 message. These are all nice, but they 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 will lower battery life and you probably never use them.
Battery Saver Modes
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge also have battery saving and performance 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’s performance, lower screen brightness, and overall frame rate, turn off the touch key lights, turn off vibration feedback, and reduce the screen timeout feature mentioned earlier. It’s a great way to get through an entire night when there’s only 30% left.
When it’s really needed, or in the 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.
On Android 7.0 Nougat Samsung changed the screen resolution to 1080p, instead of Quad-HD. This helps battery life and most don’t even notice the difference. There are also new “performance modes” in settings that can squeeze more usage out of each battery recharge.
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 dive in even deeper. It’s what we used to find the Oculus issue. This app finds other apps that are misbehaving, need to be uninstalled or are just causing general Galaxy S7 problems.
In late October of last year, Samsung sent out software updates to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge with a few changes and battery life improvements. We’ve also seen multiple updates to the always-on display app. 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 installed. 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 bad battery life. This is a last resort, but could fix Galaxy S7 battery problems for some.
These are just a few of many 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 more juice while out and about, take advantage of the fast charging technology in the Galaxy S7 and buy a fast portable battery charger.
Galaxy S7 S-View Flip Cover (Clear)
First up is a fan-favorite, being the official Samsung S-View flip case. For the S7 Samsung actually has three different S-View Flip cover cases. There's the traditional flip cover with a window like previous years, then a completely clear one, and an LED flip case. Our favorite is the clear case. This offers a full view of the entire screen, not just the small cutout like previous years.
It does everything the others do, gives quick access to information on the screen, at-a-glance information, and lets users answers calls and take pictures without opening the case. This one also has a new notification bar (while the case is closed) allowing users access to more than just missed calls or texts.
Buy it Now for $59.99 in three colors