Technology What about battery life? —

What about battery life? —


June 23, 2020

Alexander Noskov

Hi! Talk about how the smartphone measures the battery
why he jumps like crazy and what we can do.

In our days, even cheap smartphones can make us
performance, camera quality and power of reception of cellular signal. It seemed
would live and be happy, but there is an objective factor that spoils the fun
from smartphone usage, and this, of course, about the battery. It’s not even
its volume, or the velocity of the charge, and that despite all the assurances elite
PR, to monitor the real battery charge is almost impossible. Many of
we often saw speed drop charge level on the indicator or Android
iOS, or Vice versa, smartphone
“made up for” 1-2% just after a couple of minutes with the screen off. This instability
the indications and causes the greatest dissatisfaction among users, sows in them
distrust of the brand, shakes the nerves and paints the world in black paint. Especially
when the phone had spent a lot of money. But before
to accuse the battery of a smartphone in antisocial behavior of its host, let’s see
but is it really to blame?

smartphones measure the charge level

Modern technique is actually simple and cheap, allows
to convince the casual observer that he sees the real battery life of the smartphone
and if even the operating system will start to predict the category, that the buyer
will be ecstatic. It is a pity that the reality of it is irrelevant,
and here’s why. The smartphone is impossible to separate the concept of measuring the battery level of the smartphone
apart from the factory statistics of the test battery. What’s going on? On
the factory tests a particular battery and draws a reference chart
discharge. For example, like this:

Graph courtesy of Chad Courtney (Chad Courtney), Intel Corp.

Absolutely typical pattern, there is no consumer
(inexpensive) Li-ion batteries, which would discharge evenly. In this
the chart on the Y-axis indicates the voltage level, and the X-axis the percentage
charge. Based on this specific graphics made for a specific
battery specific smartphone, the Android OS and calculates
the level of charge that we see on the screen. Information about the voltage provides
hardware (controller to battery), and further calculations produces
the application of the operating system. Of course, the built-in battery controller
never allow the battery discharge to the real 0% (in the chart the battery level
0% corresponds to a voltage of 3V), such errors would result in failing to start
the process of charging Li-ion battery. By the way, in low-cost smartphones from Xiaomi
the Android One,
met often this flaw, and their owners were forced to completely
to change the batteries (“to break” is not charging the battery a strong charge
current do not advise anyone). In the future Android OS analyzes
the performance of the phone and adjusts the data about the charge (and the prospect of detente), and the data
about it stores in the file “batterystats.bin” in the root section
system. The factory graph never changes and is originally stored in
the Boot loader (Boot.img).

From the above we can draw several conclusions:

  1. Method
    based on a comparison of factory settings and the current voltage level
  2. Smartphone
    in fact, measures nothing, and only makes insights from the external
    information. I.e., it “thinks” it knows the battery level and shows its
    the assumption the user
  3. If
    in the settings section “battery” in your Android smartphone, you see a straight diagonal line, then you are either brazenly
    cheating (cheap sub-brand) or the manufacturer of the smartphone (Samsung, Apple, Nokia, OnePlus, Huawei, etc.) responsibly
    the case and developed a good algorithm energy consumption (on time decreases and increases
    the frequency of the CPU and RAM)

When something
went wrong

Something can always go wrong if you start to modify a smartphone without a full knowledge of the processes. This very well written in the material Eldar Murtazin. What I learned from personal experience the example of tablet production DNS (tablet a long time rotting in a landfill, do not remember the model). The problem was simple – the battery level is always displayed correctly: the charge showing 100% he could be off in 10 minutes, or hours to work on 15%. Not understanding how it all works, I erased the file “batterystats.bin” and got invaluable experience. Android OS after restarting the tablet created the file again and the percentage of charging began to work more correctly showing the actual charge, only the time of operation was reduced significantly. Subsequently, having examined the device, before it can be thrown out (interestingly) because of the death flash, my eyes opened battery without any controller at all. It was just a pile of sheets wrapped in cheap wrap, from which protruded two wires.

Another example of “something wrong” certainly are
instructions for “rocking” the battery that was in trend a few years
ago. On the idea of “instructors”, the battery could be made to work better
(carry more charge), if after removing the battery statistics several times to charge
it to 100% and discharge to off. Owners of smartphones to accelerate
the process of discharge of the battery used different benchmarks, again and again
of running them. This has led to the fact that Android OS in advance of your expected time
battery has become more pessimistic (time was calculated on the basis
of full load on the smartphone), but really smartphone work longer! Have
user device was unfounded feeling that the battery
was “shaken” and he gave “invaluable experience” further praising this
method. The old forums can be found offer to repeat this procedure again
in two weeks. Personally, it reminds me of another procedure, purely

But most often displaying a charge level that doesn’t have the usual users who are not trying to change the firmware or use the strange tips. And the fault of these users is that they instead of the original replacement battery I bought a cheap copy (“it’s cheaper”). Or decided to use a more advanced offer and purchased the back cover with a high-capacity battery (made by Nokla or Samsunc). In both cases, everything is clear, the battery does not correspond to factory settings and statistics that has accumulated the Android OS. Even if the user will have to reset the phone to factory settings, it does not correct the situation displayed and the battery level will start to surprise you. It is therefore important to use only the original accessories or products third-party vendors who have licensed the manufacturing (Apple, for example).

How to measure
real battery life third-party tools?

Of course, there are special gadgets to measure capacitance
battery, they are inexpensive and sold everywhere.

Or a multimeter if it works in mAh, and the battery
the smartphone can be removed. For this charge a smartphone to 100% (according to
indicator Android OS)
turn off the smartphone, retrieved the battery and connect the red probe of the multimeter with plus
the battery and the black one with minus. Thereafter, the resulting multimeter digit divide
the battery life specified in the performance characteristics of the smartphone, and multiply the obtained
the result by 100. The resulting figure will show the real percentage indicator
relative to reference values. For example, a multimeter get the result 2800
mAh, calculations with a reference value of 3000 mAh, and in the end we have that
real capacity of the battery of our smartphone is only 93.3 percent. Have
the operating system of the multimeter there, so it is based on the comparison
factory data and usage statistics, i.e., to lie with abandon to the user
that “the battery is in good condition.”

What if
insert the device with multimeter and power meter?

If we ignore the size factor (need another scheme and
power elements that will make the smartphone thicker), then walk through common
sense and laws of physics all the same will not work. Logically, the battery level
the battery should be measured continuously, but has anyone wondered how much electricity
consumes the multimeter? He actually gets a charge in his
the electrical circuit and turning resistance (consuming electricity in
process), outputs the result. I.e., we have one battery and device power consumption
with similar parameters we have two. Therefore don’t install in smartphones power
measuring equipment, how do you think?


We have to admit that though as-that to affect a term
the battery life of the smartphone, or to obtain from him truthful testimony at
the charge level, the user is not able to. All third-party programs supposedly
doing this are the notorious “fake”, and even harmful. Is to rely
the conscience and competence of the manufacturer, use only original
parts, and the main conclusion – nothing to touch and to tolerate, because otherwise
it will only get worse.

And still there is a rule that looks like this:
less third party apps for less battery consumption.

Tell us about your personal experience in modding Android (with regards to
power), I think everyone will be interested.


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