| | 11-18-2012, 11:30 AM #1
After doing a few non-scientific tests, I suspect that one of the best apps for WP8, the WPCentral app, may be contributing to the background battery drain on my Lumia 920.
Nothing conclusive here, so it may not be the same for everyone, but I'm going to share what I gathered.
And I find this too funny if confirmed, because everyone here is probably using the app to post and research about their battery drain woes.
Be forewarned, this post may get too long. I will actually try to chronicle my battery struggles with my 920, my replacement process and how I came to this interesting conclusion.
Nov. 9, release day, I got a red Lumia 920 from an AT&T store and like anyone with a brand new phone and especially switching to a new OS, I set it up, played around with it nonstop and downloaded a ton of apps. Knowing the battery life ramifications, I still had all the bells and whistles running... Live Tiles, push email, notifications... so of course, my battery took massive hits. The next day, I started turning off features I don't need and held back on all the persistent connections. At the same time, I started reading the WPCentral forums searching for tips about the 920's battery life, so I bought the WPCentral Pro app, created an account here and started lurking.
About my 6th day with the 920, with all the battery saving tips in place (no background tasks, no NFC, etc), I still found startling amounts of drain on standby. At one point, it was draining about 1% every 5 minutes. I suspected it may be one of the apps so I uninstalled the one I suspected to be the culprit: the Whatsapp app. Instant improvement: from 1% percent every 5 minutes to 1% percent every 10 minutes! Yeah, that doubled it but still not acceptable to me.
So that night, instead of uninstalling apps one by one, I decided to just factory reset it and start fresh. So I went to Settings> About> Reset Your Phone. This bricked my phone. Oh swell. (My first post in these forums is actually about bricking my 920.)
The next day, thankfully, I got an exact replacement, and this time, since it's fresh and clean, I decided not to restore from my cloud backup and started fresh by not installing apps on the get-go. Also, I uninstalled all the AT&T apps but I left all the Nokia stock apps ( yes, including Nokia Drive but blocked it from Background Tasks). I just installed two 3rd party apps that I needed on a daily basis, Rdio (for music) and Twitter and I planned on installing just one app a day and uninstall if any problems arise.
First day with the new phone was fantastic! Without a ton of apps, battery life was stellar. With a fair amount of use, including more than an hour of LTE music streaming, my battery held up like a champ! Unplugged it 7 AM and by 10 PM, I still had 35% with my normal usage patterns. And also, there was virtually no Standby drain.
Yesterday, since I like it a lot, I picked the WPCentral app as my next app to install. So I started using it in the morning while I was out. As usual, I blocked it from Background Tasks and disabled its Live Tile. I had a a bit of drain from 100% to 80% in about an hour, which I didn't find surprising since I was on LTE and I was reading and posting the whole time.
Next we caught a movie, so I had to put my phone on standby. Had a bit of drain, about 15% within the two hour movie. I wasn't alarmed yet at this point since I figured the LTE radios may be sucking a bit of juice.
So when we got home, on Wi-Fi this time, I started browsing the WPCentral forums again but at some point, I forgot to close out of the app completely (by pressing the back button) and just instinctively pressed the lock button to put it in standby. About an hour, I noticed that my 920, which was right beside me on my bed, was getting seriously hot! This, I believe, equated to massive battery drain. And it was supposedly in standby!
So upon unlocking it, it was at this time I realized that I didn't close out of the WPCentral app tab. In a span of about an hour, my battery life depleted from 60% to 30% while on "standby"! Let me remind you, that I had the same exact setup from the day before (fantastic battery life day) with just Rdio and Twitter, the only addition at this point is the WPCentral app (blocked from Background Tasks and Live Tile disabled).
A liitle bit disheartened, I charged it back to 100%, but this time I'll test how much standby drain will occur. So I unplugged my 920, went to sleep, 5 hours later (I'm an early riser), with my phone just completely on standby, my battery stood at 93%. Something drained it at the rate of almost 2% per hour.
So, I uninstalled WPCentral for the time being, charged it back to 100% and voila, 4 hours later, with mostly standby times and a few minutes of checking the Settings, my 920 still has 99% left, same battery drain rate as my initial setup.
So to summarize, fresh system with just the Nokia apps, Rdio and Twitter = great battery life.
Introduction of just one app, WPCentral = standby battery drain plus a period of heat issues.
Like I said, this may not be the same case for everyone, I'm just drawing logical conclusions from my experiences.
I don't really know what to make of this. But I'm really convinced now that some apps, which don't show up on the blockable background tasks list, may still run invisibly, draining battery life even on standby. Maybe it's just a matter of optimizing all apps for WP8?
This talk of the battery issues of the Lumia 920 may not be a hardware issue, after all.