03-12-10 06:00 PM
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  1. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    I need someone to explain to me how an OS can possibly affect battery life.

    Having used the 8100, 8310, 9000 and now the 8900 and having gone through
    almost every OS upgrade available I have NEVER seen an appreciable effect,
    good or bad, on battery life.

    Yet there are still tons of posts and threads about this OS or that OS killing
    battery or providing better. None of this makes any logical sense to me.

    So, someone explain it to me. And no, I don't want anecdotal evidence (i.e.
    "When I had .xxx my battery drained very fast, with .yyy it last much longer.)

    I am looking for detailed proof / reasoning behind this "phenomenon". What
    EXACTLY about an OS can effect battery life?
    02-23-10 09:22 PM
  2. Cyber Warrior's Avatar
    Is it possible that some OS s are running harder then others?
    I think its more of what people have running on the phone and usage.

    The only battery problem I ever had was from running some gps app that I soon deleted because it was always updating every 12 seconds.
    02-23-10 09:28 PM
  3. itsdollar's Avatar
    I too would like to see a good explanation. I always thought it was related to the radio and/or signal strength in a OS that contributed to the battery life.
    02-23-10 09:34 PM
  4. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Yeah Warrior, I get the apps and usage part but I am really trying to understand
    the literally hundreds of people who say the OS affects their battery, many of
    which also say they have no or minimal apps.

    If it is true that an OS can do that I think it would be good for the community
    to have a real explanation as to why. If it doesn't it would be good to get the
    community the truth and one less thing to worry about.
    02-23-10 09:37 PM
  5. Outatime97's Avatar
    I would also like to know this. Phenomenon is the best word for it. I believe it is more a matter of certain apps conflicting with some OS's. When I got my 8900, it had .114 and wouldn't go a whole day on a charge, usually about 4-8 hours, a lot of the first one were like that and T-mo was replacing batteries like crazy. I figured why not try an OS upgrade. I up'd it to .250 an got back the 2 days I had gotten used to with my 8320. Now with 5.0.0.348, battery life has not changed. I still can go 2 full days with moderate heavy use. I know this didn't answer the question, but, there is some relation between battery life and OS.
    02-23-10 09:41 PM
  6. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    @Outatime97: I have had the complete opposite experience. No matter what phone,
    no matter what OS my battery life has always been pretty much constant.

    For the sake of full disclosure, I generally charge every night and when possible
    at various point through the day but even when I don't there really is no effect.
    02-23-10 09:49 PM
  7. Cyber Warrior's Avatar
    Well if you look at it like this: Windows Vista runs slower than XP because of all the special effects but it looks cooler. Because of that the CPU usage is higher making the computer work harder.

    If this is true for phones where some are running with better graphics then others then yes I think its possible to put more drain on the system.

    If youre comparing the same two OSs....then no.
    02-23-10 09:50 PM
  8. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Well if you look at it like this: Windows Vista runs slower than XP because of all the special effects but it looks cooler. Because of that the CPU usage is higher making the computer work harder.

    If this is true for phones where some are running with better graphics then others then yes I think its possible to put more drain on the system.

    If youre comparing the same two OSs....then no.
    Can't say I buy this because the issue you raise is overcome by better
    peripherals. Throw in a faster processor, faster GPU, more memory, better
    hard drive, etc... and problem solved.

    Same applies to phones. And that is essentially what RIM has done.
    02-23-10 09:57 PM
  9. berryfit's Avatar
    I'm sure native app usage in the backround can cause a drain but mostly the radio, if constantly searching for a better signal wouls surely drain the battery. Several OS' I've run would constantly fluctuate searching for a signal or increased signal strength, where as others had steady 1EXV signal with better life than the flucuating one. That plus background apps I would assume uses more of your battery.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    02-23-10 09:59 PM
  10. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    @berryfit: A couple things

    The native apps in the background do nothing until you call upon them to so that
    I don't think is a cause.

    The radio is plausible but I think that has less to do with the OS than it does the OS.
    I could be wrong there.

    Man I hate when I get crap like this stuck in my head
    02-23-10 10:05 PM
  11. karwind's Avatar
    Coming from a computer background, I would say that it is possible for the OS to affect battery performance. If there are bugs or memory leaks that could cause the CPU to run more cycles, hence consuming more power, then viola: less battery.
    02-23-10 10:06 PM
  12. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Coming from a computer background, I would say that it is possible for the OS to affect battery performance. If there are bugs or memory leaks that could cause the CPU to run more cycles, hence consuming more power, then viola: less battery.
    ... but here is the rub. If that were the case it would present to everyone using
    that particular OS and that is not what is seen.

    Also it does not address the issue of improved battery life.
    02-23-10 10:13 PM
  13. karwind's Avatar
    ... but here is the rub. If that were the case it would present to everyone using
    that particular OS and that is not the case.

    Also it does not address the issue of improved battery life.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by your first sentence, but improved battery life: my explanation would be that it is possible that the OS has optimized code. That's what usually happens when new versions come out, no?
    02-23-10 10:16 PM
  14. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by your first sentence, but improved battery life: my explanation would be that it is possible that the OS has optimized code. That's what usually happens when new versions come out, no?
    My first sentence was in response to this:

    If there are bugs or memory leaks that could cause the CPU to run more cycles, hence consuming more power, then viola: less battery.
    If the OS has legitimate and definable bugs everyone using it should see
    diminished battery life but that is not what we are seeing.
    02-23-10 10:22 PM
  15. karwind's Avatar
    Ah, I see. Then I'm not quite sure. It could just be a placebo effect that people are getting and/or due to increased usage to check battery status.
    02-23-10 10:28 PM
  16. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Yeah, in my head I think you might be right about the placebo effect. I just wish
    there were a definitive answer one way or the other.

    ... or maybe I should just take my skinny .... to bed soon
    02-23-10 10:54 PM
  17. Artwerks's Avatar
    If the OS has legitimate and definable bugs everyone using it should see diminished battery life but that is not what we are seeing.
    It's not a fact, but there may be conflicts with certain apps so the bugs don't happen to everyone although they would be caused by the OS, not the app itself as upgrading the OS sometimes break down an app. The app could still work but doing more cycles due to the bug.

    Also, on my old Pearl Flip, I had to close my phone while I was at school because I didn't have any signal and it would drain 50% of my battery in three hours. Now, with my 9700, I'm down about 10% after my three hours of class without signal, only wifi, so my 9700 doesn't seem to search for signal as often as my Flip did resulting in better battery life. So Radio signal might be an issue related to the OS.
    02-23-10 10:55 PM
  18. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    @Artwerks: That doesn't do it. If the app breaks with the new OS that is an app
    issue entirely. Simple matter of the app not being 100% compatible with the OS.
    If it were it would not have "broken"

    As to the signal issue, again, there are many factors outside of the OS that affects
    signal. Carrier issues, building construction, radio interference etc... so the OS
    can't possibly bear as much blame as it gets. Logically that make no sense.

    Not tearing down your theory or insulting you I assure you.
    02-23-10 11:02 PM
  19. Artwerks's Avatar
    After my experience from moving to 7 from Vista and having a better battery life on the same laptop, I like to think that the OS is a great part of the equation. But I agree with you on the part that moving from a 5.0.0.423 to .442 can't justify itself for a whole day of battery life, it might do something but shouldn't be that significant unless the previous release had a known issue with cpu or memory usage.

    Moving from 4.7 to 5.0 might change a few more things in power management though but just can't prove anything, it's only what I think and seems to be logical from computer experiences.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    02-24-10 01:24 AM
  20. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Artwerks,the power consumption on a BB is not even remotely close to that on a
    laptop. I'd buy your argument but no one in any legitimate way can equate
    or correlate the two.
    02-24-10 02:02 AM
  21. breakmedown's Avatar
    I could definantely see where the radio code of an OS could affect battery life. Also codes like the vibrate and audio functions (which consume a lot of power as is) could have an effect. Also a code like how the browser operates might have it download and execute more code on a webpage which would make the phone work more. As a whole though, doesn't seem like just adding a feature (such as threaded SMS) should affect battery life.

    I personally agree, though, that while they may affect battery life it's not substantial enough to see over just changing the setting, such as turning the vibrate function off. I think battery life has way more to do with personal setup and use than the OS could ever have.
    02-24-10 02:17 AM
  22. DervMan's Avatar
    Short of an exacting comparison involving thousands of devices, we're all clutching at straws really - but for most people, their usage is reasonably consistent, so seeing a difference after an updated operating system is noticeable.

    I have seen a difference in battery life after updating a few devices in the past, but quite often, the difference was only present in the first two or three charges, then it went back to normal. I put this down to a combination of an uncluttered device, me subsequently installing something that uses power by whatever means. Or the device is effectively hard reset and perhaps that also resets the battery meter. And all operating system updates promise better battery life anyway!

    What I will also say is that how a GSM / UMTS device handles the two radios makes a big difference to power consumption. All of my 3G devices have chewed through power when searching for a 3G signal, including the 9700. A firmware update on my Nokia E71changed how the 2G / 3G radios worked and made a big difference to power consumption in fringe areas.
    02-24-10 06:40 AM
  23. anon(3047348)'s Avatar
    I did a lot of reading on this last night and tonight, and so far all the claims about 5.0 vs 4.7 seem to be a lot of conflicting anecdotal hooey. I think a large subset of the BB users on here have been swapping out their OSs and apps so often they have lost any sense of objectivity.
    02-24-10 10:42 AM
  24. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    I can tell you that under a handset like an 8830, battery life wasn't changing much based on OS. However, with the 9530, the battery life has improved pretty well in the latest software compared to what it was when it came out with 4.7.0.75. The OS (SFI files) is where a lot of improvement comes from. Both from radio gain changes as well as power management optimization in terms of how much CPU power it should use when it does a specific task. Also, some apps (Java files) could also have hardcode written in them that dictate how much CPU power to use in different states of function, this will also affect battery life. I've noticed as of late (OS .419) that when using the radio contantly (phone call or streaming), the battery last a bit longer then before and the back of the phone near the speaker (where the CPU/chipset is) doesn't get quite as hot as it used to in the earlier days.

    Also, you need to have a very keen eye when you look at battery life as a whole. What you might not notice, someone else will. I tend to be very repetative in my use patterns of my phone, so it's easier for me to see a gain or loss of battery life based squarely on the fact that it sees a pretty similar regiment of usage day in and day out, so the only variable is the OS it's running (within reason).
    02-24-10 10:43 AM
  25. reeneebob's Avatar
    I agree that it may be more of a Storm thing and RIM fixing some flaws that they learned about after the fact. When I got my Storm it had 4.7 on it and the battery was awful for the first couple days. Once I went to the official OS 5.0.0.419 the battery life was easily about 30% better. Not huge but enough to be noticable. I think it was just more efficient at controlling the functions of the Storm.

    I have never noticed improved battery on my Pearl or Curve with OS changes. The Storm was the first time.
    02-24-10 11:24 AM
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