Battery drain on Android phones does not have any single explanation.
It seems that the 4G LTE Android phones have a battery life issue. It is one that has lowered expectations which people have for using their phones for an extended period of time from previous phone models. The general consensus is that your 4G LTE Android phone might make it through an entire day before having to be charged, so you had better bring along your charger or an extra battery. That is a far different situation from several years ago when your phone might be expected to last several days before having to be charged. There are probably several reasons for this, but just about all of them have to do with the general communications between your device and the “air” or your connection to a network, whether it is your wireless network provider or a WiFi connection.
One of the big drains on your smart phone battery is when your device has to continually search for a tower. It is that activity which can take a battery down very quickly. In one road trip, I decided to travel through the mountains from Bakersfield to Mojave via route 58. When I arrived at my destination, my phone was pretty much completely drained. All because it was continually searching for an available tower.
In other connection issues, if you have WiFi turned on it is always looking for a connection. That activity is going to be draining your phones battery faster than if it is turned off. But you have it turned on because you want to reduce your data usage charges from your wireless carrier. A hard choice between exceeding your tiered data plan and draining your battery.
In another report, free apps are draining your battery. Some of this is because of the advertising which is included in the free app. There is also the exchange of information in the free apps so that they can gather data from your phone. The article talks about “Angry Birds” and how it needs to determine your location via GPS so that it can serve up the correct ads. All of this takes power, even if it is only for 10 seconds.
Evidence of the battery life problems has been reported for a while now and the one from Engadget reviewing the Galaxy Nexus was very telling about the problems they experienced, such as the charger not keeping up with the battery needs.
And then there’s the battery life. It’s well known that LTE can put a real hurting on phone longevity and that appears to be the case here as well, our Nexus struggling to hold on to a charge in day-to-day use with all antennas firing. We’ve as of yet had very limited time with the thing, but in our 24 hours of intensive testing we had to reach for the charger multiple times. Using Google Navigation with LTE enabled? The battery drained so fast our in-car charger couldn’t keep up, leaving us unsure of which exit to take off the 101.
It seems that the problems we are facing with Android phones could be solved by larger and much more efficient batteries on the phones. With Ice Cream Sandwich, there have been reports of better battery life after upgrading from Android 2.3 which is good news. Unfortunately, there is no one thing which is going to solve the current battery drain problems.
Hopefully you are getting better battery life than most.