Android 9 Pie is the newest version of the Android operating system that was released last August 6, 2018. The new Android OS came with awesome features, including a new gesture navigation, App Actions, Slices, Digital Wellbeing, new accessibility menu, new screenshot shortcut, easier screen rotation, volume and sound enhancement, a dark mode theme, improved security features, and the highly useful Adaptive Battery feature that allows you to maximize your battery.
However, three months after the new Android version was rolled out, users reported a faster battery drain for devices running Android 9 Pie. According to reports on Reddit, Pixel User Community and Google reports, users have experienced drastic battery drain after updating to the new Android OS, even with regular use. Some users have revealed that their batteries drain out even when their phone is in idle state, with Wi-Fi and data turned off.
Here are some of the Android P battery drain reports by Android Pie users as posted in forums:
“Does anyone experience severe battery drain issues on Pixel 1 post Android Pie update? My full charge lasts 6 hours! Pathetic.”
- VR46 Rossi on Pixel User Community
“I have been noticing the severe hit the battery life has taken since Android Pie update. Initially, I assumed it may take a few days or weeks to become stable as it uses the so called, Adaptive battery. But it started getting worse. Then I completely switched off the the adaptive battery, but there has been no improvement at all. It’s not even the wifi bug, which causes severe battery drain when connected to a wifi with static IP, because I use DHCP. Please help me. It’s frustrating to get such low battery life from a Premium Android device.
Prior to update I used to get 3.5 to 4.5 hours of SOT easily. But now, I have an SOT of 1 hour and 12 mins and it’s already down to 31%. I have even restricted all battery draining apps.”
- Giri S. on Pixel User Community
“My experience after the upgrade to Android Pie is not so great.
Previously with the OxygenOs 5.1.11 I was about 1 day and 16 hours of battery with 6/7 hours of SOT, now after the update of Android Pie I’ve got 17/20 hours of battery life.
Now I don’t know if is a software thing or maybe there’s some battery drain because of adaptive brightness.”
- Trashmouth23 on Reddit
“Not good. My battery drains much faster than on Oreo. [Have] not figured out why yet.
Charged it to 100% last night before disconnecting and going to bed. Woke up to 79% charge this morning. With 37 minutes of morning reading it’s down at 73%. Something is definitely causing it to drain much more while idle than on Oreo.”
- Bubblesfix on Reddit
Suspect #1: Adaptive Battery and Brightness
The first obvious suspect are the new battery saving features, Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness. Adaptive Battery was designed to squeeze your battery’s performance to give you longer battery life. Adaptive Brightness, on the other hand, automatically adjusts your device’s screen brightness according to your environment and battery use.
You need to manually turn on Adaptive Battery in the Settings, but Adaptive Brightness is automatic. These features are meant to make your battery last longer, not shorter.
Users have also reported that turning off Adaptive Battery did not solve their Android Pie battery issue, but made it worse instead. They have noticed an even faster battery drain with the Adaptive Battery turned off.
Suspect #2: Age of Device
Some users believe that the Android Pie battery issue affects mostly older devices because newer devices were designed with the new Android OS in mind. However, a battery life test conducted by The Washington Post revealed that new devices actually have worse battery performance compared to their older counterparts. People always assume that the newer the device is, the better the battery life will be. Well, tests conducted have shown that that’s not always the case.
According to the tests, Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL performed better than the Google Pixel 3. iPhone X also fared better than the new iPhone XS. In fact, the iPhone 8 Plus easily beat the new generation of iPhones, iPhone XS, and XS Max.
This indicates that newer smartphones don’t necessarily have better battery life than their predecessors.
Android Pie Poor Battery Life
There is no apparent reason for the Android Pie battery issue, and Android has yet to issue an update to fix this bug. Users have tried removing apps, clearing data, closing background apps, turning off Wi-Fi and data, and even doing factory reset, but the problem still persists.
So while waiting for Android to fix this battery issue, here are some things you can do to extend your phone’s battery life.These tips can hopefully help you get through the day with just a nightly recharge.
Quit unused apps that are sucking battery juice.
Check your battery usage and find out which apps are using the most battery life. You can go to Settings > Battery to see which apps are consuming your phone’s battery and how much they are hogging. If you see some apps or features in the list that you are not using, uninstall it from your device or turn off the feature to save some power.
Set app refresh to manual.
Some apps, such as email, messaging apps and social media, are designed to refresh or poll as frequently as possible. Try to set app refresh or polling to manual to extend your device’s battery life. You’ll discover that doing this makes a lot of difference to your battery. You can enable the most important ones, but you should still reduce the refresh frequency to save power.
Turn off unnecessary hardware radios.
Smartphones have a lot of ways to get you connected, such as LTE, GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. But it doesn’t mean that you need all of them to be activated round-the-clock. When these apps are turned on, they usually run quietly in the background, constant draining your battery without you knowing it. Turn off the apps that you don’t use or immediately after using it.
Turn on power saving mode.
Most smartphones have power saving modes that limit the power consumption of your device. Only the basic and most important apps are enabled and all other features that suck the life out of your battery are either disabled or used minimally. This power saving mode can squeeze several hours of standby time out of your dying battery.
Dump your animated home screen widgets or wallpaper.
Just because your widgets and wallpaper are sitting on your home screen doesn’t mean that they’re not consuming power, especially animated wallpapers. Use black wallpaper instead because most screens only illuminate the coloured pixels. Black pixels are not lighted up so the more black pixels you have, the less power needed to light up your screen.
Turn off auto-syncing.
When you set up your Google account, you probably turned on the auto-syncing feature for Google services. But you probably don’t need to update your Google account every 15 minutes, right? Turn off auto-sync for apps that you don’t need to be constantly updated, such as email and calendar. To turn off auto-sync, go to Settings > Accounts > Accounts & Sync > Data Synchronization, then uncheck the apps you want to stop syncing.
Use third-party apps.
You can use a third-party app to help you optimize your device’s processes and save power in the process. It cleans out junk, optimizes your RAM, speeds up your device, and extends your battery life for up to two hours. These extra hours are very important especially if you’re out and have no way to recharge.
Buy a power bank.
If you really need your device to be functioning at its fullest and you need to use a lot of apps, you can buy a power bank or an extra battery pack (for devices with removable battery).
This Android Pie battery issue has turned the Android world upside down because smartphones are dropping dead all of a sudden. Because of the rapid power depletion, it has become difficult for the devices to track their actual consumption, leading to inaccurate battery percentage and phones shutting off even with 20% or 40% battery left. While waiting for the update or fix from Android, what we can do is slow down the battery consumption by adjusting the settings and turning off unnecessary features. We hope that these battery-saving tips can help extend your battery life, long enough to perform well until Android successfully fixes this bug.
Vic is a tech enthusiast who loves to be up-to-date with the latest and greatest technology in the world. He creates content that educates and helps users with their tech-related questions. Vic manages our website to ensure that our readers have a seamless experience while browsing. He excels in troubleshooting errors and resolving Windows issues for gaming and work purposes.