Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sony Ericcson X8 Short Battery Life

My primary phone is a Sony Ericsson K750i, about seven years old now but it is the most all rounder phone I have ever had. It's original battery can still carry you through 3 days of fair phone usage. My work as a cathlab on call nurse, I need a phone that can be easily fitted in my pocket and can easily connect to my bluetooth FM sender to the car's stereo as soon as the car is powered on while driving into the hospital while responding a call.

The reason why I do not carry smartphones is they are  bulky to carry. Like the iPhone's and blackbery's which are really great but their sizes really puts me off and they can be bulky in my pocket.

Now, here comes the experia range, the first generation X10 has quite big dimension, the mini version is, well quite tiny and thick, until X8 arrives, the new addition in sony experia smartphone range, which is at less than a £100 price is a good try for an android operating system. This model is a trimmed down version of the three existing experia range. But capabilities are much the same, other than the missing flash, it is good looking, good size, good selections of free softwares and not that expensive. It is more than I have expected with the device of this price.

The Problem.

Battery life is too short. I thought because of it as being a smartphone and touch screen, the battery drains up  in less than 24 hours of being on standby mode!  This is a nightmare of what's supposed to be "keep on going" phone brand just like my old k750i. Battery life of the x8 as advertised is
  • Talk: up to 5.5 hours
  • Standby: up to 476 hours
Click here for  full specs.

    The Suspects and Solutions.

    1.  I always suspect the background services running, especially on phones with multitasking features.

    When I checked it, there were 12 different programs running to my surprise. This is what I do not like in multitasking devices. Chances are, the applications you have opened keep on running until you manually turn them off, like the iphone 3gs and 4. This drains the battery quickly without you knowing. Remedy is to  stop the running applications and I noticed a little improvement within 24 hours. I am not yet satisfied so I tried to turn off the data service of my network, the wifi off, and the screen setting at it's lowest. I have also stopped the automatic update feature which is defaultly turned on. Within the next 24 hours observation, it is still the same, it can hardly go through 2 days of battery life! The next day I tried to put the unit on flight mode all day. This is my ultimate diagnostic on the unit. This should determine if the unit  is really capable of the advertised battery life. To my dismay, it is not the case.

    How to check running applications?

    To see the running applications instantly, press home button(centre button),unlock your screen, then swipe your thumb from the top(below the sony ericsson word) to bottom, you will see the ongoing application there!

    ***To close any application, you need  to press the back button until you see the home screen. Pressing the home button does not close the application, it jut direct you straight away into the home screen.

    Note: there is also a nice apps for android phones that lets you tweak the settings easily. See the  post under the topic  battery update here!

    2.  My next suspect is no longer the default setting and the running services but maybe a faulty battery or the unit itself.

    It is hard to distinguish, if the battery or the unit itself is the problem as I only have one unit. But I need to do a check anyhow.

    To check whether the battery is the problem, you can adjust the screen brightness setting to it's possible minimum setting, close the apps or you could put it into flight mode to observe if there is an improvement to the battery life. If there is an improvement, this means the battery is conserved because no apps or any processes has been using it.

    To check whether the unit is the problem, under normal setting conditions, the new battery should not be discharging easily. I can only  presume that the battery is in pristine order as it was sealed and I charged it according to the prescribed charging instruction.

    I have implemented the ways I know on how to save on battery but it seems like the recommendations are just not working!

    So I am convinced that the DEVICE itself is the culprit!

    3. Ultimate Remedy.

    Having checked my 14 days warranty is still valid, I called the company and arranged for a unit replacement. The costumer service told me to tweak settings, which I told them I did and tried but nothing really happened. To stop further conversations and explanations, (the customer service will ask you to do things with your unit which just delays the exchange), I told them that I tried the unit in flight mode which I really did, that should  make every phone double or triple it's standby mode battery life, especially when  the battery is new and there is nothing wrong with the unit. The customer service gave up and asked for delivery address and time of availability. Within the next 3 days, a replacement arrived!

    The New Phone.

    The new phone still runs several applications on standby mode, though I put its screen setting at it's lowest, did not put on auto update or enable those applications that use data network traffic. Wifi is left turned on. And guess what? It can go through 4 days without charging on normal use, which  then confirmed my suspicion that the first unit itself is the problem!

    My thoughts

    Sometimes, even the best selling brands have a hardware problem, although have passed quality control, one could not really be sure nothing's going to be wrong. I recommend that you keep all the documentations and boxes of your new purchase of up to a month to see and test the unit before getting rid of  them. This is to make sure you have the necessary documentations when exchanging the product. If what is advertised is far from what is real in a device, you have the right to question the company you have purchased your device, and do not delay to contact them. And when you call them for this reason, a replacement is always the best thing to say rather than repair!

    It is also really important to buy your electronic devices from a well known company, and I would recommend a company that a call to the customer service is free.

    My X8 Like Points

    What I really liked about this android phone is, it's mp3 player and free mp3 search engine, which you can download it from it's built in market place. There are several mp3 search engines available that work as a dream. Every mp3 application downloads mp3's for FREE, as long as you use your wifi access, download as many as you want. The apps search engine remind me of limewire, the only difference is you need not to share your downloaded mp3 and do not use your device as a source for mp3 downloads. There is also a link for every source which is very useful for webmasters.

    The X8
    Sony Ericsson X8 Black
    • Dimensions: 99 x 54 x 15 mm
    • Weight: 104 grams
    • TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
    • Scratch resistant surface
    • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
    • Proximity sensor
    • Timescape UI
    • Vibrating alert
    • MP3 Ringtones
    • Speakerphone
    • 3.5 mm Audio Jack
    • microSD Card Slot (TransFlash) (up to 16GB)
    • 3G
    • Wi-Fi Technology
    • Bluetooth Version 2.1 with A2DP
    • Micro USB v2.0
    • 3.15 Megapixel Camera
    • Geo-tagging
    • Video record and playback
    • Android OS 1.6
    • Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz processor
    • Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, Push E-Mail, Instant Messaging
    • HTML internet browser
    • Stereo FM Radio with RDS
    • Games
    • SNS integration
    • Digital compass
    • MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV Player
    • MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV Player
    • TrackID music recognition
    • Predictive text input
    • Battery life  Talk: up to 5.5 hours  /   Standby: up to 476 hours

    Sony X8 and Accessories on eBay Partners


    1. hello, i buy this xperia x8 last friday and having same problem with you. can u tell me how to check the background running services?

    2. To see the running applications instantly, press home button(centre button),unlock your screen, then swipe your thumb from the top(below the sony ericsson word) to bottom, you will see the ongoing application there.

      To disable the running applications and hidden services services , press SETTINGS, then APPLICATIONS, then RUNNING SERVICES.You will see the running applications and running services and you can just STOP them.

    3. hello. i buy this x8 last week. i charge it for 10 hour and it still not full.then i use it. the battery easier to drain. this morning i charge it for 3 hour and it still not full. just 10%. help me please..

    4. Hi, if the battery cannot hold a charge, there are 3 things to look at. The battery, the Charger, and port where the charger connects.

      The battery, be sure to clean the contact points of the battery to the unit(metallic bits) and also clean the contact points of your unit(metal bits that make contact with your battery) If the unit says it is charging when you connect the charger, this means your charger is OK, the terminal where the micro usb tip in the phone is OK. If it cannot hold a charge Then the problem is the BATTERY. Send for replacement if youre still under warranty

      If the battery charges full but short of life, try putting your phone into flight mode and see if it still drains easily. If it is not, then maybe the programs running in the backround are causing these. If it is, then the unit is the problem.

      If you are still on the warranty, you can contact your dealer and send the phone and the charger for repair or replacement. I usually opt for replacement in this case.

    5. hi, can you tell me, what your new phone brand & model is? :)

      1. My everyday phone at the moment is Samsung S3 :) !



    Popular Posts