Analyze battery drain/heat

(initial version taken from FP4 Battery life - #102 by ijgarcia - you may still improve it, it’s a wiki!)

:information_source: An official list of suggestions to improve your phone’s battery life can be found on the official Fairphone documentation page


This #wiki explains some basic checks to identify the causes for battery drain and unusual thermal problems. Not all steps may talk about either battery drain or thermal problems, but for both issues the troubleshooting steps may apply.

Low hanging fruit checks

Let’s first cover the basics without asking too much effort from you.

Battery optimization/adaptive battery

Keep in mind that after a software update the operating system could take some time to adjust to the new settings, as some services might be updated only after being used. This might temporarily impact your battery life. If the battery issues persist after 1 week from the update, then please follow the steps described in this wiki.

Signal strength

If you are in the presence of a weak Wi-Fi or mobile network signal, your battery might drain really fast. Please compare to using the phone while having good signal or while in flight mode.

Location services

In general location services are not a huge drain on your phone, however, some apps my request a location too often, this may cause a drain in battery life. Perform the following instructions and use your phone for a few days before evaluating the battery performance again.

  • Make sure to update your phone to the latest software.
  • Go to Settings > Locations > Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning > Disable both Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning.

Damaged/old SIM card

A damaged or old SIM card may cause a battery drain as well. Read more about it in the official Fairphone documentation

More advanced troubleshooting

Identify apps that are draining battery

You can easily check which apps are consuming more battery in the Settings.

Go to Settings > Battery > on the top right side of the screen, tap the More Options menu (three vertically aligned dots) > and tap Battery usage. You will see a graph and list of all the apps draining your battery. Take a screenshot(s) of what you see on the screen.

Install pending app updates

Make sure to install updates. Connect your phone to a stable Wi-Fi, then go to Settings > Security > Security update > Check for update, after that go to Settings > Security > Google Play system update > Check for update.

Apps might need to be updated too. Open the app drawer, find the Play Store and long press it until My apps appears. Then tap the icon with the 4 squares and tap Check for updates.

Remove unused apps

It may seem like cool to have many apps on your phone, but each app may need a period to communicate to the Internet or other tasks in the background. All this adds up to more battery drain. Try to prune your app selection, less apps is more battery life.

Try Safe mode

To exclude the possibility of corrupted third-party software, reboot your phone in Safe mode.

If your battery still drains fast after doing all the above then it may be a problem with the system and you should consider to do the next steps and #contactsupport

  1. Charge your device above 95% (to verify if there is an issue, it is essential that you use the phone in Safe Mode for a full battery cycle, even if 3rd party apps don’t work!):
  2. Reboot in Safe mode.
  3. Go to Settings > Battery > on the top right side of the screen tap the More Options menu (three vertically aligned dots) > tap** Battery usage** > tap again on the More Options menu > tap on Show full device usage. Take a screenshot(s).
  4. Use your phone in Safe mode until the charge drops below 10%.
  5. Go to Settings > Battery > on the top right side of the screen tap the More Options menu (three vertically aligned dots) > tap Battery usage > tap again on the More Options menu > tap on Show full device usage. Take a screenshot(s).
  6. You may #contactsupport and use your screenshots as documentation for the system battery drain

Check persistent processes

Adaptive battery and battery optimization are features that attempt to keep your phone in a low power state, this is called an idle state. However, there are limits to the intelligence behind this. If there is one or more apps waking the device too often, then the battery may drain faster than usual because the phone cannot maintain an idle state.

The battery usage overview provides a general overview. But this overview is not a detailed account of what drains your phone. Sometimes it helps to also check what’s running in the moment and if that process sticks around after killing the app.

  1. Kill all apps in the background
  2. To see the currently running processes, you’ll need to enable the developer mode. You can do this by going to SettingsAbout phone > there, scroll to the bottom and tap the build number 7 times.
  3. Then go to SettingsSystemAdvancedDeveloper optionsRunning services

If you notice an app that’s always there, even if you killed it already, it could be the cause. Especially apps that constantly need to be running such as VPNs or apps that need to use regular keep-alive signals to function, such as SIP accounts. It could also be that you configured an app to e.g. check for new emails every minute. All these things may add up to a faster battery drain.

Once you have identified a possible cause, you could try and disable that app for a day and monitor your battery usage.