English

Fairphone 2 - battery usage/life - might I have malware running in the background draining batteryl life?

I have a 2 1/2 year old Fairphone 2 running uopen source Android 7.1.2 which I installed last year in an attempt to fully de-Google.

The last week or so, the battery seems to be draining much faster.

When I went to settings to look at battery usage “Miscellaneous” (described as “the difference between the computed approximate power use and the actual drain observed on the battery”) is accounting for a disporportionate amount of the overall use. Right now (since I unplugged from the charger in the wee small hours in a fit of insomnia, to listen to some podcasts on Antennapod) 26% of the battery use is “Miscellaneous”.

I don’t tend to keep lots of apps open at once - I might be in and out of Duckduckgo browser, K9 mail, Telegram, the phone (especially now I’m working at home and using it for lots of business calls) and ordinary text messaging apps on and off during the day, plus Antennapod for a few hours at night if I can’t get back to sleep.

I’m worried in case I might have accidentally picked up some malware that is running in the bckground eating battery life.

I have never had a Google Play account, and I download any apps from either F-Droid, or if not available there, search for them on alternative apk sites like apkpure.

The only app I’ve downloaded in the last month or so (from an alternative apk site) was Moonpig (to order greetings cards, when they weren’t accepting orders through their normal website) and I’ve now uninstalled that.

Not running the normal version of Android, I don’t receive notifications about updates to download (e.g. with the latest security patches).

If it’s not likely to be malware eating my battery, could I need a new battery? I’d rather hope a battery would last longer than 2 1/2 years before getting so tired.

My Fairphone 2 hasn’t been faultless (the main camera works only occasionally - more often than not I have a black screen of doom and serious camera error message - and replacing the camera module made no difference) but I don’t want a new phone.

Well, as I am not exactly a techie, I can just guess.

That does not seem to be the best way to go.
If you can’t find it on f-droid, than I would advise to use the Google play-store with the f-droid app “Aurora Store”. You never know, what you get on alternative apk-sites.
And even that one installed and uninstalled Moonpig-app might be the root for your troubles.

On the other hand it is not extremely unlikely, that a battery is reaching it’s end of life after 2 years. That depends on the quality of the battery and the useage and working conditions (temperaturewise for example).
You possibly could check out if the battery is at foult, if you know someone else with a FP2 with whom you could swap batteries for a test.
If you don’t know someone, maybe one of the #fairphoneangels can help. I guess this could even be arranged regarding the social distancing.

Finally, there are some apps. that tend to eat away on the battery, like the facebook app.
In my case having the W-LAN turned on is stressing the battery. This might depend on the strength of the signal, as a week signal, causing the phone to turn up the power for reception could be a cause for problems in general as well.

3 Likes

Thanks for a speedy reply Bert.

What is the “Aurora Store” app? How does it differ from F-droid? Are apps available on Aurora Store that are not available on F-droid? Does it give me access to the apps that are normally only available through Google Play store without having to have any kind of Google account?

Along with living without Google I have NEVER had a Facebook account and certainly haven’t downloaded the Facebook app.

1 Like

exactly :slight_smile:

2 Likes

To be a wee bit more elaborate:
Aurora Store is an app on f-droid

https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.aurora.store/

It offers access to the Google playstore using an anonymous account.
Of course you can’t get apps, you have to pay for.

3 Likes

Thanks - looks like it might be worth my downloading Aurora Store then.

But back to my original question - is it likely to be malware causing my battery to drain more rapidly, or have I an unreasonable expectation that my battery should still be working as good as new after 2 1/2 years?

Is there any way I can scan my phone for malware?

It could be the battery. Even though 2 1/2 years isn’t that old for a battery, I repaired several FP2s where the batteries started dropping from 50% to e.g. 10% in minutes. And those batteries also weren’t that old eighter.

I don’t trust any android-based antivirus-apps. They would need root access to scan the system completly and - afaik - they don’t provide that normally.

I’d tend to factory reset the whole system and re-install the OS.
As Google won’t provide any further security updates for Android 7, I’d recommend you to install e.g. LineageOS which is based on Android 10: https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/FP2/install
But don’t forget to make backups first :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Yes. Batteries will not work that way.

While Fairphone will give you 2 years af warranty on the phone and its parts, they will give you 1 year of warranty on the battery, because a battery is basically a consumable, it doesn’t last.

The #batteryguide has some hints about prolonging battery life, see “Maintenance Tips” there.

2 Likes

I also would suggest, that this sounds like a battery issue. It did not last two years, till I have replaced my battery on FP2.

I don’t know if it’s anything related, but I had a problem with my own FP2, seemed faultless, but battery drained a lot, and I had 80-90% for miscellaneous, sometimes even over 100%. I opened a thread : Process irq/288-wcd9xxx draining battery
I thought as well it might be some app, turned out it wasn’t. The thing is, it seems to be a hardware problem, so it has to be sent for repair (it’s currently out of order). If you didn’t already do it, I recommend you to backup your phone.
But your problem doesn’t really seem to be related with mine, I just wanted to point it out, if ever it could be useful :slight_smile:

This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.