Nitish Kumar's Blog

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Nokia N8 Battery Life – ten useful tips

with 47 comments


I have  written a lot about Nokia N8 till now, it does this, it does that, but while discussing things about Smartphones, we always forget one basic thing; the battery. So, its time to cover that part now and sure one may also relate the same tips with their other phones either Nokia or Non-Nokia.


Apart of various other things it can do, your phone is always of core importance in your life for the incoming calls and SMSs, which sort out your ways in emergencies. That’s why one get irritated, when see a 1200 mAh on specs sheet. I admit, I was irritated. But after spending a little time with it, you started to realize that like the way, you see even 1GHz Androids struggling in front of just 680 MHz of Nokia N8, when it comes to Gallery performance etc, there is just another story around, when it comes to battery performance of Symbian^3 vs Specs. You just need to learn a few basics.

There is already some excellent official posts, which go into details that How can one prolong the battery life on his Nokia N8 device?  and if you don’t want to go online, then its right there ion help files of your Nokia N8 as well. But I thought to explain the things in layman terms here and link them with my own experiences with the Nokia N8 battery life. So, here goes the tips ….

    1. Deep or Cold Recharge is the key: Every time you buy a new device with some sort of battery, you get suggested that you need to recharge it overnight. Because when you get your new device, then you don’t know that since how long this has been in store without a charge.How many of you actually do it? Note that this is not a formality, you need to give your device a minimum of 12 hours recharge, even if it says battery full on screen. Do it today, if you haven’t done the same yet and see the difference in next coming days.
    2. WAP or Crap? While arrival of One click Connectivity in Symbian^3 is solution for some of the connectivity worries, it also presents some worries of its own if you are on some crappy connection. Most of the provider offer you a free WAP connection activated by default that takes only data charges. But the issue with the WAP is, not only slow but it allows only one connection at a time and works for mobile sites only. So, if one of the services already keeping the connection busy then OCC will keep on retrying till get the connection. Obviously, Nokia Messaging will be one of the services that will run most of the time and will ask for connection time to time.. so as many retries, as much battery drain unnecessarily. I found a drastic difference in terms of battery life after subscribing to Vodafone Mobile Connect and also those annoying connection pop up’s were also gone.
    3. Bright or too bright? You must have seen posts and comments like Nokia N8 over jealous light sensor doesn’t let it go for the full brightness and even workaround for the same, but the question is how much bright you want and what you are paying for the same? Brighter the screen more the battery consumption is. If you go in too bright area like direct under sun, then it brighten up your screen to match it and if you go in darker area like black room, then it dims the lights coz only that would be enough for the human visibility, this is how light sensor on Nokia N8 works and take my words on it, it does a great job. But still you have to decide that do you really want a much brighter screen on the cost of battery or it’s just a show off. Best is to choose Settings->Phone->Display->Light Sensor as lowest level. Works perfectly for me as you can always choose white background in application like Gravity while under sunlight.
    4. Too many home screens and widgets.. Do you need them all? Yeah I know that this was taken as negative to Symbian^3 that why it has only 3 home screens and not more like Android etc. While having more and more home screens facilitates you larger space to customize the device as per your needs by putting different class of widgets over different home screens, on the other side, do you know that how hard this all goes on your battery? Unfortunately as of now, Symbian^3 seems to be loading the home screen widgets each time, when you visit the particular home screen means more battery drain and worse if you have widgets, which needs internet connection or GPS for displaying/ refreshing their info. You need to constantly question yourself that why you need them. Putting offline seems to be a solution, but still there will be widgets, which will be processing in background like Nokia Battery Monitor etc. For me, its Notifications, Default Shortcut bar (Web, Contacts, Maps, Ovi Store) does on one home screen and mails on the other. Think once, if you really need more widgets and screen, they are gonna cost you in terms of battery.
    5. Do you really need 3G all times? Not sure about other regions of world, but for Indian continent, 3G network is yet to be established in all areas and keeping your phone in dual mode or UMTS mode might be good for data usages but gives a lot of stress to phone due to constant switching between 2G and 3G due to variation in signals. While 3GLife sounds awesome to geeks, it wont be that efficient for daily usages. So, why not using 3G only when it needed? you can change to 3G anytime by tapping over the right top connection icon and then changing the settings from there.
    6. Always open connections cause more trouble than serving you: I hope most of us already keep the Bluetooth connection off, when not required. Same should be the case with WLAN connectivity as well by keeping it on never. Though Nokia also advise not to use When Available in packet data settings, but I don’t think that any of us gonna use Nokia N8 without internet connectivity, so no need to remove that. Moreover, I will suggest you to remove all the extra GPRS settings from your internet folder in connection settings so that it may not be trying others unnecessarily.
    7. Animations, Effect .. nothing comes free of cost: We all blamed Symbian for being boring kind of, but do you know that all these effect also work against the battery life? You don’t wanna get a dead phone at the end of day, just because you wished to keep those smooth transition effects on (are they even worth on Symbian?), don’t you? In practical,I didn’t found this tip making some very significant difference but it works.
    8. Event tones and vibrations: While most of us already like to mute the keypad and other events tones except the critical ones, one thing many of us like to keep, is the touch screen vibrations. For geeks, who don’t care for such gimmicks with super responsive capacitive screens like Nokia N8 at least, one can always choose to switch off the same touch vibrations by personalize the profile settings. Obviously, you can come back to other side by changing the profile any second.
    9. Third party software and themes: Thanks to Nokia Battery Monitor and Nokia Energy Profiler, you can easily diagnose that even if you snap a lot or hear hours of music, it doesn’t cost you as much as the third party apps, which get categorized as others. In my case, it happened to be the case of well known twitter client Gravity, which was costing me a lot due to in proper settings of update interval and also downloading of a lot of feeds. Putting Google Reader portion of Gravity for longer intervals and for unread items only worked in my case.

      Third party themes also stands as culprits sometimes as the default ones are well tested keeping the battery usages in mind, while in most of the cases, eye candy stands for objective of other theme developers, which might not be too friendly for the battery usages.

    10. Why Loud speakers, when you have headphones? Prefer using headphones for music or calls rather than putting your phone on loud speakers. I am not talking about the normal one for calls, but Loudspeaker option only.

    I know some the tips might not be of your preference or too aggressive for you, but first three or even four must be on your list for sure and you can sure have your Nokia N8 running all the day long serving your needs.

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    Written by Nitish Kumar

    December 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    47 Responses

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    1. great post. :D thanks for the tips. :D

      geb0i

      December 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    2. How about mentioning power saving mode :)

      Siraj

      December 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

      • That goes too aggressive and dims the light even if you are under sun, so I thought most of the people wont prefer that.

        Nitish Kumar

        December 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    3. First of all Great Post. But are u suggesting that we recharge our nokia N8 everyday for min. 12 hrs ? Kindly explain

      Kunal Verma

      January 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      • Thanks Kunal,

        Obviously I am not talking about recharging daily for like 12 hours. Cold recharge that I talked about is when you received the device for the first time.

        Every device equipped with a battery needs a cold recharge before one start using the same. For once in the device life, not daily.

        Nitish Kumar

        January 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    4. Great post but the cold charge is not actually working. Sometimes it even has the opposite effect as the battery is disconnected and the phone is powered by the charger when the battery is full, so the battery is physically discharged and the charger won’t charge it until it reaches 90%. Even Nokia doesn’t recommend it (read the manual). This trick was something used to be done on older batteries (Ni-Mh/Ni-Cd) and not Li-Ion. It’s good though to do full cycle charges which means not recharging before the battery is totally empty and when it’s empty fully charge it without interruption. It really extends the battery’s long-term life.

      The main problem with my phone was gravity and SPB Mobile Shell. I stopped having it run on the background all the time cause it was reducing battery life to only a day of use. At first I disabled Google Reader but still having an internet connection always on was a bad thing.

      Mobile Shell on the other hand (although really eye candy) used alot of resources. I now use JBtaskman even as an alternative to built in menu by using the quicklaunch feature. It really saves me alot of time.

      Now with a mugen battery (1800mah) and some of your advices my N97 lasts almost 3 days (2-3 hours of music listening with mobbler on the background but in offline mode,some sms and calls,plenty of tweetting using gravity and a couple hours of browsing the net with opera mini).

      Kiriakos Bobotis

      January 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    5. hi,

      sorry for this post here. but a query regarding the free space on drive C:

      I only have around a 168mb shown as free space on the c: drive is it normal for the N8.

      Also i can notice a delay while opening the menu after clicking the menu key was not there earlier i think…. not sure though.

      sunil

      January 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

      • Yes mate. Its normal. Nokia N8 has around 250 mb space in total but some of its part will be used by Maps, OS etc, so you will be left with around this much space only.

        The delay is due to some third party apps. I was facing the same issue due to some java apps, whose icon rendering (png) was so pathetic that sometimes Menu could have taken even more than half a minute. Started removing them one by one and then it got improved.

        Nitish Kumar

        January 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

        • no third party apps for me… still the delay… anyways

          sunil

          January 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm

          • found a way so that it works without a hitch…

            i have stopped exiting the menu app which is shown in the app switcher window…

            this has helped me to stop the delay while opening menu by clicking the front button..

            it might be having some other side effects on the overall memory in use but i haven’t noticed anything serious so i will be going with this solution for sometime i guess….

            sunil

            January 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm

            • Thanks for the heads up. I was also in habit of closing the Menu app from Task Manager. Indeed leaving the habit gives you a faster operation

              Nitish Kumar

              January 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    6. [...] a few options which you can use to tweak your phone. For Nokia N8 users, we found a great post from Nitish Kumar, where he lists 10 simple battery life tweaks that will ensure you get the most out of your [...]

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      Michael

      July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      • Michel, It would be hard for me to comment on it as I live in Delhi area mostly but as per my younger bro in IIM there, Vodafone seems to fine on that mark.

        Regards Nitish Kumar @nkumar_ http://nitishkumar.net

        Nitish Kumar

        July 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    10. well nice post dear.
      But i wanna say that buying such a costly phone doesn’t mean you put yourself into compromises.
      In my opinion N8 do have battery issues inspite of charging for 12 to 24 hours & putting all these battery saving setting it goes dead at the end of the night.

      Rehan

      July 31, 2011 at 12:51 am

    11. Dear Nitish, i day my N8 went dead. tried to charge it with a charger and then via usb but did not work. i got a new battery and the N8 started up but once even the new battery drained ( i bought on Ebay) the phone would not charge it. i had a spare E71 and the battery seemed to fit in my N8 except that it was longer and i could not refit the bottom cover back on. I was pleased to see that this battery cranked my N8 and was also charging via nokia conventional charger.
      what do you suppose could be the fault?
      Are both the N8 batteries faulty? what should I do?
      Kindly suggest.

      Hoshedar

      October 26, 2011 at 12:05 am

    12. You said that I have to charge my phone for at lest 12hrs. But why is it in the manual of my n8 says that there is no need for me to charge my battery for the specific length of time. How is it true?
      Actually this is my new phone, how good is the nokia N8 in this days?

      raffy

      December 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      • That 12 hours is for cold recharge for once.

        Regards Nitish Kumar @nkumar_

        Nitish Kumar

        December 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    13. tips for using maps

      gurumoorthy

      February 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    14. Guys, i dont know about previous N8 firmwares but with Belle u can actualy turn off all the internet connections and you can download “App Stop” from Ovi store. Hopefully that would make a significant change on the battery life. All in all, touch screen phones do not last that long. We need viagra for phones.

      Mukosi Tshifhiwa Gt

      February 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    15. pls tell me how much time we should recharche to e6 in daily life please

      AMOL

      March 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    16. Dear Mr. Nitish Kumar,

      i had problem with my N8 Nokia phone battery, i was using internet and battery was low and i forgot to recharge the battery hence mobile turn off and next day i was trining to recharge the battery it was kept for two whole days but it wont gets recharge,

      advice me

      regards Satish

      Satish poojary

      April 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    17. Thanks MR. Nitish

      its works now,

      thanks a lot

      with best regards
      Satish Poojary

      Satish poojary

      May 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    18. I used to get a good 2 days battery life on my N8, its suddenly gone down to 1day. Any ideas? Widgets are set to offline, I am not a heavy user of my phone….

      Ruth C

      May 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    19. is there an issue of change of charger? I am using another 2 pin nokia charger to charge my N8. Is that the problem to reduce my N8’s battery backup?

      Vaibhav

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