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A Look at the DROID Bionic’s Battery Life

One of the selling points for the DROID Bionic when it is finally released, is likely going to be that it has an above average battery life as compared to other 4G LTE phones like the Thunderbolt.  We aren’t exactly sure what Moto has done on the inside to hopefully extend the life of the device, but one would guess that they have done more than just slap an extended battery in it, since they have had months and months of extra time for optimization.  Thanks to a DL reader, we have shots of the Bionic’s battery meter at the 60%, 50% and 15% marks to give us some sort of an idea of what we can expect.   

What we have been told, is that up until the 60% mark, the device was essentially just running on 3G with moderate usage, allowing it to cruise through almost 15 hours without dropping much.

After the device hit 60% though, the phone jumped between 3G and 4G LTE for a while before locking onto just 4G LTE for the remainder of its charge.  As you can see in the screenshot below, with what appears to be pretty moderate usage, the device still stood at around 50% after over 19 hours of use.

And finally, we return back to the photo up top which shows that after over a full day (25 hours) of what we are still pretty sure has been moderate usage, the phone has 15% left.

We can gather a few things from looking at these shots.  First, is that this phone already crushes the HTC Thunderbolt in battery even if it has just been sitting idle.  The Thunderbolt, whether it was on 3G or 4G, could not last a day even at moderate usage.  Second thing, is it appears as if this new Blur still heavily favors cell standby time and phone idle in its battery meters just like it does on the DROID3.  Even with pretty heavy use, my D3 almost always has these two as its top battery gobblers, so it’s pretty tough to tell how much usage this phone was getting on this charge.  We did hear from our source that by no means, was this “heavy” usage.

Overall though, this is a pretty good sign for the Bionic, especially with doubters expecting the battery to die in minutes with both LTE and a dual-core processor running.  It’s looking like with all that extra time that Moto put into this device, that they may have actually found some ways to keep it alive longer.

Cheers ___!

  • Jayd

    My battery & Data manager shows Motorola Services on the top line and it is eating my battery.  Verizon said they didn’t know what that was, can anyone tell me?  My phone has been on for 3h 41m 27s on battery and it is at 30% with Motorola Services using 60% of that.

  • Benjams21

    I have the droid bionic and the battey life us HORRIBLE
    I charge it all night i take it off the charger at like 10 min to7
    By like noon it is already dead without me touching it because i cant be on at school

  • John

    Verizon. Some Verizon tech reps (over the phone since they’re not in the stores anymore) say this particular problem (pick one) is a problem they are not aware of or is a known problem for which there will be a fix coming out in a matter of months. Until then, tough sh*t if you don’t work because you can’t receive/respond to emails and/or phone calls. The latter problem is one I’ve consistently had with Verizon. I’ve been promised numerous times that the problem has been fixed yet it seemingly never goes away. I had AT&T and it was much worse with their iDiot phone. I’m wondering if T-Mobile and Sprint could be any better?

  • Johneusavage

    Anyone who owns this phone and uses it extensively knows that it has more problems than most cell phones. I’ve had to swap it out three times, reset it to factory settings several times, new SIM card… All within the first two weeks of owing it. One battery riddle involves adjusting all settings/features/applications/etc. to optimize the battery life, but after non-use for 15 minutes the data shuts down. Ergo, no more email until you use it again. Also, the disabling/uninstalling of applications whenever it feels like it, the device auto-restarting itself, losing the data feature when switching between 3G and 4G… I could go on and on, but simply put: Why hasn’t there been a recall, yet?

    • Jay Be

      Damn, that sucks, you must be pulling your hair out.  I guess I got lucky with mine.  What carrier is your phone on?

  • Jay Be

    I was a devoted BlackBerry user and the Droid Bionic converted me.  That says a lot right there. 

    First of all, I am not paid to give praise to this device nor the carrier.  I am
    just a customer who is so happy with my new gadget that I feel like a
    kid on Christmas and I wanted to share my experience with others.

    When I decided to try out the Bionic, I knew I could return it within two weeks if I didn’t like it, so I had two weeks to decide if I wanted to keep the Bionic or return it and get a different phone. 

    There were many things I was worried about:

    -I was worried that without a physical keyboard, I would not be able to type well on the touch screen keyboard.
    -I was worried that with the new OS, I wouldn’t be able to configure and tweak everything to get it working exactly the way I like it.
    -I was worried about it being too big to easily fit into my pocket.
    -I was worried that the battery wouldn’t last me through the day.
    -And I was worried that the 4G LTE (which is one of the Bionic’s selling points) would not be available in my area.

    Every single worry that I had was blown away and I am 100% satisfied with my Droid Bionic.  I could not be happier with my purchase:

    -The touchscreen keyboard provides a tactile response with both vibration and sound which made it much easier for me to learn how to type on a touchscreen keyboard  (if you don’t like the vibration and sound, you can turn them off).  Within four days I was already proficient with the touchscreen keyboard.
    -Android has matured a great deal since I last tried and Android phone (about two years ago) and now the settings have all the options I desire so I can configure and customize the phone to my exacting standards (some might call them obsessively exacting standards but that’s just the way I am).
    -The Bionic is bigger than my previous BlackBerry, but when I slid the Bionic into my pocket (no “That’s what she said” jokes), it fit perfectly and I have so far never had a problem with the Bionic being too bulky in my pocket; I don’t even notice that it’s there.
    -Regarding battery usage: these days, every single smartphone on the market that has a large high resolution display and 4G data capability is going to have to contend with massive energy consumption, there’s just no way around it with current battery technology.  So when I compared the Droid Bionic to several of my friends’ smartphones (Android, iPhone, and even Windows Phone 7), the Bionic was slightly better.  They were all very close and I think it comes down to how you use your phone.  There are many battery-saving settings on the Bionic that you can customize till your heart’s content.  So the bottom line is that considering what the Bionic is, it does not hog battery, and in fact with the right settings it can make the battery last for a very long time.
    -I’ve tried all three of the US’s major carriers in the following order: AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.  Granted, different phones will produce different results, but when I got my Bionic on Verizon, I was blown away by the speed.  It might have also been the Bionic’s hardware, but whenever I was in range of 4G LTE, the speed was blazing fast: better than any other in my experience.  However, when I was with Sprint, the ONLY time I was in range of their 4G network was when I was at the airport, and that was for about 10 minutes.  With my Bionic on Verizon’s 4G LTE, I was pleasantly surprised to be in range almost everywhere, including where I live which is a notorious “Dead Zone” for cell phone reception.  (P.S. Of course I use the Bionic’s WiFi whenever possible because that’s just common sense).

    Sorry for the long comment, but I’m in love with my phone (I think I’ll marry it).

  • Cybertronian94

    This guy must not use his phone at all…

  • Mdoddbama

    I bought the bionic the day it released. I also bought 3 extra batteries. I listen to podcasts on google music and the batteries last only 2.5 to 3.5 hours each. I understand that is a drain but that time is sad.

  • John

    Was this article written by Motorola? I’ve had the Bionic for a week now and the battery completely sucks. Period. With no WiFi, music, phone calls, video, Bluetooth, screen resolution on lowest setting… The battery lasts 4 to 5 hours. Tops. I’m considering returning it. There are other problems: one ring tone for all email accounts (my two year old Droid can do this!), inability to sync, problems emailing photos/video… There are about 8 settings to attempt to preserve the battery life that have to be consistently reset throughout the day (at least every hour) that does very little to preserve battery life. I have two batteries and the results are the same for both.

  • mab151

    I disagree I have one and the battery life seems to be awful.  With LTE on, it maybe lasts 4-5 hours of limited use.  Drains very quickly even when idle.  Have set a lot of apps to auto turn off.  It seems a bit better on 3G but v disappointing on LTE.

  • LeJester

    I am having battery life issues with my Bionic.  I fully condition charged it before bed.  This morning I got up to find that in Stand By for 5 hours 20% of the battery life was drained.  The day before yesterday, I had used the phone through the day off and on while charging part of that time.  In the afternoon, with good usage, the battery was at 40%.  I have an 30 minute drive home from work.  I checked the phone for messages a couple of hours after getting home and the phone battery was flat dead.  Perhaps, some program was sucking down battery power, but, the phone was in standby when I left for home.  Yesterday, before leaving for home, I killed all apps, turned all radios except primary radio off and made sure that auto updates were minimzed.  I checked the phone an hour and a half later, the charge on the battery dropped 20%.
    This is all too bad.  Otherwise, the phone is great.  I love the things that it does.  But coming from an iPhone 3G which with aggressive usage would run for almost two days without a recharge, this is frustrating at best.

    • LeJester

      The 4G has been rock solid.  There is no back and forth switching between 3G and 4G.  No obvious connection losses.  I feel that something is not or was not allowing the device to truely go into ‘stand by’.
      I have done some work on my phone since yesterday and their might be some improvement.  I had a heavily configured desktop, some Widgets (CNN, Facebook, BBC News and the like), Go Launcher Ex and and Look Out Security.  The desktop is now very minimal, removed Go Launcher EX and removed that Lookout Security.  In days prior, I had been removing other applications to try and improve the battery performance.
      I unplugged the phone from the wall at 6:30 AM.  It is now 11:30 AM.  I have been checking email and doing facebook here and there.  I have 90% battery power showing!  It is like a miracle!
      If I had to guess, I would suppose a problem with the anti-virus software tanking the battery.
      I love what the Go Launcher Ex does.  So, I will try installing the Go Launcher EX and see if the battery tanks.  Then if everything is OK, in coming days I will ramp up the load on the home screens.
      I am now hopeful that I might have a handle on some of the issues with the battery performance.  I will try and update this post in the near future.
      Has anyone ever run into any battery performance issues with any of the above mentioned applications?
      All the best!

      • LeJester

        Update 2: Went on a road trip on Saturday.  I unplugged the phone from wall power at 9:00AM.  I drove for three hours in and out of areas with weak coverage.  Then spent the day and evening out with friends.  I used the phone off and on all day and into the evening.  Facebook, web browsing and some HD 1080 video recording.  The battery life continues to improve.  I arrived home at 4:00AM and plugged in my phone.  It still had 30% battery life remaining. 
        It really does seem that the battery life has improved a great deal.  I am wondering if the suggestion in another post about the battery performance increasing over time is on the mark.  Perhaps several charges and discharges could be conditioning the battery. 
        As for those who have reported problems with uploading data and with connections.  My phone has been a real champ in that regards.  It is very stable.  You may want to contact Verizon if you are having issues with the network performance and the battery as well.
        I am still running the Go Launcher EX and this has not caused any problems with the battery life.  I also have severl feed widgets going as well.  The WiFi radio was turned on the entire time as well.

  • I hate to say it but most of the commentators seem to be right.  Even if the software is heavy on Phone idle and standby…that doesn’t explain the lack of application usage.  Even if someone only opened an app for a second it would show up on the usage statistics.  Judging by the way this was “used” they couldn’t have been doing anything more than playing with widgets and for a short time on gmaps.  This is much more likely to be a very light usage/standby time.  Which if switching from LTE to 3g and back isn’t bad.

  • Tobyknowz

    At 8:00 this mornin my phone was complete charged up now at 11:30 tonight I’m at 5% and I received 8 calls through my bluetooth the call lasted less then 5 mins each today and check my facebook page,text 3 people and its about dead I don’t like that

    • LeJester

      I am having similar battery issues with my Bionic.  I fully condition charged it before bed.  This morning I got up to find that in Stand By for 5 hours 20% of the battery life was drained.  The day before yesterday, I had used the phone through the day off and on while charging part of that time.  In the afternoon, with good usage, the battery was at 40%.  I have an 30 minute drive home from work.  I checked the phone for messages a couple of hours after getting home and the phone battery was flat dead.  Perhaps, some program was sucking down battery power, but, the phone was in standby when I left for home.  Yesterday, before leaving for home, I killed all apps and made sure that auto updates were minimzed.  I checked the phone an hour and a half later, the charge on the battery dropped 20%.

      This is all too bad.

  • My Droid X was at 1day 13h 19m @ 4% battery life left. Which I thought was pretty good, with regular use, wifi on, full brightness.

  • Ray_42069

    Tjose little dots of blue could be 10 to 15 min of usage the big ones could be even longer

  • Ray_42069

    Had your phone ever lasted 25 hours the 8 hours you sleep is going to make the average screen off time alot more so yeah this could be legit I think alot of people are just hating on it cause they can’t have it yet

  • RW-1

    Larger batt.

  • I am pleasantly surprised at how fast this thing is. Never was a fan of
    TI OMAPs, but this new dual-core chip seems quite snappy. More on the
    Bionic at my blog: http://wp.me/p1BlyQ-57.

  • thats on standby. that sucks actually if it’s just standby.

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  • Antthedrag

    This is great and all but I’m not buying another Motorola phone until they unlock their damn bootloaders. Currently on the Droid X I advise anyone who is into rooting ans roms to stay away from Mototrola ‘s locked phones. Until Motorola releases this phone with an unlocked bootloader I’m not getting my hopes up.

  • Lam Nguyen

    But if you look at the “usage bar” under the 14h 58m 20s picture, you can see that the phone wasn’t used at all for 8 hours or so.

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  • Anonymous

    What a God awful pentile display

  • when it’s all said and done we all have a choice; a choice to like or not to like! in the end it’s all based upon what you prefer!

  • Daggy1985

    Seriously I am so tired of hearing overexaggerated complaints of the Thunderbolts battery life. Sure, if one chooses to leave 4G on all the time then the battery will die quickly, but guess what its new technology, its going to have bugs that need to be worked out. And to say in this article that even on 3G the tb cant last a day is not accurate. I work 12 hour shifts and use my TB throughout the day checking facebook, twitter, texting, browsing, playing games and general after 16 hours of being up I still have 50 – 60% battery left, and Im willing to bet my phone would last past the 24 hour mark, easily. Sure people can complain that the battery should last longer with 4G on, but it doesn’t, oh well Im over it. The fact remains that with Android phones it takes some tweaking to get good battery life out of any of the phones no matter whom makes the phone, I think thats why android is so great because we have the power to satisfy our inner geek self and tweak and customize to our hearts content. Anyways thats my rant for today lol!

    • Q

      No, the Thunderbolt battery sucks.  Ive had three, and have three other friends who have one.  The battery is an epic joke.  This is no exaggeration.  ANd yes, I do leave 4G on all the time.  Isnt 4G the entire point of the phone?  If I wanted to have a 3G Android with a 4.3″ screen, I could have simply kept my Droid X.  I actually wouldnt mind sticking with the TB if the battery was at least acceptable.  I just got back from Las Vegas and I had to carry two batteries around because the phone would dying in less than 8 hours.  I have nothing syncing and nothing significant running.  The phone just burns through battery like nothing.

      • Chris Pike

        My bolt works just fine. 9 hours of use and still at just under half full on battery. 100% stock.

        • Chris Pike

          And here is my useage Q.

          • Chris Pike

            Not too bad for a bolt.

      • Daggy1985

        “Isn’t 4G the entire point of the phone?” If you choose to look at it that way? 4G is great to use when I feel I actually need to use it. Ya if you leave 4G on the battery dies quickly, does that suck? Yes. Thats the price we pay for first gen technology. So I choose to use 3G and only turn on 4G if really needed. If thats unacceptable for you and you must have 4G on all the time, then fine, to each his/her own. Personally I dont care, cause 3G is plenty fast enough to retrieve twitter and facebook updates, which is mainly what I do.

  • Herinel

    Switch to the iPhone 4 3 months ago from the tbolt and I can almost surely say that I’m selling my iPhone 4 for the bionic.

  • Shannigans!!!   Put this through a real world test to see how the battery lasts.  Use some apps, make some calls, browse the web, 4G LTE downloads, etc.   I have a 15 year old phone and battery that can last 5 days if I charge it and leave it sit on a table.

  • Dom

    I’m confused at the times on the phone. At 60% it was 12:32 and almost 15hrs on the battery. Later it was 15% at 9:31 and 25hrs on the battery. 15+9 =/= 25. I’m thinking the phone was off for at least an hour.

  • Goalyboy17

    If you guys don’t know this is a bug with the bat read out, you shouldn’t be following tech blogs. Go look at any d3 forum and then come back and delete your ignorant stupid comments.

  • Al Heasley

    Listen people, I have a droid 3 and my battery it at 30% right now at 15hrs and my battery specs are cell standby at 30 % phone idle at 27% and my screen is only 5%. I would consider my usage as moderate to heavy. For some reason 2.3.4 version of gingerbread on moto phones favor cell standby and phone idle…….so give it a break. You have no idea how the battery works unless you are running 2.3.4 gingerbread, and if you don’t own a droid 3 you aren’t running 2.3.4……so know what your talking about before you start pecking your keyboards!

    • Mrbrooks418

      No thanks. your right i dont own a Droid 3 and would never want one……

      • James_Ever

        I too own the Droid3 and its true about the cell standby and phone idle being huge battery hogs though I still have good battery life, 14hrs with light to moderate use with 40% battery life left. The battery life configuration it seems to be the same for the Bionic according to these pics so be prepared for your phone to lose more battery life in standby than when you actually use the device. I still think its a great device, both of them but it is an issue for those going for this device to be prepared for… and bloatware constantly running even when you haven’t ever opened the device. Not a huge issue for me, but may be for some.

  • Anonymous


  • Mrbrooks418

    My Thunderbolt will last that long too. especialy if i never turn the screen on. i mean really, 4% display use…. My phone last from sat 7pm till sunday 8pm when im home and have light use on it. where during the weak i use 2 full batteries during a 24 hour period. and thats moderate/ heavy use from 7am till 12:30 – 1 am.  and im in a 4G area where ever im am. how about a real life test. Just sayin……..

    • Anonymous

      I dunno why everyone makes out the Thunderbolt’s battery to be so horrid.  I never turn 4G off, and right now I’m at 45% after 15h 1m.  Display is 52%, Cell Standby 18%, Phone Idle 16%, Voice calls 7%, Internet 3%, Android System 2%.  Maybe that’s not as good as the Bionic, or my old Incredible for that matter, but it gets me through the day.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, who cares?  I wanted to buy this phone when announced.  TOO LATE.  I’m onto the next thing AS THE CARRIERS TRAINED ME TO BE.  Know the market (you created)…

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  • Nerdslogic

    I don’t get it. So they are saying if you don’t use your phone it will last all day? I got a better one….if you pull the battery out you wont ever have to charge it again 😉

    thanks Moto….

  • Kixofmyg0t

    Jeez everyone lurks just waiting for a post about the Droid Bionic so they can trash it……

    From the looks of the usage meter(the brail looking blue bar below the battery graph), it WASN’T used THAT MUCH. Still with that being said, its battery life isn’t bad at all. I’d say it’s pretty good actually.

    Its worse than my Droid X…which has gone 53 hours sitting on a desk before it told me to charge it.(low voltage idle at 400Mhz, ajubrightness value 10 of 255 and extended battery) I normally get a 20+ hours of “heavy” use. My wife’s D2G however…..is like the T-bolt…..HORRIABLE. You can leave it sitting and it will be dead in 14 hours….even if you didn’t touch it.

    Either way I’m still impressed given the hardware. I’ll still be first in line September 8th to get one….as well as the extended battery(that’s a MUST for me). Hopefully Motor won’t plug the root method so I’ll be able to do my usual tweaks.

  • Anonymous

    Just saw the bionic commercial in the Theater

  • Rob Meyer

    It comes with a battery too?