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Video: Motorola Teaches You How to Use Smart Actions on the DROID RAZR, Your Best Bet for Extending Battery Life

Since Motorola decided to make the new DROID RAZR one of the thinnest smartphones on the planet, that meant they were going to have to cut a corner somewhere. That corner, was a battery that can’t be removed. It actually seems crazy knowing that most of us purchase extended or backup batteries as a safety precaution to combat the current power destroying LTE technology. Moto has a plan though. In order to help ease your mind on life with a non-removable battery, they built in an app called Smart Actions, that allows you to customize and “optimize your smartphone for your life.”

It’s very similar to apps like Locale and Tasker – it uses location, time of day, and the task at hand to launch apps, turn off settings, and make your phone and life perform more efficiently. There are built-in preset actions that you can adopt immediately or you can get technical and build your own.

I haven’t had a chance to play with these all that much just yet, but you can bet that I will. As someone that carries two phones for the most part because I understand how difficult it can be to get through a day on LTE, I’ll be tweaking away to find which settings will push a single charge further. According to the v ideo below, you can apparently adjust a couple of settings and extend your battery up to 30%. Let’s see if we can figure out which those are.  

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  • WTF!

    WOW YOU ANDROID FANS ARE SUCKERS, MY IPHONE 4S DOES ALL OF THIS FOR ME I DONT NEED TO DOWNLOAD SOME STUPIS APP TO MANAGE MY BATTERY LIFE. YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WHY AND HOW APPLE ALWAYS COMES OUT ON TOP! HA.

    • Mark Kazzaz

      I totally feel cheated now.  Thanks for that.

  • Winer2

    The battery life figure shows way more than the claimed 30% increase! The figure shows over 200% increase… ridiculous. 

  • Anonymous
  • http://www.flayme.com/troll/ nAnatroll

    Guys from the time I activated my phone RAZR last night around 6pm to now, this phone has been hands down faster, slicker, and much more pleasurable to use than that bionic. Soooo glad I sold that phone, it did have a few issues. Smart actions DOES work, you just have to spend a little time figuring out your usage habits and adjust the application accordingly. I have still not charged it! It still has 30% of the factory charge since activation. Yall WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED!! This phone is bad the fu*king bone!

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/3j5ovpk

  • Anonymous

    One of the best moto features ever. Moto keeps making their software better and better. Where are the stupid haters lol?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1027037089 Micah Roy

    “It actually seems crazy knowing that most of us purchase extended or backup batteries as a safety precaution to combat the current power destroying LTE technology. Moto has a plan though. In order to help ease your mind on life with a non-removable battery . . . ” 

    Uh, am I the only one not bothered so much by a non-removable battery affecting daily charging options, as I am worried about how long a life we will get out of this battery?

    I really want the RAZR, but I got a bad feeling that as a heavy user, I’m gonna end up with a brick phone before my next upgrade. 

    • Anonymous

      There is nothing wrong in charging the device twice a day . A lot of people make a big deal of the non removable battery.

  • Austin

    I hope there is a port for older phones!

  • Tal

    I care more about the ability to change settings than just the battery saving part. Can you list what states can be detected and what settings can be changed?

    For example, when my phone is connected to my car’s bluetooth and I’m streaming music, I want to set the media volume to some value. When I disconnect the bluetooth, I want the media volume to go to zero.   Maybe the same thing when connected to headphones.

    • Plex

      uus lI’d like some sort of list too.

      Detect:
      AC charger (not PC USB)
      Set
      Turn on Bluetooth

      Detect: Bluetooth Speaker Connected
      Set: Play Music at Max Volume

      Detect: Car Docked
      Set: Turn on GPS and Bluetooth. Play music at 70% volume once Bluetooth connects.

      etc.

      Plus some default or undo actions.

      • GadgetGuy

        This is one of the features I actually want built into my phone. The 3rd party apps are just buggy or quirky. Hopefully having it integrated into the core OS will be more reliable. I really hope there’s a GPS action in there.

        • Danh

          Too bad buggy and quirky is the norm with 3rd party apps. I’m also hoping having the manufacturer’s team of software engineers will do a better job than one guy in his spare time.

    • Mike

      I’m really interested in this. I currently use Tasker but it sometimes causes some issues when changing settings.  Having this feature built-in may make it less buggy.

    • Anonymous

      You can kinda do that with Plugin Launcher. I believe there is a setting under the “headphones” options that lets you set what volume you’d like once you plug anything into the jack. Not sure if you can do the same with bluetooth though.

  • Breadable

    Learning to be more efficient is great, but how about some better battery technology? It seems processors have come a long way in the last 2 years, has anyone worked on a better battery?

    • Anonymous

      There is a ton of money being invested in pushing battery technology forward…  It ain’t easy…  There are a lot of emerging ideas and proof-of-concept stage technologies, but it takes time to make them robust and safe enough for high volume manufacture.

  • Jordan

    Alright, this is just flat-out badass!

  • Anonymous

    What I would like is a widget that allows u to turn on/off the 4g radio like I can with my bluetooth or wifi. Instead of having to go into the settings each time I want to turn off the 4g radio.

  • http://twitter.com/jplunkett Jim Plunkett

    Very cool.  I already use an app called Phone Weaver by SBSH Mobile on my droid x.  I am to do what was mentioned in the video and a whole lot more.

  • Anonymous

    On a related note, have you figured out how to shutdown the phone in case it locks up? I know a lot of people that are concerned that their phone is going to lock up and they won’t be able to reboot it.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure it’s in the manual, but I too am curious how a hard reset is performed. 

      • Mike

        hold the bottom volume button and the power button for 20 second

  • Anonymous

    One app to control them all! – Droidddddddddddddd 

    • WarEagle

      Sauron would like that.

    • Fattie McDoogles

      My precious!

  • Anonymous

    Looks great! If it works well, +1 Moto.

  • Mike S.

    This is a good idea. I would also like to see someone develop an app that disables the LTE radio when the screen is locked. When the phone is in your pocket, you don’t need LTE anyway, only when you unlock the phone and start using it.

    • Keith Sumner

      The battery drain is not simply due to 4G being active, it’s when it can’t hold a signal and continually switches between 4g/3g/1x, or simply trying to find a connection at all.

      So actually, having your phone disable and re-enable 4G every time you unlock and lock would be a waste of battery.

      • http://twitter.com/jcardea CEO Of Monster I N C

        well……using your logic keith, it wouldn’t be a waste of battery. I’ll let you figure out why though.

        • Keith Sumner

          I suppose it could or couldn’t be, but I haven’t got an issue with battery life. ~14 hours on my bionic on a single charge, standard battery, and I don’t turn off 4G. 

          • Fattie McDoogles

            how do you get that kind of life?!

          • Keith Sumner

            I set my phone up the way I like, no vibrating on keypress, no sound on key press, I don’t sync facebook, twitter, or any data intensive app. I just use my news reader to refresh when I open it, I’m in a solid 4G area all the time, I use auto brightness, I have only one home screen, and 2 widgets (beautiful widgets time/weather and beautiful battery) it’s just all the little things that add up. There could be more, but I can’t think of any.

          • http://twitter.com/jcardea CEO Of Monster I N C

            Then you should share your secret with those who have trouble. Ha. I doubt i have trouble with battery life myself. 

        • Fattie McDoogles

          No he is right. By shutting it off when its in your pocket and turning it on when you pull it out it still toggling the radio and as soon as it turns on its gonna start searching again which means its going to be using more power for longer every time you turn it back off then it would if you just left it on. The only way that is beneficial is if you don’t use your phone a lot. If you just leave it sitting on your desk at work and only checked it a handful of times it would be effective.

          • http://twitter.com/jcardea CEO Of Monster I N C

            If it is already searching for a network, right? Then to cut down on the networks it switches to, means one less “switching” since on a 4glte phone the main idea is to get to 4g.  I was only using the logic presented, which would say this wouldn’t be a waste of battery. Never said i thought this was efficient. 

          • Fattie McDoogles

            gotcha. I wish there was a way to shut off 3G and just use 4G and 1x. Since 1x is for calling and just use 4G for data

          • Anonymous

            But in the mean time, it isn’t doing that while the screen is off.  So you aren’t wasting battery chasing towers while you aren’t using it.

          • Fattie McDoogles

            Yes. but you waste more if you force it to do it more than it is already doing it.

          • Anonymous

            So you think that non-stop possible radio switching is better than radio switching only when your screen is on?  Do you constantly hit the screen on/off button the whole day?

          • Sp4rxx

            Yep agreed.  It’s like turning off your car and starting it back up again vs just letting it run idle while you wait for someone (like in a store, a doctor’s office, etc.).  You waste more gas starting the engine than you do when you let it idle.

          • http://twitter.com/Drweird13 Brian

            No.

          • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

            That’s a myth, as a few cars actually kill the engine at stoplights now. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ab-Gar/538974072 Ab Gar

            its not as much a myth but outdated information. 
            old carburetor fed engines would need to flood the carburetor with fuel in order to start the engine. 
            with fuel injection systems (standard tech almost any car today) this is no longer a problem. 

          • Guest

            correct sir!

      • Anonymous

        Moto always has good signals and if you live in a city like los angeles, new york etc, there will be a lot of antennas.

    • El El Kool J

      Check out juice defender mike s. I use it and it turns off data and auto enables it when you unlock your screen

    • Anonymous

      The problem with Verizon’s 4G LTE system is it’s different from their 3G system. So 4G LTE phones have to have two separate radios for them. That’s what really drains the battery. Now if you could JUST have the LTE radio on and shut off the 3G radio….battery life would improve. I don’t live in a 4G LTE area at the moment so I’ve disabled LTE on my Bionic. I normally can get 1 day 22 hours on a single charge with moderate use(with extended battery).  But before that can happen Verizon needs to have more complete 4G coverage….so much so that regular 3G would be useless to have.

      I’m really interested in the Smart Actions feature of the RAZR though. I really want that feature on my Bionic.

      • Bionicman

        i think the obvious problem with having an option to disable 3G and leaving 4G on only would be if your in a spot where 4G is unavailable, you will have no signal. i guess if you know for a fact that everywhere you will be will always have 4G no matter what, then not a bad idea.

      • Anonymous

        We may get it on the software update 2.3.5 :)

    • Anonymous

      You already can, go into settings>battery & data manager>battery mode> and there you have a choice to  choose a saver mode. I have mine set to custom,>off-peak hours start at 8pm to 5am to turn off data after 15 minutes of none use.> peak hours again 15 minutes of no use and > display automatically sets to 20% if battery drops 30% and less. All of this is adjustable. 

    • Anonymous

      You have a very good point there.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

    Something Tasker and Local haven’t been updated to do is manage the LTE radio independently of “Mobile Data” I think it could be huge if you could setup tasks to turn off LTE when you typically wouldn’t need it, and then enable it when you would, like opening a media intensive application. 

    Can Motorola’s smart actions manage the LTE radio, or just mobile data as a whole?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve had all this and much, much, much more via Tasker on my DX.  However it is much needed to bring about this functionality, even if more limited, in a simple UI for the average user.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TJHRULZ tjhrulz

    Does it have as many options though as tasker? Which brings up another question, is this going to drain you battery if you do not use it to optimize your phone. ex. it runs in the background even when unconfigured, something I would hope Moto would address

    • FortitudineVincimus

      Tasker is the shit! I use it daily. Though I love a built in system and glad they at least did something like this as it is a no brainer for phones.

      • http://www.facebook.com/TJHRULZ tjhrulz

        Totally read your comment wrong, I read it as tasker is shit. I was all like Oh no you didn’t. But I would assume that this though is getting close to a tasker level, but choice is a big thing in android and I think if people want it they should not have to remove this to get the other without setbacks. 

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t we already do this with an APP that turns wifi on when you get to a GPS location, turns ringer off when at work ect… I swear I used it on my OG.

    Be nice if they laid out some specifics, I imagine the average consumer will have a hard time benefiting from this, which would probably help out on increasing battery life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TJHRULZ tjhrulz

      If you read the article he brings up the two apps Locale(A more location based one) and taker(So many options that it has a large learning curve)

      • Anonymous

        I was talking about the Video that was released for people purchasing the Razr.

    • Sporttster

      Don’t like it because it turns GPS on which uses battery even more…makes no sense….

      • Anonymous

        GPS? GPS doesn’t really do anything unless you’re actually using it. What do you mean though?

      • Anonymous

        lol, you’re right.  Guess that part won’t help much.

  • Dominick DeVito

    Great idea, hope it works well. I’d like to see Google “borrow” this for 4.1

  • Anonymous

    Amazing