Share this Story

Kit Kat and Nexus 5 Support Battery Percentage Monitoring, No Root Required

Nexus 5

Whether you run a custom ROM or have a device from Samsung or LG that supports it, you might have the ability to enable a battery percentage monitor in your notification bar. Since the beginning, this feature wasn’t built directly into Android for users to enable, but now with Kit Kat and the Nexus 5 out, it appears Google has finally built it in. The only issue so far is that some minor tweaking is needed to enable the feature. 

If you have a Nexus 5, and are comfortable using adb, then all you need to do is type a single command and reboot your device. From there, you will see a white-on-white percentage on top of your battery. The issue with this is that you won’t be able to see the percentage unless your battery is 50% drained or more to see it. This fact leads us to believe that this is why Google “hid” the feature for now. But still, it’s a nice feature for people who like to have a numerical value placed on their battery life in the notification bar.

Here is what your battery will look like with the percentage enabled.


A developer on XDA has bundled the simple adb code into an installable APK, so messing with a computer is rendered unnecessary. Simply install the app, hit “Enable,” and then reboot. Again, keep in mind that the percentage text is white, so if you have a full battery or anything about 50%, it’s pretty useless.

If you have a Nexus 5, go for it.

Download: Percent_Enabler.apk

Via: Android Police | XDA

  • Derrick Scarberry

    I have had the Nexus 5 since 2 weeks after release and the battery life has been very good for me. I will admit I am not getting as good of battery life as with my previous Note 2, but that is obvious since the bigger battery. The first few days are pretty inconsistent, but once you get a few full power cycles done it is very good. I can easily get through a day on light to medium usage, and when gaming heavily included will drop it down to about 15 hours. At the most I may have to plug it up once through midday but only for about 30 mins or so, and am good until I go to bed.

  • Mike Fadamiro

    How do I disable it

  • Yagermeister

    Anyone try this on the Nexus 7 (2012) with Kit Kat?

  • J Dub

    I don’t care about that. I just wish I could better customize the settings panel. I miss being able to pull down on the right side to get settings.

  • Janeta Barge

    мʏ ƈօ-աօʀĸɛʀ’ѕ ѕтɛք-мօтнɛʀ мαĸɛѕ $67 ɛʋɛʀʏ нօυʀ օɴ тнɛ ʟαքтօք. ѕнɛ нαѕ вɛɛɴ ʟαιɖ օғғ ғօʀ тɛɴ мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн нɛʀ ƈнɛƈĸ աαѕ $14827 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тнɛ ʟαքтօք ғօʀ α ғɛա нօυʀѕ. ɴɛхт քαɢɛ>>> w­w­w.B­l­u­e­7­8.ℂ­o­m

  • Eli Medina

    5.3 screen on Time and 27 hr on 26% at 10:30pm, no power save or things off, LG G2, BOOM there it is. Nexus 5 failed on battery-would have dropped g2 immediately, but dotn matter since both are LG. 🙂

  • Rob Dallara

    do you have to have a nexus 5? what if your running a 4.4 ROM? (VZW Galaxy Nexus, Shiny Rom)

  • i9

    That’s awesome.

  • I’m pretty sure you can get battery percentages with Elixir 2+ or any phone.

  • interstellarmind

    Looks like N5 clocks in at 4-5 hours on-screen time.

    Really wish they went with a 720p screen instead of a 1080p…

    • Fresh360

      You are the 1st person I have ever heard say that in life…I totally understand where you are coming from but this just confirms that Google just can’t win for losing with the Nexus line…

      • interstellarmind

        Nah, to be fair, I think Google included the 1080p screen (and 2.3 snapdragon 800) to be able to show KitKat in the best light possible and to show developers and OEMs KitKat’s ability to perform with those specs.

        For all its “faults,” I still think the N5 is the best overall smartphone out there (as was the N4 before it).

    • GhostlySnow

      What do people seriously do with their phone during the day? I don’t ever have more than 5 hours of display on for a typical day. I am just curious.

      • interstellarmind

        Let’s see… Left the house with 90%.
        Took a 2 hour bus trip to a different city (crossword app for about half the trip, surfed the web the other half, watched two 8-minute YouTube videos, google music player the whole time).

        Took about 20 ptotos (about half were instagram).

        By the time I got back to the bus station (to begin my return trip) I was down to 15%. Down from the 90% I had 5-6 hours ago.

        So basically… I “reenacted” an ad for pretty much ANY smartphone.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    And…iOS has been doing this since the iPhone 4S with out root

    • J Dub

      Which they probably stole from an earlier Android phone.

  • poop

    Gauge Battery Widget now and forever 🙂

    • moelsen8

      been a staple of my home screens since the og days.

  • Morbid138

    Heavy usage.

    • jimv1983

      Wow. I wonder what your problem is. Maybe really high screen brightness? I am getting 4 hours screen on time with 15 hours off the charger. Pretty much everything ON.

  • I wouldn’t really call it a built-in feature if you need to run adb commands to enable it. Now if it was a checkbox like it is for basically every other custom UI out there..

    • Anhstein

      Maybe it will be in the future, once they figure out the white on white thing.

  • MistaButters

    The percent shows when you pull down the setting menu.

  • Prefer Samsung Battery Percentage option but then again currently got an S4 and amongst a plus point its clear.

    Sloppyness: Having the text of the numbers in a non white (i.e. Black) is a must!!! (white text on white – who sane approved that!!)

    • DJ SPY

      Didn’t you read the whole article? No one approved it. It’s hidden. Not meant for the masses yet. That’s why you have to use the adb command. It’s just sitting there, waiting silently for the trigger command to go live and change colors.

    • Renjamin

      Read. Comprehend. Rethink rant. Go enjoy coffee.

  • Droid Ronin

    Using Power Toggles to get my battery percentage. Works great!

  • rthvk

    If they can bundle adb code into an app so easily, I honestly don’t see why we don’t have a screen recorder app built off of the adb screenrecord feature yet. You could even have it dynamically change the time of the recording by modifying the adb code in the way Kellen posted earlier.

  • landon

    Just put it next to the battery like sense/touchwiz/ios

  • rthvk

    Heh did this yesterday…

    Should’ve sent it in, bad me!

  • Dave

    How is this different from the % readout in a device with TouchWiz’s notification bar? Or does this not imply it comes built in, at first it sounds like it had to be added on to the device.

    • Samsung adds that in themselves. That’s not a feature usually found on stock Android.

  • Michael W.

    My battery life is significantly better on my N5 over my N4. I leave my wifi, bluetooth, and sometimes my data on all day and my on screen time is about 2-3 hours a day. I turn off all syncing; just drains too much batter life and I am at 80% by end of day. Plus, I am currently not running live wallpapers, but I tested that too and my battery was about 75% at end of day. I love the batter life on my N5! I love this new little battery trick as well. I just wish we could see it before it drops to 40% ish. Oh well, changes will come at some point.

  • joejoe5709

    Dang. I got all excited that this would work on any phone. Sure LG has the percent, but they place beside the battery symbol taking up more space. Kind of annoying.

  • EdubE24

    Does anyone know of an app for on screen volumn controls? Would like to add to my Verizon G2. Something similar to knock on would be great!

  • Bobby Cornwell

    The answer is Battery Widget Reborn. Just select the White Number option and it fits in wonderfully with the KitKat notification bar

    • moelsen8

      except then there’s two battery icons.

      • Bobby Cornwell

        Oh really?

        • trwb

          Yes there is one on the left that says 98 and the one on the right which is a picture of a battery.

          • Bobby Cornwell

            It’s not really a battery icon. It’s percentage

          • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.
          • Bobby Cornwell

            Whatever.. I was just trying to help people and show them different options

          • moelsen8

            honestly, i have mine set up this way too with battery widget reborn. it’s functional even if it is redundant. it’ll be nice once google complete’s this code. we’ll get some minimalism back.

          • trwb

            Yea that works. Dash clock has a battery extension too. It would have been nice if Google enabled battery percentages though.

          • Eric

            Yes it is.

        • Ryan Rhodes

          whats that widget you have for weather/time?

          • Tyler

            Its dashclock with the weather widget added.

          • Ryan Rhodes

            thanks man i appreciate it

          • Bobby Cornwell

            Yup, it’s DashClock

          • Ryan Rhodes

            thanks man appreciate it

        • jimv1983

          I would hate that. If percentage is going to show up I want it near or inside the battery indicator on the right and not on the left getting in the way of all my other notifications.

          And yes trwb has a point. One might be a percentage and the other an picture of the battery but it is still TWO icons in the notification bar for battery usage.

    • Detonation

      But then you’re also stuck with an ongoing notification

      • Bobby Cornwell

        No, not necessarily. You can disable that within the settings

        • Detonation

          Oh, cool. Haven’t had to use a notification widget like that in a while, before you always had to have an ongoing notification to keep it there.

  • Ryan B

    Did the battery info in the quick toggle page go away in kit kat?
    That always worked for me…

    • LionStone

      No, it’s still there… 1 swipe an 1 tap

      • moelsen8

        i’ll raise you a double-swipe

        • Ryan B

          Yeah and I get it, with this you don’t have to unlock anything, just wake the screen and the info is there. But I use dashclock widget for my lock screen and I also get it there. I guess whatever your preference is…

          • moelsen8

            i meant a two-finger notification bar swipe brings up the quick toggle panel instead of the usual notification bar.

          • Ryan B

            I know that’s what you meant. Keep your two fingers out of this. (or at least just don’t talk about it)

          • moelsen8

            haha nice. aah i see what you meant. i have it set on dashclock too, which definitely is nice.

          • Tyler

            I personally like the swipe and a click much better. I pull down my notification bar right above the button and quickly tap before the notification panel even fills the display. Either way works i find that quicker and easier due to using my phone with one hand all the time.

          • moelsen8

            yeah me too. i still wish they would’ve went with the “double swipe” that android police rumored about prior to its release. that would’ve a more useful alternative method than a two-finger swipe.

          • Tyler

            The problem with double swipe is that in order to get rid of it you would need to either hit the back button twice or swipe twice. Maybe I am understanding you wrong. I think the current implementation is the best. I would suggest trying the quick flick from the top right corner and a tap in the spot where the button is as soon as you’re done with the flick. After a while it will be muscle memory 🙂

          • moelsen8

            not sure. this is what i was referring to:


            i think that would’ve been the best. as of now i just swipe down once and hit the button. the two-finger one takes too much hand maneuvering.

        • LionStone

          Oh crap… forgot about that! Thanks! 🙂

  • Batman

    Why didn’t they just make the text for the number darker and leave it as an option?

    • nexusonthebrain


      • jimv1983

        Why do I keep seeing people post this comment? THIS???? THIS what???

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    This is silly. White on White…. You can’t even use it in any meaningful way. Why can’t Google just add this BASIC feature?….

    • geedee82

      It’s a white on white crime.

  • moelsen8

    better than nothing i guess.

  • droidify

    Luckily Nexus 5 owners will be able to see it most of the time..
    Couldn’t resist 🙂

    • moelsen8

      i must have a different phone than most of the reviewers etc. because i’ve been finding my battery life to be exceptional.. especially compared to the n4. very happy with it.

      • Dan

        Agreed, 27 hours of light use (1 hour screen on time) and I still have 65% battery…

        Maybe heavy users are seeing poor battery life because the screen takes so much juice?

        • Ralph Basile

          I agree as well. My experience with battery life is it is significantly improved over the Nexus 4.

          • Daniel Garcia

            Ditto, used it all day yesterday on fantasy football score tracking and still had 50+ percent left. Even was on wifi while screen was on.

        • Mayoo

          Me too, heavy use, really heavy, and 12h. First charge got me almost 20h.

          • zmr333

            Same here

          • michael arazan

            12h of heavy use, to me that is impressive. Considering I only get 4-5 hours with heavy use on my GNex, or 11 hrs if i turned on 3g only and rarely use the browser.

        • malcmilli

          every phone since 2012 gets great battery life when you dont use it.

        • kixofmyg0t


          You do NOT have 27 hours of “light use” with ONE HOUR on screen time. You have ONE HOUR OF USE and 26 hours in your pocket or on the nightstand.

          That is absolutely horrible.

          Using that logic my Nexus 7 has 47 hours of use. sure the screen has been on for only 12 minutes but no it’s 47 hours of use! No just no.

          • Just_Some_Nobody

            Deep sleep time is nearly as important as Screen Time.
            Look at it this way. If you set your phone down after an hour of use and the battery is at 90%, do you want to come back in 3 hours and have your phone at 60%? No, you don’t.
            Don’t give people grief because they care about things like this.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Never did I say that idle time is not important. If you set your phone down….ARE YOU STILL USING IT?! NO! So don’t count standby time as “use”.

            Also I don’t know what it’s like to lose 30% of battery life in 3 hours of idle, i don’t have a Galaxy Nexus. I have a phone that gets fairly decent battery life. 8+ hours on screen time, 3 days or more of standby. That’s adequate. Not one hour of screen time and the rest spent in my pockect and bam the battery is half gone.

          • Johnny

            Actually you are still using it, or do you disable all background sync, text messaging, phone calls when the screen is not “on”?

          • kixofmyg0t

            Do you even know what you’re saying?

            “do you disable all background sync”

            The phone will background sync whether you are using it or not.

            “text messaging”

            Even if you’re using touchless control the screen is still on.

            “phone calls when the screen is not on”

            Really? Really guy? I thought it’s pretty obvious that you are using your phone if you’re making a fricken phone call with it. Yeah ok you got me on a technicality by my usage statement but still.

            Idle time is not the same thing as “usage”. Right now my phone is at 97% battery. It’s been off the charger/on battery for 2h 31m 41s. The on screen time is 10m.

            Have I been using my phone for 2 1/2 hours? or 10 minutes? The answer is 10 minutes. The rest of the time it’s been in my pocket.

          • Dan

            Seriously? Is your screen on when playing music or using apps like Mighty Text?

          • kixofmyg0t

            I dont use my phone with the screen off. How hard is that to understand??!

          • sacha

            stop speaking out of your ass

        • Elliot Kotis

          Nah, I have 3 hours screen on time, lasts the whole day. What these “reviewers” do, is get the best smartphone in that catergory (no matter if the phone is crap), and then compare every phone to that. Like they will compare every phone to the Nokia 1020 in camera.

      • MistaButters

        I’m getting about 2.5-3 hours of on screen time. With some babying (airplane mode + wifi at work, airplane mode while sleeping), I can make it from 11 am, when I pull it off the charger at work, until 9:30 am the next morning, when I put it back on the charger.

        It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. I also have Google Now off, bluetooth off, nfc off, and location to battery saving mode.

        • LionStone

          My first cycle… Stock launcher, G Now on, NFC on, WiFi off, Sync on, Bluetooth on about 3 hrs streaming Pandora…


          • MistaButters

            Unless I see a screenshot of both the main battery screen and the screen use details, I just can’t believe that. Also, cell standby use details.

            I really want to see screen shots because a couple people are saying 5 hours.

          • LionStone

            There was about 6-7 hrs overnight in standby, but nevertheless still got 5 hrs screen on. The screen is pretty bright for me so I tend to keep it on the lower end mostly. I’m trying the 2nd cycle with Nova Prime to see what differences there may be.

          • MistaButters

            Did you screen shot cell stand by by chance? Airplane mode could have helped this. If it wasn’t in airplane mode, I am truly impressed.

            Even in airplane mode, that’s better than I would get lol.

          • LionStone

            No, these were the only ones I took… I had the radio/mobile network ‘on’ the whole time, no Airplane mode at all, Wi-Fi search off. I also had Battery saving enabled in Location. But one item I had off was G+ Auto upload, I wanted to see how it did with that off.

            My 2nd battery cycle I used Nova Prime and I got 14 hrs usage with just over 4 hrs screen on, and that was with 60 minutes of calls.

          • MistaButters

            Do you have good reception where you are using the phone? Maybe that makes a HUGE difference. I have pretty crap reception at work and in my apartment.

            I have the screenshots that I’ll post later, but I was at 2% at 22.5 hours with 2.5 hours of on screen and 76 minutes of talking. I have Google Now off, location to battery saving mode. I also have my phone in airplane mode 12 of those 22.5 hours. The one thing that stands out is that for the 10 hours of cell stand by, 38% of the time I had no signal. That is why I am wondering if it just a reception thing. Btw that 76 minutes of talk time used a whopping 24% of my battery. Like I said, I do have crap reception.

          • LionStone

            I’m on T-Mo with pretty good 3G, you wouldn’t know it by those screen shots! The 2G is actually pretty decent as well, for general usage, I can even stream Pandora. I can with VZ 2G as well but there is the occasional buffer… T-Mo there isn’t any, more stable and my work area is getting LTE supposedly by the end of the year 🙂

          • MistaButters

            So good network and no LTE. I think we found the answer :p

          • Morbid138

            What apps did you use? What settings did you modify? Chrome browser drains my battery like crazy! I’d love to get 5 hours.

          • LionStone

            As far as social media I use G+ and Twitter, only one email acct, I have most Google services enabled , 9 out of the 16 anyway in Sync. Widgets I use: Google Voice, Weatherbug Elite, Pandora, Power Control, Twitter, Calendar, HD clock. I also have NFL Mobile loaded and it works! Sshhh…don’t know how a VZ exclusive app is working on my N5 but I’m loving that! I disabled the vibrate on key press too… but one thing I wasn’t doing was browsing, oh, and I unchecked tilt scrolling in Chrome.

          • Elliot Kotis

            Holy crap! that is better than what i get. 3 hours screen on, lasts 18 hours. (No edits to setting).

        • jimv1983

          Like LionStone I also get decent battery life. It isn’t fantastic and not even quite as good as LionStone’s but still WAY WAY better than my Galaxy S II that my Nexus 5 replaced. 15 hours off charger and 4 hours screen on time.

          Google Now ON.
          Location services all ON in battery saving mode(high accuracy for like 30 minutes),
          About 50/50 wifi and 3G/LTE,
          Bluetooth on and connected for about 2 hours.
          Sync on.
          Brightness at about 35%.

      • Jordan

        I’m in the same boat. My battery life has been great. I’ve made it through the day everyday since i’ve head it with battery to spare.

      • After spending $350, people will do anything to convince themselves of great battery life. Although pretty much every review says otherwise.

        • trixnkix637

          Reviews are always subjective to the individual giving them.

          • True, but when almost all reviews say the camera and battery are less than stellar, there must be some truth to it.

          • trixnkix637

            I can give you that.

          • moelsen8

            eh i disagree. the battery is at least on par with the n4. and the camera is definitely a notch above. especially hdr+..

          • Jonathan Young

            I think it takes really good low light photos even compared to the htc one. So far I can’t give an opinion on the battery life. I do know that if you didn’t let it die from out of the box and then battery cycle it twice the first time charging (charge 100% without interruption, then let it die 100% before plugging in again), the battery life won’t be close to optimum capacity.

      • Pipester

        I have to agree… my N5 is sitting at 36% with 1d 1h 38m of use.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      BOOM!… Battery life is definitely ALL OVER THE PLACE. IT’s really weird one day it will last the day just fine another it’s dying too fast to keep up with

      • MistaButters

        I do know one thing. If you are in an area with really bad coverage, the phone will rocket down searching for a signal.

    • trwb

      I am getting great battery myself. I am getting about 4hrs screen on time.

      • MistaButters

        I have not been able to get over 3 and I use yet another auto brightness to lower auto brightness settings. And have my phone in airplane mode with wifi most of the day.

        • trwb

          Are your streaming music a lot, or have location reporting and web history on?

          • MistaButters

            Nope. Google now is off. Location history is off. Location mode is on battery saving. NFC is off. Bluetooth is off.

      • jimv1983

        I am also getting about 4 hours screen on time over about 15 hours off charger. I find the battery life acceptable and far far better than my Galaxy S II but it’s far from GREAT. I wouldn’t even call it GOOD. Just OK/acceptable.

        For a phone to have GREAT battery life I’d expect 2 days off the charger(~ 40 hours from unplugging one morning to plugging in the next night when going to sleep) and like 15 hours screen on time over those 2 days.

    • jamdev12

      I’ve had the nexus 5 during the weekend and even though I’m coming from a galaxy nexus, I’m pretty disappointed with it. I’ve ran battery tests with Wi-Fi enabled, airplane mode on, screen off, and the phone lasts a dismal 6 hours. I mean come on Google. This is the whole reason for getting an upgrade. Don’t even get me started on the camera. Even with the xda hack, compare to my gnex, the camera is downright slow. I’m this close of returning it and just getting an lg g2.

      • envoy510

        I’m getting about 1.5 days with my Nexus 5. I have wifi on 100% of the time at work and home, which is all but 1-2 hours of my day.

        • jamdev12

          Well I’ll say that my tests were more like stress tests than anything else. Running torrent downloads to see how far I could drain the battery. Still I would expect a little better performance.

          What is your screen on usage? Light, medium, heavy?

      • Dave

        My brother had his for 3 days and sold it on EBay. He and I come from rooted Note2 devices where light use will get you 2-3 days, and heavy use 1-2. I’ve run mine about 40 hours with 7 hours screen time and been down to 20% or so. Granted, it outperforms our devices, but I’m 1 year into this device and still wouldn’t consider “upgrading” and don’t see enough benefit to drop a few hundred in the process. Sorry….monologuing again….

      • droidify

        I had the Gnex and now I have the G2. I wouldn’t trade the G2 for any phone on the market right now. The bootloader is loki’d and it’s rooted so basically the Nexus 5 is just a downgrade in my opinion. So far dev support is excellent and AOKP is supporting it too. I know dev support will be much better on the Nexus but other than that….it is a downgrade.

      • trwb

        There may be something wrong with yours. You may want to do an RMA.

      • Phill_S

        Your phone is broken.

        I dont even know how I could run down my N5 in 6 hours, I guess intensive games like NFS:MW.

    • danelletfz790

      If you understand what you’re doing, you’re are intelligent.
      Then don’t waste time and move to… fff.to/1rB7

    • danelletfz790

      just before I looked at the bank draft for $5474, I have faith
      that my mom in-law had been truly making money part time at their computer..
      there dads buddy has done this for less than 18 months and at present repayed
      the debts on their appartment and bought a brand new Lexus LS400. we looked
      here, fff.to/1rB7

    • Jimneezy

      Weird, I got 5 hours of on screen time with 19 hours total since last charge

      • droidify

        pics or it didn’t happen…

        • Jordan

          I believe him because I’m getting similar results on mine.

        • Jimneezy

          Next time I’ll take a screen shot, didnt think about taking one since im tired of those. But if you dont feel like waiting and you are rooted with a custom recovery try giving Franco Kernel a shot, it does wonders

        • jimv1983

          I’m not getting quite that good. I managed to get 4 hours screen on time with 15 hours off charger.

      • MistaButters

        Yeah. I need to see a screen shot or I don’t believe it. I’m getting half that.

        • shadowstewie

          Lol why do you guys think these people are lying? What would incline them to lie about that? There’s a screen shot of a guy above with 5+ hour display time. Haha.

          • MistaButters

            1. I posted this comment before anybody had posted screenshots.

            2. Those screenshots were actually a reply to me, so yes I’ve seen them.

            3. I’ve been in enough “How’s your battery life” threads to know a lot of people are completely full of it. Everybody wants to think their phone is the best so they’ll hype it up and lie. When the One X and SGS3 came out, tons of people in both camps were claiming two full days of normal/heavy use. If you have ever used either of those phones, you would know that just simply is not the case. Not even close.

  • Battery is no longer static images, but is drawn programatically. Hence why this small hack is possible. Pretty awesome under-the-hood improvement by Google.

    • Fawzi94

      I don’t know what this means, but I like it!

      • The battery displayed in the status bar used to be an image. So for 80%, there’d be a static image with the battery partially empty. With KitKat, the battery is now drawn, on the fly, by code in the SystemUI (which controls the status bar). This allows it to show precise increments of battery drain, as well as display text over the top of it.

  • Eric R.


    • OMG, the irony! lol

    • LionStone

      I was just debating about installing Battery Widget Reborn after GSam Battery Monitor will not operate on N5, immediate FC. I’ll leave it off and see what Google comes up with.

    • Dave

      Why do only Galaxy devices have this built in, seems like a no brained to have out of the box.