Taming The Nexus 5 Battery And Data Usage Beast
I ordered my Google Nexus 5 smart phone the moment I could -- and have been devastated ever since. After loading up all of the apps that I wanted, setting the screen to bright (so I could see the screen in the light of day), and wiring the handset for sound, the phone was awesome -- for about an hour between charges. Plus, my Nexus 5 has been burning through data -- crashing through my 10GB AT&T family plan. I had a major data and battery hemorrhage. Yikes! So, I finally sorted it out and now have and all-day battery. Here's how I did it -- and also a couple extra steps if you're really sucking wind on data and battery life.
Taming the Nexus 5 battery and data usage beast
I ordered my Google Nexus 5 smart phone the moment I could -- and have been devastated ever since. After loading up all of the apps that I wanted, setting the screen to bright (so I could see the screen in the light of day), and wiring the handset for sound, the phone was awesome -- for about an hour between charges.
Plus, my Nexus 5 has been burning through data -- crashing through my 10GB AT&T family plan. I had a major data and battery hemorrhage. Yikes! So, I finally sorted it out and now have and all-day battery. Here's how I did it -- and also a couple extra steps if you're really sucking wind on data and battery life.
Before we begin, less has to do with the apps that you download and install or anything like that -- you don't need to pare down to the minimal -- it's just how you set it up. And, you don't even need an App Killer or Task Killer, either. And, my changes were made using a Nexus 5 without a root kit.
But first, you need to find you way into your settings.
Restrict Background Data
If you go into Settings and then select Data Usage you can then scroll down and look at how much data things have used up. Each bit of data used has required both (lots and lots and lots of) potential cellular data usage and, with each kilobyte costing both money and, more importantly, valuable battery minutes (actually, battery hours).
Oh Brewster, I wish I could quit you -- you've killed my 10GB family plan month after month. You've single-handedly cost me a mint and turned my phone into a cutting edge, speed-demon brick -- after only an hour off the charger.
Well, all I needed to do was click in to Brewster's Data Usage, scroll down, and then place a check next to "Restrict background data: Disable background data on mobile networks. Non-mobile networks will be used if available," as you see below.
It changed my life. My phone was bloody well hemorrhaging all over the place, thanks to Brewster, of course, but there were quite a lot of other apps that were vampirically symphoning milliamp hour by milliamp hour.
But restricting the background data was only the first step -- and I hate to tell you the next step, but it has been a boon.
Switch Cellular Network From LTE to 2G
Forget about 4G LTE, which the Nexus supports and is blazing-fast. You're about to downgrade your cellular service to 2G. If you think about it, we live in a world with almost ubiquitous Wi-Fi. What we really need cellular service for is for voice and text.
So, while I have surely committed to full cellular data access across the known universe, I am actively plugging the holes in this sinking ship I call my Google Android experience. So, like we've done in our bathrooms with our water, I've put restrictions not on my shower head or in the flush of my toilet but on the unrestricted flow of high speed Internet and data from my phone and into AT&T's pockets.
I am also told that just turning off 4G LTE and downgrading to 3G is good enough; however, I have downgraded to 2G just because I am completely tired -- shagged -- of needing to carry around my Apple iPhone 5 with a battery pack just to make sure I don't end up without any Internet or cell phone access at all, especially when I am out and about on my motorbike.
Going to Sleep Quickly
Long story short, the quicker your phone goes dark and into sleep mode, the less battery will be powering the screen. I have mine set to a minute but there are quite a lot of options.
Always remember that you can always change it momentarily is you're going to be watching a movie. But remember to change it back.
That said, I would love an app that would make the adjustments based on location, situation, or what app is in the foreground. Is there anything like that?
I had been leaving my brightness on full because I find the screen hard to read in direct sunlight; however, it's seriously killed my batter life. So, I have recently set the screen to Auto in order to see if this contextual-aware screen brightness would help with batter life a little bit. We'll see.
Battery-Saving Location Mode
I haven't tried this out because I really love location-awareness. I think I'll try it out for a while, but if you want to save battery then maybe you'll want to change your location-awareness from High Accuracy to Battery Saving. If you have some success with the Battery Saving setting on your Location Mode, let me know.
Turn Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (and try Airplane Mode)
At the end of the day, try to be sure that you only have things turned on when you need them. If you don't plan to be using a Bluetooth headset or Bluetooth speaker then turn them off.
If you're pretty sure you're nowhere near a Wi-Fi network you'll be able to use, you should just turn it off.
And, all of that stuff is easy to access of you just swipe down from just about any screen, click , you can turn off your Bluetook, your Wi-Fi, and even switch on Airplane Mode if you're in the woods and there's neither a cell tower or wireless station to be found.
Well, that's where I am right now. It's resulted in a Nexus 5 that I am easily able to use all day long without really needing to change my behavior at all. I use my Plantronics M55 headset all day, text, check Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google New, Instagram, and all the rest -- and by changing these settings with vim and vigor by plugging holes and downgrading connectivity settings, I have been able to actually own the phone I wanted to have in the first place.
I surely hope my advice works for you -- please let me know if you have any more advice for me and for the other LG Nexus 5 owners.