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Nokia Lumia 920's battery problems related to NFC?

Nokia Lumia 920

Yesterday, we mentioned that several readers were having terrible battery life with their Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone. Some batteries barely lasted half a day while others steamed on with fantastic battery life.

We had a few suggestions to disable the NFC to improve battery performance. Yesterday, with NFC enabled, my Lumia 920's battery only lasted six hours before drying up.  The 920 also got warm throughout the morning. Today, after disabling the NFC the Lumia had 62% battery life remaining after ten hours and I didn't experience any warm spells.

Just out of curiosity, I enabled the NFC a few minutes ago and sure enough, the back of the Lumia 920 became warm and battery life started to fade. In the matter of ten minutes the battery meter went from 62% to 59%.

Granted this is a very un-scientific test but if you're having battery life issues with the Lumia 920, try disabling the NFC (touch+share setting) and see if things improve.

[Editor's Note: I've had similar issues on the HTC 8X, which may mean this is a Windows Phone 8 issue and not only Nokia. --Daniel]

You can share your Lumia 920 battery experiences below in the comments or in this WPCentral forums discussion.

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Reader comments

Nokia Lumia 920's battery problems related to NFC?

140 Comments

I did the same thing. And pretty much the same results for me as well... Wasn't worried so much by the battery life. But my phone was getting HOT. But now it only gets slightly warm.

Same here...%25 battery left after 20 hrs of on and off usage including 50 min of Skype video call. All this after turning off NFC.

I had NFC off since day 1 and its not a problem, phone warms up when you play games and when you make a phone call

A friend of mine has had his NFC turned on since Friday, and he has not experienced any battery problems and he uses his quit a bit. I on the other hand have restored mine to factory, and still see my battery life drop at an excellerated rate, and I have not opened any applications or downloaded any applications since I did the restore.  I did turn the NFC off after reading the article but no change.  Battery life still keeps dropping.

Yes, I did disable the Nokia Driver+; and then I did a restore to factory and did not open ANY applications.  I think a bad batch of phones were shipped.  I am waiting for one of my AT&T stores to get a new shipment in and then I will exchange the phone.

I called my local store and going to exchange it tomorrow, I hope it helps, I'm afraid with my luck I could be even worse but I hope not

I feel like the #1 battery issue for my Lumia 920 was email. Setting the the sync schedule to "as items arrive" has given me all day use (from around 5 hours on the first few days).

always had nfc off while i was having issues.  So for me, it is not that.  Ive done a reset, let my battery die twice and recharged and removed the battery level app.  seems to be better for me after this. 

Two other settings similar to NFC is to make sure you don't have the auto-detect wireless enabled, and the auto bluetooth enabled. Both will continuously try to find and will drain it. I know in WP7 it helped and was the first things I turned off on my 920. I've had no battery issues so far.

where do u see these settings? I have wifi off as well as bluetooth but don't see the auto-enable setting. I am on a 920 if that matters...hopefully this is not an OEM feature

He means that with Wi-Fi on, WP automatically keeps searching new wireless network, draining your battery. There's no dedicated setting, just turn the Wi-Fi off as you did, and turn it on when you need it :)

It's in the advanced settings, you basically connect to your prefered networks. Once connected to your networks go into the advanced settings and disable the Notify me when new networks are found. It will automatically connect back to your networks but not search for new ones unless you turn it back on.

I don't think this does what you think it does. It just suppress the notification, it doesn't make your phone stop searching. If it did stop scanning then how would it know that your home wifi is in range and automatically connect to it.

Perhaps it is much quicker for the radio to find WiFi networks it knows already, than having to search for new ones. It takes much shorter time to connect to known networks, than to do a complete search. On my lumia 900 I have WiFi on all the time, but if I turn new networks notification on, I can see it in the battery drain...

My Lumia 920 was last charged 8 hours ago, the NFC feature is turned on and battery life is at 100%, according to the battery saver.

If you don't use your phone it'll less you for 320 hours, do the math how many days, we are talking about using phone, taking pics, music, browsing, texting, called and games, its a shame I have to turn off everything that makes this phone special to have at least close to normal battery life

After 3 hours im at 70% and that's with everything off, played music for an hour, couple texts and wpcentral app, no games no browsing, I think its too fast

Meh, I have NFC on all the time, connected to a WiFi network and two push accounts... been using it all day and am still at...... 75% left.

I think it is "tap and send" :-). I am going to give this a shot...thanks for the tip and experimenting...

What is that NFC or 'no freezing claws' ? Nokia better fix this one... Winter screen and hands warmer... A phone from Finland... What is wrong with those guys?

HTC 8X here with the same issue. Losing around 25% battery every 3 hours with wifi off, on 2G, battery saver on. Switched tap&send off today, with wifi on, battery saver off. It lost 3% in six hours while I was at work. The percentage losses were with no usage during the measured time... Looks like NFC had issues on WP to me.

According to our poll 70+% of users are experiencing 12 or more hours of usage. So while some are clearly having some issues, it doesn't quite seem widespread.

Maybe because not all owners of Lumia phones are here, but taking in consideration even this amount of comments I would be at least a little bit concerned, I hope Nokia still listens

It may have to do with software but I have a feeling it's more about the battery thingy. Because unfortunately not all battery is created equal. If there are people who have a fantastic battery even with all these features ON, then the rest of us should expect the same.

30% of people having issues IS widespread. Early adopters always suffer.
My battery life hasn't been great, but it's hard to notice since I'm coming off an HD7S that couldn't get me through the work day without plugging in. Heat has been the big issue for me... lets hope this NFC thing helps.

I'm getting about 12 hours a charge. And that's down to the last drop of battery. No NFC, only three background tasks (drive isn't one of them), one email sync every half hour ...

I feel like my intermittent web browsing and social network checking shouldn't be hitting my battery this hard.

Same here.  I have a Black Lumia 920 (for 2 days now), it's barely getting 12 hours:
1) 7 Exchange ActiveSync Email Accounts
2) No Background Apps enabled
3) NFC disabled
The phone runs very warm when I use it continuously for 5-6 minutes.  I lose a % every few minutes when it's idle.  Something is definitely wrong.

If you have this for a few days and the battery isn't getting better, you should return it and get a new one. Especially if you get the color one, that may be difficult to get so the earlier the better.

I have my NFC sharing on all the time and I charge only once a day with average use. No warm spells or whatsoever. The battery life really improved after a few charging cycles. I would suggest a soft reset may help for people having this issue.

I have NFC turned on and have had no problems with my battery. Phone had 5 hours of usage on it last night and was still in the 90s.

Considering that NFC is almost un-existant here in the US....it probably is worth to turn it off anyways.  If one day NFC is useful for something then maybe it might be useful to turn it back on.

I think wpcentral should run a story about the battery performance related to the color of your phone. I have everything on and get great battery life, but I have a cyan 920. That must be the difference.

Yeah, I was joking, I think it's unlikely that the cyan 920 is special with regard to battery life.It is special, but not that special :-)

Pretty sure it's Nokia Drive with it's location polling. Since iPhones have the exact same battery problems with location services especially on the iPhone5. The heat could be caused by NFC though.

As anyone looked at how many live tiles, exchange accounts, and background apps are running on the l920 at any given time?  All of those could be an issue also.

VagrantWade, I doubt it is the Nokia Drive app for I did a restore to factory and let the phone sit on my desk with only a few back and forth texts to a friend, and the battery still has a 10% drain within 30 minutes.  I did not open any apps, adjust any settings, or download anything.  My friend who bought his on the same day as I is having no problems and he is syncing 6 email clients with 4 of them on 30 minute syncs and 2 on 2 hour syncs, has the FNC turned on, battery saver set to turn on at low battery, over 3 times the amount of apps I have running in the background (which is 4), browses the Internet, and God only knows what else, and he doesn't see a power drain on the battery like I do. He is able to go approximately a full work day without having to worry about charging.
I think what has happened is a bad batch, or a few, were shipped out; and a few of us just happen to be lucky enough to get them.  :)

I have NFC on and I still get fantastic battery life! Switching it off though since I"m not using it for anything.

I used to get bad battery life till I came across someone mentioning the battery needs to be cycled.. I've done that trick twice and after the second time I get fantastic life with NFC and everything turned on...

I had battery issues first 2 days or so. Then Monday after leaving it all night on the wireless charger, the next day the phone's battery was hardly moving, I thought my battery meter was bugged out but the phone kept going, lasted all day long and I only put it on the charger after it hit 20% and the battery saver came on and this was around 10 pm. The battery goes down a lot when playing games, especially angry birds star wars ( that game gets the phone running hot). My battery seems good now, but I had hard reset too because of the email app crashing so not sure if that did anything either.

Seriously! Video games drain this phone really fast, but otherwise I don't have battery issues. I unplug at 8:30am, plug in about 20 minutes during the day while commuting to another store for work, and it always lasts until 10pm with NFC on, WiFi and Bluetooth off when I'm not using my headset in the car or near WiFi, 4 email accounts syncing every 30 minutes, lots of texts, and lots of RSS and browser usage

So my 920 kept making this wierd noise and I thought it was broke.  Turns out it was because it was sitting next to a nfc hotel key.  I also notice that it would make the same noise as I put it on top of my wallet, one of my credit cards must have a chip in it.  I usualy stuff the phone and wallet right next to each other in my pocket so I can see how it constantly scanning it could drain your battery in a case like that.  I turned if off for now.

i've had issues with the GPS (location services) turned on on the 920, after using an app that needed location services on, my GPS would stay on and waste battery while heating the phone (or my leg..). And i think this is a serious problem that needs to be addresed as the Find My Phone feature needs Location turned on. NFC/Wireless/BT use little to no power at all from my experience with the 920. NFC is on all the time for me. I make it through the day with 75-50% batt left after the first few days.

Here's what I've got: Device arrived yesterday (Didn't open till evening). Battery was at 30% as charged from the box..
Anyways, so far I have had "Tap+Send" On, Internet Sharing (2), Bluetooth on + Music, 5 email accounts on Push since 9AM (For all the above).

Battery Report:
Last charge 6 hours, and 17% left. It's 3PM and I'm still rocking all of the above without any trouble, I think I made my point. Awesome battery!

To clarify: 30% from yesterday and let it die till battery charging icon is displayed. I charged another 30% again and I was playing around so much that it died. After that left it charging overnight till today. The above was done with 100% battery since at least 8:15 AM..

If others thrive even with the NFC on, then I don't think it's the NFC that solely causes it. NFC just makes it worse. I think the battery is already bad to begin with.

I've got a Galaxy S3 with similar issues although not as severe. I had NFC off for a while and things were great, turned it on 3 weeks ago and phone gets warm in my pocket with screen off and battery not lasting all day. I'm turning NFC back off to try this out-glad I found this.
BTW, getting my WP8 phone tomorrow with Verizon!

I've had my 920 for about 5 days with everything enabled and battery life has been great compared to my Focus. By the time I head to bed I usually have 45% battery life left.

I have purposely been using my phone non stop all day today and watching videos, reading posts, downloading apps and always on 4G LTE. My battery has 10% left with NFC always on, but remember it lasted me 8 hours with unrealistically high usage today. Maybe it is NFC, maybe battery. I honestly don't know anymore.

Not bragging, but to feedback - my 920 is doing amazing - after 1 day (24 hours) it's at 50% saying 1 day 2 hours left. That's with normal use. Comparing to my focus I got about 12ish hours before I had to charge.

I didn't even realize my Lumia 920 was hot until I turned off the NFC...big difference temperature wise, we'll see how the battery does now. Thanks for the tip.

I've had the phone running on the battery for nine hours today and the battery is at 82%.  Loads of email, a number of calls and NFC is on (though I haven't used it and will turn it off) as well as BT.  Wi-Fi is off.

When I first got my phone last Friday I was experiencing a quick draining battery. After a couple of charges, it has lasted over 18 hours with moderate use. NFC is turned on, I have three email accounts set to check every two hours, and a few other live tiles sending notifications. I have a constant WiFi connection while on school campus and at home. I keep Bluetooth of as well. I did not play any games during that period, but spent a couple hours throughout the day surfing the interwebs.
I read somewhere suggesting closing everything out when you don't need it; holding the back button till it shows everything that has been opened recently. It should show your home screen by itself. Don't know if this really matters, just something I read somewhere.

Considering I still get a full days usage of battery with my focus that's almost 2years old with the original battery, these Lumias should be better. I'm also using my phone a lot, above an average user. I wonder if the refresh rate for the screen has anything to do with it(stab in the dark). Or auto-brightness vs 'always low' (which i personally use)

Stupid question, but if I disable tap to send will my phone still charge, I'm thinking no, but I don't have my charger yet.

100% charge today at 640 am, got home around 720pm had 51% remaining: did basic texing, email, picures, a few calls:   facebook:  not bad for 1 day

Im at 24% right now... that includes a significant period of time with it docked to my PC during the day and absolutely no phonecalls...
 
probably less use than with my 2 year old iphone4 and it would rarely end the day below 50% even with its aging battery.
 
I just deleted the battery level app and some other stuff I tried out but havent used.  NFC has always been disabled.
 
I dont feel like this should be nescessary, see how it responds tomorrow and friday, but if its still like this, its gotta go back.

I have "Tap and Send", but not " Touch and Share". Am I in the wrong place or is this regional difference? I'm in the US.

I've had this jewel for only a few days but it's lasting about 25% longer than my HTC trophy under the same use. I'm happy

I think I got a good phone.  NFC is on, Wifi is always on, LTE and 4G notifications show and Bluetooth is on.  Last charge was about 5pm and now at 12:24am it's 89% left.  Yesterday I played Cut The Rope for a couple hours non plugged in and the phone never got warm.  I use it about the same as I did my HTC ARRIVE.

Got a cyan 920. Battery life went from 6hrs to 18hrs over the course of 6 days. I always do a cycle when I get a new phone or any piece of rechargable electronics. Apparently my 920 needed 2 cycles to START showing improved life (and charge times were horrid the first 2-3 days). Still took a few days.
 
The phone used to heat up during calls (beyond average or acceptable heat) but the last two days it has been fine. I need to re-test Skype again because that's when the phone got the hottest it had ever been.

My 920 runs fine for 24 ~ 48 hours. NFC enabled. but bluetooth and wireless is most time of.
Now i have disabled NFC. Maybee now i can work 3 Days with the Phone :)
I´am very happy with this phone. Excelent  Phone Call quality.

Well if a nfc switch is provided then that must be the ultimate proof that it can also drain the battery. Otherwise there wouldn't be a switch, right?

Another good reason for the ability to switch NFC off is that it's a communication protocol. Communication protocols are potential vulnerabilities in the eyes of security people. If it's not required, it's disabled to reduce the attack surface.
If Windows Phone is to have a shot at the Enterprise, the ability to disable services that aren't absolutely required by the end user is needed.

I also am having no issues with battery life and have NFC enabled on my 920.  
 
However, I've consistently left wi-fi off because I have an unlimited data plan so I see no reason to run both radios simultaneously. I do leave bluetooth on all day though and it doens't seem to have a major impact.

Add another to the list of bad battery life. I've not been using the phone much at all this morning and its draining fast. I looked under battery saver and it shows that I last charged it 2 hours ago and its currently at 68% with 4 hours of power left.
I have NFC turned off and the only running background service is weather. The phone is running hot as well and, ad I mentioned, I've not been using it much this morning.
Ate others who are seeing this in LTE coverage areas? Could it be LTE?

Try cycling it again. The first cycle (drain to 0% then charge to 100%) didn't really improve things on my cyan 920. I suspected LTE along with some other things. Its running cooler now and the the batter last way longer. I still have location, and weather running in the background but I turned of NFC cause where am I going to use that? I even ran Drive with offline maps once and it didn't drain as fast as before.

This could be a good solution for some of us. I turned off the battery saver and ran it dry last night. Once it was unable to turn back on, I charged it to 100%. All seems well this morning, the battery is draining far slower. Thanks for the advice! I'll keep an eye on it through the day but without turning off NFC or WiFi I'm seeing a big improvement already.

Very similar to my story. 2.5 hours since last (full) charge, now at 70% with only 4 hours left. I just turned off my Data Connection, and after restarting the phone the battery estimates 1 day, 6 hours left.

I turned off Bluetooth and NFC and my battery life is amazing now. I always connect to my car stereo through Bluetooth, but I guess I can do that manually for the sake of battery life.

Mine was terrible.  I turned off NFC and it didn't seem to help.  I charged it again last night(2nd night) and rebooted the phone this morning and it is working great today.  Off the charger for 5.5 hours.  One 15 minute phone call and battery is still at 97%.  I may try NFC back on tomorrow morning and check the difference.  Maybe it just needed a couple of charging cycles.

 
I have the Lumia 820. I don't really use it that much when at work some texting and checking email throughout the day. Yesterday I unplugged it from charging at 7am.  At 4:30pm the phone was critical (phone recommends you plug it in so you don't lose data) at less than 20% battery power. I read this article and turned off Tap + send.  Today unplugged the phone at 7am, same light usage, the phone at 4:30 is at 84% battery power.  I am using the battery level App. Seems pretty obvious the issue is with Tap + Send.

I think the problem here is not poor battery life, but poor battery life software.  I'll explain.
 
I haven't had consistent battery performance since I got the phone on Nov 12.  Yesterday was the worst, with the battery reporting that it went form 100%when I unplugged it to 72% *90 minutes later* with no use of it whatsoever.  I recharged throughout the day and it still was reporting that the battery had 23% by the end of the work day and was plummeting.  NFC was turned off, as was Bluetooth and just about everything else I could think of.  I even did a reboot  that morning to clear out any apps running in the background.
 
My office is in the basement, with spotty cell coverage and flaky wi-fi, so that might be a factor, but on Wednesday the battery life was OK.  Not so yesterday.  Same office, same routine.
 
So, last night, I decided to let the battery exhaust itself and recharge from there.  Supposedly, this can help battery life.  When it finally turned itself off from a "dead battery", it immediately restarted!  It then showed that there was still 14% battery life left, after already being at 0% one minute before.  After some Netlfix streaming, it did die and not restart.
 
This morning, after recharging overnight, the battery was at 100% and ***3 hours later*** it sill shows 99% of battery life remaining.
 
So, I don't think it's the battery life, but WP8's battery software, because, none of my experience so far makes *any* sense.

Well, it seems this is working for me as well. I turned NFC off Wednesday night, charghed it at night, yesterday it lasted about 14hrs with regular use (3 mail accounts + Twitter + FB syncing), 2 apps running in background, Bluetooth and WiFi On all the time; streaming music through Bluetooth to my JBL PowerUp wireless speaker; approximately 20 txt messages, a few minutes of browsing, about 45 minutes of Angry Birds Star Wars (I know I know, but I love that version of the game), and a few phone calls. Similar usage today and it seems it will also go above the 12hrs. Let's see if a few more charging cycles help even a bit more. Overall, I feel very happy with it now! 
Oh... and it doesn't get that hot in the back after I turned NFC Off. I hope this helps others as well. Good luck!!

Two days in with my 920.  Battery is so-so.  I've had it on for 5 hours and am at 48%.  I turned off auto upload to SkyDrive and all live tiles but a few weather apps.   I'm thinking that uploading to SkyDrive may have increased some battery usesage?  (took a lot of pictures waiting for my dr's appointment).  Also set my main email to sync ever 15 minutes and my others to sync either manually or every two hours.  I do keep WiFi on all the time.  I do send lots of texts/work emails though.
 
It's still new and I'll give it some more time to see how the battery life improves over the days.  Loving it so far!  It's big but i'll get used to it.

I have pretty much everything turned off to try and get a bit more battery life. I used the sat nav for an hour and 3 hours into my day battery had died. The sat Nav didnt even get me to where I needed to be but thats a whole other story. The battery today has been 10 hours, but its been pretty much in sleep mode all day as i havent text or called many ppl. so its far less when I do used call and text.... which is what a phone is for!!. Im so fustrated with this fone, by far the worst nokia iv hever had, and iv used most of them.

It's really weird. I've experienced good days and bad days, so it seems that not the battery is bad but the operating system. If I let celular data connection on 3G (or 4G) it drains the battery faster as when it is set on 2G. I do have 3G coverage in my area. NFC is always off and Wi-Fi always on. Wi-Fi on helps better and faster location fix.
Try it for a day with 2G instead of 3G (or 4G). Of course, don't expect good Internet experience with this speed. Just to test the battery life.

... correction:
If I let celular data connection on 3G (or 4G) it drains the battery faster than when it is set on 2G

I have a red 920. From the start I was having the same issues. Very little use and only 6 to 8 hours of battery. I read through these and other forums. Turned off NFC, drained the battery completely, blocked all programs from background, etc. Nothing worked. For a week I got only 8 hours to a charge.

Then I found a post from someone saying they spoke with Microsoft and they suggested deleting and reinstalling Skype and Facebook and reinstalling then. Apparently something wrong with tbd software that was looping something or other. It made sense with the battery draining and the heat issues I've heard about. So, I deleted both, let the battery drain down and gave it a full charge.

I am now 20 hours since my last charge and 22% battery left with pretty heavy use including about 4 hours playing music via the phone's external speakers. Granted the battery meter has said 3 hours remaining all day but I don't care what it says as long as I get good battery life. I would assume this will fix itself as well.

hopefully this fix lasts when I reinstall Facebook and Skype. Hope this helps some of the rest of you. Honestly, a software issue makes the most sense from everything I have read. Good luck to the rest of you.

Blocking Nokia Drive + and turning off Tap+Send (NFC) seems to have fixed mine.  Thanks for all the tips peeps!

I normally turn of wifi, data connection, nfc and other things that I don't use, only turn them on when I need them, my battery can last more than a day.  I am using 920.

it is now Aug. 2014, I have 3 windows phones 920 8.1 (developers) 920 8 and sgh-i677.  Both 920's die within 2 hours while using gps with everything turned off exept gps while it is charging in my car.  I donot believe it is just a software issue but a hardware design flaw, hopefully just an under powered battery..  Both 920's are brand new and constantly have to be rebooted because the screen locks up and it is heavy. 

The worse case was I was on a 5 hour trip and the battery died long before I reached my destination.  The screen went black.  At first I thought it was because of the developers update, the next day I bought another 920 without the update and it did it again, while it was charging!  And yes, it gets hot and it is heavy and the cortana thingy is just a vocie activateed search engine. 

in conclusion:  I bought a used sgh-i677 and used it for 12 hours on the road (while charging) using gps, music telephone, wifi etc...and it was charged 100% when I got to my destination.