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How’s your battery life after upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1?

Battery Saver

Thanks to the Preview for Developers program we’ve been playing with Windows Phone 8.1 for more than three days. It’s been very well received by most everyone in the community. Now it’s time to check out how your battery is doing after upgrading from Windows Phone 8.0 to Windows Phone 8.1. Has your battery life improved or taken a turn for the worst? Maybe is it just the same as it was before. Let’s find out.

So why didn’t we run this poll immediately after the release of Windows Phone 8.1? A lot of you wanted us to ask the Windows Phone community how their battery life was being impacted after upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1. We didn’t right away because your usage was going to be abnormal over the first day. You probably spent a lot of time playing with Cortana, poking around with all the new features and downloading apps. Safe to say the first day of Windows Phone 8.1 wasn’t a normal usage day for you.

Now that we’re a few days out your usage should be starting to normalize. Though there are already a few threads in our forums about battery life after upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1:

We here haven’t seen our devices behave worse in regards to battery life. If you have, keep in mind that playing with Cortana nonstop will probably negatively impact your battery life. Also things like OEM specific drivers that come with firmware updates in the future could help alleviate any battery life concerns you might have right now. Firmware, like Nokia’s Lumia Cyan update, will optimize handsets for Windows Phone 8.1. Right now things like Bluetooth LE and SensorCore technology aren’t enabled, but will be with future firmware updates.

Poll time

Reading this in one of our apps? Head to IE11 to take the poll since our apps don’t display it yet. Here’s the mobile link: 

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Reader comments

How’s your battery life after upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1?

630 Comments

Second day my battery drained quickly. But I deleted and reinstalled an app whose tile was not working (thought it may be problem) and after using FB tile, realised I was not logged in. so logged in. After these two events battery has gone back to normal.

 

Can't be sure two actions above resolved battery drain, but it sure is back to normal.

7 hours of idleness, with no background tasks and my phone went fromm 100% to 35%. This is not good. Performed a hard reset and I shall do the test again.

I don't use Cortana. I'm a UK user. lso, i've always had location on and I don't think that's what is causing the issues. I'll let you know how things are after the hard reset. 

Yea let us know. I've had sub par battery life since I bought my L925, the battery get extraordinarily hot when I'm just browsing the web but I've also had the preview since I've owned it. I can't tell if my phone is defective or not.

I'm leaning toward no as only the web browser is causing significant drain but I want to avoid a hard test if possible.

I use Cortana and never turn Location off. After a couple of days, and going through Battery Saver to disallow all the apps that 8.1 re-allowed to run in the background after installation, my battery life is better than with 8.0. I use Cortana modestly, but enough that if it were a real problem, I would see it. My Icon just went through two days where I only dropped about 35% of battery through about 8 and a half hours of work. Yesterday, after pulling the phone off the charger a little after 7am, I was sitting at ~43% around 10:45pm when I finally put it back on the charger. With 8.0 a similar day would have had me in the 20-25% range.

 

I have noticed slightly faster battery drain but today I took mine off charge at 9am, it's now just gone 23:30 and I still have 58% left on the battery.

When you say "Hard Reset" are you shutting down the phone, our completely testing to factory settings and starting over?

My battery after amber 3.3.3.4 or 3.3.2.4 don't remember is very bad. Before this version I had very well battery life with the same usage. Now with 8.1 in idle it's ok. But when using the phone in ie or anything else it is drained very quickly!

I have a Lumia 1020. It's impossible say that it's bad, or the same. My battery life doesn't recharge like before, it takes much more time. But, my percption is that the battery life was realy improved.

Lumia 520 the same. Battery takes FAR longer to charge, but lasts FAR longer too. It's almost like 8.1 made the battery bigger!

I agree to that. My L720 does the same thing after the update. I have changed the battery settings to save the battery for a longer time by enabling only few apps to run in the background.

I second that. It's really poor. I also know it was gonna be impacted by the higher than usual use but after letting it settle down it's still very bad. I mean, yesterday I had to charge the poor thing four times. Unacceptable.

I'm replying to this one to hopefully get a lot more people to see this. When you load 8.1 it resets ALL of your apps that can have permission to run in the background to "Allowed". You need to open Battery Saver and disallow all the apps you don't need or want to run in the background. Also make sure all your accounts are syncing properly and set to the right time frames. After doing this, my Icon's battery life is now better than with 8.0. After an 8.5 hour workday, my Icon dropped 35% to 65% left. About the same as yesterday, which was my first full day after fixing the background tasks. Yesterday, I finally put the phone back on the charger after 15.75 hours when it was sitting at 43%. With 8.0, I would be in the 20's by then. I have Cortana, Location, and Bluetooth always on.

 

Please make sure your background tasks and account syncing are all set right!

 

I've already done this on my 920.  Where I would have 60% left after a day at work, it's <40%.  I've turned off everything I can, except for Cortana, which I'm not using much at all.

So a hard reset later. Still not an impressive performance. 7 hours of idleness gave me 65% drop, this is before the hard reset. After the hard reset, I'm getting a 32% decrease with the same conditions. Nice improvement but still not as good as 8.0. It would be nice if someone with a 920 with WP8 could do a controlled test. Any offers?

Hi Derek, My boring long story: :) Im an owner of a Lumia 920. I updated my phone today (it took so much time btw) Before update, I deleted most of my apps, games, and music, videos. The important things I backed up of course. After back up, update, after update I Hard/Factory reseted the phone (took enough time) After reseting, I stopped all background apps, turned wifi, location, bluettoth, nfc etc OFF. I synchronized FB, outlook etc..the usual accounts for import of personal info. Now, the phone works great, Played with it so long and Im still in battery saver and got 20%.That said, when I started to update (download/install) the phone was 75%) now its the 20% with everything off. I but wanted to get it really low, so I went to store, downloaded many apps, music, connected to PC and filled it with music/videos etc, and played it so the battery drops...not a chance. MY BATTERY LIFE IS EXTENED I feel, not that I have proof. Now, Im gonna let it ,,die,, and recharge to 100%. Im just satisfied and I read all post about critical battery drain after blue update. In short: Back up phone+Update+change language and location for cortana to work outside US (Im from EU-Slovakia and she can talk + Restart + Hard reset + drain all battery + charge it 100% and test it:  moderate use and for standby time. The hard reset is important!!!

Tips for those of you who are less educated on this topic:GO TO SETTINGS: set brightness as ,,automatic,,, disable vibration, update (I think you will need an app) the capacitive vibrations (3buttons) and turn vibration ,,heptic feedback,, off, aso vibration in sound settings off, lock screen time out set to 1minute or 30seconds, wifi search mnaually (disable the automatic connection to wifi hotsports, keep location off if not needed...indeed, turn everything internet based off if your not using web, + location if not using cortana and gps and maps and other location based. glance off or at least to ,,peek,, and touch to normal, not high sensitivity etc. :)

and definitely: dont overcharge phone, when it hits 99 or 100% battery, and dont let it die either, when it hits 5% or so, charge it. Lithium based batteries are designed for such charging. Not too less, not too much :) And dont look at it 160times per day as the statistic show, be different, play outside :)

And now I discovered, the phone (lumia 920) with its original charger (a small round one) takes perhaps smaller, or the exact same time to charge, as i have now 10%, had 5% when I started to charge it, and it took only 3 minutes, so basically, in about an hour, it should be 100%

Went through and yes, everything that had an option for on/off in background was set to "allow". Went through and changed the ones I could. However, one thing I noted - it shows battery usage for "App in use" and "App in background" - Internet Explorer was the biggest battery hog, according to the phone itself. And it barely registered when "in use", but the bar completely underlines the "App in background:" line. So, while hardly using Explorer, it seems to have drained a lot of battery. And there is not an option to turn off in background. (and for completeness, I had static, mobile version of pages open, nothing that should have been using a lot of processor/battery while unused).

I just charged my L1020 to 100%, restart it for apply a region change and when boots up, it says 28% remaining ->wt*!

Also charging seems weird. It charges extremely slow (up to 2.5 - 3h) and it stays on low percentage for a long time and that suddendly percentage jumps to full. Don`t know if it`s just on my L920 or anyone else is experincing this as well. Before, charging didn`t last longer then 1.5h.

My battery suddenly became awful in the last couple of days. I bought it 2 weeks ago - it's a 925 - and it's already all up to date, but now when not only is the battery draining crazy fast, it also shows that Phone is major cause of it, taking up almost to the right edge of the screen; and I must talk 30min a day. Can someone assist me in this?

I turned off Cortana to not run in the background. Now got alot better. You should try that if you don't wanna hard reset

yeah for lumia 1520 you'll get that at least, most others with 920 or 1020 battery are taking hits with this 8.1 battery wise

At first it was down alot quicker but I suspect it was due to the fatty that I was using it more often. Now it is back to normal lasting all day. Lumia 1520

+1520.....mine normalized after a day or so and after me stopping some apps from running in the background or notifying me.
Back to lasting all day again. Sweet.

Bad. Very bad. I used to charge my 1520 for fun, not because I had to. I used to go almost two days without charging. Now, I have to charge by the time I get home from work. Which is just crazy to me, considering the enormous size of the 1520's battery. I disabled Cortana today to see if it would help. We'll see if it does

My battery seems to be running the same on my lumia 625, 1020 and 1520.

I'm surprised that the battery has settled in so well... For now...

Same here. My battery is roughly the same as before on the 920. I'm kinda of surprised by that. I definitely expected it to take a hit. The only change I've noticed is my wifi connetions aren't as good as they used to be.

Actually I've noticed the WiFi being sketchy also, I thought I might be imagining things but it's all the wp8.1 devices here.

I'm guessing beta drivers or something :/

Yes I too noticed that. And it definitely something to do with 8.1 update and with cyan update it should be fixed.

After I deleted and re added my imap email account, changed it to only check email after 30 minutes, and went and set most apps to not allow for background, which is how I had,it set before, my battery usage is the same if not slightly better than before. It does seem to charge faster when plugged in. Nokia 925

I don't know. I have a 925 and my battery drains significantly. I don't even use it that much. I disabled most background apps and changed my email sync settings to how it was before the update. I don't know if it makes a difference, but even my start screen background is a pretty dark color (carbon fiber design, which I think looks pretty nice).

Me too. My phone heats up significantly in the top half when I'm web browsing. I don't know if I should exchange or not. I feel like its a software bug.

Dies Faster? :P

 

Seriously though, I was just posting about this on a forum thread:

 

Hehe, I find this somewhat funny... My Surface Pro 2 is having better battery life than my L920.

Came to a restaurant with both charged 100% about two and a half hours ago.

Surface: 76% left.
L920: 68% left.

Mind you, I have been using the Surface the whole time while the phone has been used sporadically.

To be fair I have been using the phone as a hotspot. So maybe not so bad? (I really have no point of reference when using the phone as a hotspot because I don't do it much).

Yeah, I always plug in my phone when using it as a hotspot.  Luckily the surface pro has a handy USB port for charging your phone. 

Good to know. I just didn't feel like bringing any cables today. :D

 

Even forgot my headphones which I did mean to bring.

 

Love traveling light with the Surface. :D

I'm not sure if it's the switch from a 920 to a 925 or the OS update, but the battery life on my 925 is phenomal.  I didn't know how bad I had it with my 920 on WP8, frankly.

Same here. After the update i am having like thrice the battery life it's insane. And yes i hated my battery life prior to the update and did everything i could to make it longer

I miss my 920.. Someone stole it from my car when I was using an alternate phone. I hated how the camera produced a pink spot in the middle of the photo against light cookies though.

L920: Appears to have lost about 4-5 hours a charge, was getting 20-22 hours before a charge. Though part of the lose maybe due to I'm picking up my phone more to fiddle with the new features and settings.

Draining like a time bomb. Especially with location on.and if I switch the location off I cant use Cortana.such a double edged sword Cortana is.I hope this is settled though ;(

Not sure if it's actually worse or I'd I'm just playing with it a lot more recently figuring out new things and getting used to it.

same with me, i recently purchased 1020, soon did update straight away to 8.1 so i barely used the WP8. always had to charge;used the nokia software recovery tool and reverted back to original firmware phone came with (Lumia Black), using WP8.0 and i'm getting to use it for full day then i have to charge again when battery hits about 18%

Go to Settings > Sync My Settings and make sure you toggle everything Off, specially Internet Explorer. That improved my battery life with my 1520.

My friend. You might have saved my battery life. I never thought of turning sync off, didn't even notice the setting

I also over looked that setting at first but I knew there was a reason for IE being a big battery hog in 8.1 and that was it, constantly trying to sync settings in the cloud.

Let me know how you guys fare after turning the sync settings off. I think on the next update they need to have that automatically switched off!

Glad you mentioned this. I also discovered that if you thoroughly comb through the settings list, it's unbelievable how many things are running that you don't need. Are a lot of them new? Maybe I just didn't do as close of an inspection, but I don't remember 8 having so much stuff running.

Send browsing history, is that what you are talking about? I've got awful battery life so I'll try just about anything

Check in the battery saver app. Internet explorer will be set to 'allowed' by default for running in the background, its the same for all apps with background tasks after updating to 8.1.

Terrible on the Icon. Also have the power button issues, wifi issues and some touch screen issues now and then. I get it is a developer preview, but much worse than I was expecting.

EDIT: Sounds angrier than I am, was just venting.

 

um, f*cked

the other day it went down 40% in the standby mode.

soft reset helped a bit. now it's 2% an hour (though it used to be about 1.2% before the update)

//edit: and this happened with cortana and location services OFF

Mine is fine, maybe a slight drop but I like being able to stop apps from running to save battery now that helps. Cortana is my main drain at the moment but I think she is awesome!

Haven't noticed a difference on my 925. Real test will be tomorrow morning when I go in to work for twelve hours, which is an every shift occurrence.

I did a factory reset on my ATIV S and disabled all unneeded background tasks and it's improved the battery life. I guess that updated firmware should fix the battery drain issues for everyone.

Am I the only person who thinks the battery life has improved? On my L1020, my usage hasn't changed but my phone is lasting well into the evening rather than mid afternoon.

I'm getting mid afternoon now, but used to be fine all day. You're 1020 used to only last mid day before the update?

whoa, wish i could say same for mine , you should let us know what some of your settings are, i had to use Nokia Software Recovery Tool and revert back to WP8 cause i get a full 22 hours or so when fully charged

My battery life is much better since the upgrade. I'm using a 1520. I use it really heavily every day and I can go a full day 7am to 11:30pm and still have 40% battery left. I must have the anomaly of batteries.

Initially it was horrible, otherwise it's about the same... some apps don't close when I press back so I am constantly close apps from the card view...

Bad for the first two days. Simply blocking some background tasks in battery saver seems to have put the battery back to the same level it was at before the update. I usually easily get 30+ hours on my 720, which was down to 11 hours on Tuesday after the update. Been on for 20 hours no with 40% charge remaining. Rebooting a few times might have helped too.
Overall I'm happy with the update on my 720.

Pretty much battery hungry :D
Only when on internet so its Cortana :)
+ it dechrages on a charger that used to charge 20%-50% in a hour

Baad. I have only about three apps running (allowed) in background still not as long as it used to be.. 928

With constant use every day, sense I installed 8.1 on my Lumia 1520, the battery seems just as stable on life as before the update... and trust me when I say, my phone gets used for everything. Especially media streaming, downloading, game play, adobe and office, social, and Cortana of coarse.

Hey guys,

Here with my L920 is something like this:

- Phone without use (stand by): Wifi on, Location off, Data off, Some apps background (FB, Whatsapp, Instagram, Weather Flow, Calendar, Store, Battery Performance), Cortana On ----> battery performance is something like 1% per hour, what is the same that I got in WP8.

-Using the phone (normal using like check FB, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc) ---> battery drains something like 16% per hour!!!

I have to assume that MAYBE is something related with the screen (probably the firmware updates by Nokia could solve this problem).

Well, we have to wait untill Nokia releases their updates... for now, lets keep our battery charger closer! :)

Its been horrible. The first 2 days I assumed its due to me playing around with the OS...I let it sit there the whole day yesterday and used my Nexus 5. Even without the SIM card I got about 10 hours on the 920....thats literally sitting there doing nothing...I SHOULD get 2-3 days on standby.

When i use it normally I get about 5-6 hours...yeah its been that bad.

As long as you manage properly your battery saver ( which is now detailed compared to the old one) you can keep kr save more battery life

I dono about that.  I have every app disabled for the bacjground and cortana completely disabled.  i'm losing about 25% an hour. 

feel your pain bro, i had to revert back to WP8 and i get around 22 hrs with average use on my 1020, will wait for final release to come out

Thanks for the article. This was a much needed article for wp8.1. Will wait for cyan update which will optimize it perfectly. Any idea in which month it will be released approximately. I know it takes alot pic time rolling put firmware updates

Horrible the phone gets hot alot when doing nothing and I killed most of the background tasks I think it just needs a firmware upgrade

It seems to be worst than before but then again I have been playing with it an aweful lot since 8.1 came out so... when I don't use it as much, it seems to be the same.

My 925 was terrible (some apps drained the battery even while on charge and that percentage seemed to drop really quickly) but after a soft reset, things seem to be better, back to how I'd expect.

It was terrible until I changed my Battery Saver settings. Now it's just a little bit worse than with 8.0.

Immediately, after the update, it drained badly cause was figuring all the new stuff, then went to battery saver and blocked some apps as such. It went back to normal. Same as before the update.

I've had it off the charger for 7 hours now and have only checked texts and emails a few times... so it's been idle 98% of those 7 hours... and it's at 60% battery.  That's bad.  And, as usual, if I do anything for more than a couple minutes on my 920, the thing feels like it's on fire.

It's the same as before AFTER I went to Battery Sense and blocked the apps I had blocked before and all the others I couldn't block but still wanted to. Otherwise it would have gotten worse.

It's been behaving the same as before on my 1020. I have used cortana a lot and that does indeed drain the batt a lot faster, but I can go for about 2 hours without dropping one percent on standby (with glance on). So I'm happy so far. Cortana is fun to talk to and it makes me remember the film Her :D

To summerize most of the posts above, the battery life seems to be F*cked. The funniest post I read somwehere on WPCentral was that a guy claimed that when he charges his phone, instead of the battery level going up it starts going down. :P I lol'd hard........ :P

It actually happens if your using the phone ALOT while charged I went from full charge to 98% but it took me and hour to notice it went down while charging

My 925 battery life is about the same. What I find with these polls whenever a new update comes out, people think their battery is worse, however it's just that they are using their phone more playing with the new features. So they are draining their battery more than usual.

 

 

I agree with u, man

 

But its not my case! I'm using like before update and my battery performance is worse now.

With my Lumia 920 before update, my battery level at 11pm was 20%

Now before update, with the same rotine, is 20% at 6pm!!

 

 

Lumia 620.Black update war terrible for me(5-6hrs). Now WP 8.1 sends my stamina up by 3 hrs. Now 9-10 hrs easily. Have to charge once at night be4 sleep.

exactly! strange, i was thinking about the car analogy too. my ativ s actually died at work today. normally would charge it once a day and it would be about 30-40% when i put it on the charger. awful. hard resetting tonight. firmware update,please.

Using battery saver app, and selecting only what you want active. Its better than before. 3.5% discharge rate per hour.

Its weird cause it will go down very fast to about 10% and then it is going down very slowly it can last on that 10% for a few hours :P There is definetly something wrong with it but I hope it will be fixed with the official Nokia Cyan update!

Battery life has worsened.. Plz get some fix to that. Even with minimum apps running in the background the battery isn't supporting much.

haha to the king of the charger , i know what u mean but you should get more than most lumia 920,1020 users, how long does it last you after full charge?

Definitely using my phone more often. But the battery is also draining faster then normal. I could go a good 4/5 hours of heavy use before I got to 50/60% now I get to 60% in 2/3 hours.

My 920 actually lasts longer - it's been 5hrs and still >90% - before it would be 70-80% after the same amount of time.

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