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Installing and using 3rd party themes drain the Samsung i8510 INNOV8 battery…pronto

Samsung INNOV8 with battery

One of things I was wondering about when I decided to get the INNOV8, was how compatible it would be with all things S60: applications, themes and such.

So last weekend – after having the INNOV8 for about two weeks – I installed a theme I have previously been using on both my Nokia N95, a N82 and my 6220 Classic (this theme). Very much to my liking, the theme installed without any problems, and it also worked as it should.

But then, after a few days, I noticed I had to charge the INNOV8 every single day. I mean, if I charged the battery in the evening (say from 9 PM to midnight), the battery would be completely dead/drained by the late afternoon, or early evening of the following day.

BTW, how come charging the INNOV8 takes so long? …3 hours or more…why? It only takes about one hour to charge my Nokias with similar size batteries.

I observed this quick draining of the battery although I did not use the phone much. Lately, I have been very busy at work, leaving little time to get my freak on and geek out with the INNOV8. I would say a typical day's usage last week comprised sending and receiving 2 or 3 text messages, 20-30 minutes of listening to music (using builtin music player), 5 to 10 minutes web browsing, and maybe a short 1 or 2 minute call.

I am serious, the phone would be dead with within 24 hours. The most shocking thing is that I turn my INNOV8 offline at night (between 23:59 and 07:30 to be precise). That is right, even with the phone being offline for about 7,5 hours, and very moderate use, the phone would go dead in less than 24 hours.

I kept this up for several days, because I wanted to make absolutely sure my observation was correct. At about the same time I installed the theme, I also made some other changes to the phone settings.

Finally on Thursday night – when the INNOV8 died on my yet again - I decided to switch back to one of the preinstalled themes, and see if would make any difference.

Boy did it! I am writing this late in the night (2 AM) on Sunday, and the battery indicator has only dropped two bars since being charged Thursday night – despite a busy evening with company Christmas party on Friday, during which I used the camera a lot (!).

I can only speculate why using a 3rd party theme drains the INNOV8’s battery so fast. Maybe there are differences between how the preinstalled themes, and other themes, interplay with OS UI processes? In the sense that when using one of the preinstalled themes, these processes can shut down (or idle), but when using a 3rd party theme, they run at full blast? I do know, but it would explain the very noticeable difference in power consumption. 

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20 Responses to “Installing and using 3rd party themes drain the Samsung i8510 INNOV8 battery…pronto”

  1. Gravatar matthew bennett Says:

    Gersbo,

    Thank you for making these observations for science. I haven’t seen too many extended INNOV8 reviews from Nokia fans. I’m glad you’re experienced enough to compare flagship devices from Nokia and Samsung. I know a lot of people were thinking about buying the INNOV8.

  2. Gravatar Nokia Daily News - 12/10/08 | Nokia Daily News Says:

    [...] Gersbo - Samsung INNOV8 dies faster with Nokia themes [...]

  3. Chris Says:

    I am only glad to be of service. Actually, I am starting to grow rather fond of the INNOV8. It is large, but the hardware is great - especially the keypad is amazing for fast texting. I have tweaked various settings and I now get great millage out of the battery.

    I really think the software part will make or break the INNOV8’s success. Will Samsung get a firmware update process in place soon, and release new firmware that fixes the stupid bugs that rid the device?

    Using the INNOV8 as my primary handset has really made me appreciate the suite of applications and services offered by Nokia. For instance, I feel I am kind of missing out by not being able to use the new Share Online version that has been released for FP2 handsets.

    Also, I think Nokia’s offerings are under-appreciated. People complain about “Maps” not being as good as navigation application XX, or other applications being sub par. Which might be true, but obscures the fact that with “Maps”, Nokia get so many people started using navigation software…by making it really easy. Both on my 6220 Classic, and the N85 I had for a day or two, “Maps” came preinstalled with map data for all of Scandinavia. I did not have to do anything, except start the application. With the INNOV8, I have to enter a license key to activate Route 66 navigation, and then download maps from somewhere. I know these are minor tasks - especially for mobile aficionados - but with every task added, a percentage of the potential users are left behind.

    Just some quick thoughts, which turned out rather long winded…

  4. Chris Says:

    I have tried yet another 3rd party theme - listed as compatible with the INNOV8, and it has only confirmed my previous experience: The INNOV8 goes through the battery a lot faster compared to when I use one of the pre-installed themes.

    I gave the phone a full charge yesterday evening and about 24 hours later, the battery is down to 30% of its capacity. This despite that I have not been using the phone much - sent 11 text messages, two short calls and maybe 10 to 15 minutes of webbrowsing. I have not used the camera, nor the music/video player.

    Has anyone else tried using 3rd party themes with the INNOV8? Do you experience the same thing?

  5. Gravatar Terbilko Says:

    I have experienced the same thing.. Installed a theme first day I got the phone.. 24h later battery was gone.. I couldn’t beleive that battery was that bad.. Then when I read your article, I removed the theme, and voila.. Battery was going for 2-3 days..

  6. Gravatar Gandalf Says:

    It’s kind of hard to believe that they have had the phone out for 4 months now with such relatively serious flaws (not to mention the video/audio mis-sync) and still no real firmware update to fix it :/

  7. Gravatar Jason Says:

    Gersbo,

    I do not understand how everyone of you managed to make the phone lasted 2-3 days. Can you convert that to hours?

    I am still proud and happy of my Innov8 (absolute dream phone for me) but was really disappointed and let down by the battery life. Clean phone with no 3rd party themes installed and yet it only last slightly more than 24 hours. At first, I thought I might had a defective battery and I went to exchange for a new one. But no, it is still short life. Usage is as per normal, like about 30 SMS per day and 10 minutes chat. Nothing else, besides that.

    Now, I am like charging my phone everyday. I’ve checked and gone thru the battery saver tips listed on this site and still it didn’t work so well. The only 1 tip to reduce the brightness, i did not set that as it becomes really dark and I can’t see it.

    Maybe new firmware will help to increase the battery life?

    Finally, I want to say Innov8 is damn good phone. :D

  8. Chris Says:

    Hello Jason, thanks for commenting.

    Well, a battery life estimate in hours would for me translate into be something between 48 hours (of which phone is offline for 15 hours) and 96 hours (of which phone is offline for 30 hours). I turn my phone offline during the night. The time I get on a charge of course depends on how intensively I use the phone.

    Battery life does depend on the firmware version and if none of the above tweaks did much for you, I would suggest to try to upgrade. I have read quite a few reports from INNOV8 users (mostly UK I think) about how upgrading firmware improved battery life.

    Do you know what firmware version your phone has? Compare it to the screenshot in this post. I am running the I8510XXHJ3 firmware from October 7th. and as far as I know an earlier version, with much poorer battery life exists.

    You should be able to upgrade to the HJ3 - possibly HJ4 - version using Samsung Software Updater that comes as part of Samsung’s PC Suite. I think the HJ3 firmware has been rolled out for all regions.

  9. Gravatar Jason Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the conversion into hours. After some comparison, I guess my phone battery is normal after all. A normal usage of the phone will only enable the phone to last about a day and a half.

    My phone’s firmware is I8510DJHI4 dated 12/09/2008. As compared to your firmware, the difference is only in the letter, which I think is related to the region of the phone (am I right?).

    I did try an upgrade using the Samsung Software Updater and no, it says that mine is the lastest firmware. I think I will have to carry on and wait for a new one.

    Hopefully some great upgrades and patches will enable us to use the phone for a longer duration.

  10. Gravatar Gandalf Says:

    What was the name of that app that you can program to put the i8510 into offline mode (which I guess means disabling the antenna?) for specific hours of the days, f.eks. from 02:00 to 08:00?

  11. Chris Says:

    @Jason: Well, it depends on what you define as “normal usage”. I would say I get 48+ hours on a charge, with “normal usage”.

    @Gandalf: The program is “Y-Profile Scheduler for S60″.

  12. Gravatar Gandalf Says:

    Ok thanks. BTW are you going to write an entry about neat applications for the i8510? After much looking around I have a fairly long list of apps I find interesting, but I’m gonna wait for your post so the comment ends up in the right place :)

  13. Gravatar Ritz Says:

    Hi thanks alot of that info….since day 1 i installed a theme that i was using on my nokia and i noticed the poor battery life. the thought that it could b the theme didnt even cross my mind!is it only with nokia themes that this happens?i would hate to b stuck with the themes on the fone only.also another question….alot of appz that i have tried to install says ” certificate expired” anyway around this?

  14. Chris Says:

    Hello Ritz,

    The themes I have used are not from Nokia, but from two different theme makers. So no, the problem is no limited to just Nokia themes. I have very little idea why other themes result in higher power consumption. I am thinking maybe the Samsung themes differ from other themes in some way; or maybe it is because I install the 3rd party themes on the mass memory (E:) drive, where as the Samsung themes are installed on the internal memory (C:) drive.

    Most installation problems related to certificates pertain to either an expired application signature, or handset certificate policy restrictions. Read this forum post to see workarounds for both.

  15. Gravatar Jackson Says:

    I’ve been using Innov8 about 1month +
    I took my this hp to warrently repair, and i found tt the problem i complaint, is still not fit.

    The battery drain dam easily.
    each time I on my hp, its so lag to hell.
    Each time I on my hp, the music player cant be open, until u tried to open alot of time.

    did you guys having a same problem as my?
    pls do reply my question, thank alot.
    anyway, i love innov8, but its have alot of problem. T.T

  16. Gravatar Alvin Says:

    Jackson, i have the same issue. only difference is the music player doesnt even work for me. thus, disallowing me to even open bluetooth-ed mp3 in the message inbox.

    how ignoring. i hope samsung releases innov8 latest firmware, SOON!

  17. Gravatar jackson Says:

    lets hope so. =D

  18. Gravatar khalid Says:

    how exactly you uninstall the 3rd party themes installed? thanks,

  19. Gravatar benman Says:

    Ok everyone, I’ve noticed that everyone seems to be having battery problems, which I also had during the first few weeks of owning my lovely i8510, which is most likely the best phone ever. Few basics first. Make sure you close all applications when finished using them. Another thing, turn the screen brightness down. The i8510’s screen is very colour intense and chews lots of power, turn the brightness down. Another trick, possibly the most important: turn off the WLAN when you’re not using the internet!!! this is what chews alot of power. Go settings > connection > Wireless lan > turn “show WLAN availability” to never when you’re not web-browsing. The light user will get just shy of a week of battery. Off topic but I hope that helps.

  20. Gravatar Beat Says:

    Hey benman, i find your hint very interesting and have already turned my WLAN off. Interestingly enough, when I go to Google mail, WiFi still appears as one of the options in the list of connections. If this is the case, I don’t need to show WLAN availability at all - ever!
    I do not have problems with my i8510’s battery life, but hey, some extra can’t hurt! So thanks a lot for sharing your observations with us all!
    Oh, and I concur with everyone else in this forum: After some initial problems (which were remedied with two consecutive firmware upgrades performed by Samsung service centers, all free of charge of course!), the Innov8 is a fabulous piece of hardware!

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