Monday, December 01, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Battery Conditioning and Calibrating



The T-Mobile G1 is a great device, a great device with a slightly wonky screen. It maybe new to the market but it is making quite a stir. Often due to its Android OS, but unfortunately its terrible battery life gets almost as much attention. Following a couple of simple steps I'm now obtaining reasonable life from my G1 with it now lasting a day between charges.

There are two issues here, battery meter calibration and battery conditioning - the G1's battery meter seems to come particularaly poorly calibrated, mine was reading 1% remaining when I still had around 15%-20% remaining (use Power Meter from App Store to see the voltages). Maybe it is down to the flexability of the Android OS, maybe not, either way you need to calibrate the battery meter yourself.

To calibrate the battery meter let the phone run down to 0% battery and turn itself off, for the last percent or two don't apply too much load to the device, just let it drain out. Even while using it my G1 hung on to its last 1% of battery for almost 2 hours. Now the battery meter knows the real 0% point. Then get it charging, I'd recommend charging it with it turned off for 5 or 6 hours. I've done this twice now, the second was a couple of days after the first time made the most difference to battery life. This should have now calibrated the meter and conditioned the battery.

I personally wouldn't do this too often, I'm under the impression the Lithium Ion batteries don't like being discharged to this level or at least left in that state for too long - although that may be a myth.

12 comments:

jam said...

Thanks for spelling out how to do this. It was absolutely necessary for my g1 phone. Out of the box it got to a < 15% in under 2 hours after it initially reported a "full charge".

The Orange Bar Ios said...

great advice, worked for me.

The Orange Bar Ios said...

great advice, worked for me.

Col said...

Blimey, I thought I was the only one to notice the wonky screen when the keyboard was opened. Virtually every review shows it, but know one mentioned so i assumed it was just me going mad and the keyboard wasnt really wonky.

Thank you for proving my sanity!

Jonathan said...

Your not suppose to let Lith batterys dry out. they fuck up fast if you let them die completely

Kent said...

I believe most Li-ion batteries have controllers that protect against full discharging (as well as overheating) to protect the battery. These kind of precautions are necessary since Li-ion batteries are so volatile.

I think you'll be okay letting the phone turn off due to low battery...the controller should maintain a small charge to prevent permanent damage to the cell.

Of course, if anyone has experienced otherwise, please let us know.

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