Last week, we discussed the increasing complexity of power options in Android 6.0. Features such as Doze and App Standby have changed the way that the operating system manages app activity, and the wide array of UI skins used by many vendors ensures that the steps needed for pre-test configuration differ considerably from device to device.
Managing Android’s Doze feature is critical to getting a good BatteryXPRT score. To show how involved this process can be, we thought it might be helpful to present the steps for one device. Below my sig are the configuration steps we used for the Huawei Mate 8, which we recently featured in the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight. For other phones we’ve tested, the steps have been quite different. We’re working on distilling our experience for our tips and tricks document, and the updated version of the document will be available soon. If you have any useful tips, please let us know.
Whitelist BatteryXPRT (there are two ways to do this)
1) Access Battery manager from Settings/Advanced settings or from the Phone Manager app on the home screen.
2) Select Protected apps.
3) Use the toggles beside BatteryXPRT and BatteryXPRT Tests to allow them to keep running after the screen turns off.
Configure sleep settings
1) Open Settings from the home screen.
2) Select Display.
3) Select Sleep.
4) Select Never. This may reset to a default setting on its own. In our case, it reset to 10 minutes.
Configure screen lock settings
1) Open Settings from the home screen.
2) Select Advanced settings.
3) Select Security.
4) Scroll to the bottom of the list and use the toggle to turn off Screen lock. This keeps the device screen from locking after standby periods during the test.
Android developers continue to respond to user demands for longer battery life. Android 6 brought a number of enhancements to improve battery life, and Android N promises even more! Device makers often add device-specific options in their customized UIs, which means the options can differ greatly from device to device. A power-conscious user has a lot more control, but with that control comes complexity.
Not that long ago, preparing a device to run BatteryXPRT was simple: turn off automatic updates, kill unnecessary backgrounds apps, and set the screen to stay awake for at least 30 minutes. That’s still the case for many devices. However, it’s often much more complex. You may have to whitelist BatteryXPRT to keep Android from killing it when the device is in standby. Always-on features may interfere with standby. Security lock timers can override screen-timeout settings for the display – and the list goes on.
We’ve been testing a lot of devices and taking notes. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be updating the BatteryXPRT Tips and Tricks document to reflect what we’ve learned. If you’ve encountered any of these issues, we’d love to add your tips to the list, so please send them our way!
One of the great meetings I had at CES was with another community member, Patrick Chang, Senior System Engineer in the Tablet Performance group at Dell. I was glad to hear that, when he tests his devices, Patrick makes frequent use of TouchXPRT.
While TouchXPRT stresses the system appropriately, Patrick’s job requires him to understand not only how well the device performs, but why it performs that way. He was wondering what we could do to help him correlate the temperature, power consumption, and performance of a device.
That information is not typically available to software and apps like the XPRTs. However, it may be possible to add some hooks that would let the XPRTs coordinate with third-party utilities and hardware that do.
As always, the input from the community guides the design of the XPRTs. So, we’d love to know how much interest the community has in having this type of information. If you have thoughts about this, or other kinds of information you’d like the XPRTs to gather, please let us know!
Last week in the XPRTs
We published the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight on the Apple iPad Pro.
We added one new BatteryXPRT ’14 result.
We added one new CrXPRT ’15 result.
We added one new MobileXPRT ’13 result.
We added four new WebXPRT ’15 results.