Android Jelly Bean 4.2 Battery Life Test

Android jelly bean 4.2 came out with new nexus family and recently rolled out to Nexus 7 as well as Galaxy Nexus. I’m really impressed with the new features it offered even though they are kind of fancy. However primary expectation in Android Jelly Bean 4.2 is improved battery life.

Previously I ran a battery life test for Android Jelly Bean 4.1 on my Galaxy Nexus and result was impressive. It could last a full day with heavy usage including gaming and HSDPA connectivity. Once I see the update notification for Android Jelly Bean 4.2, the first thing came to my mind was even better battery life. But in reality, it’s not the case. Here we go with the battery life report for Android Jelly Bean 4.2 on Samsung Galaxy Nexus.


Battery Life Snapshot

During this test my Wi-fi was always on and HSDPA was not used. The cell reception at my office is great and fills out all 5 tabs. My usage style is not significantly different from previous test. Mainly I was using social media, web browser, Angry Birds, Gmail, Evernote and Calendar. Throughout the test screen brightness was set to automatic and environment was artificially lit indoors.

Here we go with the screen shot I got when battery life reached 4%. It’s hopelessly low 12h 53m compared to 1d 3h 58m in Android Jelly Bean 4.1.


The main battery consumer, massive display was on for 3h 24m.


Other than display there was no significant battery consuming processes recorded in battery power consumption log.

What Could Be the Reason?

Android Jelly Bean 4.2 is mainly optimized for new Nexus 4. It has bigger 2100mAh battery and power saving Snapdragon S4 Pro platform. So it could be a reason for it to have a very low battery life in Galaxy Nexus. However this is only a part of the reason, not all of it!

I said that because new Nexus 4 also has the same poor battery life problem though it’s not worse as in Galaxy Nexus. So it has to be something to do with the OS background services. They have added many new things and they could be half baked. It makes sense since many people have noticed that significantly higher power consumption when phone is idle.

If you have enabled NFC, you will notice it’s a major contributing factor to drain the battery out. However it could be temporary solved by disabling it.

This is not the only issue in Android Jelly Bean 4.2. There are some problems with screen auto brightness adjustment, stability inconsistencies, Bluetooth audio issues etc.

All these says that we can expect Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 really soon.

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8 Responses to "Android Jelly Bean 4.2 Battery Life Test"

  1. immogappli says:

    Thank you for creating valuable post about the subject. I’m a fan of your site. Keep up the good work

  2. KKB says:

    I never saw a Gnex battery survive more than 4hrs of screen. You were very close. Don’t see any problem here

    • True there is no problem when I’m actually using it. But when it’s idling battery drains out too fast it seems. With 4.1 it lived for more than a day with same screen on time.

      • KKB says:

        At 3.5 hours you should be almost flat out, so idle time is not relevant IMO (e.g. you start fully charged, then run screen for 4 hours… Then you could claim battery lasted for only 4 hrs… Another person would start fully charged, idle for 10 hrs, then run screen for 4 hrs… You get my point :-).

        To really test phone when idle, you should install Better Battery Stats and see the drain when idle. On 2G, I get about 1% per hour, with gmail, yahoo, whatsapp, viber, and GTalk all running (Currents not auto-update). On 3G, it goes to 3-4% per hour, just like 4.1.

        Would be great if you post any interesting results!

        • I totally get your point KKB.

          I left this note because I feel serious battery drain out once I update to Android 4.2. This is totally a user testing. Testing environment is my general life style at home, office etc. It’s pretty much consistent.

          And I saw many tweets from GN users who faced same problem and even slower charging too.

          What I’m going to do now is flash GN with Android 4.1.2 and redo the test with my general usage. Will see how it’s coming.

          Thank a lot for starting this valuable conversation. Stay in touch. :)

          • Ernest Talos says:

            Hi, Did you re-run the test with 4.1.2 as you had intended to? I’m curious about the results. I just flashed to 4.2.2 in hopes that it would solve the massive drains on battery (I noticed that the bluetooth service was using more than the screen, and I hadn’t even enabled bluetooth!). I’m seriously considering flashing back to 4.1.1 (original rom) or 4.1.2 .. I’d really appreciate your findings / thoughts?

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