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Old 01-27-2015, 11:42 PM   #1
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AfterGlow 2 Battery Life

I'm running my first test of AG2 battery life, basically a best case scenario: reading only, wifi off. My light is either at the lowest possible setting (night) or off entirely (day). I read anywhere from 30 min to 90 min a day. Coming in I knew it wouldn't last as long as my kindle, but I did kind of get the impression that I could get a couple of weeks out of it using it as a reader. That would suit me fine.

What's your experience been so far (describing types of usage, brightness and connectivity briefly)? I'll report my findings back as I get them as well. I'm beginning to doubt I'll make it a whole week even with these restrictive settings, and that would be an unpleasant surprise. But I'd love to know what other users are seeing as well.

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Old 01-28-2015, 04:10 AM   #2
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I have tried that for a week with very similar usage profile. I have not turned off the device during that time. I have also used wifi for a short time twice. My battery went down to 30% I guess.

There is quite an interesting info in the recently published AG2 user manual (in Polish). According to it there is no difference in battery usage between wake mode and sleep mode (which is quite surprising to me). So they advise to turn the device off when not used.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:48 AM   #3
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I'm not surprised that there's no difference in battery usage in wake and sleep mode since e-ink screens only use power when the page turns. My guess is that it goes into something like sleep mode till you touch the screen again.

Of course using the light probably changes that.

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Old 01-28-2015, 11:14 AM   #4
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I'm not surprised that there's no difference in battery usage in wake and sleep mode since e-ink screens only use power when the page turns. My guess is that it goes into something like sleep mode till you touch the screen again.
I would have assumed that while idling the touchscreen would consume some power, and that the CPU monitoring it and the page-turn buttons would consume some more. Likewise any minor tasks going on in the background (e.g. calculating the current time and battery status) would consume CPU and thus power, etc, etc.

Either the AG2 idles very efficiently, or it sleeps very inefficiently, and I'd tend to suspect the latter.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:09 PM   #5
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Either the AG2 idles very efficiently, or it sleeps very inefficiently, and I'd tend to suspect the latter.
You made a point here and honestly speaking it is rather a screen locking than sleep mode.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:51 PM   #6
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Mine is actually set to power down after a bit, 30 minutes I think. And it sounds like I'm still not getting as good a life as you did without powering down bulek.

I'm using two 3rd party readers, kindle and overdrive, as well as the bundled reader (which handles my pdfs very nicely). Are you using only the included reader? Perhaps that could account for the difference. Maybe it's optimized to trigger sleep between page turns.

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Either the AG2 idles very efficiently, or it sleeps very inefficiently, and I'd tend to suspect the latter.
Well put. I don't know a ton about it, but there are different levels of sleep in android. It would be mind-boggling to have a reader that can't sleep deeply, even with the wireless off. Booting doesn't take that long, but it certainly takes longer than the half a second it would take to rouse the device from effective sleep. After I finish this test, I'll try to test sleep vs off.

I really wish companies would hire devs from xda. Not the crazy ones, obviously. The guy who makes my nexus 4 kernel is fantastic and very responsible. Focuses on stability and balancing battery life with performance. My nexus battery life is fantastic vs stock. I bet he could do wonders for AG2.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:40 PM   #7
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I really wish companies would hire devs from xda. Not the crazy ones, obviously. The guy who makes my nexus 4 kernel is fantastic and very responsible. Focuses on stability and balancing battery life with performance. My nexus battery life is fantastic vs stock. I bet he could do wonders for AG2.
I would agree that getting some devs to write a small suite of apps customising Android to be optimised for e-Ink and eReading would be a great idea. Far better than manufacturers leaving users to find, install and tweak the settings of more generic optimisation apps for themselves.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:29 AM   #8
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During that week I was using OReader only but I am not sure if that made a difference. I also had older firmware (1.6.5) and the current one I do have (1.6.6) seems to be less battery friendly. Yesterday after charging over night I left it on screen locked (sleep?) for 12h - went down to 90%. Then I spent reading (OReader, 250 pages with breaks, light 3 bars level) 6 hours. The battery went down to 80%. I turned off and after another 8h it is 75% now.

I must admit I get inconsistent usage after every charge and I can't really say what exactly it is related to. WiFi definitely is a battery hog. I saw here and there that after rooting and removing phone apk the battery is much better but I have not tried that so far. Also... with such a new device in my hands it's not easy to stick to the testing regime . I'd like to try this and that, read when I want.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:00 PM   #9
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I'm not inclined to actually run my battery to zero, so I'm going to suspend this test at 20% and extrapolate. Fully charged 6 days ago, artatech 1.6.5 firmware. Screen on time registers 5 hours and 45 minutes vs 13h 57min on battery. It powers itself all the way down after 30 minutes, and that delay accounts for most of the difference between screen on time and total time on battery. About 85% of the screen on time the light was on it's lowest setting. The remainder the light was off entirely. Wifi was on for only 10 minutes the entire week to download books and sync readers.

I think that would come to about 7 hours of total reading time if I did run it all the way down in like manner, and that is about an average week for me.

I'll be trying a few different things over the next few weeks and may post some of them here. I'm always eager to hear other folks' experiences as well.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:12 AM   #10
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I tested it without letting the device power off. "Cell standby" sucks down about 5% of the overall battery daily according to Android battery statistics, and I suspect they understate the drain. With just that change, battery life gets cut in half for me.

With some searching, this is apparently a common onyx problem, present on other devices. They left in place phone related apks, and even with airplane mode enabled, these apks attempt to find signals on cell radios that don't exist running down the battery 24/7. This is what bulek was speaking of in post #8. I'm disinclined to root while I'm under warranty, so I'll probably just stick with the power down option for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrafn
Either the AG2 idles very efficiently, or it sleeps very inefficiently, and I'd tend to suspect the latter.
I now know it sleeps VERY inefficiently. Onyx is guilty of high(ly unnecessary) crimes against battery life.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:26 AM   #11
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I think it is a sad fact of life, at least at the moment, that Android e-ink devices simply cannot compete with Kindle's, Kobo's and other e-ink devices using operating systems (usually Linux based) highly optimised for e-reading. Android e-ink readers are basically e-ink tablets, and you should expect the battery life of a tablet. Whilst there are some improvements you can make by shutting down some Android Services, installing CPU throttling apps etc, the improvements are usually marginal. There is I think some talk of this in the Onyx T68 and Boyue/Icarus Illumina threads.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:39 AM   #12
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There is more to that. I don't know how you guys charge your readers but I have common 2A chargers for all phones, tablets, e-readers and other mobile stuff in the house. When I mentioned about this on Polish Onyx forum I've received a very susprising answer. The official ArtaTech representative stated that using any charger higher than 1A would destroy your Onyx e-reader. That sounds very unlikely to me and there was some ongoing discussion on that but ArtaTech did not withdraw from that statement. If this is true then the only reason of that is that their devices do not have a proper charging controller in place which decides on the current used for charging (like on any other mobile device). Very surprising... and no such a warning on a box or user manual. This was discussion about AG2 but I suppose the same applies to other Onyx models. So basically what I am wondering is if any of you use higher current chargers maybe we simply "destroyed" our batteries and this partially explains the short battery life.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:22 PM   #13
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Nah. Most of my mUSB chargers are from flip phones, basically the same current you'd get from a PC's usb port. Still, if that's true, it would be very strange indeed. It seems like you'd have to go pretty far out of your way these days as a manufacturer to leave the battery unprotected like that. And with no warning?

This battery is pretty tiny at 1700mAh (my phone's battery is 2100mAh while some tablets this size are 3000+mah), so it was never going to be stellar. Add to that Onyx's apparent inexperience configuring Android and the battery stats mostly make sense. I also have yet to hear anyone getting good battery life.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:39 PM   #14
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Several months ago, I bought an Onyx T68. It's larger than the AG2, but the battery is about the same size. Its battery life was so-so from the start, and hasn't changed in the meantime. Nothing I've tried has made much difference in its battery life, either. If there was something to Arta Tech's "charger argument", my battery life would get worse and worse. (Besides, wouldn't they be opening themselves up to lawsuits for selling hardware with a known issue and not informing users?)

Later, because of some nagging issues with the T68, I bought a Boyue T62. It has the same size screen as the AG2, but a larger battery (3000mAh). The first few days, the battery life still seemed so-so. But, once I rooted it and installed SetCPU, the battery life was much better - comparable to my PaperWhite 2 or my old Nook Simple Touch. (SetCPU didn't do much of anything for my T68, sad to say.) So, it is theoretically possible - if a company matches the right battery size to its product and configures it well - to have an Android e-ink device that will get fine battery life. But will they?
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:34 PM   #15
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@downeaster59. The T62 is very good value. It avoids many of the problems of the Onyx. But you're the first one I've heard of getting battery life comparable to a PW2. As you said, shows it can be done. As to whether anyone will? Possibly, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
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