As most owners of the HTC Hero I suffer from battery life issues. My phone spends a good portion of it’s day on a charger. Either my charger at home plugged into a wall outlet or at my desk at work charging via a USB cable.
This is not a big deal for me as I am not without a charger for my phone that often but it still does not seem right the rate at which the battery life on my new HTC Hero drains. Turns out there are several reasons why the battery on this phone runs out so quickly. There is also something that you can do in order to extend your battery life on your Hero.
The first issue with the phone is a bug in the operation system of the phone itself. It turns out that some people have tested and reported a bug that happens whenever you send a text message. What happens is the built in SMS application puts a lock on the dialer application which prevents your phone from going to sleep. Your screen will still turn off and the phone will still work normally, but the phone will never actually sleep, which means the processor will continually run and drain battery life. This seems to be the case with several apps but the core of the issue seems to be with the version of Android on the phone.
These issues with applications causing the processor to stay awake are unfortunately something that is best left until HTC released an update patch for the Hero, which is inevitable since it was shipped with a version of Android (1.5) that is one version behind the current version (1.6). Hopefully when they update to 1.6 they will also take care of the issues with applications keeping the processor from going to sleep properly.
However, there are some things you can do in order to dramatically increase the life of your Hero from it’s factory state.
The ones I would highly recommend from the article are the following as they have the greatest impact on battery life that I’ve noticed.
1) Turn off the “Always-on” mobile data connection.
On the Home screen, select Menu => Settings => Wireless controls => Mobile network settings and de-select “Enable always-on mobile data”. This tweak probably has the biggest impact on battery life.
2) Disable Wireless network usage for positioning purposes
This can be disabled via Menu => Settings => Location => Use wireless networks. This will turn off the anonymous (?) Google location data collection that uses the wireless data connection frequently. I still keep the GPS tick box checked as it is not an always-on configuration. Any app that will need a location will turn on the GPS separately. Please note that turning off wireless network usage for location purposes will slow down the GPS positioning fix when needed but that is a trade off I’m ready to do.
Even with the battery life issues I still enjoy my Hero greatly and am looking forward to playing with apps out of the market further. I am also looking forward to Updates from HTC to improve battery life and overall functionality of the phone. My only complain so far has been Sprint’s blocking of the Hero’s built in ability to tether. That however is not HTC or Android’s fault and at some point in time i’ll take the time to figure out how to get around it as it is an invaluable ability to have in a phone in my opinion.