Friday, July 24, 2009

Windows Mobile Mass-storage drains battery

I recently discovered that my Windows Mobile (ASUS P320) phone drains battery if the USB connection setting is set to 'Mass storage'. In fact it terribly drains; almost half its usual time. It drains battery even if the phone is not connected over USB to any host and even if the phone is in sleep mode. Horrible and unexpected!!

So, in case you have a Windows Mobile phone and suffer with pretty poor battery performance (less than 1.5 days) check if you had changed the USB setting to 'mass-storage' (Start->Settings->Connections->USB). Set it to 'activesync turbo mode'. Change to mass-storage only when required and change it back. It is quite likely that this problem is specific to Windows Mobile 6.1, but I would not be surprised if this issue exists in other versions.

Also, many people complain about WinMo phones switching off much earlier than the battery becoming totally empty. It is important to understand that phone switching off itself on low battery is for your own benefit; if a WinMo runs totally out of battery, it is as good as a hard reset (you lose everything in your phone memory including applications (on phone mem), messages, contacts etc.,). Ideally it switches off when charge in the battery goes below 10% and you can still boot it back again in emergency (it tries to switch off again); I've even made calls at those times. Also, even if the phone is switched off, it still uses battery to keep the memory contents alive; so the remaining 6-10% is reserved to preserve your data until you get to a charger. So it is better not to force boot. I think, usually there is also a small internal backup battery, to support changing of phone batteries without losing data, but that's not going to last long.

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