[Updated] Google Pixel 7 & Pixel 6 'excessive standby or idle battery drain' issue after December update under investigation
Here’s the crux of the article in video form
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on December 27, 2022) follows:
Google Pixel devices are undoubtedly the company’s premium line of Android-based smartphones.
The phones’ superior cameras, regular and ongoing support for updates, and a host of other features set the Pixel devices apart from the competition.
However, like any other smartphone, Pixel phones also suffer from occasional bugs and issues. For instance, Pixel 7 users faced overheating issues a little while ago.
Pixel 7 & Pixel 6 ‘excessive standby or idle battery drain’ issue
And now, some Google Pixel 6 and 7 owners (1,2,3,4) have been experiencing issues related to excessive battery drain even when the devices are not in use.
Google Pixel 6a (got 2 phones, same problem) Massive battery drain in standyby mode with Android 13. wifi, mobile off. just GSM active. Standby consumes 30% battery over night.
battery saver is enabled. No recent apps. Smooth scrolling off. Dark theme on.I haven’t used the phone for the last 9 hours, but battery level dropped from 88% to 63%. Is this normal?
It seems that the issue has escalated ever since the December 2022 security update. Sometimes there is also a considerable drop in the battery level overnight when the phone is absolutely idle.
Do note that a similar issue popped up last year with some Pixel 6 devices too. And now, some people with the Pixel 6a, Pixel 4 XL and other models are also facing battery drain issues.
According to one user, ‘ImsService’ frequently consuming location data could be the root cause of the high battery depletion after December update.
So, this appears to be a potential problem or simply poor usage of the ‘ImsService’ framework by service providers, especially with the Pixel 7 devices.
Issue under investigation
Fortunately, the battery drain issue in various Pixel 7 devices has been escalated to the development team.
The company has also assigned the problems with Google Pixel 6 and 6a devices to the product and engineering teams for further evaluation.
Affected users can also try the troubleshooting steps listed on Google support to help fix battery drain problems on their Pixel phone.
We haven’t come across a viable workaround that can help fix the idle battery drain issue with Pixel 7 and 6 devices completely or at least temporarily.
We’ll keep tabs on the latest developments and update this article as and when something noteworthy comes up.
Update 1 (January 11, 2023)
11:14 am (IST): It seems that the idle battery drain has apparently gotten worse since the January update for Pixel 6 devices.
Update 2 (January 16, 2023)
11:14 am (IST): A user suggested that turning off 5G connectivity helps fix the battery issue, especially if you live in an area with poor 5G coverage.
A Google Product Expert also suggested that the issues stemming from poor 5G coverage could also cause background apps to constantly try to connect to the internet, failing and retrying, consuming more battery.
Update 3 (January 17, 2023)
02:35 pm (IST): While some Pixel 7 owners reported that the battery drain has improved after January update, others noted that it got even worse.
Update 4 (January 18, 2023)
01:08 pm (IST): For some users, there is a ‘Media Server’ system service of unknown origin that is consuming a lot of battery life in the background (1, 2, 3).
Meanwhile, cases continue to arise where battery draining is caused by connectivity problems, being represented in the OS battery stats as ‘Mobile Network’.
01:20 pm (IST): We previously highlighted how keeping 5G on in areas with poor coverage may lead to battery drain.
However, one of our YouTube viewers confirmed that the issue persists even in areas with good 5G coverage.
I’ve left 5G off on my 6 and 7 Pro almost from the start even though I am in a good 5G location, it’s apparent that even at idle 5G drain is more than 4G LTE only.
Thanks for the tip: Arthur Zakaryan!
Update 5 (January 20, 2023)
05:35 pm (IST): For users (1,2) that are still facing the poor battery life issue, here’s a potential workaround that involves flashing custom ROM using ADB:
Just flash the rom through adb again.
Update 6 (February 21, 2023)
04:41 pm (IST): According to a recent report, the Google Pixel 7 series supports an older 5G standard (3GPP Release 15 from 2018) instead of the more modern ones (3GPP Release 17 or Release 16).
Each new 5G standard releases include improvements focused on network stability and performance, as well as optimizations in energy consumption.
For instance, with respect to energy efficiency, 3GPP Release 16 includes the following:
‘A new wakeup signal (WUS) can let the device know if a transmission is pending or allowing it to stay in low-power mode, skipping the next low-power DRX (discontinuous reception) monitoring period…
…Others include optimized low-power settings, overhead reduction, and more efficient power control mechanisms.’
That said, it seems that the Android 14 update will bring support to 3GPP Release 16 for the Google Pixel 7 series. So, this could help mitigate or fix power consumption issues related to the mobile network.
Update 7 (February 23, 2023)
01:15 pm (IST): According to a couple of Pixel users (1,2), the excessive battery drain on their device was caused by the Instagram app constantly running or consuming data in the background.
Uninstalling it or restricting background data usage helped resolve the problem.
Update 8 (March 14, 2023)
05:05 pm (IST): Google has recently released a software update for March 2023 and it also includes general enhancements to battery performance, battery use, or charging.
So, those affected can try updating their Pixel devices to see if it fixes the ‘excessive standby or idle battery drain’ issue.
Update 9 (March 20, 2023)
12:15 pm (IST): According to fresh reports, the battery draining issue on Pixel 7 persists even after the latest March update.
One of those affected suggested that fully turning off adaptive connectivity feature might help fix the battery drain problem to an extent. Here’s how you can do it.
Update 10 (March 22, 2023)
06:40 pm (IST): Some users allege (1,2) that in addition to excessive battery drain at idle, the mobile devices get overheated which can negatively affect the battery life.
Update 11 (March 23, 2023)
05:18 pm (IST): According to a redditor, Android 13 QPR3 Beta 1 offers better battery life compared to the latest stable update. So, it is possible that future stable updates will improve this.
Update 12 (March 24, 2023)
05:14 pm (IST): A user contacted Google support about the Battery Drain issue and they denied or are unaware of it. Instead, they want the user to send their phone for a warranty repair.
Additionally, they asked user to run a battery test and send them the results.
Update 13 (March 27, 2023)
06:48 pm (IST): According to reports, it looks like the ‘Battery Saver’ mode has been enhanced after the March 2023 update for Pixel devices.
Earlier, users had been alleging that they face battery drain issue with the mode on, but now they claim it to be far more effective.
Update 14 (March 28, 2023)
05:40 pm (IST): According to some users, the battery drain during idle usage can reach 30%, and the ‘Mobile Network’ feature can consume up to 45% of the battery.
Affected users are outraged and are calling for a fix.
Update 15 (March 31, 2023)
06:50 pm (IST): According to a report, some users claim to be facing battery drain issues even after disabling all types of connectivity.
Also, it is suggested that UK users uninstall the NatWest bank app because it appears to be consuming battery at a very fast rate.
Update 16 (April 13, 2023)
12:10 pm (IST): According to a recent post on Google IssueTracker, it appears that the issue is hardware related and cannot be fixed by any software update.
NOTE: You can also check the Google Pixel 7 series bugs/issues and updates tracker and Google Pixel 6 series bugs/issues and updates tracker for more information.
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