Why Your Battery Doesn't Last Long And What To Do About It
One of the most common complaints from the Nokia E50 users is the poor battery life. We’ve previously covered some tips on how to increase the battery life and this time we will look closer why our battery doesn’t last longer than a few days. Understanding the processes running on the phone will help us optimize the usage of our device and improve the battery life.
To do this, we will use a specific application called ActiveFile. ActiveFile is basically a common file explorer for the S60 devices but it has one extra feature which we will take advantage of – tracking the operative system activity. In this case we will use only the Memory Monitor which you can access from the main screen of ActiveFile, under the Options and Tools menu. So let’s see what’s going on in our phone:
As soon as the phone boots there are already several processes running (81 processes in our case) and the free executable memory is approximately 11.5MB. The number may vary based on how many 3rd party applications are running right after the start up. In this case we have 2 extra applications running – ScreenSnap to take screenshots and the previously mentioned ActiveFile with its feature to track memory usage. From this point, we can see the memory usage of common applications. The memory usage has straight effect on the power consumption. Let’s go through some of the most common applications to see how they may affect the battery life.
As we can see on the screenshot, simply going back from ActiveFile (leaving it running on the background, together with ScreenSnap) to the main screen, and entering the SMS application from the Active Standby screen, used almost 2MB of executable memory. No wonder why sending 40 messages per day drains some battery!
You could say this is too much for such a common application, but remember, we are running an entire OS(Operation System). There are a lot of subprocesses involved in something as simple as sending an SMS. For instance, T9 dictionary (that evaluates the written text) together with the link to the Contacts application certainly add up to the whole memory consumption.
Let’s have a look at the email application. What you see on the screenshot is not the standard inbox but a 3rd party application called emoze. This application is always running on the background pushing my Gmail account to my phone. Only three apps running and we only have half of the executable memory free. At this point, some applications like Nokia Maps, QuickOffice or OfficeSuite won’t be loaded without closing one of the active applications (remember, this is valid for the Nokia E50 which has a total of 16MB memory; other devices like the E61 (21MB) or the E65 (24MB) can handle more applications at the same time).
1) As we can see, running a complex OS like Symbian S60 (which has a few million lines of code) has its advantages, but also some drawbacks. As in any OS, all apps running on Symbian leave some residual code behind them when they are closed. Think of it as your PC. If you leave it turned on for an entire week, eventually, even if your computer has no active applications running, it will be slower than if you do a reboot. For this reason, it is recommended to restart your phone at least once every couple of days.
2) We’ve seen memory usage of the common applications. Some applications I reviewed have not been specifically analysed here. To mention a few, Contacts uses approximately 800KB of memory, Notes uses a little more (depending on the amount of notes on your phone, on mine it’s approximately 1.2MB) and Agenda (a.k.a Calendar) uses surprisingly 600KB. Only Nokia Maps alone uses 1/3rd of the entire executable memory (in my test 4MB).
3) Ultimately, by tracking the memory usage, you’ll understand what’s going on inside your phone, and when to reboot it. ActiveFile doesn’t use too much memory and it’s a helpful and well designed application which runs without glitches on the E50. I hope it helps you to track your phone’s performance and battery life.
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