Happy batteryI’ve been having battery issues with my new Vodafone Smart 6 Grand, a favorite ereading and audiobook device. I’ve also found out how to fix those issues in a blink. But GSam Battery Monitor highlighted some issues in the process that open up a whole area of battery life woes, and possible fixes.

Prior to the fix, my battery life was a dismal 7 hours or so, albeit with WiFi and Bluetooth running all the time and no battery saving. After the fix, I’m now almost 6 hours in to the latest charge, with all the same battery-draining functions running, and only 18 percent of battery power used.

And the fix? Simplicity itself. Just wipe the device’s cached data, under the Storage item in Settings, then do a soft restart. Whatever program is eating up power gets killed by the reset, and battery life goes back to more like normal.

But this battery drain issue touches on the issue of Held Awake functions in Android. Even with battery life back to far more tolerable ranges, GSam Battery Monitory shows that Held Awake functions totted up 50 percent of battery usage since the last charge – or over 2 hours. Screen usage, by comparison, often the biggest drain, accounted for just 19 percent. WiFi accounted for 11 percent, and always-on Bluetooth for 0 percent.

So what is Held Awake? As explained here, it’s when an app or system function keeps the device CPU or other component running even when the device is idle. A root-level app like Wakelock Detector can pinpoint exactly what the problem item is, but obviously that needs rooting first.

There’s a very detailed guide to Wakelocks, Held Awake, and various fixes, on XDA Developers Forum here. However, this really is very high-level stuff and best left to those confident in their terminal skills. Just as well that the cache-scrub-and-restart trick can deal with a lot of the Held Awake problems.


  1. This is an old issue which has been around for years, and it is why I always recommend installing a power management app like Deep Sleep. It makes sure the device actually goes to sleep when you press the power button.

    I never knew exactly what was keeping Android devices running while asleep, but that app helps.

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