The Galaxy S II was the most popular Android handset of 2011. The handset sold in excess of 10 million units, and is still selling like hot cakes all over the world.
One of the major complaints among Android handset users is the poor battery life of their phone. The Samsung Galaxy S II is no exception to this, even though it has one of the best battery backups found in an Android phone.
With the passage of time, I have learnt quite a few tricks, which can greatly improve the battery life of my Samsung Galaxy S II.
Below are 5 tricks which will help you improve the battery life of your Galaxy S2-:
1) Update to Android 2.3.6 based FW – All the latest Android 2.3.6 based firmware for the Galaxy S II provide a much better battery life, compared to the previous Android 2.3.3/2.3.4 based firmware. Samsung fixed the excessive Android OS drain in the 2.3.6 based firmware, which also leads to lesser battery drain when the phone is on idle.
Readers can install the Android 2.3.6 firmware update on their SGS2 by using Samsung’s KIES software. If for some reason, the update does not show up on your phone, they can manually update their handset using this guide.
2) Freeze system processes – Samsung pre-loads quite a lot of bloatware on the Galaxy S II. While some of them are handy, some of them always run in the background and drain your phone’s battery, for no specific reason. Freezing some of these system apps will not affect your phone’s stability in anyway, and will bring about a noticeable improvement in your phone’s battery life.
Here is a spreadsheet, which lists all the process that can be safely frozen on the Galaxy S II. Keep in mind that you need to have root access to freeze system processes on your phone.
3) Siyah Kernel – While there are many custom Kernels available for the Galaxy S II, Siyah Kernel is by far, the best. The Kernel allows users to undervolt their CPU or GPU, change the GPU speed, tweak the BUS speeds, OC/UC the CPU and more. Most importantly, the developer has tweaked the kernel for the perfect balance between performance and battery life. Readers can find more info about Siyah Kernel and its features here.
Users who have already flashed Siyah Kernel on their SGS2 should refer to this thread on XDA for more battery optimization tweaks related to the Kernel. My SGS2 easily lasts 17-18 hours on 3G under heavy usage, all thanks to Siyah Kernel.
4) Do not Install CyanogenMod 7– While this may sound ironic, I’d recommend SGS2 users to not install CM7 on their handset. For some reason, I have never managed to get decent battery life with CM7 on my handset. On an average, my SGS2 lasts around 12 hours on 3G with CM7 installed.
5) Calibrate The Battery – If you continuously flash ROMs on your Galaxy S2, or have done a hard-reset, it is recommended that you calibrate your phone’s battery once. This will definitely help in improving your phone’s battery life, and will allow the phone to make full use of the battery’s capacity. The required steps to calibrate your Galaxy S2’s battery can be found here.
I have noticed a pretty substainal jump in the battery life of my Galaxy S2, by using the tips I mentioned above. It can now easily last 16-20 hours on 3G, with around 2-3 hours of phone calls, 50-60 SMSes, lots of tweeting and around 2.5-3 hours of screen on time.
Readers can also check out our general battery life saving tips post to increase the battery life of their Android handset.