I got a Nexus 4 in the first week of December, and have been loving the device since then. It has nearly everything that I would have asked for in the next Nexus. A stunning screen, blazing..and I mean absolutely blazing fast performance, a usable camera and good battery life with a catch. The catch here is that I need to use my Nexus 4 connected to a Wi-Fi network if I want it to last me a day with 3-4 hours of screen-on time.
On 3G/HSPA+, the Nexus 4 suffers from some serious battery drain. The over-night drain on 3G can be as high as up to 20%, which should not happen. After all, the device is just idling for 8-10 hours. Why should there be such a high battery drain?
I am not the only one facing this problem. Each and every Nexus 4 owner has been facing the same issue. For some reason, there is a very high battery drain on the Nexus 4 when it is connected to mobile data. The culprit behind this is the “msm_hsic_wakelock” process. From what I have read on XDA forums, this process is used every time by the OS for any kind of mobile data activity, which causes a wakelock. While this is completely fine, the problem is that the wakelock is not dropped or released after the task is done, causing excessive battery drain. If your Nexus 4 is facing the same issue, you will see a very high % of “Android OS” and “Android System” usage in the Battery stats.
The worst part? In all likelihood, this problem can only be solved by Google and LG/Qualcomm. Flashing a custom ROM or a kernel or formatting your phone is just not going to solve this issue.
The only temporary solution to this problem is to use Wi-Fi on your Nexus 4. For some reason, the “msm_hsic_wakelock” wakelock is greatly reduced when the Nexus 4 is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
There are quite a few Nexus 4 owners out there that face severe battery drain that is not caused by the “msm_hsic_wakelock” process. For them, some random apps or process will create a wakelock and drain their phone’s battery. Sometimes these apps or processes will be some key system processes that cannot be disabled or uninstalled.
We, the Nexus 4 owners, are at the mercy of Google and LG/Qualcomm for now. Until and unless, Google and or LG/Qualcomm release a software update to fix this severe battery drain, there is not much Nexus 4 owners can do. I had hoped that Google would release a software update to fix this issue before the holiday season starts, but that did not happen. Hopefully, Google will roll-out a software update to fix this issue sometime in early January.
P.S. – You can comment/star or up vote on Google’s Android bug tracker.
For more reference, head over to this XDA thread.