After using the phone for a little over a week, I discovered what most other Thunderbolt users have: the HTC Thunderbolt has poor battery life. The included 1400 mAH battery isn’t what this phone needs. I went to bed one night with the phone alarm set to wake me up in the morning. The battery was fully charged. I woke up late, the phone battery was completely dead.
If you’re like me and you don’t like getting only 4 hours out of a battery, here’s the way to do it.
You have to turn off the 4G. I know, I know. But it’s easy enough to do, you just have to know how to do it, then you can turn on 4G when you really need it. HTC and Verizon didn’t make it a simple setting, it requires going into the test menu.
Don’t be afraid, you won’t screw up your phone or void your warranty. Instead, you’ll have a useful tool to toggle 4G/3G and make your battery last up to 4 times as long.
1. Open up the phone dialer
2. Type “*#*#4636#*#*”. You won’t have to hit send, this will take you instantly to the test menu.
3. Click on Phone Information at the top
4. Scroll down to the bottom of that screen. Click on the area that says “CDMA + LTE/EvDo auto”.
5. Change that to “CDMA auto (PRL)” which sets you in 3G
6. Go back to your main screen and you’re done.
If you are ready to be in 4G mode, reverse the steps and change it back to “CDMA + LTE/EvDo auto”
Verizon has been excitedly promoting the Thunderbolt as their first 4G phone. I spoke with a couple of Verizon reps today, and they said that battery life will improve when there are more 4G towers. If you’ve ever been on a fringe area, you know that your phone trying to connect to a weak signal will drain your battery, no matter what phone, in short order.
There is an app to easily toggle 4G on and off, called LTE OnOFF, by Cunning Logic. Some users have reported issues with their phones when using it, though that’s information gleaned from reading reviews, so I can’t confirm the accuracy. I’m a fan of simple fixes, not using a one-trick pony app for everything I do. Doing this yourself takes a few seconds and takes up no space on your phone, no potential issues, and you feel like a power user when you do it. And when your jealous friends go out and get their Thunderbolts (or you want to strike up a conversation with someone else who has one), you can show them this tip and you’ll really feel like you know your phone.
And as with any Android smartphone, there are all kinds of apps going on in the background. If you’re not using them, turn them off. In this instance I will recommend the same app that Verizon recommends. Advanced Task Killer. It’s a free app on the Android Market, and you can selectively turn off all the apps you’re not using. Facebook, Maps, etc. all use battery to run. It may not be a lot, but it all adds up. If you aren’t using the GPS to get to where you are going, turn off Maps. The app itself is very easy to use.