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Running a Battery Test With and Without GPS

After I cleaned and rooted the Samsung S4, I began running a battery test with and without GPS to make sure it was working correctly.  With LOCATION “on” and GPS “OFF”, I fully charged the battery and watched how long it took to discharge.

In the first 15 hours of the test, it discharged down to 84%.

After 4 complete 24-hour periods (ie: 4 full days), the battery had discharged to 40% — allowing me to extrapolate that it would have lasted just short of 7 days if I had let it discharge completely.

In order to see for myself how fast a batter discharges with GPS set to “ON”, I began that test — charging the phone to 100%; then turning GPS to “on” and writing down the times and percentages, just as I had done in the previous case.  [I did not install, uninstall, or change anything on the phone from the first test to this test so that I could compare “apples to apples”].

Of course, in the newest of phones, the distinction of Location and GPS is moot as Android decided to incorporate both into ONE button — a terrible step backward as I have already stated.  However, since this phone still allowed the separate settings, it was worth the time for the experiment.

With GPS “on”, the battery discharged to 84% in the first TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS!  At the end of 24 hours, the phone was down to 26% charge!  Based on that, I extrapolate that the battery would be completely discharged (aka dead!) within a total of 32 hours.

32 hours battery life with GPS “on” versus 160 hours battery life with GPS “off”!!  IMO, that is an incredible battery drain — I never expected to see such a drastic difference in battery life.

I want to point out again — this is an older phone that allows a separate activation of LOCATION vs GPS.  On the newer phones, it is not possible to separate LOCATION v GPS.  Google screwed up — there is no other way to view this.  With location on, your phone could still be found and it maintains a nice battery life.  But with GPS on, the phone has terrible battery life.


These results made me wonder how much GPS affects battery life under a full load.  Said differently, this phone will be given to one of my kids, who is a gamer!  She wears out phone batteries like crazy, just playing her games.

I couldn’t find an app that would test battery life under heavy gaming with and without GPS activated.  But just looking at the tests above, one could assume that GPS would add “load” causing the battery to discharge the battery 4-5 times faster???



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