02 December 2012

N9 Battery Q and A

It has been over a year since the phone's premiere back in 2011, and chances are people who have been using the phone for that period will soon start encoutering battery problems, and maybe even have to replace it. That's why I thought it would be nice to collect what I (and the N9 community) know about the battery pouch in Nokia N9 - in the form of a simple Q and A.

1. What's the battery model inside Nokia N9?

Li-Ion 1450mAh BV-5JW battery, the same one you will find in a Nokia Lumia 800. Lithium ion batteries are commonly used for most mobile phones nowadays. And they seem to be the only really outdated technology in a high-end smartphone. The battery life is the only factor that has not improved parallelly with other features of phones like processing power.

I'd say the battery is slightly under-sized compared to Nokia N9's hunger for power. It would have been nice to be able to squeeze full 2 days of use.

2. What's the Nokia N9's official battery's performance, according to Nokia?

Stand by: Up to 380 h (2G) / Up to 450 h (3G)
Talk time: Up to 11 h (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)
Music play: Up to 50 h

These figures, however, don't have much in common with real-life use of the phone.

3. How is Nokia N9 battery life against other mobile phones available on the market? 

Nokia N9 does not boast exceptional battery life, but sits comfortably in the middle of most charts.

Average real-life battery performance of Nokia N9 varies between 1 and 1,5 days, so if you want to be on the safe side, you'd better recharge your phone whenever you go to bed.

For a trustworthy comparison, have a look at the battery endurance tests by www.GSMArena.com to see the battery life is not something you'll love your N9 for, although it's still better than Nokia Lumia 800:

Talk time - N9's performance is obviously quite poor, with just 6:57

Web browsing, 4:33

Video playback 8:40 - this is definitely one of the things N9 excells at:

4. How often do you re-charge your N9?

Usually once per day should be enough for most users. The best time to re-charge your phone is night, and plugging in a charger for night is a good idea if you're going to bed anyways.

In case of Li-ion batteries, however, it is absolutely acceptable to partially recharge your phone several times per day without negative effect on the battery. 

Seldom recharging, i.e. waiting for the phones full discharge is not particularly recommended as it compromises the battery's life cycle, but obviously it's how most people do it.

5. How long does it take to fully charge an N9?

I'd say charging a Nokia N9 takes exceptionally long compared to other phones available on the market. Nokia N8, which boasts a 1200 mAh battery needs just about 80 minutes until a full charge. Nokia N9, on the other hand, charges to a full 100% in a little more than 2h, sometimes it even takes 2,5 hours.

6. Can I replace the N9 battery myself?

Yes, you can. You'll probably lose the guarantee though, as the battery is not user-replacable by design. The safest way is to have the battery replaced by an authorized Nokia service in your town. This, however, will set you back a little more.

The dedicated 1450mAh BV-5JW Nokia battery costs around $30-$40 and is identical to the one that sits in a Lumia 800. There's a video on the internet which demonstrates how to disassemble a Nokia N9 and replace its battery in under half an hour:


7. How many charge/discharge cycles (or: consecutive days of use) will it take until I will definitely have to replace the battery?

It basically depends how you use the phone and when the battery performance will finally start to annoy you. Li-ion batteries lose capacity with each consequent discharge, but it's very unlikely that the capacity will drop to a zero some day. 

According to batteryuniversity.com laboratory tests, performed on 1500mAh battery packs, very similar to N9's 1450mAh battery:
11 pouch battery packs showed a starting capacity of 88–94 percent and decrease in capacity to 73–84 percent after 250 full discharge cycles (recharges). This would mean that after the first year of use the battery performance is expected to drop down to about 84% of the original capacity.

According to www.batteryuniversity.com, the 11 tested battery pouches showed almost uniform drop in performance after a cycle of 250 discharges.

8. Is it better do discharge my battery fully, or partially?

Again, according to www.batteryuniversity.pl:

a mobile phone's battery, similar to any other mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count.
The shorter the discharge (low DoD), the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid full discharges and charge the battery more often between uses. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine; there is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles to prolong life, other than to calibrate the fuel gauge on a smart battery once in a while.

The bottom line is: buy yourself another battery charger, keep it in your bag and recharge your phone whenever you see a power socket. Or at least try to do so.

9. What are the best tips to pro-long the battery life?

Use the power saving mode in Nokia N9.
Settings - Device - Battery. Set power saving mode to come on automatically at, say, 20-30%.

Keep your battery cool, high temperature compromises the performance of Li-ion batteries. Room temperature is best, but don't keep your phone in direct sunlight or near any source of heat.

Carry a charger with you. Recharge while you can. With Li-ion it's absolutely to recharge partially several times a day without any harm to the battery.

3G Internet drains the battery more than Wi-fi, so avoid using mobile internet as much as possible.

In Nokia N9, quite surprisingly (compared to other phones), audio playback drains energy quite badly.

Finally, use software like Battery Usage for Nokia N9 to monitor battery consumption, suspicious drops of power, and determine whether some apps you use on your phone drain the battery exceptionally fast and get rid of them as soon as possible.


10. Can I use a more powerful charger to charge the phone to a higher capacity?

Theoretically, yes. However, it also compromises the cycle life of battery. Nokia N9, it seems, has some kind of an integrated circuit that stops it from happening, i.e. even if a more powerful USB charger is attached, the phone charges as slowly as it would with the regular stock charger (2-2.5 hours).




A chart from www.batteryuniversity.com demonstrates the bad effects of charging with higher voltage.

11. What are the top energy consuming things in Nokia N9?
Jodging from my experience, I would say the following: 3G internet browsing, GPS navigation, Games, frequent updates of facebook, bluetooth, feeds and email (more than once per hour drains your battery, and does not seem necessary anyway).


12. How is the 1450mAh Nokia N9 battery capacity against competition?

At the time Nokia N9 was released (back in 2011), its battery capacity was comparable to most competing smartphones like Samsung Omnia W I8350, HTC Titan, or later Nokia Lumia 800. Modern smartphones, however, have bigger battery packs of around 2300mAh in Samsung Galaxy S3, up to even killer 3300mAh in case of Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX, but we must remember they're much bigger phones.

For more reference go to www.batteryuniversity.com

14 comments:

  1. Great post with full of useful and detailed information. I only have one question that banging in my head quiet a long time. Are there a battery that suit the original N9 battery size but has more power like 2200mAh or more?

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ami Not that I know of. I wouldn't also try other than Nokia vendors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank for your quick reply. Appreciate that. I'm really enjoying your blog.

      Delete
  3. I wonder if you have discussed the problem with charging the N9 with a standard USB charger, and it won't recognize it?

    It is quite annoying to plug it into a charger that I know is able to deliver 2A and then get the following message:

    Not enough power from the USB
    in order to charge the device

    And it really _doesn't_ charge!

    I can only charge it from either the charger that came with it, or from a PC connecting it with the micro-USB cable.

    Is there a way to update the Flash on the N9 or perhaps modify the cable to trick the N9 to believe it can be charged?

    I have previously met this issue with Motorola mobiles, and it is real annoying.
    Even iPhones can be charged with standard USB chargers, so I wonder why Nokia has to be like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's because the chargers that work with iPhones are _not_ standard, they're wired in an Apple-specific way. Read the Wikipedia article on "USB" (look for "dedicated charging port" in the article).

      You need to find a "standard" (dificult because everyone on the market wants to be apple-compatible) usb charger, or take your apple-compatible charger apart, and remove the 4 resistors that make it apple compatible (they'll be between the power and data pins), and instead short the data-pins in the charger. This works perfectly, I've done it with several chargers.

      Now, be aware that cheaper chargers are noisy (electrically) and this interferes with capacitive touchscreens, so you might get spurious activations, as if you were touching the screen, even if you aren't.

      So get a good charger.

      linuxcub@email.dk

      Delete
  4. my battery is heating up pretty quickly, what could be the problem, and whta sideeffects could that have on the phone ?

    ReplyDelete
  5. can the











    can the N9 be recharged with the lumia wireless charge plate?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fix to "Nokia Lumia 3g/4g not working"
    Watch solution at following youtube video:
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    ReplyDelete
  7. Fix to "Nokia Lumia Battery Draining"
    Watch Solution at Following Youtube Video:
    http://youtu.be/poofKB9JTmQ

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is it possible to find an identically sized battery with a higher capacity?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi guys! My N9 looks little bit confused. After long time i downloaded Battery Usage app again to see what my consumption looks like. First day in Idle consumption was about 5mA when i didn't use N9 and after listening to music it was about 18mA. I think, that's ok. But than, i tried how much will Power Saving Mode improve the N9's battery life. I turned it on 13h ago (in the evening, so i didn't use N9 all the time) and now it shows me, that Avg Idle consumption is 24mA!

    So i just turned on even flight mode and I will let you know how it behaves.

    But, don't you know why is Idle cons. higher with psm? PLEASE help me with this! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. heyy hi guys. sorry for me but i really need your hepl. i bought nokia n9 2 months ago and it was ok, but yesterday i forgot to charge it and next day i could not switch it on, i saw other sites but no help, may be you... sanks for advance

    ReplyDelete
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