The true cost of 'double tap to wake'

tgr42

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I've seen many people claim that enabling 'double tap to wake' will drain your battery faster. On the settings page where you enable this setting, Nokia even says "this reduces battery life".

But how much? Seems like an important question, but I've never seen anyone give specifics. So I tried to measure it myself. After doing a number of normal discharge cycles with the feature enabled, I did one with it disabled. I didn't change any other settings. I used the phone normally in both runs - very similar usage.

I found that disabling this setting produced no significant change in battery life. In both runs that I compared, my battery level was at about 20% after about 3 days. See the attached graphs for my results. The first graph is with the setting on. After just a little under 3 days it was very close to 20%. The second graph is with the setting off. After exactly 3 days it was a little above 20%. These results are not exactly the same but I don't think they're significantly different. Not as different as I was expecting.

If anyone else has performed a similar test, I would be curious to know your results. For now, I'm going to leave this setting enabled with a good level of confidence that it has minimal impact on battery life.
 

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thelostsoul

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Very interesting! Thank you for your input here. I've been toying with it on and off, and what I've found is not that the tap to turn on feature itself uses more battery, but that if I put it where that it gets bumped a lot, it seems to turn on the screen needlessly and use more power. After seeing your post, I think I will turn it back on for a while and see how it goes.

I am also very interested in how you get 3 days of usage out of your device! Do you hardly ever use your phone?
 

Martsicky

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Hey TGR, thanks for sharing! I've been testing "dttw" influence on battery back in August. Just after I've flashed GDR2/Amber on my Lumia820 via Nokia Care Suite. This feature has received several updates since its debut on non-925 devices. Seems that they've improved battery usage a bit. Even so, my results were similar.

?29% after 2 days with dttw on.
?33% after 2 days with dttw off.

Note: 820's battery is well known as weakest side of this phone.
 

tgr42

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Interesting, I think I've seen this feature trigger at undesired times maybe 2 or 3 times ever for me, but I'm generally very careful about where I put the phone.

Regarding how I get 3 days of usage... It's a combination of careful settings and light usage. Unless I'm on a trip, I'm usually near a computer most of the time so I tend not to do any intensive stuff on the phone. I regularly use it all throughout the day to check 2 email accounts (read only), a small number of Skype messages (read only), and some infrequent game/app notifications. I also do short web browsing sessions - maybe a total of 5-10 minutes of web browsing a day on this phone, some of which is via cellular. On an average day I'll take maybe one picture. I don't do much in the way of calls or messaging via the phone. And for home usage, lately I've been using a cheap Nexus 4 (on wifi only) for any intensive web browsing, games, running, and some other apps I can't do on WP. That certainly takes some of the load off of the 1020.

Of course, this all changes if I go on a trip or do something out of the ordinary like experiments with the 1020 on a tripod.
 

Ultimateone

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I shut off peek/glance for a week and did not notice any change or improvement on my 1020 so I put it right back on. I don't think it drains it all which is awesome.
 

hcrick

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On my 920 I tried a week with Glance & Peek enabled then one week with them disabled and biggest difference I got was 5% over 24 hours. If I wasn't consciously tracking consumption I'd never even notice a difference at all.
 

SwimSwim

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The 1020 certainly is a battery champion. I leave tons of features generally regarded as battery drainers, and still have plenty of juice to spare by the end of the day.

This is pretty much the only feature I've been too worried to try out, but based on this, I'll give it a shot.
 

Tommy Tom

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Great news. When I saw the review of the 1020 on ZDNet, they said battery use was a problem, which flew in the face of everything else I'd seen. But I didn't expect three days with light usage. I'm used to getting a couple of days if I push it with my Note 2, but that thing has a big ol' battery. My 1020 arrives on Monday. We'll just have to wait and see.
 

Blacklac

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I seem to get better battery life out of this, than my HTC Titan with similar usage. I really doubt double tap to wake uses much battery.

If someone really wanted to test, get one of those apps that measure your battery drain % per hour. Monitor 1 week with it off and 1 week with it on. I say a week cause its just hard to use exactly the same amount of usage day to day, but over a week you'll get a decent estimation.
 

SwimSwim

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Thus far, I'm noticing practically no impact on battery (only an extra .12% per hour, according to my battery app). I actually really like the feature, works really well, and it's turning heads when people see me do it. Really should've used this in the past, but at least I know about it going forward.

One quirk I noticed was that sometimes it seems to be less sensitive than desirable. It mostly works flawlessly, but I sometimes have to do two or three tries to get it to wake up. I think it might be calibrated to be less sensitive to avoid accidental wake up (which would consume extra battery). It's only on the occasion, so no real bother, but noticeable nonetheless.
 

Denny Prijadi

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Thanks for the information / data gathered on DTTW (double tap to wake) impact on battery life.. im now putting it ON based on this post ..

btw will GLANCE (Peek) also wont drain battery life ?
 

jiayit

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Thanks for the information / data gathered on DTTW (double tap to wake) impact on battery life.. im now putting it ON based on this post ..

btw will GLANCE (Peek) also wont drain battery life ?

AFAIK, dttw only makes the digitizer be constantly active, while Glance actually requires the entire screen to be on constantly. So on non-AMOLED devices, I can imagine battery life will be significantly reduced (maybe by 30%?) if you were to keep it to always on.

I have no data to support it, it is only purely based on guessing & assuming, so don't quote me :)
 

SwimSwim

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AFAIK, dttw only makes the digitizer be constantly active, while Glance actually requires the entire screen to be on constantly. So on non-AMOLED devices, I can imagine battery life will be significantly reduced (maybe by 30%?) if you were to keep it to always on.

I have no data to support it, it is only purely based on guessing & assuming, so don't quote me :)

But as you said, that really only applies to non-AMOLED devices with LCD screens, like the 920. With AMOLED screens (which Nokia seems to have grown fond of), it can simply ensure only the pixels required to display the clock are turned on.

I now have double tap to wake and Glance set to be always-on, and am still getting superb battery life on my 1020. Even when, as I mentioned earlier, I have nearly all services regarded as battery drainers turned on. I've said it before an I'll say it again, the 1020 is a true battery champion.
 

pavvento

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Hmmm, this is interesting. I posted in another thread that dttw was destroying my battery life and once I disabled it my battery life was great. I wonder if it was actually dttw or another setting/app that I disabled around the same time. I did turn off toast notifications from the WPCentral app as well as FBPages Manager. I'll have to turn it back on and see how it works. Thanks a lot for sharing!
 

RN50

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I have both double tap to wake and glance on. The glance clock is always on for as i think it looks amazing and i don't have it dimming. Battery seems fine to me of not slightly better.
 

liin

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...but that if I put it where that it gets bumped a lot, it seems to turn on the screen needlessly and use more power.

That is probably the case.

As for short battery life. I think it was just poor quality control on Nokia's part and there are some lemons floating around.

Because I just got mine, and I think I have one of those lemons. My phone was fully charged from last night ( major data transfer and app install were done yesterday ). I turned it on 3hrs ago. I have power saving as always on. My cell data is off. I just spent less than 2hrs fiddling with it, adding a couple contacts, add profile pics to those contacts from SkyDrive, downloaded and installed World Clock ( didn't browse the store ), added a pin page to Google Calendar. That's it. And I just went from 100% to 85%.

Yesterday, I even used it till it was totally drained. When I then charged it without using it. And shut it down when it was fully charged.

I'm still deciding if I should go through the hassle to convincing MS Store to get me a replacement ( I got it at local MS retail store ). My phone usage is minimal, almost non-existent. And I'll be shifting my other mobile usage to my iPad. Got this for the camera. But camera usage will probably drain this phone faster than using it as a phone/mobile internet ( haven't try it yet ).

Someone posted his 1020's battery life was so ridiculous he asked for a replacement, and it was the same so he gave up. Another claimed his phone can drain almost all by the time he is done with breakfast and leaving for work. But those who have no problem, have normal settings running for days. Which is why I think it's lack of quality control to ensure consistency. Notice I'm not saying the phone is of bad quality, it's a great product. But if the battery sucks, it should be across the board, and if it's good, it should be the same for all.
 

SwimSwim

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@liin,

I've noticed the same. Some people complain about some issue or another, while others have no issues with their devices. I've heard of many who've had to exchange their Lumia 920s several times (up to five) before they found one without battery issues, dust issues, structural integrity issues, etc.

Nokia makes great devices, so long as you get the cream of the crop. But they also seem plagued by poor quality control, which can easily leave a bad impression on someone misfortunate enough to buy a bad egg.

I myself have had four Nokia Lumia devices (two 900s, and my previous 1020 and my current 1020). I've not had any issues with them, besides the fact I constantly break them (I still have the two broken Lumia 900s, but I had to exchange the broken 1020). I guess I'm lucky (again, aside from the fact I always find some way to destroy them), it's a shame some people don't get to know what great quality Nokia offers due to them having the bad luck of constantly getting the crummy defective models.
 

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