Samsung S4 Issues

Anyone else experience this?

Mega-rapid battery draining, to the tune of completely dead in maybe 5 or 6 hours with display off and about a percent a minute with the display on. Also, overheating to the point that it shuts down to cool off.

Basically, the phone is practically useless at the moment. I have to charge it three times a day and I can only use it for about ten minutes before it shuts down.

I’m off to the Verizon store soon in search of either solutions or a new phone, but I thought I’d check with a bunch of smart people first. Then I thought, fuck that, might as well post here instead.

Come on … kidding on the last part, gimme a break … and throw me bone.

Try a new battery? One of the nice things about the S4, you can get one for about 10 bucks. I had a similar issue on a nearly new iPhone 4S, I figured one of the battery cells went out. They had to warranty replace it with a brand new one.

I kind of did. I had a spare lying around … but I can’t even remember how I manage to snag it. I know it was something to do with a different problem I was having with it previously; so that may not have been the ideal replacement.

I’m hoping it’s just the battery … good to know it can be had cheaply.

Short answer? LION batteries, like the one in your S4, lose the ability to hold charge over time. They charge slower and discharge faster.

Long answer, lots of really technical stuff about graphene and lithium crystals.

Solution, get a new battery, but also know that as Android upgrades happen odds are they’re more battery intensive than they used to be. Over time your phone tends to accumulate cruft that sucks juice which magnifies the effect of your battery producing less juice to be sucked.


I’d go to ebay for a new battery before going to the phone store. Takes about 2 mins to replace & that includes powering it back on booting & finding a network.

I got an S4 over a year ago as my first smartphone and I can’t say I’m happy with it.

Like you said, the battery drains quickly.

Four months after I bought it, it stopped working. More accurately, it wouldn’t turn on. I brought it back to the store and it was sent away for repairs. It took almost four weeks to have it back. Meanwhile, I used my old mobile phone that still worked perfectly well after five years.

Now, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t connect to the wi-fi at home.

I’ve basically given up on it as a smartphone. I use it as a mobile phone, the sort that I had back in the late 90s. OK, I’ve got some mp3s on it which is… nice I guess :rolleyes:.

At the time, I almost bought a Sony (Android, too). Now, I wonder if I’d have had the same issues :mad:.

Are you sure it’s not a particular program that’s causing the battery drain? In my case, Skype and WhatsApp were problematic, so now I only install them when I know I’ll be needing them.

Recent versions of Android have a page, in the Power section of Settings, that shows what programs have been consuming batteries the most. It’s not 100% reliable, but in some cases it can give an indication.

Also, of course, you can turn off GPS or Bluetooth if you’re not using them, etc.

I don’t think so. I really don’t do much with my phone besides calling, texting, surfing, taking pictures and listening to music. Pretty much the only apps I’ve downloaded are podcasts.

Anyway, I just got back from the Verizon store. The guy said, “Uh … I think you need a new battery.” Yeah, thanks Columbo, good work on that one.

So I say, “Fine, my good man, I’ll take one battery please.”
His response: “Uh … we don’t sell batteries here.” Because that would make far too much sense. So I have to go through Amazon, which I haven’t used in years, so I’m not even sure if I have an account there.

If that doesn’t fix it, then I’ll have to pony up about $100 to get to upgrade status at which point I’ll have to mail the goddamned thing in and go without a phone until they mail something back to me.

I swear, I think I’m going to go get one of those trac-phones and give up on this smart phone shit.

Usually a drain like this, in my experience, comes from a mediaserver glitch, which has been in android for far too long now.

Basically, mediaserver’s job is to periodically go through your phone and index all the stuff. It finds all the pictures and music and puts them in your pictures and music library for you to access. When it happens upon a corrupt music or photo file, it gets stuck there. It just sits there and uses a huge amount of CPU and battery trying to get through a corrupt file it can’t process. Then your phone dies an hour later. The solution is to clean off all your photos and music, especially on the SD card. If you want the stuff back on, put a little back on every day and see when the problem comes back, and you’ll have a rough idea of what file is causing the problem. Every now and then it’s a bad app install that does this, so the file approach won’t always 100% fix your issue. Then you have to start uninstalling one app every day to see what happens.

I forget if the default system settings battery screen will show you that it’s mediaserver in particular, (it may group it under “android system” or some upper-level group) but basically, if it isn’t “screen” at the top of your list for battery drain, you have a software problem of some kind. GSam Battery Monitor will tell you more specifically what is eating all your battery.

Interesting. I just found this forumin which it seems that getting rid of something called Samsung Push Service solved a lot of people’s problems. I just killed it, but the phone is right in the middle of charging and cooling down from overheating right now.

I hope that does the trick.

Mine is over 2 years old now, and the battery is seldom even 50% drained even at the end of the day. I second the suggestion of looking at what is draining the battery. I’m not sure why a battery that loses its charge fast would run hot. I’ve noticed that the Yahoo mail app makes the phone hot for some reason.
My battery drains when my Location is on, when I’m not connected to wifi and have a bad or no 4G connection, or when it is loading updates. I have an App Killer app which I just checked - it is astonishing how much crap is running that you never started. Plus Verizon at least put tons of crap on the phone that you can’t get rid of. They shouldn’t run, but you can never tell.

The phone is hot because it is using a lot of CPU. The battery drains quickly as a result of the CPU using up the energy stored in order to work. So the phone does not get hot as a result of battery drain, the battery drain and heat are both a symptom of a CPU running at full capacity. Yahoo Mail will use a lot of CPU downloading information for mail and the news section (which you can’t disable separately, which I have complained to them about).

You can disable a lot of built-in apps if they give you trouble, even if they don’t let you uninstall them. Due to the nature of phones and push notifications and automatic services, it’s normal for many types of apps to start without you telling them because they run in anticipation of you using them (and mind you, computers are not mind readers, so if it’s an app you don’t actually use, it has no way of knowing that. It is going to continue merrily preparing itself to help you because it’s been programmed to prepare itself for use). Usually they never let you disable or uninstall apps critical to your phone working, but do be conscientious of what you disable or uninstall so that if you mess up one of your services, you know what to undo.

I’ve managed to figure out the mean streets of Amazon and ordered a battery but the more I read up I’m almost positive that’s not the issue. The overheating can’t be from a shit battery.
I’ve tried both the batteries I have on hand and it does the same thing with both of them. I think that pretty much rules out the Great Shit Battery Theory.

So it’s either software or hardware. Software-wise, I got rid of that Samsung Push thing, but it hasn’t seemed to help and the GSam Battery Monitor doesn’t really tell me much. Next I’m gonna try Macca’s advice and clear all my songs and pictures off of it and see if that does the trick. If the battery I bought for seven bucks (six bucks shipping) ends up being strike three, my next best option is to drop the hundred clams and trade it out. At least I’ll have a neat set of three lithium ion coasters.

Thanks for all the input.

This may be unique to my phone- a iPhone4s - but my battery drains noticeably faster if I leave the WiFi on, even if I am not using it.

When I had a GS4 the only time I had a big problem with CPU overdrive and fast battery drain, was when it upgraded to KitKat. I had to do a restore. Have you done a factory reset?

If you don’t have a ton of apps and what you need is/can be backed up to whatever cloud you use or elsewhere, a factory restore won’t be a big deal. I had tons of stuff on my GS4 and the restore took a while because I had to back a lot of stuff up first with a wonky battery, but it worked. Sounds like it wouldn’t be as big a deal for you, and from the forums I’ve read that usually works. Did for me.

I had similar problems but not as severe as you describe. It partially resolved when downloaded a battery doctor app. It keeps offering to let me download other things to help overheating etc (it closes background programs) but my main thing was keeping a lot of extra programs off. Especially the Samsung push service.

I had just enough little problems with my phone and I upgraded to an S5. I love it actually. It is not nearly as much of a power pig as the S4. But yes try battery doctor apps and a new battery.

I’m not sure where I’m at now. I cleared all my pics and mp3s off it and took the sim card right out but that didn’t help. At this point both batteries are dead. If I try to charge either one it goes to about 5% and then shuts down because of overheating.

I think I’m … what’s the word? … fucked. I’m not even sure if its eligible for an upgrade considering it isn’t working at all. And, of course, the warranty ran out in December.

I’m still awaiting the new battery in the mail but I’m not anticipating anything different with that one. I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting a new phone soon, one way or another.

If you haven’t done a factory restore, you need to.

That’s what I was thinking. I had an HTC phone where the battery was draining fairly quickly, and I copied all my music and pictures and other info to my computer, then did a restore. It seemed to help. It was a bit of a hassle since after the restore and my phone was wiped clean I had to re-install the apps I use and re-do all my settings and all that stuff, but if your phone is basically useless at this point, then you might as well try it.

If I can get it up and running long enough to give it a try, well, what do I have to lose.