If you find yourself charging your Android more often than expected, the first place you’re likely to look to start working-out just where all your power is going is Android’s built-in Battery Usage monitor. New Galaxy S III owners have been noticing something odd with the usage their phones report, and a little digging into the situation has revealed what appears to be a software error that makes one system process mis-report just how much power it’s consuming.
The culprit is “Cell standby”, which on an unmodified GS3, appears to be a regular power glutton. What’s actually going on is that the phone’s framework-res.apk appears to contain an incorrect value for how that power consumption is calumniated. Its base value of 34mA is well over ten times higher than expected (up from 2mA on the GS2), leading to the phone showing more power being used on it than is actually true.
There’s a fix available that modifies the value from 34mA down to 3.4mA, and while that’s not a perfect solution, relying on guesswork, it at least causes the phone to report power consumption that’s in the correct range (original above, post-fix shown below).
We’ve yet to hear any response from Samsung regarding these findings, nor learned if it has any plans to correct the value itself in a future update.