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Steel HR is draining my phone's battery

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  • Avatar
    the.old

    I have same problem with my iPhone 5s. Reading more about the watch I realized that they need Bluetooth Low Energy (not supported by my phone). So, at the moment I have to disable the bluetooth most of the time. It is very inconvenient.

    Before I have used Mi Band 2 from Xiaomi with the same phone and had bluetooth enabled all the time. There were no problems at all.

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    sscarter.scott

    That happened to me the first day as well (today, actually). I finally figured out that it wasn't the HealthMate app, it was bluetooth.  So I rebooted my phone (Android 8), disabled bluetooth, recharged the phone to 100%, then turned blluetooth back on.  So far, it's not draining too fast.  We'll see how it goes.

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    kivancgunalp

    Some others find the cause of technical issue I think. I wish someone find the solution too.

     

    https://www.reddit.com/r/withings/comments/9ypt38/battery_drain_on_android/

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    zol.subscribe+nokia

    I have done quite a bit of work to get to the bottom of this and sent my feedback to support who were useless and failed to acknowledge an issue.

    Problem: With the Steel HR connected(even with notifications disabled) the app seems to try to sync with the watch at regular intervals. This sounds fine and normal but I suspect that the interval is too short(maybe every minute?). What this does is prevent the phone from going into deep sleep properly which severely reduces the battery life on stand by(if you use your phone a lot throughout the day, you might not notice).

    Here is why I suspect the above. I used an app called BetterBatteryStats which allows you to track CPU States and wakelocks on the phone. Whenever the Steel HR is connected, the time the phone is in deep sleep vs the time the phone is awake with the screen off is 50% each. Normally you would expect deep sleep to be about 90% with the other 10% due to emails/Messengers syncing etc and if I disconnect the Steel HR, that's what I get. Because it's a 50/50 split, I suspect Withings is trying to sync every minute, waking up the phone for roughly 30 seconds to sync and then letting it go back into deep sleep.

    This is NOT a phone issue as I have tried testing it both on a Samsung Note 9 and a Nokia 6.1 and they both show the same issue.

    Workaround: First up, this workaround is not perfect, you will lose notifications on the Steel HR.

    The workaround I have found that let's me keep the Steel HR paired while not draining battery on my phone is to:
    -Disable notifications for the Steel HR in the health mate app
    -Open app info for Health mate and tap on battery. Disable allow background activity. Go back and then tap on Notifications and disable show notifications.
    - Everytime you open Health Mate, you need to close it when you are done by opening multitasking and swiping it away.

    The reasoning for doing all that is to not allow the Health Mate app to run in the background as it seems like it's the one that triggers the excessive syncing.

    Hopefully the information I have shared can help the Withings engineers get to the bottom of this issue. In comparison, I used to have a Fitbit Charge 2 that would sync the same amount of information and show notifications and it never caused any issues with my phone's deep sleep so it's not impossible to be done.

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    kivancgunalp

    Hi zol.subscribe+nokia,

    I also have fitbit charge 2 and I was using it without this battery draining problem.

    I can not restrict this type of background activity on Iphone ( I also can not see it on apps that drains battery )

    I can accept a solution by disabling some features of watch ( but not phone calls, messages, )

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    zol.subscribe+nokia

    kivancgunalp,

    I just realised that the original post was about the iPhone app. The details I have posted are for Android phones which also has the same issue.

    Sorry about the mix up.

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    kivancgunalp

    No problem zol.subscribe+nokia. It is good to know that the problem occurs on other phones ( and other phone operating systems )

     

     

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    dnvechkanov

    With my Steel HR Sport turned on, my iPhone battery is drained 30% faster. This is unacceptable!

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    kivancgunalp

    There is no solution nor support. I returned to my old Fitbit charge 2.

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    leandrob131

    I am experiencing the same issue with my steel hr and my iphone 8. I was hoping the most recent updates would have taken care of this problem but no. If I forget to disable bluetooth, my phone’s battery will be drained in about 2 hours. This is making me consider ditching the watch and the customer support is doing everything so that I won’t feel motivated to buy withings products again. I have used the watch for 10 months now it this problem has never improved.

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    brismuth

    I thought my battery life was just shot on my iPhone 7 - the battery was going from 100% to 30% overnight without being used at all.

    I finally thought to try disabling bluetooth and my rapid battery discharge stopped. Over the same time period it only went down from 100% to 93%.

    I turned bluetooth back on, and again experienced the rapid drain while the phone was not in use. 

    I then went into bluetooth settings and had my phone "forget" my Steel HR Sport. The rapid drain again stopped completely - the same as when I had turned bluetooth off completely. It's definitely the watch's fault.

    I'll experiment a little more with disabling notifications, etc. Pretty lame that such a minimal feature set on the watch is causing such rapid battery drain on the phone.

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    Jon

    I was stupid enough to change the battery on my android mobile, as the life has declined somewhat recently. It didn't improve matters much.

    As suggested by a previous poster, bluetooth wakelocks were preventing the mobile from entering lower power modes.

    I've found that denying Health Mate the android location permission helped, at least doubling my idle battery life. I've also turned off Health Mate notifications, though I plan to turn these back on, both to see if it helped and to see if they still work with location off (I seem to remember BT and location are linked).

    Of course, these moves render the watch somewhat less useful and I'd much rather Withings just fix their software!

     

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    zol.subscribe+nokia

    I have since sold my Steel HR and used a Fitbit Versa, and a Garmin Instinct.

    With the Fitbit there is an option to disable all day sync and with that off there is no additional battery drain on the phone even with notifications enabled.

    With the Garmin Instinct, I didn't need to disable anything and it has no impact on the battery life on my phone.

    I really liked the style of the Steel HR but Withings needs to take this issue seriously or they will lose a lot of customers.

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    brismuth

    I upgraded from the iPhone 7 to the 2020 iPhone SE and can confirm that the battery drain is happening with that phone as well.

    With notifications on the Steel HR Sport disabled in the bluetooth settings and the app settings, the drain is gone. Pretty annoying, I wish this wasn't the case.

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    major_groove

    I have the same issue. Only noticed it recently since I have been working from home that my phone (OnePlus 6t - Android), which is connected to Wifi and sitting next to me, won't last the whole day on a charge now.

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