HandsetsTips & Tricks

Sprint Suggests Turning Off Roaming to Help Your EVO 4G’s Battery


Let’s address the ever-so-awkward elephant in the room: the HTC EVO 4G’s battery life could stand to be a little better. Whether it’s the hardware, software, or the battery itself, something’s not really helping in this three-pronged equation. Fortunately, Sprint feels the same and they’re offering up some tips to help you squeeze more juice out of your shiny new phone.


The most unique and interesting tip they offer is to turn off network roaming. When your phone’s radio is constantly searching for a better network when it doesn’t need to, it’s probably using more battery life than it needs to at the same time. It’s suggested that you should only be on “Automatic Roaming” when you absolutely can’t hold a signal wherever you may be on Sprint’s network.

You can find the rest of the tips straight ahead.

1. Add widgets to your HTC Sense homescreen to control the radios (Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G)

2. Use the widgets to turn off select radios when not in use. If you’re not using 4G, switch it off and fall back on 3G instead to gain better battery life.

3. Turn off network roaming. By default, roaming is turned on for the HTC EVO 4G out of the box, which means that the phone scans for the strongest CDMA/EV-DO signal. If you’ve got great Sprint coverage where you are and don’t need to roam onto one of Sprint’s partner carriers, turn off roaming so the phone doesn’t need to constantly search for the best signal.

4. Turn on automatic brightness so the screen can adjust in light and dark environments rather than having brightness turned all the way up. Alternatively, you can also set the screen brightness lower by default.

5. Turn off live wallpapers–they’re pretty, but they do use a little bit of extra processing power.

6. Carry an extra battery or plug into a car charger when you can.

[via PocketNow]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. This is true. In fact….this should be common sense. Along with Certain GPS functions….Bluetooth when not needed….Screen Brightness….Vibrate Kills the battery….hmm what else…Oh yea, using the Net….Youtube….Music player…

  2. Don’t use the device. Please keep it off, unless using it.

  3. I just leave Wifi and Wimax off unless I am specifically in need of a higher speed connection. I turn Wifi *on* when I am indoors in a place with poor reception but open Wifi. That way I don’t kill battery when trying to update email and such. Otherwise, I turn off live wallpapers and widgets that pull from the web. I don’t need to have my desktop constantly updated with twitter and facebook posts. With all that I have pretty good battery life. The key is to just turn things on when you use them rather than having them run all the time. Same as I do on laptops or other battery-dependent things.

  4. Battery life is a minimum payment for something so “GREAT”
    just plug to the wall or car when you can and that’s it!!!
    !!!Enjoy the phone!!!
    Solutions :-D no problems ;-)

  5. I can find plenty of support that live wallpapers do NOT use as much battery power as some claim. Just sayin…

  6. If you really want live notifications and live feed on your widgets, check the settings in each app to make sure the refresh frequency is not too quick for non-essential apps. I mean, do you really need the FB widget updating every 5 to 15 mins?

  7. I will say, though, that it’s a bit embarrassing that the Evo’s battery life seems bad, just when Apple boasts of longer battery life on their iPhone 4. Not sure how accurate Apple’s figures are, but just the claim itself may hurt Evo’s reputation and build Apple’s.

  8. Im sure both sides are a bit exaggerated by the media

  9. Here’s a solution: 1) put EVO back in box. 2) Return to Sprint. 3) Buy Nexus One.

  10. These are all things you should have been doing since your first smartphone purchase.
    Newsflash: active electronics consume power. Film at 9.

  11. #9, my Nexus isn’t that great either. I wish all these companies would spend less time coming up with gee whiz features and spend more time on coming up with a battery that doesn’t suck.

  12. Hey..at least you can buy An extended battery and/or replace them if you truly drain power like that…unlike that other Gimmick.

  13. don’t have this problem with my bb

  14. It’s the price you pay for speed! Just get a bigger battery and also have your stock as a spare.

    Also, I just got this new ferrari. It gets terrible gas mileage… should I drive really, really slow with the radio and A/C off or just fill it up more often? haha :-)

  15. How can you compare battery life with a device such as an iPhone? You can’t even run more than one thing on it at a time. It’s no wonder why these devices suffer of battery life, we’re trying to run all kinds of stuff in the background.
    My .02

  16. Funny, because it seems the only service I ever had with Sprint was roaming.

  17. All to common problem with anything that has an HTC name on it , there battery life sucks simple as that !!! The Droid Incredible I have is my last ever HTC phone , As soon as Motorola comes out with there equivalent or even better phone , I am dumping HTC and going to the far better Motorola , my wifes Droid outlast’s my HTC 3-1 , its not even close

  18. Keep making excuses for Android and its poor batter life. There is a reason why the iPhone doesn’t let Apps run in the background and waited until now to do multitasking the right way.

    Owner of iPhone 3G (personal) & HTC Hero (company)

  19. After 48 hours with my new HTC EVO 4G, I must say that this is by far the BEST phone period in terms of brains & brawn! It eats iPhone for breakfast!
    Concerns are:
    1) Sprint Customer Service – After 2 tries they still haven’t applied by corporate discount. They are living up to their reputation (or lack thereof).
    2) BATTERY – It SUCKS, period! Charged all night and after first 3 hours of albeit heavy use, I had to immediately buy a car charger. Its like driving a Corvette in rush hour traffic. Big V8, no place to go.
    I haven’t ported my number yet. Applied battery tips noted on the forums and lets see if it can last at least 10 hours on a full charge.

  20. one solution that is working for me is to turn off mobile network completely….Hold down power buttom, a list pops up…Just turn off when not using internet.. That basicly leaves you just your voice service…And turn it back ON when you need to use internet…My evo last me a day with heavy use(not contstantly on it tho)…

  21. Personally the battery life of my Evo has been real nice compared to the last couple smartphones I’ve had(other then my blackberry). Everyday since i got it on the 4th its lasted from when i wake up until i goto bed witch is all i really ask for.


  23. Nobody is going to convince me the EVO battery life is good , its just not an HTC trademark , all HTC phones have shitty battery life compared to others and I know the Evo with that sceen and such is going to drain that tiny battery real fast , HTC sucks they do this to force you to buy accessories , NO MORE for me , Come on Motorola ! bring out the phone that will kick the crap out of the Evo , its just a matter of time and when it does come out it will be a far better phone on a far better network PERIOD !!

  24. Stop complaining!!! This is by far the best phone out on the market! So what it uses more battery, and Im sure it will be addressed soon, gesh it hasnt been out a week!!!

  25. I’m finding my battery life to be equivalent to my iPhone 3G. I’m getting 13 hrs out of it, probably more if I wasn’t on it quite as often. It’s just too nice to put down!

  26. @Rob in post #18: I disagree with you. I’m glad I have the choice to decide how I want to customise my phone and what background processes and apps I want multi-tasking. Think about it – the iPhone until now has not been multi-tasking (save for some native apps), yet the battery hardly lasts a day, if at all. My brother in law has a 3GS, and he is charging it all the time at home – in his room, in front of the TV, etc. It doesn’t last a day, and this is not an uncommon occurrence among iPhone users. My GSM Hero, which runs a variety of live feed widgets on the homescreens, some sports scores apps with live notification running (in anticipation of the World Cup!), and various processes from other apps in the background lasts the whole day until I go to bed, and I only sleep about 4 to 5 hours a night (I also surf the web a bit, run some apps during the day, etc). Prior to the World Cup, when I previously restricted myself to one or 2 live feed widgets, the phone lasted 1.5 to 2 days. No complaints here. To me, it looks like the iPhone NEEDED the battery upgrade just to get to the same level of battery life as most Android phones. So I see no problem or weakness in the way Android does things, in comparison with the Apple phone OS. However, the EVO in particular seems to have worse battery life than most, from what I read. Whether people are exaggerating it, or there’s some design weakness, or the reviews were written before the battery had been properly conditioned and run-in, I don’t know.

  27. I’m not sure if this is typical of the Evo 4g, I’ve had it since Friday. I’ve get to 40-45% battery left around 11am. Charge it during lunch and usually have to charge it when I get home because it’s very low and I start getting warnings.
    This is 15 or so minutes of RSS Feeds/News/Facebook, 20mins or less of talk, 1-2 e-mail checks.
    WIFI, Bluetooth, 4g, gps, and sync turned off, with display set to lowest setting.
    I was hoping I could get 8 hours on 1 charge at least. I could go 2 days with more talk time on my Razr. The downside of a smartphone I guess.

  28. Can’t really explain it, but I think task killers hurt battery life. Had two (Task Killer and Advanced Task killer, maybe not in that order) and couldn’t get through a day on my Incredible, even though I religiously killed tasks I wasn’t using. It killed out my alarm clock once, so I uninstalled it. Not great battery life now, but I can at least make it through a day of heavy usage.

  29. I’m around computers and usb ports all day… my usb cord is quite the slut. :)

  30. Why should we have to cripple our phones to sustain a full days use. I hope this gets resolved for future android devices.

  31. Between my Iphone 3gs and my Evo 4g, I’d say the battery is right about the same.

    Multi-tasking on the jailbroken Iphone with Pandora in the background while browing maps, txting etc… i’d barely get through the workday before the battery was dead, I’d have to plug it into the charger right as I got home.

    The evo is actually a little bit better, it gets almost to night time before it needs a charge, doing the same exact stuff.

    People that are saying htc sucks and drawing comparisons between the two… probably never owned both and are simply talking out of their a$$.

  32. Thanks for the tips but it’d be nice if you included instructions on how to properly turn off roaming.

    @Jerry – I think this is how you do it. From the home screen I select “Menu” button at the bottom of the phone, then press “settings”, “Wireless & networks”, scroll down to “Mobile networks”, “Roaming”, and finally select “Sprint only”.

    Can someone confirm that this is correct?

    I’m leaving roaming on because I haven’t had any problems with battery life but I also haven’t been away from a charger for that long. At home, work, and in my car I have a charger. I turn off 4G, Wifi, & GPS when I don’t need them. I got rid of Friend Stream and only check Facebook and Twitter every now and again using their respective apps. I use Advanced Task Killer to kill apps running in the background. I’m getting an extra battery soon so on days that I am away from a charger I can just pop in a new battery. It’s simply not an issue for me.

  33. I keep looking.. but I can’t find a charger for the EVO 4G yet that will charge an extra battery without it being in the phone! (PLUS Does anyone find that removing the back panel is a little fragile and annoying? I hope the panel lasts!) Anyway I found one charger that looks close (http://store.cheapdroids.com/Amzer-Spare-Battery-Charger-with-USB-Output.html), but it does not list the EVO as one of the supported phones. Anyone know of one that will?

  34. ” I could go 2 days with more talk time on my Razr.”

    yeah, but then you have to use a Razr

  35. I’ve found the battery was very inefficient for the fist few charges, but after the last charge I’ve noticed a marked improvement in its ability to sustain a charge. I’ve heard of breaking in batteries before and this seems to be the case. I think most of those with issues are commenting on the performance before they’ve had a chance to break it in. It’s capacity is at least 2-3 times more than it was when it was new.

  36. The roaming on this phone is BAD. BAD BAD. I have an old Sanyo SCP phone and this EVO on the same plan, and the EVO can’t even maintain a signal next to four/five bars on the SCP.

  37. I just had an aha moment. My battery life has been extraordinately good today (i.e., the phone wasn’t yelling for a charger by lunchtime). Realized I left Wifi on last night. Deduction: when my phone is forced to use Sprint’s network to poll my work email (K-9 email app), battery life suuuuucks.

    Take away? If there’s a wifi cloud, use it! :)

  38. #23 Steve, if you are so close minded and set on a Motorola (piece of crap IMHO) then wait a year or so for them to catch up and go buy one. I’ve owned (just sold it-phew) a 3gs and now have the Evo 4g and I can say hands down the EVO is a much better phone overall and I like it much better than my 3gs that I loved also. The battery life is nearly identical; Infact, I think the EVO has better battery life after ‘break in.’ I suspect that most that have have posted negative comments are simply stuck in a contract with their current provider and can’t switch over to the best phone on the market(PERIOD).

    P.s. I also have better reception and overall call quality with the EVO over the iPhone 3Gs.

    p.s.s. I totally agree with #37- Jessica. My battery also lasts a lot longer with wi-fi on.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Evo 4g.

  39. I agree with #38david…#23 Steve…your an idiot. Yes the evo is hard up for battery life. It’s about the same as every other smart phone. But with just a heck of alot more fighting power. But with great power comes great responsibility…ya I went there. Don’t max the phone out all day simply because u can..I don’t live in a 4g area so why would I have the radio on? I don’t use bluetooth simply cause I dont like em…add a few widgets to ur home screen to manage the radios…problem solved. Same as any other smart phone now. Means great battery life? No. All smart phones take a hit to te battery. Unless your one of the people who txt 2x a day n get minimal phone calls. Then u can last a friggin week….in which case the next question arises…why the heck do you even own a smartphone. That’s like giving my grandma a Corvette

  40. My phone is a week old and keeps randomly shutting off? Why?

  41. This is easy: Report your phone stolen, pay the $100 deductible and turn it into a dedicated charger. Always keep a second battery in your coin pocket and change it at 8pm. This is the only solution until they start selling a separate charger.

  42. EVO friggin rules!!! Stop whining and understand that it’s a phone. What do you expect??? Perfection!!!!

  43. I’m not convinced that the people claiming to have battery life below ten hours aren’t being hyperbolic.

    Here’s my usage:

    I was playing with it quite a bit that day including about an hour of streaming music from my home server over 3G. I haven’t done much to consciously conserve battery life aside from turning off “Always-on Data” and using HTC’s radio widgets to turn off 4G, GPS and WiFi when not in use (WiFi’s actually on nearly all the time when I’m in range of a hotspot).

  44. To everyone who complains about the battery. It is a battery operated phone. Remove the alt. from your car and drive around at night and see what happens. Yes, the battery will drain. If you still want to complain, go buy a laptop to do all your computing, then buy a GPS to navigate, but an air card to get connectivity, get a charger and inverter for you car to charge your laptop, and buy a regular phone. PROBLEM SOLVED, or else, realize that a battery operated phone/computer/GPS/internet/….. will drain the battery. I have had my EVO since day one, done a few tweaks, and the battery will last mostly all day. I check facebook, emails update every 15 min., use about 2 hours a day on the phone, and text. I do use GPS in the car, and plug it in for the 15 or so minutes I use to drive there. Just my 2 cents worth.

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