Battery life for various OS & UI
#1
Can battery life be gained by a choice of OS & UI?
  1. Is there a noticeable difference in battery life between operating systems?  (All other things being equal, of course, like usage.)
    I'm especially curious about Archlinux vs postmarketOS vs Debian.

  2. Does UI choice notably affect battery life?  Which UI's are least/most power hungry?
My hypothesis is that minimalistic OS's like PMOS load cpu less than, say, Ubuntu/Debian or Manjaro, and thus draw less power.

Likewise, for UI's, I assume that a bare OS only with command line interface and without any GUI uses less power than, say, Lomiri (Ubuntu Touch) or Phosh.

I haven't done any solid testing, though.  From casual use, SXMO did seem to have a noticeably longer battery life than ArchLinux+Phosh.

Maybe people could share their experiences with battery life using different OS's & UI's here?
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#2
Technically, a Pinephone (also applies to Librem 5) is a PC in your pocket with which you can make phone calls.
So just like how battery life depends on what you're running on a note PC, battery life depends on what you're running on your phone in the same (or similar) way.
For example, running Thunderbird in the background on a note PC and a tablet (Surface Pro) results in a much faster battery drain.
I noticed the same thing on the Pinephone while running Thunderbird in the background, battery ran out from idiot-like fast to warp speed fast (and even quicker if kept in sun light).
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#3
Quoting Amos Batto from 2020-08-05:
"Mobian with Phosh currently has the best battery life of any of the PinePhone distros, with an idle run time of 24 hours with the cellular modem turned on, whereas UBports drains the battery in 14 hours in the same state."
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#4
(12-20-2020, 08:07 AM)lat Wrote: Quoting Amos Batto from 2020-08-05:
"Mobian with Phosh currently has the best battery life of any of the PinePhone distros, with an idle run time of 24 hours with the cellular modem turned on, whereas UBports drains the battery in 14 hours in the same state."
How I experience it:
Pinephone with Mobian: drained after 6 hours while screen locked.
Nexus 5 with Ubuntu Touch: drained after 48 hours while screen locked.
Lumia 930 with Windows Phone has by far the worst drainage of battery out of all the phones I own, that one gets drained after 2 hours even after a fresh install and doing absolutely nothing.
iPhone 11 with iOS, Pixel 3 with Android, and Aquos Sense Lite with Android all drain after 24 hours.
And Kyocera Digno 501KC with Android lasts a whole week, because it's a garake (or flip phones like you guys call it).

Probably it depends on what you have installed or running in the background in the end.
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#5
Quoting this post:
Phosh is the most used interface. Is that just because it has the best battery life?
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#6
(12-20-2020, 06:04 PM)ryo Wrote:
(12-20-2020, 08:07 AM)lat Wrote: Quoting Amos Batto from 2020-08-05:
"Mobian with Phosh currently has the best battery life of any of the PinePhone distros, with an idle run time of 24 hours with the cellular modem turned on, whereas UBports drains the battery in 14 hours in the same state."
How I experience it:
Pinephone with Mobian: drained after 6 hours while screen locked.
....
Probably it depends on what you have installed or running in the background in the end.
Running PostmarketOS-Phosh (Edge), consistently seeing drain rates under 2%/Hr now.  Think the worst of the excess battery drain problems are soon to be behind us on all the well maintained distros.  Now the fight begins to make it more useful without killing the battery.  Lacking a bigLittle CPU design is going to make that challenging.
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#7
I'm not aware of any official comparison being available, and OSes change quite often.

However it should be easily tested if you have enough time for it. Define your "test suite/case" and use megi's multiboot image to test various distros, unless you want to test it while OS running from eMMC, then you have to install it manually all the time. Also it depends whether you want to test for "stable" releases or edge ones etc. There's no universal answer yet.
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#8
(12-21-2020, 09:55 AM)jmorris Wrote: Running PostmarketOS-Phosh (Edge), consistently seeing drain rates under 2%/Hr now.  Think the worst of the excess battery drain problems are soon to be behind us on all the well maintained distros.  Now the fight begins to make it more useful without killing the battery.  Lacking a bigLittle CPU design is going to make that challenging.
yeah, I have about 2% drain per hour on suspend. I can keep the phone in my pocket all day and it will have charge at night time.

drain while being used is an issue, if I use Firefox, for instance, to play the daily crossword on vox.com, I see 10% or more drain per hour, and I can easily drain the battery in a couple of hours checking Facebook
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#9
(12-21-2020, 07:14 PM)hiimtye Wrote:
(12-21-2020, 09:55 AM)jmorris Wrote: Running PostmarketOS-Phosh (Edge), consistently seeing drain rates under 2%/Hr now.  Think the worst of the excess battery drain problems are soon to be behind us on all the well maintained distros.  Now the fight begins to make it more useful without killing the battery.  Lacking a bigLittle CPU design is going to make that challenging.
yeah, I have about 2% drain per hour on suspend. I can keep the phone in my pocket all day and it will have charge at night time.

drain while being used is an issue, if I use Firefox, for instance, to play the daily crossword on vox.com, I see 10% or more drain per hour, and I can easily drain the battery in a couple of hours checking Facebook
Conspiracy theory outlets are often filled with multiple ads per page, (forced) auto play videos, and other battery eating stuff.
And the overly bloated web designs which are difficult to navigate these days we're calling "modern" aren't doing much good to battery life either.
Neither are web browsers these days that got to the point of using more RAM than a video game just to be able to render these overly bloated websites.
Yes, it's perfectly possible to make modern looking websites that are lightweight, but for some reason nobody wants to make them anymore.

And Fakebook is designed to be a survelliance service that people are willingly using it, survelliance eats battery (in comparison, a standard degoogled Android phone can survive at least twice as long as Google Android on the same phone).

So I can very understand why battery drains on these sites quicker than on suspend (or maybe other websites that are relatively lightweight).
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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