In this guide we’ll show you how to fix bad Samsung Galaxy S7 battery life problems. Samsung’s S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are getting a little older, but they’re still great phones. Especially after the recent Galaxy Android 8.0 Oreo update. They just need a little TLC now that they’re no longer new phones.
These devices are over two years old and have received countless updates over the years to fix issues. And while the Galaxy S7 Oreo update fixed most of them, some new ones surfaced at the same time. Don’t go to your carrier store for help, we have some solutions for you below.
Our tips will cover everything from misbehaving apps, changing settings for a better experience, software changes, and other problems in Android Nougat or Android 8.0 Oreo. Even with a big 3,000 mAh battery on the Galaxy S7 and a bigger 3,600 mAh battery for the Galaxy S7 Edge, battery life can always be a little better.
How to Fix Bad Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Battery Life
Whether you just got the Galaxy S7 Android 8.0 Oreo update, or you’re on the older Android 7.0 Nougat, these phones have multiple battery saving features, performance modes, and even quick charging technology. Combine that with our suggestions below, and they’ll last longer than ever before.
This guide will help you get better battery life on Samsung smartphones and prepare you for the future. Abnormal battery drain can happen at any moment, and you’ll want to know how to fix it. Whether that be the Oculus app draining the battery or something else. For what it’s worth, the Oreo update should drastically improve battery life. If you just got Oreo and are having problems, here are some general Galaxy Oreo Problems & Fixes.
Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery
The first recommendation we always make if battery life isn’t as expected is check on third-party applications. Keeping an eye on your apps is one of the biggest yet easiest steps to take. They can drain a battery faster than anything else, at times.
Whether these are stock apps that came on your phone, or 3rd party apps downloaded from the Google Play Store, there is a chance a rogue app will put a huge dent in battery life. This goes for all Android devices, not just the Galaxy S7.
If you use an application a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. But there are also times where bugs or issues might cause an app to go rogue and start abnormally draining juice. That’s been happening with the Oculus app that comes pre-installed for the Gear VR headset, whether you use it or not. If something is misbehaving, you’ll see an orange icon on the settings wheel in the notification bar. Or, follow these steps.
Above is a screenshot showing a good day with the Galaxy S7 Edge. Getting nearly 23 hours of usage, with more than 4 hours remaining and over 4 hours of the important “screen on time”. Battery life will vary from person to person, but that is an average day for me.
The biggest drain on battery life is “Android System” shown on the bottom left of the screenshot above. That’s a bit high, but I used the device a lot. Things like Android system, Android OS, or the screen (display) should be at the top of this list. If a random app is near the top, that’s a problem. If so, uninstall that app to prevent it from draining the battery. You can reinstall it later, too.
Oculus Battery Life Fix
Users have noticed the Oculus VR app is totally draining the S7 battery, and some are dealing with this on Oreo. The Oculus Rooms feature is the culprit, and we recommend users disable the app completely if you don’t use the Gear VR.
Head to Settings > Applications > Application Manager and scroll down to Oculus. Select the app and choose the “Disable” or “Uninstall” button. This will completely disable all aspects of this app and potentially fix your problem. Alternatively, owners can turn off auto-updates inside the Oculus app, or disable and uninstall the Rooms feature too.
Reboot Your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge
Oddly enough, I’ve found that if battery life is dropping at a fast rate after pulling it off the charger, there’s a reason for it. GPS, WiFi, or an app could be acting up. Something isn’t right, but we don’t know what yet. A quick reboot will often fix this, and save owners from dealing with a dead battery later in the day.
If the phone is getting hot for no reason, lagging or working unusually hard, long press the power button and choose “Restart”. Another option is to press and hold power and the home key for 7-8 seconds to do a hard reboot. This won’t erase anything but restarts the phone with a clean slate.
Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
Having a big 5.1 or 5.5-inch Quad-HD display watching videos or playing games at full brightness can easily drain a battery. Screen-on time under the battery stats page in settings is important, as the display will usually be at the top of the list. Here’s how to change it:
- Go to Settings
- Click on Display
- and select Brightness
Choose a level that works best for you. Leaving brightness on auto is easier, but it’s not the best route for battery life. Personally, I use somewhere around 30-40% brightness at all times. You can also change this quickly in the notification pulldown bar on most Samsung phones.
While we’re in display settings some owners will want to lower the “screen timeout” option. This is how long the phone stays on before the screen dims and turns off when it’s not in use. By default, it’s set to 1 minute but try 30 seconds instead. This actually makes a huge difference when you turn on your Galaxy S7 150 times a day, as the screen stays on for a minute at a time, each time you use it. Turn the Screen Timeout down to a lower setting, or remember to hit the sleep/power button when you’re done using your phone.
WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS
If you aren’t using WiFi or Bluetooth, you might as well turn them off. Even though they’re minimal when it comes to battery drain. It’s one more quick and easy step. If you’re in a WiFi location (coffee shop) yet not using WiFi, certainly turn it off as the device will continuously search for a network. It’s a huge battery saver at home to use WiFi, but if it isn’t being used, disable it. Bluetooth being enabled isn’t much of an issue, but while we’re here, disable it if you haven’t a need for it. These are right at the top of the notification bar, or the first few options in settings.
Then, using things like Tethering will drain your battery so use it only when necessary. Anything using 4G LTE and data often will drain the battery. Use WiFi as often as you can, then turn it off when it is not needed.
However, the biggest drain on your battery is location services and GPS. So using Google Maps, letting Facebook messenger use GPS to find your location and other things of that nature. The GPS chip is very power-hungry and can kill a battery extremely quick, especially on the Galaxy S7.
The image above is what we recommend. Head to Settings > Privacy & safety > Location > and select Location Method, then choose “Battery Saver” or the middle WiFi and Mobile networks. Unless you need Google Maps daily, don’t use GPS for location, as it will be a big drain on battery life.
Use a Black Wallpaper
Switching to a black or dark wallpaper could help deliver better Galaxy S7 battery life thanks to the way Samsung’s AMOLED display consumes power. By default, the background image is black and blue, but the darker the wallpaper the better. This is a small difference, but everything adds up in the long run.
After you’ve downloaded one go to Settings > Personal > Wallpaper > From Gallery > and then set your black Galaxy S7 wallpaper.
Install Battery Guru
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge software have plenty of battery saving features we’ll go over below, but if you install the free SnapDragon Battery Guru app you’ll see better Galaxy S7 battery life right away. This app learns usage habits and where you connect to WiFi to know when settings turn on and off. After learning your habits these settings will turn on and off automatically. This only works with the US version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge as they use a Snapdragon processor. Other models use Samsung’s own in-house chip.
This app actually works on any Snapdragon powered device, and so far we’ve seen great results on the Galaxy S7. It basically turns features on and off for you, rather than you messing with them all day long.
Galaxy S7 Software Features
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a lot of software features that can hurt battery life, and others that improve it. As a result, here’s how to disable a lot of that stuff you’ll never use.
By default, the Galaxy S7 has tons of gesture and motion controls enabled out of the box. Like swiping a hand over the screen to take a screenshot, keeping the screen on if the sensor above the screen senses eyes looking at it, and more. You can even put the phone to your ear while reading a text to instantly call that person. These are helpful, but they drain the battery waiting to be used, and most people don’t even know they exist.
Head to Settings > Advanced Features > and turn off things like Smart Capture, Palm Swipe Capture, Direct Call, Easy Mute, and disable “Smart Stay” in the display settings. All of these will lower battery life and I’m willing to bet you never use them.
Battery Saver And Performance Modes
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge also have battery saving and performance modes you can use. The Galaxy Android 7.0 and Android 8.0 Oreo update removed the battery saver modes, and replaced them with “Performance modes”.
If you’re looking to save battery life or improve performance, here’s everything you need to know about Galaxy S7 performance modes. This can lower the screen brightness, slow down the processor, and sip on your battery when it’s needed most.
When you enable Power saving mode, it will limit the quad-core processor’s performance, lower screen brightness, and overall frame rate, turn off the touch key lights, turn off vibration feedback, and reduce the screen timeout feature mentioned earlier. It’s a great way to get through an entire night when there’s only 30% left.
Also, with Android 7.0 Nougat Samsung changed the screen resolution to 1080p, instead of Quad-HD. This helps battery life and most don’t even notice the difference. However, you can always change it back if you’d like. We recommend keeping the screen resolution at 1080p for the best Galaxy S7 battery life.
Clean Up Old Files
While it might not make sense, cleaning up old files and freeing up space on your phone can and will improve battery life. After 2+ years of downloading apps, uninstalling apps and software updates, you probably have a lot of leftover residual files all over your device.
Read: How to Free Up Space on the Galaxy S7
By following our guide in the link above you’ll free up space on your phone, clean it up so it runs better, and potentially improve battery life all at the same time. This is one of those steps people should do every 5-6 months, but most don’t. Give it a try to improve your S7 experience.
Other Quick Tips
Each one of these small but very helpful tweaks will actually make a noticeable difference in battery life. Users can always get apps like BetteryBatteryStats to dive in even deeper. It’s what we used to find the Oculus issue. It’s a good app for tracking battery usage, finding apps that misbehave, and understanding how you use your phone.
Other Details & Check for Updates
In closing, we want to share a few other details. For one, make sure your phone is running the latest software update from your carrier or Samsung. We’ve seen multiple updates to the always-on display app, performance modes and more throughout 2017 and 2018. Make sure you’re running the latest software by heading to Settings > About Phone > and checking for software updates. Or, get up to date on the Google Play Store, and check for updates in the Galaxy App Store too. That way you have the latest version of Samsung’s own apps.
We doubt the Galaxy S7 will get an update to Android 9.0 P in 2019, so this could be the last major software update. That said, Samsung will continue to release security updates and fix bugs moving forward.
Above are some great Samsung accessories, and that list includes a battery case that nearly doubles S7 battery life. Meaning the battery can last 2-4 days if you buy one. Get a battery case, portable chargers, or other things if needed.
We also suggest using Airplane mode when you travel, or won’t need your phone. Airplane mode turns off all radios, data, and services and most phones can last 3-4 days in Airplane mode. Then, occasional device restarts can help flush out the system and memory, giving your device a clean slate for the day or week. And if you’re experiencing extremely bad battery life, do a factory data reset and erase your Galaxy S7. This is the last resort, but it can and will fix almost any major problem.
These are just a few of the many options available to users. Try a new launcher, download third-party text apps, or even better, uninstall Facebook. If you’re still not satisfied with battery life or need more juice while out and about, take advantage of the fast charging technology in the Galaxy S7 and buy a fast portable battery charger.