Confessions of a Former iPhone User – Battery Issues

This is the first in a series of posts about my transition from an iPhone 4s to a Nokia Lumia 928 running Windows Phone 8.  For the last 3 years, I have carried an iPhone 4 on AT&T, and then an iPhone 4s on Verizon Wireless.  I’m very accustomed to the Apple iPhone way of using things… and I’ve tried a Windows Phone from time to time.  I’ve always enjoyed Windows Phone, and had an opportunity in the middle of June 2013 to get the latest Nokia Lumia on Verizon Wireless.  I took that opportunity, and have had a number of challenges since.

I really like that I don’t need to tote around those silly white charging cables with the proprietary connector for this phone.  I have plenty of micro-usb connector cables, and knew I could use them effectively with this phone.  When I first unboxed the phone and plugged it in with a cable I had been using to charge my Bluetooth headset, the phone charged quickly and I was ready to go with a full charge in an hour or two.

I took my Lumia to my Honda Fit, which has an auxiliary USB connection for the radio, and attempted to plug in my phone.  I was expecting the phone’s music collection and audio apps to start playing through the radio and the phone to start charging.  Nope… Nada..  I completely struck out:  the phone would not charge, and the car radio blinked a “device not supported” error message.  This is a significant negative for me, as I prefer to have the phone’s GPS audio and charging through my car radio so that I don’t need a headset or need to listen for the phone’s speaker.  The phone did charge when I connected a micro-usb cable from the phone to a car-power adapter (cigarette lighter for us older folks)

Out of curiosity, I took the phone to my wife’s Ford C-Max, which runs the latest version of Microsoft Sync.  I thought this would be a lock, as it was a Microsoft device connected to a Microsoft device.  I didn’t completely strike out here, as the phone did charge when plugged into the car’s USB outlet, but was not detected by the entertainment system.  I did get the Sync system to connect to my phone when I activated a Bluetooth connection between the devices.

This past week, my family and I took a road-trip for vacation, driving to the New Jersey Shore.  I attempted to use the much-talked about Nokia driving directions in the Nokia Here app.  The app was very easy to use, as I was able to dictate my destination and the app found and configured driving directions quickly.  I was impressed, and set off on my projected two hour drive.  After using the Waze app on my trusty iPhone, I knew that GPS can be a serious drain on phone battery resources, so I plugged in my Lumia.

Here is where things get a little tricky…  After 45 minutes of driving, my phone shut off.  Confused, I attempted to turn the phone back on, and was unable to get any response from the device.  I had a pretty good idea where I was going,  stayed on the main roads, and reached my destination with little trouble.  I started recharging my phone as soon as I could, and found my hunch to be correct:  the phone completely discharged while using the Nokia GPS apps AND charging in the car.  This blew my mind… I expected the phone to charge a little, certainly not as much as it normally charges when connected to a regular AC adapter… but this was silly. 

The following day my family was going to drive to a local zoo, we decided to use my wife’s iPhone for driving directions.  I loaded up the Battery app on my Lumia, and connected it to the car charger.  I turned off location services, WiFi, and Bluetooth connections to the phone.  As we drove, the phone reported that it was charging 18.9% per hour.. a decent charge rate.  However, after 45 minutes of driving to the zoo, my phone discharged 45% of its charge from when I started driving.  This is crazy…  the phone was NOT in use, it was only connected to the cellular network, and the screen was turned off for the duration of the trip.  How is the phone discharging THIS FAST??

I mentioned these issues on Twitter, and the @NokiaHelps account told me that I should be using the Nokia certified cables, not some other connector from another vendor.  I still need to get my hands on a Nokia car charger.. but I do have a Mophie battery backup to connect to the phone.

I tried using the Mophie with the phone.  This is where things get REALLY interesting.  Previously with my old iPhone, I was able to connect the iPhone and restore to 100% in about 60 minutes, using half of the charge on the Mophie.  It’s a pretty handy little device.  I tried using the Mophie with the Lumia and after connected for two hours with no network services running except for cellular, I gained 20% of battery and drained the entire battery backup.

I have now attempted a hard-reset of the phone, and am waiting for it to finish wiping and restarting.  After waiting a few a minutes, I was greeted with a spinning gears screen.  I waited FIVE HOURS for that screen to clear, with no luck.  @LanceWMcCarthy recommended that I reset the device a few times to jump-start the process of getting back to the start screen.  After five resets in the next 20 minutes, I was back up and running.

I installed an ran all of my old apps and configured my home screen the way I had it before.  Wouldn’t you know, my charge rates are significantly higher, and the phone is not discharging anywhere near as fast as it had before. 

This past weekend was the litmus test:  I used the Nokia Here driving directions to get to my aunt’s place for a family get-together.  The drive covered 90+ minutes, and I REALLY needed my GPS as I haven’t driven to their house in years.  I am happy to note that not only did the GPS run the entire duration of the journey, but I actually gained charge on my phone’s battery.  I was thrilled at the turn-around in battery performance.


I really like the features of the Nokia Lumia 928, and the battery had its issues when I first brought it home.  In the future, I intend to wipe all phones that I get in order to ensure that I start with a “clean” phone operating system before I get started.  Many thanks to Verizon Wireless, Nokia, and Lance McCarthy for helping me clear up the problems I had with this phone.  This device is a keeper for me… at least until the next really cool Nokia phone comes to Verizon Wireless.