When Android L was announced at Google I/O 2014, it was said to provide a significant increase to battery life. For some devices, this was observable, but in many cases battery life was even worse than on Android KitKat. Google once again seeks to boost battery life with Android Marshmallow, which is why I’ve been monitoring the Nexus 5's battery life since its upgrade earlier this week. Does Android 6.0's Doze feature make a big difference to standby time? Find out below.
Doze is a power-saving feature primarily concerned with reducing processing and network activities while a device is not in use. It works in conjunction with another Marshmallow feature known as App standby to limit the synchronization of apps running in the background.
Theoretically, Android Marshmallow should be more capable of identifying when the device is in use and needs to refresh/update data to benefit the user, and when it is in its Doze state, waiting to be interacted with.
Does Doze Work Doe?
The Nexus 5 strikes me as a good litmus test for the success of Doze because of its maligned battery life. I charged the device to full capacity three days ago. This is the same Nexus 5 that we got our hands on two years ago, so it's safe to say it's received some heavy usage in its time.
While conducting this test the screen on time has been about 20 minutes. I've checked some emails, and that’s about it. The point is to monitor how successful it is at holding the charging charge in the background. And, well, it’s good.
After about 14 hours, the Nexus 5 battery had dropped by around 6 percent. The Wi-Fi remained on, and the device was not in airplane mode.
In the next four and a half hours, when I had uses the screen a little more, the battery life falls by a further five percent. What this means is that with the display being on for around ten minutes, the device has basically used almost as much juice as it did in standby for 14 hours. Not bad.
By almost 6 PM on the second day the battery life is hovering at around 84 percent. Now the usual suspects like Gmail and Google Play Services begin creeping in.
On the following morning, 15 hours later, the device is now at 78 percent battery: another 6 percent drop. What does this tell us? It tells us that the Nexus 5 is dropping by about 6 percent battery life while in standby for roughly 14 hours while connected to Wi-Fi. The Nexus 5 could last for more than a week in these circumstances, without problems.
This is quite remarkable for a device which is two years old, and which could drop by about 15 percent in the same time on Lollipop.
We intend to put the Nexus 5 through some battery benchmarks to update our review in the light of its upgrade to Marshmallow, but in some ways it's needless. Doze is a feature which benefits the standby time of devices. And from what we've seen so far, it seems to work.
Have you updated to Marshmallow yet? How has the battery life of your device been affected? Let us know in the comments.