Qualcomm has seemingly out of nowhere released Snapdragon BatteryGuru, an app to help users with devices that have Snapdragon processors make the most out of their batteries. The app has some pretty lofty promises, and with support from the same manufacturer as your processor you'd hope that it would be able to help with battery life a notable amount.
So can Snapdragon BatteryGuru solve the battery woes on your new phone? Hit the break and see our results.
The Snapdragon BatteryGuru will only install on (you guessed it) Snapdragon-powered devices. Luckily with the popularity of the S4 Pro in the recent months, that's a whole lot of phones. I let the app have a go at improving the battery life on my stock Nexus 4. The tutorial when first opening the app gives you a pretty good idea of what the BatteryGuru plans to do. It explains that your phone has dozens of apps constantly syncing to the internet, sometimes unnecessarily, and it can help manage that syncing to improve battery life.
Once you exit setup, you'll see a notification hit your status bar indicating that the app is "In learning mode", and it will notify you when the battery savings start. The idea is that Snapdragon BatteryGuru will "watch" how you use your phone -- which apps are open most often, whether you use Wifi, etc. -- and adjust the sync settings of individual apps accordingly. After 2-4 days (ours popped up in 2), the app will let you know that it has learned all it can, and it is ready to save your battery life.
At this point there's actually nothing to do. The app will continue on its merry way, saving you battery without any user intervention. We would think that because this is an app made by the processor manufacturer that it would be able to offer more than the average battery-saver app, but we're not so convinced that this is the case. On the surface, it seems that the only thing BatteryGuru is doing is changing the sync interval for individual apps, which is always a double-edged sword.
We must admit that in our few days of anecdotal testing, the battery did seem to last longer on our Nexus 4 than it did before installing the app. The other thing we noticed is that we were not getting push email alerts from Gmail anymore -- which is not a good thing. Although I check my Gmail dozens (okay, maybe hundreds) of times a day, BatteryGuru still made the decision to lower its sync interval to save battery life. This is fine for an app like Words With Friends because I really don't need to know when someone makes a play that exact second, but for apps like Gmail and Google Talk, this isn't a good idea.
Thankfully, you can go into BatteryGuru's settings and manually override the interval it has chosen to sync for each app it has access to. The problem being that it's not exactly clear if this will always be the case, or if at some point the app will choose to turn off sync again. For the most important push notifications, I want to be completely certain that I'll receive them.
If you're someone that doesn't always need 100-percent push alerts for items like Gmail, Skype and Google+, and have a Snapdragon-powered device, then BatteryGuru can probably add a bit of a buffer to your battery life. If you absolutely need to have certain apps syncing right on time, then I'd be weary to completely trust this app to manage the sync intervals for you. Go give it a shot at the Play Store link above, and let us know how it works for you.