Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Beta): is better battery life really just an app install away?

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.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Be interesting to see how it handles changes in usage patterns after the learning period.
  • My Nexus one couldn't make it through a day without routinely turning off WIFI and Cellular data. Even then, it was iffy. Widgetsoid became my favorite app. When I got my Nexus 4, I loaded up Widgetsoid first thing, and you know what, I never use it except to silence the phone. The N4 routinely has about 20% power left when I go to plug it in before bed. Am I just having particularly good luck, or have I just not started using my phone up to it's potential...?
  • Batteries are bigger and of higher quality, and chipsets are much more efficient. Times change pretty quickly in just a couple years.
  • Unless I'm using GPS for extended periods or use my screen more than 3 hours, my phone has probably 30-40% when I get home after an 11 hour day. If I use the screen a lot, it will drain pretty quickly though. Had to turn it off for the first time the other day after being at a conference all day then went out for drinks. Used the screen for like 4+ hours and it still lasted 16 hours.
  • Will be curious to see how it holds up against Juice Defender too.. Have been pretty happy with JD on my GS3, which last I heard, has a Snapdragon.. :)
  • I agree! JuiceDefender def is amazing and saves me tons of battery and has so many features. Def will give this a shot, and monitor. Thanks for the suggestions Andrew!
  • nevermind
  • Battery saver my ass! Had this installed a couple of days and it has destroyed battery life. Just uninstalled this crap before seeing this article. wake locks went through the roof running this app....absolute garbage....
  • Works good on my Nexus 4, needs no root. Noticed the Gmail thing too. No wake locks Def an improvement, and not just a turn mobile data of with screen of app either. Imagine a smartphone app that does things for you without you having to dive into setting and setup. Crazy
  • If I uninstall this app, will the sync settings go back to normal for each app?
  • Indeed they should.
  • I didn't know the GS3 used Snapdragon too!? I thought it was only Exynos something or another chip.
  • The LTE-enabled US variants use Snapdragon. The international is Exynos.
  • If you can download it to your phone, it is compatible. Usually Google Play blocks downloads of incompatible apps for your device anyway.
  • seems like 4.2.2 did wonders for my battery life. Good enough to pass on this app.
  • I noticed that to, can make it through work with 50% battery now, used to be down to about 35% by the time I got home.
  • Trying this now for a couple days and it's still in learning mode. I've been using GreenPower Premium on my Gnex but had some issues with it early on with my N4. I haven't got back around to trying it out again even though there has been several updates. Came across this and I'm sure like many am intrigued by it because the chip maker has released it.
  • If this app tries to learn my schedule, it'll end up in special ed.
    I have no real set schedule.
  • On day 4 with this app using a Verizon S3. It seems that it does a better job of managing battery life than GO Power Master Premium; but I don't like the fact that it doesn't manage Gmail at all. I've selected "When it wants" to fix that. It did shut down my bluetooth connection once when I was connected [day 3], but no problems since. I was using the Hyperion battery to get me through my typical day, with 50% by 7pm. I'm currently at 49% during the same timeframe using the OEM battery...I'm impressed! Want: scheduling or profiles, like GPM
  • "...then I'd be weary to completely trust this app..."
    Uhm... "Wary"? Ok. "Leery"? Ok. "Weary"? I don't think so... :)
    /grammar police
  • Cool story bro.
  • My learning period is over and im pretty sure this made my battery worse. My phone rarely goes into deep sleep now.
  • How long did it take for it learn?