March 12, 2012


Ever wondered how well the custom Android ROMs for the Galaxy Nexus fare against each other when it comes to battery usage? If so, the table below (built by a passionate modder by the name of Shayes) should provide a good reference point, although there is one major variable that was not taken into consideration when the table was built. But let’s go through the details before I’ll explain what I’m talking about.

Galaxy Nexus Custom ROMs

Not all custom ROM’s for the Galaxy Nexus were included in the test. In addition, the stock ROM for the Galaxy Nexus was also not tested, so that we can see how well it ranks up along custom ROMs when it comes to battery percentage lost due to the OS. A more elaborate follow-up test will surely be conducted (either by Shayes himself or by another Android geek with enough initiative) in the following months/weeks.
First things first, let me describe you the testing environment the table is based upon. According to Shayes, each of the custom ROM’s listed above were installed one-by-one on his Galaxy Nexus, then the smartphone was put into the Airplane mode (to prevent battery loss due to the smartphone detecting signal tower changes) and was left untouched for the duration of the test (to prevent the battery fueling up the display and thus sucking out more juice).
As expected, the percentage of battery usage lost due to the OS was fairly constant between 1 hour and 6 hour tests (for each individual ROM). Shayes also attempted a real-world usage test (Angry Birds, Facebook, and texting included in the mix), but as it turns out, the margin of error for such tests is too big for the test to remain conclusive.The following screenshot uncovers a very interesting thing: with some custom ROMs installed, the screen accounted for up to 8% of the total battery loss, although Shayes claims that the phone was left untouched, so the screen should have remained idle for the duration of the test.

Galaxy Nexus Custom ROMs 2

Now for those variables that I was talking about at the beginning of the article: as it turns out, Shayes tested the custom ROMs with the kernel the devs included in their package. A much more elaborate test, in which all kernels compatible with each ROM are installed and tested one by one, should have provided even more realistic results, as the kernel is also highly responsible for the amount of battery used by the OS.

What do you guys think? Is this test conclusive, even if Shayes did not change the kernel included by the devs in the custom ROM packages? Is such a test useful to anyone at all? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Mike Andrici
Growing up in my father's PC store, I was surrounded by and developed a passion for technology ever since I was in kindergarten. However, advancements made in the technology world continue to amaze me on a daily basis! I've been writing about the Android OS since back in October 2008, when Google and HTC launched the first Android smartphone ever, the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream. Although I'm no company's fanboy, Android is the mobile OS I devoutly support.
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