The Google Pixel 4 was roundly criticized for its battery life upon its release in October, owing to a 2,800mAh battery that’s actually smaller than the Pixel 3. It seems like the company is working on a solution of sorts though, in the form of an ultra low power mode.
XDA‘s Mishaal Rahman and developer Luca Stefani spotted references to an “ultra low power” mode in AOSP. Rahman noted that the commit was made by a “system power engineer” at Google, with his other commits all applying to the Pixel 4. Therefore, it seems safe to assume (albeit not guaranteed) that this option is coming to a Pixel, and the XDA editor-in-chief suggests it could come to the Pixel 5.
Rahman adds that this ultra low power mode will save more juice than the battery saver/standard low power mode by likely limiting access to apps.
This wouldn’t be the first time we see an ultra low power mode on an Android device though, as Samsung popularized the feature with the likes of the Galaxy S5 back in 2014. Samsung’s ultra low power mode delivered a monochrome screen, killed internet functionality, and limited app access to basic utilities (dialer, SMS, etc). So it’s likely that a Pixel phone with this feature could take similar measures.
We hope this isn’t the only way Google offers improved battery life on a future Pixel phone though. One of the sure-fire ways to offer longer endurance is to simply increase the size of the battery. Hopefully 2020’s Pixel phones give us a massive bump in battery capacity then, because turning a smartphone into a feature-phone defeats the purpose of a smartphone in the first place.
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