Battery life too short (noob)


I’ve finally got my Librem 5 Evergreen few weeks ago, on receiving, I charge the battery and do the updates when I test it the day after the receive, I see it only stay 6h (97% -> 20%)?

What did I need to configure to have a better battery life ?
The test :

  • No SIM
  • SD card
  • No Cellular
  • WIFI on
  • No mic/camera
    I put the phone on the desk on normal power mode and wake it up every hour (or so) to check the battery state, and after checking, I press the button to make the screen black (I don’t know if it was off or just black).
    I also remark the phone is quite hot (nothing high, but something like 30°C on open air)

I’m very new in the "smart"phones, I still use my Nokia 1600 until I find a way to have a better battery life (6 hours is clearly too short).

What did I do wrong to have this short battery life (expected at least 10h or so) ?

(I also check



nb : I don’t have time to recheck all subjects to see if a useful information are in, in the weeks, I use the phone for less than 36 hours in total due to lack of interest to the short battery life and my other activities (managing my servers and websites, do other stuff in home, …).

Thank you.

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The Librem 5 is still in developing - at least its software. Android and iOS smartphones force software and hardware to “sleep” while screen is black. This way they reach a much longer runtime without recharging battery.
Purism is working on that problem, but it’s a work on many “edges”. So it needs time. I read that there’s something like an experimental option to activate the current state. But it seams that there are still problems to wake up the phone (for example by incoming calls).

I think other users will give you more detailed information soon, this was just a short overview for you. And a side node: you totally skipped smartphones. The L5 is no smart device where others than user have control about. (I call it pocket pc since there is no real difference except it’s size and power.)

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Thank you for you reply,

This is what I think (and the “smart” mean “computer” to me too), the software is still in active dev, but the graphic in the FAQ make me hope for longer battery life.

I will wait to see if there is more reply.

The phone has perhaps 12h screen-off time, perhaps yours wasn’t fully loaded? It loads 8h or so. The percentage is not reliable. So many things are not reliable: calling, bluetooth, gps, wifi, power, cam.
If it wasn’t a linux phone, it would be absolute garbage.

I’m not aware of any issues with battery gauge reports being unreliable (except of some old bugs that were fixed many months ago already). You just have to remember that battery capacity estimation is generally a complex process that requires the gauge to witness a few charging cycles in order to learn the battery profile before it can become accurate - and that it fully resets when you take the battery out, as we unfortunately have no way to detect that the battery you have put back in is the same battery as the one you have taken out before.


So that would be I need to make some cycles to have a better information and the information I have are biased by “discovery” the battery status ?

This isn’t truth. What I can confirm is below rate at +/− 5.0V/1.5A as only reliable truth. At least charging with this speed under 50-60% for sure (and without any overheating issues):

It doesn’t matter if Librem 5 on or completely turned off it stays charging its battery with a 1.5A current. And although I never actually measured time needed, my guess would be still something around four hours from 2% to 100% (or even less).

As confirmed long time ago:

Confired here again:

Only thing that I might add (out of the blue sky and IMHO) would be that BPP-L503 battery likes (looks like to me) to be constantly (and steady) charged with 1.5A (or having at least 7.5W from connected power supply just for itself, if this serves or might be taken as an additional explanation) rate. Actually all numbers within this post are exclusively related to Librem 5 battery only.

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The battery is charged with constant current (1.5A in our case) only for around the first half (percentage-wise) of the charging process. Then it’s switched to constant voltage and current drops asymptotically until it reaches termination current (IIRC something around 160mA in our case). That’s the typical process of charging Li-ion cells.


As @librem5 replied recently:

Just found additional expert interpretation of this relatively “simple” term that you wrote here: or in shorter variant here: “In my charger reviews I often comment on a high termination current, and says that the battery will not be fully charged, but I do not specify more precise what that means.

… “means”, in addition, that the Librem 5 Linux phone have his own built in charger:

@pit, thanks for your post (even if this sounds somehow strange from my side)! I certainly understood, appreciate, and actually liked your main message (although skipped it), your very main point here:

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The original question was around the life time of the battery (97% to 20%) only about 6 hour in my configuration, and how to increase it and still have a functional phone (with cellular or WIFI).


and how to increase it and still have a functional phone

For starters, check whether you’re connected to 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi network. The WiFi module currently used on the Librem 5 is known to be power hungry on 5GHz networks. If possible, switching to 2.4GHz may make a noticeable difference.

Another thing - it’s not enabled by default because it causes incompatibilities on some WiFi networks, but there’s a power saving mode that you can try enabling and see how that goes:

sudo iw dev wlan0 set power_save on

If that works well enough for you, then you can make it the default in NetworkManager the same way you can do it on PCs (it can also be set per-network IIRC).

Other than that, powertop is a great tool to check which processes are waking the phone up when it’s supposedly idle, so you can use it to catch whether some process goes rogue on the battery in the background.


Thank you, I will try your suggestion.
(And for the WIFI, I use an old hotspot, so it’s a B or G at best, so not a 5GHz problem)

This night I turned off the librem5 and it lost battery from 100% to 95% in 9h, although completely turned off.
Why does the librem5 loose battery turned off? Is this a general hardware battery error? Or a general hardware error on the board? Or is my device broken?

In this situation, I noticed that if all 3 killswitches are switched off, the battery consumption is much lower.
Maybe it’s enough to turn off the radio killswitch, I haven’t done further tests.

Made those edits to create a wifi power safe on service. Cycle wifi power on L5, so far to no ill effect. Am using 2.4GHz connection only. Speed is still very good.

The phone cuts the battery out almost completely (leaving only RTC and battery gauge powered) on power off, but there’s one quirk - it doesn’t happen when there’s USB power plugged in when it shuts down. It also needs to be a clean shutdown, shutting down by long pressing the power button won’t put it into this mode, so the SoC will continue to draw some small amount of power.


Thank you, I test the battery time this weekend to see how better it is.

This is permanent? or we need to execute this every reboot?
It working good here like not issues with WLANs.

Every reboot.
For the permanent activation, see

And part
“If that works well enough for you, then you can make it the default in NetworkManager the same way you can do it on PCs (it can also be set per-network IIRC).” from


Thank you @C_Chell and @dos