back to article All through the house, not a creature was stirring... especially Samsung smartwatches: Batteries empty at 3AM

Samsung Gear smartwatch owners are complaining the batteries in their strap-on gizmos are mysteriously and rapidly draining overnight – and it's only just started happening. Multiple Gear Sport owners have taken to the manufacturer's support forums to voice their frustration over a problem that appears to be related to an …

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Big Brother

"However, we're told that if you get through to the South Korean giant's customer service reps, you're advised to disable the "report diagnostic and usage info" option underneath the Settings >> Gear info menu"

This is the sort of thing everyone should turn off anyway.

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You realise as a developer, trying to improve a product, that info really can be invaluable. So no, don't disable, just read what it sends and make and informed choice.

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Anonymous Coward

If you do proper requirements capture and usability testing, you don't need to use the paying customers as a QA department.

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In the same way that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, no QA test plan can adequately cover the stupidity of the general public when they start using your code.

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Not a cockpit error?

"no QA test plan can adequately cover the stupidity of the general public"

Mostly true perhaps, but it doesn't seem to apply here. This seems to be something that happens without the help of user stupidity -- other than the questionable user judgment involved in purchasing of an Internet connected "watch". The problem looks to be the questionable manufacturer judgment of collecting user data without understanding the actual risks and rewards of doing so.

Queue up Richard Feynman's Appendix F to the Rogers Report on the Challenger disaster wherein he analyzes the huge gap between Space Shuttle reliability estimates made by NASA management and those made by working engineers.

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Or just employ more stupid QA people?

I realize that this is not a win, win situation but you have to prioritise.

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Trollface

How about disabling the "drain battery" option....

It's under the "Settings" >> "locked filing cabinet" >> "disused lavatory" >> "Beware of the Leopard" menu....

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Please try <painful solution that is worse than bug>

Good luck.

The Galaxy S9 series has a bug where joining a WiFi access point doesn't turn off cellular data. As soon as I join a WiFi network, apps start transferring everything in their queue over their original cellular connection. This phone has changed my data usage from about 600MB/month to 3+ GB/month and it costs extra. It's trivial to reproduce this but Samsung Support can't be bothered to do anything but offer canned useless responses.

Why yes, I can solve the problem by performing a factory reset and never launching any apps. Hey, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please try <painful solution that is worse than bug>

"The Galaxy S9 series has a bug where joining a WiFi access point doesn't turn off cellular data. As soon as I join a WiFi network, apps start transferring everything in their queue over their original cellular connection. This phone has changed my data usage from about 600MB/month to 3+ GB/month and it costs extra. It's trivial to reproduce this but Samsung Support can't be bothered to do anything but offer canned useless responses."

Yep, I picked up a used Samsung S9 the other day.

I only paid $60.00 for it but I feel that I was massively overcharged.

Samsung and/or Sprint feels that users shouldn't have control over permissions for the Facebook app and others they decided should be non-removable system apps.

The biggest problem is that the S9 has a locked bootloader so flashing the device with a proper OS such as Lineage is out of the question.

I used to tease iPhone users but not anymore.

I will be trading this POS for an iPhone 6.

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Re: S9 has a locked bootloader so flashing the device with...Lineage is out of the question

Are you sure?

https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/starlte

Maybe you have a network variant model.

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Re: Please try <painful solution that is worse than bug>

The last Samsung phone I had was an S5, but that had an option to download using both 4G and WiFi connections simultaneously to boost speed. Might be worth checking if this is still a feature and if it's enabled.

Edit: seems that the S9 does have the feature. See https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-216765/

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So that's why my phone was dead in the morning

I was wondering why a couple mornings in the row my watch was suddenly showing 0 battery and was off.

The interesting thing is that if I put it on the charger for a few minutes, it would only show like 10% but would then last all day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So that's why my phone was dead in the morning

I was wondering why a couple mornings in the row my watch was suddenly showing 0 battery and was off.

That's unlucky. My Casio Waveceptor goes about six years between battery changes, and my Seiko 5 never needs one. But each to their own.....

Bwahahahahahahhaahahaaa! Imagine a troll icon over there -------------------->

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Why not just do what I do and turn the watch off overnight? If you're not using it for sleep tracking I can't understand why you wouldn't. It takes seconds to turn it back on again in the morning.

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My experience was this happens even on the charger

In my experience, this happened with the S2 watch actually on the charger all night long, it was actually off and showing 0 battery in the morning (despite the full charge indicator being shown when last checked at night)

My morning routine is a bit busy at it is, I should just be able to pull the watch off the charger and call it a day without having to turn it off before bed and turn it on again in the morning.

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Anonymous Coward

3AM Eternal

Do the KLF have something to do with this?

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Re: 3AM Eternal

If they did, I'm sure it was justified (and quite possibly ancient).

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Mushroom

Re: 3AM Eternal

So maybe a million of the watches should be taken to Jura and burned (or given they're Samsung, just left to do it themselves eventually)?

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Just copying Apple again, but their smart watches don’t need a firmware update to empty the battery! </troll>

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Plug it in overnight...

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My Gear S3 Frontier has just started doing the flatten overnight syndrome for the last week or so. Also, if I leave it on the dock overnight, it is still showing red in the morning and only at 90% ish.

There was me thinking the lithium was on the way out...

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Terrifying

The face in the background of that pic is terrifying..

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Ah ha, me too sort of

Not sure if it auto upgraded Tyzen or what but for about a week now my otherwise excellent Gear S3 had powered down overnight whilst charging requiring a restart. V annoying because it resets the settings for the curently selected watch face. Prob related to the bug this article covers.

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Anonymous Coward

Go into the settings for health on the watch, turn off all the auto detected workouts.

Battery life went back from <1 day to it's normal ~3 days.

Have no idea what it was detecting during the night ;)

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Anonymous Coward

I experience this. Was getting ~3 days per charge, went down to < 24hr.

The 'fix' was to turn off the auto detect activities in the samsung health app on the watch.

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