Solution to battery drain? (New issue for me)

I've seen lots of posts on battery drain, and given them a cursory look but have always been happy with the life on my Fenix 6X Sapphire.

Until now.  I don't know what's changed in the last couple of weeks, but it's getting absolutely ridiculous now.

The original battery monitor app I was using had me at 0.7%/hour, which is a 6 day battery life (no GPS activities)

I did a soft-reset today (the one that keeps your activities and music but clears everything else), and put Battery Gauge on and charged to 100%

Now it's on 68%!  In 5 hours!  With a run that was 1hour 8minutes long.

In comparison, when I first had the watch I ran a 50 miler in 10 hours with full GPS and the watch went from 100% to 80%.

Is there a solution to this issue?

I'm assuming it's a sync problem with Garmin Connect as that's the only part of the link that could have changed (I'm on the latest non-beta watch software but that was released in January and the battery problem has only been apparent for a few weeks).  Having said that, I turned off the Phone connection yesterday for about 8 hours and it didn't seem to make a significant difference to battery drain (hence the reset this morning).

I do long events - 10 to 36 hours - and right now this watch will be flat before the end.

Any help much appreciated!

  • Re the battery: such a sudden change would imply to me that there’s either a software issue (something not being turned off, running continuously etc), or a hardware issue NOT related to the battery - a failure leading to high current draw etc.  So the battery isn’t defective in this case, it’s some other internal component.

    Battery failure would be a gradual decline - not a step change like this.

    Garmin UK are back open tomorrow, I’ll get back in touch with them and see what they can do.

    Thanks for all the info/help everyone, been really useful!

  • Battery failure would be a gradual decline - not a step change like this.

    This cannot be confirmed in this way. Especially the li-ion technology, as it is used today, is known to suffer a sudden loss of capacity.

    A Li-Ion battery is particularly stressed when it remains on the charger for a long time, and is constantly charged all night, for example, and has a 100% state for a long period of time. This leads to increased degradation of the chemistry in the cell, and can lead to a very rapid loss of capacity. There are also other factors like heat etc.

    If you look at it from a purely chemical point of view, it is best to steadily maintain a state of charge between 30-80%. For storage rather between 40-60%. Anything above and below that will lead to faster degradation of the chemistry in the cell. Whether this is really done in practice, everyone must decide for themselves. After all, this procedure limits the practicality.

    Even if the battery does not have the maximum possible capacity anymore, your device will show you 100%. This is also the reason why Li-Ion batteries can be charged faster and faster as their lifetime progresses.
    Roughly, you can say that the worse the battery level, the faster it is (Supposed) „fully" charged.
    This is normal.
    A sudden defect, which leads to the behavior described by you, is possible at any time.

    a failure leading to high current draw

    It is quite possible that there is no increased current consumption here, but that the battery is no longer able to deliver the standard current output.

  • I totally agree regarding battery chemistry and where to charge (30-80%) - I've had some experience with the details of LiIon batteries in the past and as a long-time EV driver this is reiterated again and again.  The only thing I'd add to your description of how to look after batteries is that excessive heat at a high state-of-charge can really damage LiIon batteries - e.g. having a fully charged spare battery for some device being left in a car glove box in the heat of summer can really ruin the battery.

    I'm not sure I agree with the step change in battery performance, unless one of the cells in the battery fails, but I'd assume that the battery in the Garmin watches are single cells (purely due to size).

    And in my specific case, I can now confirm it's not he battery (will post details in a new post in a moment).

  • In the previous espisode of "What's going on with my Fenix 6" we saw a drop of 64% in 3h30.

    This exciting episode brings a totally new twist on the situation... 

    Less tha 2% drop in 10 hours! (with phone connection active)  i.e. what I'd consider good battery use (works out approximately 21 days battery life)

    I'm not convinced the problem is solved yet, but this does (pretty much) prove that the battery is not the issue - if there was a failure of the battery, then no changes on the watch should restore it to "good" behaviour like this.

    So what did I do?  I uninstalled all Connect IQ apps, widgets, watchfaces and data fields (previous I'd just disabled the few I had installed), and restarted the watch. 

    I checked when I woke up this morning and all looked good (2% in 10 hours), but it's gone down another 2% in less than 2 hours since I got up, pressed some buttons on the watch and started using my phone... so I'll check again in a few hours and see if we're back to rapid discharge.

  • I'm not convinced the problem is solved yet, but this does

    I keep my fingers crossed for you.

  • Last week my Fenix 6x started to failure again. First I charged it to 100% in the evening, then when I woke up in the middle of the night, Fenix was turned off and when I turned it on, battery was like 1%, so it drained to 1% in few hours....

    Then I charged it again to 100% and Fenix started to drain like 1.5% per hour even in battery save mode with BT,wifi off etc. I kept it like this almost whole week.

    What I did to solve the issue:

    - I charged it to 100%

    - I uploaded new software (currently 16.00 RC version) and installed it

    - I did full hard reset with removing all my data (trainings, stats, activities etc)

    - I configured the watch from the scratch (just basics without installing stuff from ICQ) and synced with Garmin Express on PC - this shows that one of the file in garmin/metrics is not supported and can't be synced, so I removed it from the watch.

    - After configuration, I charged it to 100% again (because configuration, sync etc. drained a few %), and I installed Battery widget monitor to start monitoring at full charge

    Since then, it shows 0.177% per hour, 91.9% battery after 44hours with about 1hour of yoga + strength activities in this time.

    I think that there was some corrupted file that Garmin tried to sync w GCM and failed on it, so it looped and drain battery. I don't know. Furthermore, I've had a problem with battery drain before, and it was caused by bugs in BT software (disabling BT reduced drain a lot) but not in this case.

  • Off road navigations with Topo maps really dropped the battery life more than ever since this latest update.

  • So what did I do?  I uninstalled all Connect IQ apps, widgets, watchfaces and data fields (previous I'd just disabled the few I had installed), and restarted the watch. 

    Too be honest I've always felt CIQ is more trouble than it's worth - I don't have any installed on my Fenix 6 Pro. You'd think they'd be 'sandboxed' to prevent this sort of thing, but I'm not sure they are.

    How is your dis-charge going? As you seem to find my figures useful, I went for about an hours run with GPS and music yesterday evening.

    05:14 PM UK time: 51% battery (pre-run)

    06:57 PM UK time: 43% battery post run

    And this morning (23rd March)

    07:36 AM UK time: 42%

  • think I may have sorted it out now - with a full master reset (wiping all activities, music etc).

    It was a last resort as the "partial" reset the other day took me 2 hours of swearing at various devices to get things back to normal, but I figured it would be something Garmin suggested before taking a replacement request seriously.

    Anyway, I did the following:

    - Master reset (I can't actually remember if it was from the menu or the 2 button reset, but it removed everything - all user info, all music, all history etc)

    - Entered basic info on the watch to get to the watch face

    - Sync with Garmin Express on a PC.  I didn't install any map updates, but I did put a bunch of podcasts on as I listen to them while running and wanted them for this morning.

    Then I connected to the phone.  Note that I didn't install ANY Connect IQ add-ons.

    I went to bed with the watch at 98% (and phone connection active) at 2257.  This morning at 0806 it was at 97% Slight smile

    I ran 5 miles this morning listening to a podcast (45 minutes or so), and it dropped to 92%, which is perfectly acceptable - good even with audio playing.

    One thing I noticed from the master reset was that the watch is much more responsive - the music screen appears quicker, the connection to a computer happens faster etc.

    My theory is that one of 2 things happened (and this is on the assumption that things are actually fixed!)

    1. 18 months of copying files (music, maps, podcasts, activities etc) had screwed up the internal file system somehow - either through something akin to fragmentation, or through various files being corrupted over that time and causing various subtle issues.

    2. (This one's a bit techy) - My tinkering with writing a direct an app to automate podcast updates over MTP upset the watch a bit... and before anyone thinks this is the obvious cause (!) the battery issue was happening for a week or two before this.  But I think it got significantly worse around the time I was playing.  Note that all I was doing was enumerating objects on the watch - effectively getting a file list - but I was aborting mid-way through (it's very slow!), and also being a bit untidy about opening/closing sessions.

    My guy feeling is that (1) above is the root cause of gradual degradation in performance, and if some critical system files get corrupt then potentially relatively bad battery drain.  And (2) may have exacerbated the situation to the point of ridiculous battery life, prompting me to have a good old moan and try and do something about it Slight smile

    Time will tell - I've just copied about 8GB of music and audiobooks back on to the watch and I'll keep an eye on the battery level.

  • I did that. Now i have an eternal reboot loop