Firmware 4.60 huge increase of battery consumption

Edge Explore firmware 4.60 increases battery consumption significantly

After several rides with the new firmware my suspicion of increased battery consumption with firmware 4.60 is confirmed.
The battery fell below 50% after a 3.5-hour ride, which never occurred with firmware 4.40 (no connection with smartphone, following a loaded course without turn-by-turn directions,
only storing the crumb trail, two linked sensors ( heart rate and speed / cadence), 70% screen backlight (permanently on)).

My suspicion that the increased consumption could be explained by the continuous search for all registered sensors, even if they are not close by, cannot be confirmed:

Apparantly searching continuously for sensors (two sensors in my case), the battery level is at 55% after 3 hours 'idle' on the table
With the sensors off via the 'Sensors' menu, the battery level is at 57% after 3 hours of 'idle'.

Because the increased consumption during the ride is still an 'impression', I did some measurements:

Firmware 4.60

- not paired with the smartphone

- screen lighting 70% (permanently on)

- 2 sensors, but not linked (apparently permanently searching given the rotating round arrow on the status screen (main screen / swipe down))

=> After 3 hours 'idle' with GPS OFF 55% battery residual charge

Firmware 4.40

- not paired with the smartphone

- screen lighting 70% (permanently on)

- 2 sensors, but not linked (the round arrow in the status screen stands still)

=> After 3 hours 'idle' with GPS OFF 72% battery residual charge

This is not just a minor difference, but a huge difference!

The conclusion is that firmware 4.60 causes a huge increase in battery consumption. I will report it to Garmin support. For the time being I will stay on firmware 4.40, the more so since it is not (yet?) clear which practical / noticeable improvements version 4.60 has and also introduces errors to the bargain.


  • A new finding may possibly explain the increased battery consumption with the latest firmware version 4.60. Copying new map files to the Explore, connected via USB to a USB 3.0 port on the laptop, goes with version 4.60 with 6 Mb / sec and exactly the same files with version 4.40 with 2 Mb / sec. That differs a factor of 3! 

    The consumption data come from actually driven routes in the open air. The 'measurement conditions' have been kept the same as far as possible - where deviating, see table.

    In the table below my collected findings:

    Firmware version 4.60

    Date           Distance      Time     Batt. level     Batt. use            Backlight        Activity

    2019-11-03   55.62 km   2:02:33   66%          16.6% per hour   screen 70%   crumb trail + course without navigation
    2019-11-06  101.24 km  3:51:38   28%          18.6% per hour   screen 70%   crumb trail
    2019-11-10   71.63 km   2:48:57   60%          14.2% per hour   screen 70%   crumb trail + course without navigation

    Note: Copy speed via USB of 2 OSM map files: approx. 6 Mb / sec. (n = 2)

    Firmware version 4.40

    Date           Distance      Time     Batt. level     Batt. use            Backlight         Activity

    2019-11-13   42.08 km   1:49:12    82%         9.9% per hour     screen 70%    crumb trail + course without navigation
    2019-11-14   32.75 km   1:19:42    89%         8.3% per hour     screen 70%    crumb trail
    2019-11-16   65.62 km   2:25:12    78%         9.1% per hour     screen 70%    crumb trail

    Note: Copy speed via USB of 2 OSM map files: approx. 2 Mb / sec. (n = 2)

    My conclusions:
    1. Firmware 4.60 increases the battery consumption during basic use of the Explore from an average 9.1% per hour with version 4.40 to an average 16.5% per hour with version 4.60. That is an increase of around 81% - truly striking and significantly higher!
    2. The copy speed via USB is about a factor 3 higher with version 4.60 compared to version 4.40. This suggests that the internal USB driver in the Explore may have been updated, the internal clock speed in the Explore may have been increased, or something similar. Can Garmin confirm this and shine some light on it?

    The question now is whether the increased battery consumption leads to problems during practical use?
    As a 'countermeasure', the Display Brightness could be set to 50% in some circumstances. There are also options for setting a Backlight Timeout, or enabling the 'Battery Save Mode'.

    However, the increased USB transfer speed is a bonus which reduces map update speed considerably.

    PS. Because there have been no reactions to my finding of the increased battery consumption, I wonder if I am the only one who observed this (confirmed by doing some more experiments)? Maybe I am the only one who has an odly behaving battery?! Well ... it's not a disaster at all - quickly back to version 4.40 and the problem is solved!

    @Garmin, please take this possible issue serious - it doesn't look like something minor. I'll send this report again to Garmin Support.