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Solution: Samsung Galaxy S3 Cell Standby Battery Drain Problem

July 3rd, 2012 by

Samsung galaxy s3 cell standby batteryThe recently released Samsung Galaxy S III has been making a lot of waves for its superlative specifications and packed software features. As a previous owner of Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S, it didn’t take me long to decide to buy the next Galaxy as well. But after using the phone for a while, I started observing that it has a weird bug — Cell Standby was consuming insanely high percentage (30-40%) of battery.

After surfing through some discussion boards, I learned about two things:

  • First: This issue exists in almost every single Galaxy S3 unit and,
  • Second: This bug is just a miscalculation of power usage by the phone.

In short: Cell Standby is not insanely consuming battery. Here is a simple tutorial to fix this miscalculation:

(For details about this issue, jump over to the end of this tutorial!)

Step 1. Your Galaxy S3 must be rooted and ClockWorkMod must be installed before we proceed. You can follow my simple tutorial for doing so:

Step 2. Download this file and store it in your phone’s internal storage.

Step 3. Power off your phone and start it in recovery mode. To do so, simultaneously press Volume up + Home (middle) button + Power button.

Button configuration for recovery mode:

  • Volume buttons: for scrolling up and down
  • Home button: for choosing an option
  • Back button: for going back to the previous menu.


Step 4. Scroll down and choose ‘Install zip from sdcard’. Next, scroll down and select ‘choose zip from internal sdcard’. Navigate to the location where you’ve stored the file from step 2 and install it.

And you’ve done it! You’ll no longer see Cell Standby as eating a high percentage of battery life.

Detailed explanation of this issue

The cause behind this bug is a simple mistake in calculation of power usage. Samsung has seemingly set the power drain value of Cell Standby as 34 mA instead of 3.4 mA. So the above fix simply changes this value back to a normal value. But then why go through such a tedious process of rooting and flashing? Because this power drain value is stored in a file located in the system folder, where you cannot reach without acquiring root permissions.

(33) Comments

  1. Matthew

    Is the mediafire file a bug? My home page has changed to since I downloaded it and can't be changed back via usual settings. I'm not trolling... I'm new to Android so I'm worried about my phone. Don't want to be stuck with agoda homepage forever, and I'm scared there may have been other bugs with this download?

    1. Saket - Post author

      Hi Matthew. I just checked downloading the file again and it does not contain any malware. I'm pretty sure this change of homepage must have been caused by some other file. Which browser are you using?

  2. Steph

    Does this actually affect when the phone runs out of juice or just the reporting what's eating up battery? If the phone uses this info and then shuts itself down thinking its running low then it's a problem for me. Otherwise I'm not too concerned.

    1. Saket - Post author

      This bug in SGS3 only causes the phone to report the battery consumption of Cell standby in a wrong way and the whole battery life. You need not be concerned if you don't apply this fix, your battery life won't be affected.

    1. Saket - Post author

      Hi Dido. There can be two cases where you are facing this problem: First: You're using the stock recovery and not ClockWorkMod recovery. You need to install ClockWorkMod recovery and then flash the given. I'm sorry I forgot to mention this in my post earlier, I've updated it now. Here's a simple tutorial for installing ClockWorkMod on Galaxy S3. Second: You've ClockWorkMod (CWM) recovery installed on your phone and facing this problem. To solve this, go to recovery mode > install zip from sd card > toggle signature verification. Disable it and you won't face this problem anymore :)

  3. dido

    OK , thanks alot , but one more thing i have stand by percentage about 40 % is that normal i mean do i need this flash thing , not to mention this 40% is the highest usage of all battery all other things are below 40% , do i need to proceed or not? :) thanks alot and sorry for bothering u

  4. Ankur Agrawal

    Hi I may be stupid but i have a bacis ques. I can see high values in Settigs>battry>cell standby If I apply this fix what will happen. its just that My battry usage details will be showing correct details. or actually my battry life will be increased. Right now i need to charge my phone every 24 - 30 hrs of modrate usage. After this fix will my battry last for more hrs than that. Thank you for such a helpful thread.

    1. Saket - Post author

      Sorry for late reply. And you're right, if you applied this fix, your battery usage details will be shown correctly. Battery life won't be increased :) I've also been getting 24-30 hours of moderate usage and you know, it's actually very good. This is the maximum I've got from any phone.

  5. Stephi

    Can the battry life of my Samsung S3 be increased. The website Shows Talk Time Upto 1350Min on 2G, 700Min on 3G Standby Upto 830Hr on 2G, 770Hr on 3G But my Phone No way gives out this. 830 Hours means nearly a month without charging. I was facinated to read about this before ordering the phone online and thats why i bought the phone but it no way gives that much battery life. Please correct me if i failed to interprite the information given on samsung's website. Cheers !

    1. Saket - Post author

      Hi Stephi. According to standards, Standby battery life refers to the battery life your phone can achieve in sleep mode (i.e., without being in any use) and in airplane mode (i.e., without network as low signal might have a heavy toll on battery). There's no smartphone that can give you more than a day of moderate usage :) If you see anyone boasting more than a day, he/she's for sure leaving his phone untouched for very long.

  6. Drew

    Is it really just a miscalculation? My battery life has been extremely disappointing, to say the least. Display is consuming far more of the battery power than on my old samsung epic 4g and the battery drains far too quickly. Anyone else having similar issues?

  7. Phil

    Really sorry guys for the ugly post, here is what it should look like, I dont know why my html tag wasn't properly displayed: Hi guys, I'm Canadian so I use the North American version of the GS3. I found a solution on how to root my cell and install CWM (found here : I didn't try it yet, it says that it's for AT&T but I think it's the same thing for Canadian providers. Could someone confirm that this HOW TO will also work on my Canadian phone? My model is SGH-I747M. I saw in your post that the fix was performed on an international version of the S3, if I run it on mine, is it fine or I must have a different zip file?? Thx for the info! Phil

  8. Nick

    I have a US version G3. Verizon service. My "Cell Standby" usually shows 30%. If the error is just a "miscalculation" why does my battery drain from 100% to almost zero overnight when I don't even touch it. I have Advanced Task Killer to kill apps every 1/2 hour. I have GPS and Bluetooth off and Power Saving enabled.

    1. Saket - Post author

      Hi Nick. There's seriously something in your phone that is eating up your battery. Overnight Battery drain of my phone is usually just 2-3% on WiFi. Try installing Carat on your phone. It will scan all the running apps for about a week and analyze what's eating up your battery. Also, please do not use Advanced Task Killer to kill apps. RAM doesn't use your battery. Killing apps uses CPU and that does eat battery. Edit: Oh yes, open Carat twice everyday and let it scan all the running apps.

  9. Tyler

    Wow so many websites just throw questions but you actually have the solution! Awesome! I have one question though. I've rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (it's called 'HighonAndroid.' Will the custom rom affect any of these installing process? Thanks!

    1. Billy

      Great work... after installation my STANDBY is gone down 39% to 6%. Many thanks again. TYLER: I would suggest you to take system (ROM) backup by using ROM MANAGER APP and then follow the above mentioned Steps.( shouldn't be a problem)

  10. Arlina

    Hey! Can I use this for my S2? I'm not sure if I have the same problem, but my battery drains suddenly (sharp vertical drop) basically every day or so >:-O I've recalibrated the battery, restored factory settings, it's been serviced (they changed the battery, replaced the USB port and restored factory settings again - pity they didn't check if it actually worked...) and the problem's still there. The Cell Standby is currently taking 22% of the battery (2nd highest consumption) but I don't know if this classifies as being a high consumption.

  11. rrahbit

    i have the same Cell Standy battery consumption problem.... i have no idea how to root or do these suggestions and would probably mess up the phone... how can i help this situation if i can\t do the suggestion above.......

    1. Saket - Post author

      Well, if you are afraid to root then simply ignore the stats. Cell standby isn't actually eating up your battery, it's value is just being displayed in an incorrect manner.

  12. Yann

    I copied the file to /mnt/sdcard, is that what you meant when you said copy the file to the phone internal storage? Secondly, when i restarted the phone in recovery mode I couldn't find the option ‘Install zip from sdcard’. Can you please help because this "Cell standby" is completely draining my battery 63% Thanks

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