Moto X 1st Lollipop cell standby battery drain - any new info?


After updating a previous Moto X to lollipop, my battery life plummeted with the “cell standby” issue. I was never able to resolve it. Cracked my screen and bought a refurbished Moto X (1st gen) that was still on Kitkat and have been happy with it. I do have to constantly decline the update to 222.21.15.en.US and I’m wondering if this update is a newer one that no longer has the problem. I can’t use the phone as a hotspot without updating, but since you can’t go back once you install, I’m afraid I’ll have the same battery issue. Any advice? thanks


None of my friends who have the Moto X (1st Gen) are experiencing this problem but I do understand it impacted a lot of phones. Taking the chance that you will not have the problem after the upgrade is entirely your decision.


Just to keep this clear for everyone. There is no cell standby battery drain issue, it is an issue with cell standby being improperly reported as the cause of the battery drain. It is hiding the real culprit. Basically without this issue you would still be draining battery, but you would, maybe, see why easier. Try another battery reporting app and you will be able to see what I am talking about.


Why is the mobile radio active when connected to WiFi? I press the battery icon and it says Cell Standby 52% battery used by cell radio yet I’ve been connected to wif-fi all day. It’s not an app I’m using, it’s in the system settings


Because it does not shut off. Phones do not shut off their cell radio when you are connected to WiFi. What you describe is the phone working as designed.


Why then are there days cell standby is 1% and others 50%? Is there a way to improve this?

Thanks for your help.


This is usually a result of the strength of the cell signal. With CDMA phones, as the signal strength weakens the phone turns up the power on the phone transmitter. If my son puts his cell phone in his locker at school, the battery drains from 100% at the start of the day to single digits by the end of the day (the locker is basically a faraday cage.). If he instead carries it in his backpack, he ends the day in the low 80s.


Also, it is about percentages. If cell standby uses the same amount of battery every day and some days you use the phone very little and other days you use it a lot then the percentage of the total use of cellular standby will fluctuate, a lot. Why percentage of use is a pretty useless measure.


I understand what you’re saying, but is there some way to reduce the cell radio drain on battery? I switched from refund plan to a new phone and my choice plan - which uses a different cellular network. My new phone loses 50% (+/-10%) battery a day due to this cell standby whereas my old phone got much more use & lasted up to 2 days. This seems like an error on Republic Wireless’ part for including my area in coverage, when in reality my phone life is half a day due to the weakness of the signal, that’s not really coverage - it’s a huge inconvenience. Does turning off Cellular data have an effect on this? Anything that can be done about this serious issue at all?


Hello @jamese.mtnchb
May I ask which phone you currently have (and what phone it replace)
also can you give your zip so we can double check coverage?


Sure, I would of mentioned but I assumed it was ‘on file’

I have a Moto G5s+ now & am coming from a xt1031 (Moto G 1st gen). For
reference, I used my old phone about 3 times as much during the day, as I
had no other access to internet at my old job. Now that I work from home
(& made the phone switch at roughly the same time.) I no longer need my
phone for much more than responses & the occasional logging in to game &
get daily rewards from apps. Even when I use my phone for extended
durations & my screen hits a high % of battery usage, the cell standby is
almost always higher :confused: If I don’t leave my phone plugged in at night it
will go from a full charge to anywhere from 70-80% almost entirely from
cell standby.

My zip code is 78726


Thank you

Other than @seanr we are just customers like yourself and do not have access to Republic records (and even then certain information like address are on a need to know and are not just accessible)

the Moto G5S Plus when introduced did have a limitation of being GSM only (this is no longer true) (after looking at coverage maps from the underlying carriers I would say that the GSM partner looks acceptable but not great (no penetrating big building) where the CDMA partner looks to be a better choice

If I in your position I would create a ticket asking to have the Moto G5S Plus moved to the CDMA (a New SIM would be required) Tickets | Republic Wireless

below are the carrier coverage maps


CDMA map


I was not aware of that tidbit about you & the forums. I’d like to start
off by thanking you & the help you have given me already, I believe it will
be immensely helpful. I know that CDMA radios usually take more battery
power, but given that my signal strength of GSM is pretty miserable right
now I think I will be MUCH better off with a CDMA provider. I did get a
SIM card with this phone for the first time using Republic, I’m going to
put a ticket in right away - Would you mind if I cited / took a picture of
our email (your response mainly) to attach ?To help clarify to Republic
Wireless what it is I am hoping to resolve.

Thank you again ‘drm186’ - I probably would of gone in circles for quite a
while before landing on this. I truly appreciate it!


you are most welcome
you may use any of my post as a reference in the support ticket
you may even directly link though this link
Moto X 1st Lollipop cell standby battery drain - any new info?



Probably a change to the CDMA network will improve your cell coverage and experience. If you continue to see higher battery % use than expected please let us know.

Both networks provide adequate coverage for me but I wasn’t pleased with my batteries’ time between needed charges. I may have found a solution bit counterintuitive and seems to work for light phone use. My phones are used primarily for a few short calls per day and seldom used for internet access or other uses needing data. My cell signal is OK but never close to full bars and cell call quality is usually fine. A couple of months ago time between need for charging became less and clearing system cache made little difference. Tried disabling the cell radio again via the airplane mode and that didn’t help either. Turning off or disabling the WiF nearly double my time between needed charges.

The why is a good question>

  1. WiFi was never reported to be a larger percentage user.
  2. Cell standby % of battery use is now lower.
  3. No other activities have ever reported a significant % used unless some such as Pandora had been used for several hours.
  4. RW apps normally a low % as reported.

I’d agree the battery use %s are pretty useless and add often rather inaccurate as you have said before.
It seems like somebody at RW would be able to explain why it appears having WiFi on 24/7 causes significantly higher battery use. Is this a factor for all devices regardless of provider? It seems to hold true as leaving WiFi off on one of my phones activated on another provider decreases battery use. If it is typical to see more battery drain having WiFi on 24/7 in order take advantage of WiFi calling RW should advise us. Thanks.


If a member enters it in their profile like @jamese.mtnchb did, it is visible:


I have the MotoX (1st Gen) running Android 5.1 and this cell standby/mobile radio active continues to be an issue with battery drain. This morning the battery was nearly dead at 20% with 40% attributed to cell standby. As you suggested I’ve tried several battery reporting apps that are of no help. None of them point to an app. They point to the radio

I’ve disabled apps, and turn on Airplane Mode when I have Wi-Fi available.The thing I can’t figure out is why is the cell radio is still active in Airplane Mode? There have been times I check the battery use and find only 1% only to find Wi-Fi is turned off. Doesn’t make sense.

4/19/18 EDIT: Today I turned the Wi-Fi off and left it off. The phone has been on 11H 21M and mobile radio on just 3M. Battery used by cell radio: 3%, Leading the pack today it was Android OS 11% and Republic Wireless 10%.

I still have 36% battery or about 6 hours of battery life. As much as I want to off-load my data to wi-fi, my battery lasts longer when wi-fi is turned off. Go figure?


One possible solution:

Short answer:
Settings (gear) -> System Update -> Update Motorola software

Medium answer:
Using Moto X (2013 a.k.a. Moto X1 )
“System version” is now “222.21.19.ghost_row.RepublicWireless.en.US sprint”
Also helps to use MOTO instead of GOOGLE assistant to save battery

Long answer:
I finally let “Motorola Update Service” upgrade from Android 4.4 to 5.1
Also let “download manager” upgraded apps and Republic wireless.
BUT it reported “Republic Wireless” and “Cell standby” using 20% of battery.
This is after disabling or stopping every App possible and letting it sit on the desk.

But all the other upgrades have “nag screens” or are “automated”.
“Update Motorola software” is a manual process.
After the update… the “screen” is back to being my top “Battery” user,
everything else is 1%.