24 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2013 11:03 PM by holyflow RSS

Moto X Overheating

holyflow 2 Bar

Hi Community,

Figured I'd bring the problem to you and see if anyone else is having the same problem, what some brainstormed solutions might be, and also give RW a break from needless questions if possible because I'm sure they have their hands full.

 

Anyways, as the title suggests, my Moto X has a bit of an overheating problem. To start: WiFi is toggled off when I am not in range, Airplane/WiFi when it is. GPS is toggled off at all times except as needed for navigation. Brightness is at max 50%, decreasing when the sun's down. I don't run intensive applications - the bulk of what I use is Bible, note-taking, web, Pandora, texting, camera. Oh, and I manage (read: kill) unneeded background applications with vigilance.

I run proper lithium battery care: [Only using the official charger] Initial charge to 100% and discharge to 0% (no this isn't to train the battery but it is recommended once a month), and I do not let the battery drain past 40% (I have a 6000 Anker battery for when I'm out and about). And lastly, I don't leave the phone plugged in once it has a full charge.

 

So now for the problem. The phone will just randomly get extremely hot. This is not dependent on wifi or cell or charging state, it has happened in all scenarios. It has happened about 6-9 times while it is in my pocket. It gets hot enough that I need to remove the phone from my pocket because it is slightly irritating to my leg through jeans. It has also happened about another 8-10 times while in use. What's odd is that I initially feel the heat coming from the screen. When I say feel heat, I mean it hurts/stings my thumb on contact. On a couple of occasions I have turned off the screen and held the phone to my face, and while it did not give me the "sting" that it gave my finger it was still uncomfortably hot. In all instances the phone returned to a normal operating temperature within 90 seconds, with about 50% being under 45 seconds.

 

While it may sound paranoid, my main concern here is that the phone will explode in my pocket or while I am using it (I know you've all read those stories). In researching this phone before purchase, several tech blogs made note of how cool the Moto X runs even during benchmark testing. To my knowledge, nothing in my usage pattern triggers this behavior. And with that, I welcome your help & suggestions.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    carlh 5 Bar

    You need to ask the phone what it's doing when it gets hot.   Install Usage Timelines Free - Android Apps on Google Play and get familiar with it so the next time the phone gets warm you can quickly see whether this is due to CPU-intensive activity and which app is the culprit.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    jrameau 1 Bar

    The first week of use this happened to me several times. I automatically turned it off each time, because how intensely it was overheating. If it had a removable back I would have definitely took the battery out of it, so I know the scenario you are in.

     

    I noticed I had been running too many of the antennas especially in low coverage areas. I can't remember everything I messed with to resolve the issue, but it hasnt overheated since. I remember installing AutomateIt (free) and through there I set GPS to turn on every time i opened GMaps, so I didnt need to leave it on all the time. And I set it to turn on the WiFi antenna whenever I turned on airplane mode.

     

    I try to always be on airplane mode at my apartment which is a super low coverage area (my phone loves to jump from a sprint tower to a nearby roaming tower ever other minute, which I think was most the issues of my overheating)

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    holyflow 2 Bar

    Thanks carlh, I have installed Usage Timelines and will pull it up as soon as I can the next time the problem happens.

     

    jrameau, it seems like I manually do most of what you use AutomateIt for. Was there something in settings that you fiddled with, or was it just keeping antennas on/off?

     

    Another couple things I forgot to add to the original post:
    The first two times the phone overheated was prior to me installing any 3rd party applications.

    After I plugged in the phone after the first full discharge, it took approximately 4 hours to revive itself to a "0%" charge state. In other words, the phone was completely unresponsive during that time. I tried 3 outlets, the first 2 for an hour each with no response, and finally the third for 2 hours before the screen lit up to let me know it was charging.

     

    I am unsure if this information would point to hardware issues as opposed to software? Either way I'll keep an eye out with Usage - thanks for the tip.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    ronk1030 2 Bar

    It overheated when I was watching that red hat app that Motorola sent us.  I thought that I was the only one.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    dennyandcarrie 2 Bar

    I had this same problem and tracked it down to be the Google Hangouts app. In the settings that tell you what is using the most battery it was number one by a large percentage. Since I don't use Hangouts I disabled the app. I would have uninstalled it but they will not allow an uninstall just a disable. As soon as I disabled it the phone stopped getting hot and I have not had any trouble since.

     

    Hope this helps.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    holyflow 2 Bar

    Thanks for the added input guys.

    ronk1030 - the red hat app also seemed to push my X to the limits and raised the temperature considerably.

     

    carriew.c01p8f - I didn't see hangouts as an app that was using up my battery. I don't think I've ever even opened it because I don't really use google+ and I'm fine with the standard messaging app. However, I had been contemplating switching over. Can anyone who uses hangouts on a frequent basis confirm if it causes the phone to overheat?

     

    Considering how frequent the problem is (12-18 times within 2 weeks), I'm also concerned for battery and component health if it were to continue. Now that I'm armed with Usage Timeline I'll try to get to the bottom of it.

    • Re: Moto X Overheating
      beachb 4 Bar

      You should be concerned. Serious overheating, can compromise battery capacity and longevity. It can also compromise system components in the phone. Repeated occurrences only increases the probability of damage. If the battery is not on the charger when the overheating occurs, then the most likely cause of overheating is some app pushing the processor to a continuous state of 100% usage... maxing all processor cycles for extended periods. Being further insulated by being in a pocket, next to your body, will only exacerbate the problem when this occurs.

       

      I have not read anywhere that the lithium ion battery benefits in any way from discharging down to zero charge. I rarely let mine get below 20%.

      • Re: Moto X Overheating
        burrito 2 Bar

        beachb wrote:

         

        I have not read anywhere that the lithium ion battery benefits in any way from discharging down to zero charge. I rarely let mine get below 20%.

         

        +1. In fact, I've read many times that the opposite is true, that deep-discharging the type of battery used in modern cell phones markedly shortens the lifetime of the battery.

         

        I'm thinking that, technically, charging it to 100% shortens it (although it might be more "scientifically measurable" than something that can be observed in real-world usage). Reason is that as the charge state approaches 100%, the battery tends to get hotter. Unless your charger is of a type that decreases the charging rate as the battery gets closer and closer to that 100%. IIRC, battery output increases with temperature and battery lifetime decreases. It's not something I'm concerned about under normal circumstances, but I don't think I'd get into the habit of, say, charging the battery whilst driving through a low-signal area and operating a navigation app with the GPS radio active (especially in a hot automobile). If I felt I had to, I'd stick it on an a/c vent.

         

        I do try to refrain from running the phone until it shuts down due to a severely depleted battery, though.

         

        However... The thought just occurred to me that cell phone manufacturers might have thought of that. How dead is a "dead" cell phone battery? It's probably still low enough to be a factor if you let it drop to "0%," but that state isn't truly 0%, otherwise the phone wouldn't do a normal shutdown sequence - it'd just die, as if you pulled the battery.

         

        One more thing (well, two): On one of the phones I have here, I saw a notice (when I turned of the GPS, I think) that some apps might still be able to use the GPS radio regardless of the setting. IDK if that's actually the case or not. Also, if I noticed what I felt to be abnormal battery usage and didn't see anything obvious, I'd go back and check the permissions that I gave to each and every app that I installed in order to ascertain whether one of them might be doing more than I thought it was. For example, you mentioned a Bible app. I wouldn't think such a thing would need permission to monitor your calls, your network state, use your GPS, call out, send SMS/MMS, access the Internet via WiFi or cell, or pretty much anything else other than access your external memory card if you chose to place it there (whoops, the Moto X doesn't have one of those). Such an app would just be displaying a text, maybe some illustrations, (hopefully) allow searching, and suchlike.

         

        BtW, off-topic, but since you mentioned Bible, I installed an app on my computer called Xiphos that has a great many freely-downloadable (and free!) different Bibles and religious texts, commentaries, maps, dictionaries, etc. Good for a person that is interested in comparing the various changes that have taken place over time in the texts (there seem to have been quite a few, some rather marked), looking at books that different political bodies have removed from modern versions, or just like to see what various other faiths have in their Books. Someone once told me that they were trying to figure out the things that all religions had in common in their writings (or at least did, many centuries ago before kings and such got involved in the process, lol) because he figured those things would have a greater likelihood of being the "Real Deal." (NOTE: This is not a suggestion, merely a recollection; as in all things, YMMV, use your own judgment, et cetera.)

         

        Regards,

        B.

        • Re: Moto X Overheating
          donp.p 3 Bar

          ON LI charging, my last laptop had "battery saver mode" which would not charge the battery past 90%, good if you typically use the computer on AC power.  If you anticipated a specific need (ie plane trip) you could click it to maximum charge mode and get 100%.

           

          I don't see GPS being a significant factor in a hot phone.  Unlike the other radios it doesn't have a transmitter.  I often run navigate on my tablet with the screen off on multi-hour trips and don't see much draw down of the battery level.  I suppose there would be a difference if an app asked for location continuously vs every few seconds.

        • Re: Moto X Overheating
          holyflow 2 Bar

          I agree with mostly all of your statements concerning battery, and I do believe that cell phone manufacturers have integrated the type of battery saving feature that you are referring to where 0% isn't truly 0% but the safest limit with which to operate the device. Often times (depending on device) if there is an auto-shutdown due to depleted battery, the phone can still be powered on and make it through the boot animation and perhaps 0-2 minutes before shutting down again.

          - this was not the case when my Moto was not responding. Even on the OEM charger for over an hour the phone would not respond to short or long presses on the power button.

           

          I will go back and check permissions on apps; however, I am unsure it is a 3rd party app that is causing the problem as the first occurrences happened prior to installing anything.

           

          As far as Bible apps go, I have Xiphos on a few of my Linux machines and find it to be an excellent free tool. e-Sword is another good free Bible tool. However, when it comes to computer Bible study software I am spoiled by Logos. Translations, commentaries, maps, people studies, lexicons, scholar's library, devotional/other library, timelines, and so much more all with the ease of a search bar. While I actually use a somewhat loose translation (NLT) for personal reading or when I am preaching/teaching a youth or contemporary service, I spend most dedicated time in the Hebrew/Greek manuscripts. A lot of the Apocrypha (non-canonical books) are very interesting and make for good reading; however, there are more than enough examples of illegitimacy (Gospel of Judas is highly amusing in this regard) to warrant me to spend most of my time in the 66. Probably 1st and 2nd Enoch are the Apocrypha that I enjoyed the most although there are many red flags which cause me to doubt divine inspiration.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    johnny5 Ambassador

    Hi @holyflow,

     

    I'm sorry to read about your problem.

     

    First, I agree with carlh that you likely have an app that is misbehaving and it sounds like you are on the right track to find it.

     

    Second, I agree with beachb and @burrito that our understanding of proper Li-ion battery maintenance differs from yours. Put succintly, I don't let the battery get too low (less than 30-40%) and I don't let the phone sit on the charger when it's at 100%.

     

    Lastly, if you think of a bible-reading app as something that displays a text file, it's hard to imagine the app needing network access for much of anything. If, however, you think of this as something similar to the Kindle app, it's potential network needs could become more expansive.

     

    Did you get this app from the Google Play store or from a third-party site?

    • Re: Moto X Overheating
      holyflow 2 Bar

      Just a quick direct reply -

      I believe we are saying the same thing concerning battery care. We both don't let it get low and both don't let it sit on the charger.

       

      The Bible app is from the Play Store and is one of the highest ranked of its kind. While it does involve permissions for various things, prior to switching to the Moto X I ran the same Bible app on my Sidekick 4G for 2 years without problem of any kind (and that phone is a piece of junk).

      • Re: Moto X Overheating
        burrito 2 Bar

        I just used that as an example as it was mentioned in your post. I did not mean to imply that I thought that app was responsible - and I apologize if I did. I only meant that it might be prudent when one has an issue like this to check ALL apps to make sure that they haven't required permissions that do not fit the apps' expressed purpose. Google tries to prevent malware from getting to their Play Store and removes it if/when they discover it, but some of us may have a rather different definition of the term "malware" than Google does. (Some of us might even consider some of Google's own apps to fit that definition. :rolleyes: )

         

        Regards,

        B.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    holyflow 2 Bar

    carlh - the problem occurred briefly again today. I have Usage Timelines so I accessed it as quickly as possible. It showed CPU usage at 93% but was dropping immediately and was soon down to 13, then 0%. Now my initial mistake was not having System Apps checked so I only had a view of 3rd party, but interestingly enough the top of the list (I did organize it by CPU usage for easier viewing) was SwiftKey with 1%. I toggled on System Apps as soon as I figured out what was going on and then the top of the list was PRIProvider with >25% and then System UI somewhere around 2%.

     

    It would seem it was not any 3rd party app unless it was a drive-by and it disappeared back to the shadows.

    Checking details on PRIProvider it is com.motorola.sprint.omadm.overlay and the thing literally has permissions to every nook and cranny of the device. Obviously it's part of the main backbone of my services, but I don't know what would cause it to use so much resources and if it is indeed the culprit to the heat.

    • Re: Moto X Overheating
      carlh 5 Bar

      I've seen PRIProvider show up at or near the top concurrently with another app that was misbehaving.  In my case that other app was Email.   I'm guessing that PRIProvider is called on by a variety of other apps, so if those apps are churning, so will PRIProvider.     Maybe next time you'll catch it before the culprit disappears into the shadows.

      • Re: Moto X Overheating
        holyflow 2 Bar

        Is there a "history" function on Usage Timelines or any other such application that would allow me to go to a point on the timeline and see what caused the spike? Seems like it would be a simple logging function, but I'm not a coder

        • Re: Moto X Overheating
          carlh 5 Bar

          It doesn't keep a history of app usage - it would be easy enough to keep history of overall CPU load, but too much battery drain to keep record data on apps continuously.

          • Re: Moto X Overheating
            burrito 2 Bar

            The ability to set up something like "If CPU > 75% then append appname/function to logfile" would be nice.

             

            I wonder if that would unduly burden either the phone's processor or battery?

             

            Regards,

            B.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    holyflow 2 Bar

    Phone overheated to the point of shutdown today while in my pocket, but not without leaving my skin a nice pink/red from the heat with a circle from the dimple. I don't think you guys want to see that, but a picture will be accompanying my ticket with a request for an exchange. Thank you all for your tips, they have enhanced my user experience with any android phone I will use in the future; but there is no way that a brand new piece of equipment should behave the way this handset is behaving, especially with how careful I have been so as not to "overload the system" by some rogue process of the same apps I have used without problem for years.

     

    If anyone stumbles across this thread in the future, please do try the aforementioned suggestions as they very well may solve your problem. However, if your phone burns your leg even after doing all of that and when it should be in a deep sleep cycle in your pocket, then it may be time to request an exchange.

    • Re: Moto X Overheating
      chengzheg 1 Bar

      I had same overheating problem. I installed Usage Timelines Free, and saw 2 apps used about 70%, and totally CPU loaded above 85%. The 2 apps are PRIProvider and ContextEngine. They are all system apps. I uninstalled My Alarm Clock, which I installed couple days ago. Now my phone works fine. I think this problem caused by some apps.

  • Re: Moto X Overheating
    holyflow 2 Bar

    Just an update::
    Republic Wireless were prompt in responding to my request. They had me go through standard procedure (try airplane mode trick; factory reset the phone and do not log into any account / install app) to be sure it was no a software related issue. Since the problem was persistent even through a reset, they granted me a request for a replacement and it arrived the following day via FedEx. Very impressed with the customer service and their understanding of not leaving a paying customer without a phone. I've been the Republic guinea pig for my friends & family; and while the faulty phone made them leery, the professional way in which it was handled has impressed them - I am sure we will have some converts once they see the new handset works optimally.

     

    I included screenshots with this post to show you guys what the final overheat looked like this morning. Beginning last night the phone was running 70%+ cpu at all times, and the active notification was constantly flashing on the locked screen. Seemed like every ~hour and a half this morning the phone would shoot up to 100% cpu for a while. Needless to say, once I securely deleted all of my personal information the phone was permanently powered down.Screenshot_2013-12-31-10-28-40.jpgScreenshot_2013-12-31-10-28-52.jpg