Samsung Galaxy Tab Battery Problems

In previous posts I wrote about  why I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab  and  about my desire to upgrade to Samsung's not yet released Galaxy Tab 7.7 but tonight I had a trip to the Samsung Center that dampened  my enthusiasm for Samsung products.

I had to bring my Galaxy Tab for check-up the other day.  The check-up eventually led to a battery replacement.

The frustrating problems I have irregularly encountered were:

1.  Unit heating up
2.  Charge suddenly nose dives from say 50% to below 10%
3.  Sometimes phone just turns off even when charge is still more than 40%
4.  Unit stops charging at some point and doesn't add charge no matter how long you keep it plugged to a wall socket
5.  Unit discharges so fast in a matter of minutes even though there are no running apps (even in the background) except for system apps.

I have promoted this device personally to my friends and to others over the web through this blog so I owe it to myself and to them to write about this.

Here are my experiences from Samsung's Online support and Service Center:

1.  I sent 3 email messages to Samsung's Customer support weeks or months ago but they haven't given any satisfactory response.  Their first reply even asked me to send them photos of the unit's battery, betraying the fact that whoever replied did not even take the trouble to check that the Samsung Galaxy Tab DOES NOT have user-replaceable battery.  So either this customer service rep didn't know that basic fact about their product or he/she was encouraging me to break warranty by personally forcing open the device.

Notice these first two screen shots that the unit still ran for almost 2 hours despite the system saying it only had 1% remaining.  Notice also the battery's temperature.  The third screen capture indicates how the charge suddenly nose dives and sometimes also appears to charge so quickly.

2.  Samsung's online customer support could not answer my question about how to charge the device.  On the other hand, the female support staff at the service center informed me that the Galaxy Tab requires a full drain/low bat and full charge cycle all the time.  I really could not understand this since contrary to what she said I understand that Li-Ion batteries are not like the old Nickle Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries that require full-drain full charge cycles because of the latter's "memory effect" characteristics.  Li-Ion batteries do not have this defect and these kinds of batteries even require more frequent charging.  In fact, I have read so often that Li-Ions start degrading from the date of production.  The support staff also said that charging should also be done while the device is turned off.

3.  Granting that the Samsung Galaxy Tab really requires this kind of charging cycle and that it has to be turned off when charging then why hasn't this been included  in their user manual or in the online advertisements?  Granting also that charging should be done when the device is turned-off then then this runs counter to Android's claim of being a stable operating system since the user is required to "soft-reset" the unit EVERYDAY in order to charge it.  

The Galaxy Tab battery that was returned  to me  after paying for a replacement.

4.  I asked the staff how many people actually have the same battery problems as I looked at four other units behind their table.  I am also aware of the same problems from my friends who own Galaxy Tabs and from other owners in the web.  The Service Center support staff  didn't answer me directly but volunteered information that owners of those units play games too much.  I don't play too much games but I still had the same problems.  Neither did Samsung warn buyers about playing games on the Galaxy TAb.

5.  Battery/Unit Warranties.  Accessories, which includes batteries, have 6 month warranties only.  The problem is I brought my device to the service center months ago and they only encouraged me to observe the battery further and now, 10 months after I bought the Galaxy Tab I had no choice but to pay for a replacement battery.  S the question is, does Samsung expect its customers to pay large sums for their devices and buy replacement batteries every  6 to 10 months thereafter?  Another problem that arises is the fact that the replacement battery only has 3 months warranty.  Why can't it have the same 6 month warranty of the original batteries -- especially considering that we don't even know if the replacements we pay for are new ones?

So where does this leave me and others who are similarly situated?

I strongly advise you readers and my friends whom I have encouraged to buy this model to BRING your Galaxy Tabs to a Samsung Service center the minute your devices show signs of battery problems.  Do not wait for your short warranties to expire.

And Samsung, if you're reading this, please do something so that consumers can continue purchasing your products and for people like me to continue promoting and using them.  Otherwise, we lose our enthusiasm and find ourselves crossing fences.

Please give us definitive information regarding the nature of charging Galaxy Tabs.  Can't we charge the unit anytime?  You know that everyone wants to charge whenever they can so they'll never be in situations where they desperately need to look for a power outlet?  Do we really have to pay for new batteries at 6-month intervals?  Please give technical training for your customer service staff (both online and those at service centers).  If they could at least distinguish between NiCad and Li-Ion batteries then customers like me would at least be convinced about what they're telling us.

Thank you.

UPDATE:  Today, just the morning after claiming the Galaxy Tab last night, I checked battery consumption and the chart gave me a surprise and another reason to fear:  the system (through the row on "Charging") indicates that I charged the unit !  I didn't charge the unit last night but I connected it to the laptop for USB mass storage file transfer.  The Galaxy Tab isn't supposed to trickle charge via USB, right? So what happened last night?  I didn't charge the tab last night since I, being an obedient consumer, followed the Service Center staff's instruction to ALWAYS charge the unit only when it reaches its lowbat state. :-/  This shows that there is something wrong with the system and not the battery alone.  Note that the "1 day and 13 hours" indicated in the chart is the complete and first cycle since Samsung support staff installed the new battery.  I know they will just say "observe the unit and wait for it to calibrate some more".  Problem is after doing these "observations" and calibrations then the new battery's warranty would have expired again. :-/  Samsung?


  1. Thanks for putting this up
    even i am having the same problem for 2 months now and my tab cant even work without a charger connected to it and i just bought this in 2011 may!!

  2. You're welcome. I'm sorry to hear that you've had that problem also. I guess your only option now is to have the battery replaced. :-(

  3. how much is the battery replacement charge?

  4. Battery costs 1,750.00PHP. They asked for my purchase receipt.

  5. Me also I have the same probleme sometimes my tabe will show a battery low ahalf hour of working and a fully charged battery please Iwant any answer.

  6. 1. If your battery is still under warranty then have it replaced. Don't accept an answer like "please observe the battery first" from customer support because once your short warranty expires then you will have to pay for a new one.

    2. Always charge your tab fully then wait for it to indicate "low battery" before charging again. Yes, I know that seems contrary to the nature of Li-Ion batteries but that's what they say but it's not included in their documentation.

  7. Hi voyager... nice share... me too have the same problem... it just that I've rooted my tab... not sure whether this lead to the problem... Do you root your tab? My problem is when it's reach 50% level, the tab tends to sudden shutdown. I've tested it, when I remove my SIM card, it can load, but when I put the SIM, then this auto shut down happened. One more test is, when I want to take picture and using my flash automatically, it will also have suddenly shutdown, and when I disabled my flash, my tab can still run fine.

  8. Hello Evildead_78. I haven't rooted my tab and I don't think your problem is related to rooting. I think it's no longer charging properly. It turns off when you insert your SIM card because the phone radio is trying to use up more power. The same goes with your camera flash. Using flash takes up a lot of power so your tab is shutting down.

    The solution really is to have your battery replaced and ask for battery charging instructions.

  9. Thank you Voyager,
    I have the same problem, I still have 1 month warranty (Mall) for my tab, should i pay for the battery replacement?

  10. Yes, they will charge you for a battery replacment. The unit has a 1year warranty but the battery only has 6 months warranty.

  11. That sucks. Got my tab last March 2011. The battery was fine until some time last October. First time that I noticed that there was a battery problem was when it reached 30% then it suddenly dropped to 1-2%. Then eventually, the automatic shutdown followed, after a few weeks. Now, it automatically shuts down between 65% to 75%, when I'm either playing media or browsing.

    I'm tempted to have the battery replaced today but after reading this and since the initial battery's warranty was only 6 months, probably it can wait. I did some research in the web and I want to try first some suggestions, involving rooting the tab. Will there be an issue if I rooted my tab then bring it to the service center eventually?

  12. hello, I'm planning to buy for a new battery, because my tab is not charging well, 1% for 3-5hrs.. how did you find about new battery? is it ok? or it just the same as the old one?

  13. JEFF,yes it can be funny and frustrating how things like this break down at the edge of the warranty period. You can try what are suggested around the web though I frankly don't think it will make much of a difference. I don't think there will be any issue if you root the tab and eventually bring the device to the service center, especially if you restore it to its unrooted state.

    Anonymous, yes, the new battery is ok so far after nearly 4 months. Although I sold my original tab and upgraded to an 8.9 I still know its condition since the buyer is an officemate. :-)

  14. I believe you should always drain the battery sometimes to cycle the battery out similar to what has been done to laptop batteries. Drain till 0% then Charge the battery again full. Dont partial charge then use the one, drain it again then charge when the power reaches low state again. I have had my tab for over 6 months and so far this has not been a issue.

  15. i am starting to have this problem also with my gt p1010. bought last august 2011 now the warranty is expired and then it decides to go crazy on me. i first though it was my charger but then it charged suddenly when i was all set to buy a replacement. after charging it to a full 100% used it until it was around 75% and then i woke up to see it dead and i can't charge it anymore even restarting it did no effect.
    i cannot afford to buy another one. i was hopping it would last me at least 2-3 years. my ipod is now 5 yrs old. cranky but still works.

  16. I'm sorry to hear your problem. The device itself can seem to live up to 5 years old. Too bad the battery can't. :-/


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