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Treo 680 Battery Fix

Treo 680 BatteryFollowing my various Treo 680 reviews one issue which continues to elicit regular blog comments and forum threads is the one related to the Treo 680’s battery performance and debates have raged regarding both the cause(s) and possible solution(s).

Having upgraded to the Treo 680 from a Treo 650 I originally considered the ‘cause’ (slightly reduced battery life) to be pretty simple – the 1200mAh Treo 680 battery is 33% smaller than the standard 1800mAh or 50% smaller than the extended 2400mAh Treo 650 batteries – and I therefore recommended ‘solutions’ (battery optimization tips) that were primarily adjustments to certain system settings and preferences (see Treo 680 Battery Review).

However, a few days ago I began to experience the same type of issue that some Treonauts had reported.  Namely, my battery indicator was extremely low – at red – but the strange thing is that it stayed at red for over 7 hours with the phone switched on.  Clearly my Treo 680 should have powered off within a very short period of time if the battery had indeed reached a ‘critical’ low battery level but it didn’t.

It has therefore emerged that the Treo 680 battery ‘meter’ – not the battery itself or the power consumption of the smartphone – is the real cause and Palm Technical Support has now provided a solution via a very simple ‘battery reset’ [Thanks for the tip Wanderer].

If you encounter a poor battery life on your Treo 680 and you have to recharge very often even if not using the Phone function, the issue might have been caused by an incorrect first charging of the device

Please follow the steps below to solve the issue:

1. Connect your Treo to a wall charger.

2. Remove the battery from the Treo and wait for at least one minute.

3. Remove the SIM card from the device and wait for another minute.

4. Put the battery back into the device (without the SIM card) then let your Treo charge for at least 4 to 6 hours and for this duration:

    • Do NOT press any key after reinserting the battery. 
    • Do NOT switch your TREO On or Off either, it will do so automatically after a short time. 
    • Do NOT enter the SIM card PIN if prompted to do so, just wait!

After this procedure, which can be performed and repeated any time, you will now dispose of the full charging capacity and the display of the remaining battery power will work correctly.”

UPDATE: Thanks to A. Davis for also pointing out the following:

“There's one glaring omission from Palm's instructions.  It should be noted that if you have any apps that do anything automatically at boot up you must first disable them!!!  For example, I have ChatterEmail set to turn on the radio at initialization.  This must be disabled.  I also have Soft Reset set to startup GoodLink at boot-up.  This too must be disabled.

They tell you NOT to press any buttons or do anything during the 4-6 hour charge.  Unfortunately, these auto-starting apps act as button pushers for you.  So any app you have that automatically does something at bootup, whether than be to start a program, connect to the network, whatever... completely disable it, then follow the instructions above.”

Because of this, I have modified the instructions so as NOT to put the SIM card back in your Treo before the full 4 to 6 hours charge is complete in order to avoid the phone to turn the radio on at startup.

Hopefully those Treonauts who have been experiencing quick ‘low battery’ performance will be able to regain the full and normal stated battery life after performing this battery reset procedure.

Naturally, ‘power users’ (no pun intended) will like me consider that it’s always best to have a spare 1200mAh Treo 680 battery readily at hand as well.

Treonauts are always the best problem solvers

Posted by Andrew on January 16, 2007 at 07:09 AM

Treo 680

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Tracked on Jan 16, 2007 10:34:47 AM


by Doug Boehme | Jan 16, 2007 8:40:44 AM

So this is a one time charge procedure or is this something we need to repeat? Seems like a one time charge.

by Fred | Jan 16, 2007 9:29:00 AM

Thanks for making this known. What about the problem some people are reporting that the battery starts to drain much faster after the camera is used? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

by Rob_G | Jan 16, 2007 10:18:20 AM

I can verify that the powerdown technique works wonders. I had the phone, IR and Bluetooth on and my phone lasted for 15 minutes at 1%. Once it died and I let it charge in full, the battery “seemed” to last much longer.

I just experienced the camera battery drain last night. I used the camera before I went to bed and had 15% battery left. I didn’t have my charger and let the Treo lie with the phone on (Bluetooth + IR off) 5 hours later when I woke my Treo was completely dead. I know I didn’t leave the camera on, I just left the phone at the home screen. What gives?

So after I use the camera, what do I have to do to keep from draining, a soft reset?

PS. Andrew, how about an 8GB SDHC review?

by Ross Winn | Jan 16, 2007 10:32:42 AM

OK so I am charging the phone again. I noticed the exact issue on Monday oddly enough.

I am wondering if anyone knows when the frigging accessories are coming out for the 680. The cases don't fit and the clips don't fit. Can a brother get a hand up?

by 40something | Jan 16, 2007 10:32:52 AM

The Palm support gave me the same instructions as yours, and it seemed to work.

Noted, however, that with all precautions - reset after camera use, IR and bluethooth off, phone off - the Treo discharged itself within two days when not used over the weekend. For comparison: My old Treo600 rests on my desk unused for weeks now, and still has 50 per cent battery capacity. So, there must be more to it?

by nimra | Jan 16, 2007 11:01:16 AM

I had done this procedure after a hardreset some days ago (the same, only for inserting the sim card before inserting the battery again). The battery had improved markedly !!! But after a hard, so no additional 3 party apps installed !!! after two days of being happy with the new battery life, I installed all apps back via backup card, and see there battery life was again a lot lot worse :-(. I'm now doing this procedure with all apps on the device, and with the sim back in after one minute waiting - let's see what happens...

by Ken | Jan 16, 2007 11:55:42 AM

Does this only apply to the factory battery? Would we have to perform this same procedure if/when we get the extended battery installed?

by landoncube | Jan 16, 2007 12:38:31 PM

I have a 750 which has the same battery, I think, the 1200mAh. Coming from a Treo 650 with a Sedio 2400 high capacity battery, I expected the worst from the new battery set up. Far from it! The 750 with the little battery performs almost as well. I am not entirely a 'ower user, but I take all of my business calls all day on my 750 via bluetooth, and the 750 hasn't gone into the red yet! I am very pleasantly surprised.

I second the request for a 8 gig Minicard review. I just bought a 2G from Treonauts...

by Edulabbe | Jan 16, 2007 3:02:28 PM

I just checked seidioonline.com and they have the 2400 mAh extended battery available in all four Treo 680 colors! (Will ship by end of January though)


Does anyone know if a Treo 680 with the extended battery will fit in a silicone skin case?

by A. Davis | Jan 16, 2007 3:07:43 PM

There's one GLARING omission from Palm's instructions. It should be noted that if you have any apps that do anything automatically at boot up, disable them!!! For example, I have ChatterEmail set to turn on the radio at initialization. This must be disabled. I also have Soft Reset set to startup GoodLink at boot-up. This too must be disabled.

They tell you *not* to press any buttons or do anything during the 4-6 hour charge. Unfortunately, these auto-starting apps act as button pushers for you. So any app you have that automatically does something at bootup, whether than be to start a program, connect to the network, whatever... completely disable it, then follow the instructions above.

by hermann4711 | Jan 16, 2007 3:12:16 PM

The way to recalibrate the battery that you describe is well known in the german nexave-forum (www.nexave.de) and discussed over there since several weeks. But it doesn't help for all problems with battery. There will be an update by plam in the next days.

by A. Davis | Jan 16, 2007 3:18:19 PM

Something else to consider... I've been reading a lot on this site and its comments and some others. Interestingly, the vast majority of people that had this problem are those who got their 680 from a carrier, ie: not unlocked from Palm directly. The carriers pre-charge the batteries so they can configure the devices before they ship, but they don't fully charge them. Its the carriers that are probably to blame for this as we receive the phone, put it together and turn it on, see 60% battery and start using it before we charge it. Thankfully there's a way to reset these...

As for comment #11, I trust the update is the one that resolves the camera drain issue. Hopefully between a fix for that and the reset option we'll be able to enjoy our Treo's a bit more.

by Just goes to show you... | Jan 16, 2007 3:31:37 PM

some have criticised the Apple iPhone because it has a built-in battery.

But no one with an iPod (which has a built-in battery) from Apple has ever complained of problems such as these.

Palm cannot even design an adequate power supply system for its product...

PLEASE do not judge the Apple iPhone features based on the poor quality level you are accustomed to from companies such as Palm, Microsoft, etc., etc.

BTW, is this what you expect from an UPGRADE product from Palm?

Palm seems doomed if that is the case.

LESS capability, LESS reliability, LESS quality control, LESS product testing

Inferior quality shipping out the door.

by Mike D | Jan 16, 2007 3:57:16 PM

I found this fix on a forum a couple of weeks ago and had much better battery life as a result. The method I used didn't include reinstalling the sim as a prt of the process. I did the following:

- Plug in wall charger.
- Remove battery and sim card.
- Wait 1 minute.
- Reinstall battery.
- Charge 4 - 6 hours.
- Don't push any keys.

I am guessing that leaving out the sim eliminates some problems with Chatter trying to start up as I use it as well.

I get full day of use with data on for Chatter and bluetooth always on. I can get 2 full days with data on for Chatter and bluetooth off.

I upgraded from a 650 and am very pleased with the improved bluetooth and extra built in memory. Very few resets in 4 weeks.

by Howj Doin | Jan 16, 2007 4:01:23 PM

@ "Just goes..."

Why don't you get an address like "iphonauts etc." and write this stuff there,I don't understand how your comment helps about this battery issue.Got it, for you "Palm sucks Apple rocks" but please go rock somewhere else

@ A.Davis

This makes sense I bought my 680 form the palm store at Newark airport and never had a battery issue so far.

by Oliver | Jan 16, 2007 6:06:13 PM

This is actually rather old news. A few weeks ago I read about this solution in different german Treo forums.

The problem persists. If you ever use the camera application you will have to repeat the procedure.

by Orlando Adames | Jan 16, 2007 9:42:46 PM

Hi, I purchased an unlocked Treo 680 and the battery is awful. I dont have any 3rd party apps installed. Its been like this since the day that I purchased it (end of November). What I don't understand is how can any company release a product for $400.00 and it have such a BIG problem like this. A crapy RAZR with its tiny battery last much more time than this phone. The Treo 650 was much better with the battery than this, other than that evrything else is better with the 680.
I'm not a hater of Palm but this is B. S. When you pay this much for a cell/pda we shouldn't have to FIND A NEW FIX for problems that should have been found before release.

by Roland | Jan 17, 2007 1:49:47 AM

Has anyone had problems with swapping batteries with the 680? I have had it lock up on a soft reset cycle several times when I switched batteries.

by Victor | Jan 17, 2007 11:47:45 AM

C’mon... wake up, Andrew. Everybody knows: this is not THE final solution. The battery problem persist.

That’s what happens when people believe they can buy a new product (Treo 680) cheaper than his predecessor(Treo 750). Treo 680 is a piece of crap. I’ll keep my Treo 650 (since TREO 700p doesn't means any BIG evolution).

by rix | Jan 17, 2007 12:12:50 PM

Hi,I just applied the battery charge recommendation to my unlocked 680 and have these comments/observations: I charged up for 7 hrs as recommended. I then turned on my device did a battery check which yielded a 93%! Am I wrong in asuming the level should've been closer to 100%?
Now, two hours later and after two short calls and no apps installed, BT, IR, surf or camera, a battery check indicated a shocking 86%.
Did I get dealt a full hand when I bought the 680?
After having read the countless accounts of this flagrant battery weakness I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't something to it.

by Mark | Jan 17, 2007 12:43:51 PM

just turn off the bluetooth when you don't need it. The battery life goes up dramatically.

It's obvious to me that the Palm folks did "creative" battery ratings to show good numbers. Likely they just used the absolute minimum of phone capabilities. No screen display or bluetooth or expansion card, etc. the whole test time... How else could they have gotten to "4 hours" talk time & "300 hours" standby - 12.5 days of standby? who do they think they are kidding?

by john | Jan 17, 2007 1:20:27 PM

I remeber having the Treo 300 with the same battery problem. Palm relesaed an update and everything was OK. I'm sure something is in the works.

by Tom | Jan 17, 2007 2:58:06 PM

Apple is nothing but problems anyway..sent my 1st ipod back 6 times before they made it right..6 times in a year...

anyway..just got the 680 today..wanted to go 750 badly..but the Cingular offer I received in the mail for 74.99 for the 680 was too tough to pass up...they let me get one for my brother as well. Should I do this battery thing first? I am just charging it now.

by Doug | Jan 17, 2007 4:32:35 PM

I was having problems with my battery for quite some time. Then someone suggested that I turn off auto-date/time updates. It works - HOWEVER, you have to reset the Palm 680 in order for that change to take effect, otherwise it will stay on and drain the battery.

Sounds like the Camera is not turning itself off either. So reset your Palm 680 after using it.

I wouldn't be suprised if this was also the case with BlueTooth and IR Recieve mode.

So now I reset my 680 everytime I make a power management change, just to be sure!

It think Palm has a couple of power management bugs they need to address in a new firmware update!

by Adrian | Jan 17, 2007 8:45:15 PM

There's a problem..I've tried every 'fix' and battery life is dismal.

Somethings wrong..I've lost several calls to a flat battery - and I rarely make calls.

The worst ever..I'm worrying about the battery and I hardly use the phone!

It's obvious... The Treo 680 is the shortest running phone you can buy today...

Anyone know a friend's phone that has a shorter battery life ..?

I don't think so..

Want to feel worse..

Ask a friend how long their Blackberry lasts !!

Houston, we have a LEMON..

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