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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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by Makh | Jan 18, 2007 7:18:15 AM

wouldn't it be easier if we warm reset and sart the procedure, thus avoiding the 3rd party applications influence??!!

by Evan | Jan 18, 2007 8:18:22 AM

I love Apple "jacks". Yeah, and I'm sure none of the millions of iPod users ever complained about their battery. (/sarcasm off) The other day at work I got listserv chatter about a UPS for a Mac. I replied saying that according to the Mac user base, the machine is flawless and shouldn't even require power... Luckily it wasn't career limiting.

No product is flawless, (except for a Klein Tools screwdriver. Don't blame me, I work for the company) but product knowledge is key. It's good to have these notes, and I'll try this this evening.

BTW my old blue-colored 7120 which staying in my pocket for 3-years could run forever without a recharge. Now I use it as a hammer.

by RVA | Jan 18, 2007 10:05:31 AM

Thank you! My only disappointment in the T680 "was" the gradually increasing battery drain. Your cure was perfect!!!

I don't have the time to track all the tweaking. By your putting it in front of me, I matched the cure to the problem.

Thank You!

by Ju | Jan 18, 2007 2:11:27 PM

I will try this. Will report back if this improve my standby time on my treo 680. Wish me luck.

P.S. my unlock 680 last only 36 hours with minimal usage and the phone radio is off for 16 hours of the time at night.

by Felicia | Jan 18, 2007 3:18:52 PM

I just got a 680 last week, and thought that the battery life was nothing great, but it didn't seem to be draining as rapidly as other people's was. I figured I would try the battery reset procedure to see if it would give me a litle extra life anyways. WRONG. I followed those directions to a T last night, and now today, as of 3:17, my battery is half dead after making 1 single 5 minute phone call all day. I have my treo set to NOT check anything automtically, dim the screen after 15 sec, lowered the brightness, etc. What gives?? My battery meter is worse now than it ever was. I'll give this phone another week or so, but if this battery thing continues to be such a big issue, back it goes.

by shinyx | Jan 18, 2007 4:17:08 PM

I've used a 680 almost a week. It's unlocked one directly from palm.com. I think that mine gives a similar battery life like others. Nothing better than those from Cingular.

Did you guys check its battery time even without turning on a radio? I tried to do that on the day when I got my 680. I cannot give you an exact hour now, but it wasn't significantly better. That means that 680 consumes a battery way too much regardless its phone function turns on or off. I guess that there might be some bug in their circuit design itself. If not, they must solve this symptom by providing some firmware upgrade. Compared to my beloved previous palm devices including Palm IIIx, Palm Tungsten, and Palm T, 680's battery usage is awfully strange.

by Ju | Jan 18, 2007 4:55:30 PM

As part of following the instructions above to hope to reset the charging circuit, would I also need to fully discharge the battery to work?

by Supp0rtLinux | Jan 18, 2007 10:30:49 PM

Palm just released an update for the 680 to handle the camera/battery drain issue. Hopefully, that combined with the above battery re-training techniques will resolve most of the issues. As always, Andrew, we expect a full rundown and test from you. :)

by Ju | Jan 18, 2007 11:50:22 PM

I just installed the new update to handle the camera/battery drain, plus the battery reset from above.

I left it charge for 6 hours.

Current observation 95%. Turn on the camera and took a photo to make sure I initiate the camera once.

Will report back what my battery standby time will be till it dies. Thanks everyone for all your posts and help. Cheers.

by Fred | Jan 19, 2007 11:09:38 AM

Palm has made available a software fix for the problem of the camera draining the battery. It's on the Palm European Web site:

by Wayne | Jan 19, 2007 12:56:13 PM

Palm has posted a fix for the camera which they say corrects the battery drain.

check out: http://www.palm.com/us/support/downloads/treo/680cameraupdate.html

by Fred | Jan 19, 2007 12:59:42 PM

And on the U.S. site (the camera/battery fix):


by rachelle | Jan 19, 2007 2:21:51 PM

I love my Treo. I just downloaded MobiTV (they've got a 30 day free trial offer at www.mobitvexperience.com). I haven't used live tv on my phone before now. Any feedback on how this will affect the battery?

by Steve | Jan 20, 2007 11:43:14 AM

Has anyone else experienced the following problem with their 680?
I drive for a living so I keep my Treo in a cradle in the car. For some reason it turns itself on every 10 minutes or so and then when you don't push the center button, it shuts off. I have eliminated the following causes:
Signal going in and out. NOT IT
VersaMail is not configured for auto retrieval.

I did add some apps that were on my 650 that might be causing the problem...
XLauncher, YAHM with FontV Hack, CapsLock600, DateBK6. Not sure if any of these is the cause.
Anyone have any ideas?

by Eric | Jan 22, 2007 4:18:16 PM

has anyone noticed that Seidio has a 1300 mah battery on their site now? It's only 100 mah more but it's also only $35. I am ordering mine now for my 750

by FromKrypton | Jan 23, 2007 12:44:24 AM

I decided to do a complete factory reset before doing this Battery fix. I plugged in the charger, removed battery waited 1 min, removed sim waited 1 min then reinserted the battery. I don't know why but the Radio turned on and tells me to check my sim card. I didn't press anything, I just left is over night at least 6hours. I still have horrible battery life and when I charge it over night it comes off the charger saying it only has 93% battery. I've already installed the Camera fix.

Any ideas?

by FromKrypton | Jan 23, 2007 8:35:24 AM

Is there a setting that I am suppossed to enable/disable so that my phone does not turn its radio on after I reinsert the battery?

by FromKrypton | Jan 23, 2007 11:47:43 PM

After the 6hours or so of charging, how do I re-insert my sim card?
Do I first unplug the Treo from the charger then remove the battery?
Do I first remove the battery to insert the simcard then unplug it from the charger?

I just want to make sure I'm doing process properly.

Thanks again

by LAWDOG | Jan 29, 2007 10:22:48 AM

I just purchased an unlocked 680, would really love it except for the poor battery life. I'm a light to medium user and it's really an issue for me. I tried all the fixes on this site, it has gotton a little better but is still poor. Gonna call Seidio today to see when the 2400 battery will be avail. Other then the battery issue, it's really all I wanted in a PDA.

by Mike | Jan 29, 2007 3:20:55 PM

I've installed the camera fix, keep almost everything off(BT, IR receive, manual clock update, etc.), have tried the "battery reset" procedure 3 times, tried completely draining the battery...

The battery life is still bad and no matter how long I charge it the meter NEVER gets above 99%. Ever. Next I'm trying a replacement battery from Cingular (I'm still inside the 30 day tryout period) and charging it initially for like 24 hours or something...

I've seen some posts related to the 680, where the owner can get 3 days of use out of 1 charge(?!?!?) Who are these people and what's their secret?

Has anyone talked directly to Palm about this? Any Treonauts out there with someone from Palm on speed-dial?

by LAWDOG | Jan 30, 2007 11:10:16 AM

UPDATE: I spoke with Palm Tech/support this morning. I advised him of all the settings I had performed and he concluded the phone itself my be defective, so they are sending me out a new one. They were very nice but the thing that really bothers me is they don't admit there is a problem ??? It was like he was hearing about this problem for the first time. Just admit there is a problem and FIX IT !!!! It's 2007, there is no excuse for any electronics not to last for one day without recharging several times a day. Anyway, other than the battery issue, I love this Treo. When I receive my new phone I will give you an update.
P.S. I asked him about Palm offering a hi capacity battery sometime in the future, he stated he was unable to say ??????? GRRRRRR

by peter | Feb 1, 2007 10:48:07 AM

i bought a new battery not an original palm one and seems loads better!!!!!!

by mcw | Feb 1, 2007 12:43:39 PM

Regarding the treo 680 battery issue.
Is the problem really with the battery, or is it with an overly conservative battery meter??!!
Nikon had a similar issue with one of their coolpix cameras and a firmware patch fixed the issue.

by Mo | Feb 2, 2007 1:02:41 AM


I am having problem with a 680 losing half the battery power by noon with even 10/15 mins of talk time. I followed the procedure of taking the SIM and battery out and then charging the phone for six hours. But after three days the problem is back. Now the keypad is starting to flicker. What gives?????

by Steve | Feb 3, 2007 10:55:19 AM

I performed the camera fix and did the reset procedure and my unit has been completely fine since. I can get a few days on a charge with Bluetooth on. Still not as great as the 650 was but then again, it's slimmer. Also, for most of the units that have the problem with the battery, it's actually the meter itself. try to continue using it even when it says that it's really low. That's what the reset procedure listed above is used for. Do that, make sure that you have the camera fix installed and it will be fine.

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