Mysterious WhatsApp battery drain on OnePlus has users confused

12 Nov 20195.44k Views

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Reports of OnePlus owners experiencing significant battery drain because of WhatsApp have sprung up globally, with no clear cause.

If you own a OnePlus phone and have noticed your battery drain much faster than usual, you’re not the only one. A number of reports have appeared on the company’s own user message boards as well as Reddit claiming that WhatsApp has started draining their batteries significantly more than other apps.

OnePlus owners have also taken their frustration out on the WhatsApp Google Play Store page. According to Android Authority, problems first seemed to occur after the latest WhatsApp update to version 2.19.308 in both Android 9 and 10 on OnePlus phones.

However, owners of other devices – including Google’s own Pixel range and Huawei – have also claimed to be affected. By looking at the battery section of the phone’s Android settings, those who think they might be affected can see what is causing the most drain.

While some journalists who have reported on the issue said they haven’t experienced any significant drain, this journalist – who has a OnePlus 5T – has experienced greater-than-usual battery drain from WhatsApp.

This figure has fluctuated over the past few days, but the Facebook-owned messaging app continues to be the biggest drain on the phone’s battery.

Screenshot of a phone's battery usage with WhatsApp on 24pc and Netflix and Twitter on both 4pc.

Screenshot of battery usage screen. Image: Colm Gorey

So what now?

So far the only assured fix for the issue would be to uninstall the app and await further news. However, given that WhatsApp is the preferred messaging app for 1.5bn people each month, this might not be an option.

Suggestions to limit the battery drain include selecting ‘force stop’ in the Android settings for WhatsApp as well as performing a backup and clearing its cache. Furthermore, turning off the app’s ability to operate in the background may also help.

Some articles have even suggested uninstalling the app and downloading a previous version through app files – called APKs – from various sources. However, unless you can be assured that it is a genuine version of the app, you might be leaving yourself vulnerable to harmful malware.

Siliconrepublic.com has reached out to both Facebook and OnePlus for comment. Facebook has refused to comment on the matter, while OnePlus has not responded to requests.

Update, 12.40pm, 20 November 2019: OnePlus has now declined to comment on the matter. 

However, a Reddit user has since posted a screenshot alleging that a WhatsApp support team member claimed a fix for the battery drain will come as part of a future update. WhatsApp is still not officially commenting on the matter.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com