How To

How To: Root and Boost Battery Life of the T-Mobile G2X

April 29, 2011 at 1:12 am

So, you’ve got your shiny new T-Mobile G2X and you want to get the most out of it.  Me too!  In this post, I’ll show you how you can easily root, install Clockwork Recovery, and increase the battery life of your new G2X so you can get 20+ hours of juice out of it.  Sound good?  Mmmhmm.  Here we go!

Give Credit Where Credit is Due:

  • Credit for the root goes to Domi007 of XDA Developer’s Forum.  Without these fine folks, our droids wouldn’t be half the fun they are.
  • Root for Mac and Linux users goes to CLShortFuse and jnichols959.
  • Credit for the Battery Life procedure goes to Spencersir2.

Warning:

Rooting will void your warranty, and is not without risk, however minimal the chance is.  gggadgets.com is not responsible for any damage you do to your device, or if it gains sentience and attempts global domination.

What You Need to Know:

This method is for the US version of the T-Mobile G2X, and not the LG Optimus 2X.  Even though they are the same phone, technically, there are small differences in software that will prevent some things from working the same way.  In order for the Battery Life portion of this guide to work you MUST have root access.

Prerequisites:

  • your charger/USB cable
  • A desktop computer

Before You Begin:

  • You will need to download the USB Drivers for the G2X for your computer.  They do not come pre-installed.  Follow the link HERE to download and install the drivers.
  • PC Users download SuperOneClick.  To Download from the XDA Forums you will need to sign up, which is free and easy, and they deserve it.  Sign up.
  • For Mac/Linux Users, download the G2XRootMacLinux_05.zip.  You will not need to download the USB drivers.

Rooting Guide, Step-by-Step for PC Users

Once you have downloaded the drivers for the G2x drivers on your PC, you need to enable USB Debugging on your phone.  Do not plug the phone into your computer yet.

1. Go to Settings->Applications->Development->Enable USB Debugging

2. Plug the phone into the USB port and run SuperOneClick

3. Click the Root button.

4. If it asks you if you want to install BusyBox, say Yes.

5. Reboot

You’re rooted.  Now you need to install ClockWork Recovery.

1. Go to the Android Market and download Rom Manager, if you don’t already have it.  If you’re rooted, you want this.  Repeat: You want this!

2. Once you have installed Rom Manager, select G2X as your device and install Recovery.  This will allow you to flash custom roms when they are available.  Like Cyanogenmod 7!

Rooting Guide, Step-by-Step for Mac/Linux Users

Expand the G2XRootMacLinux_05.zip you downloaded earlier.

1. Enable USB debugging on your phone (Settings -> Applications -> Development).

2. Connect your phone via USB. No drivers or android sdk needed.

3. Double-click root.command (Mac) or run it as you would any shell script (Linux) .

4. Wait for the script to finish and reboot.

You’re rooted!  Now you need to install ClockWork Recovery.

1. Go to the Android Market and download Rom Manager, if you don’t already have it.  If you’re rooted, you want this.  repeat: You want this!

2. Once you have installed Rom Manager, select G2X as your device and install Recovery.  This will allow you to flash custom roms when they are available.  Like Cyanogenmod 7!

Step-by-Step Guide to 20 Hour Battery Life

You have probably noticed that your G2x burns through battery ridiculously fast.  Don’t worry.  We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.  Well, we’re here to help, at least.

Once you have root access to your phone, there’s a fantastic world of customization at your fingertips.  Let’s do some now, and not only will your g2X get better battery life, but overall performance should increase once you’ve lost the T-Mobile bloatware.

1. Download either Titanium Backup or AnTek App Manager from the Android market.  I chose AnTek because it’s free.

2. Once you have one of the above, open it up and Freeze or Uninstall (your choice) all the T-mobile bloatware on the phone.  Here’s a list of the major ones that suck battery for no reason whatsoever:

  • App pak
  • Car Home (this is the most important to be rid of)
  • Qik video chat*1
  • WiFi Calling*2

*1 If you’re thinking “O noes, not my video chat!” don’t worry.  Google Talk will soon have this built in, and Qik does not work 99% of the time on the G2X anyway, so it’s basically just wasting space and battery for no reason.  Google Talk Video is a feature in Android 2.3.4, which will be going to Nexus S users in the weeks leading up to, and including, Google I/O 2011.  The update will then be going out based on carrier.  The dev community will likely have it available sooner, though.  There are alternative video chat options like Skype and Fring

*2: Some people do use WiFi calling, so don’t eliminate it if you do like it.  I chose to Freeze it, rather than delete it because you just never know.  When it’s frozen or deleted, however, it may make your phone pitch a fit where it will force close non-stop.  If this happens, you can pull the battery and then restart it.  Wifi Calling will have been frozen, and the accompanying processes that ran with it will not have started, and so won’t continue to force close.

3. Download SetCPU from the market.  This little program is awesome, and saves you power at all times.  CM7 has this built in, but until it’s been completed for the G2x, you’ll have to stick with the 3rd party app.  When you have SetCPU set the processor for 216 min and 1000 max while the screen is active.  Go into profiles, and select the profile “While screen is off” and set it for 216-312  This will throttle down your processor while the screen is inactive and your phone is idle.

4. Download Battery Calibration from the market.  Charge your phone to 100% run Calibration, then discharge the phone all the way to 0% until it shuts itself off.  When you recharge to 100% (after finishing the rest of this guide) you will see an amazing difference in battery life.

5. Download Elixir from the market.  This app will not only display everything you’d like to know about your phone’s performance (battery usage stats, cpu usage, memory usage, cpu temp, etc) but it has a widget which has shortcuts to some very useful things.  For instance, you can customize the widget to offer you a row of buttons that can turn on/off our wifi, data connection, bluetooth, mobile hotspot, and pretty much anything else your phone can do.  It’s similar to the ‘power control’ widget, but has tons of more options.  I set mine for 5 buttons: Wifi, Data Connection, Bluetooth, Mobile Hotspot, and Mute.  This will allow you to easily disconnect your data connection when you aren’t using it.  4G sucks your battery like no other, so if you don’t need it on all the time, don’t leave it on all the time.  You can still make calls and text without your data connection active.

6. Turn off Auto Sync in the settings.

The next few steps are optional and not proven to increase battery life, but are good things to do and probably do make a difference.

7. Download Watchdog from the market.  This app will monitor other apps and send you a notification if something is hogging a ton of battery power.

8. WiFi Never Sleep.  It’s been reported that if you change WiFi to “Never Sleep” it will stop the looping of some programming and save on battery life.  Dunno.

9. There’s been a lot of reports that running the battery down and performing a factory reset has some effect on battery life.  I did not do this because I’m too lazy to want to set up all my apps and settings again.  If you’re more motivated to do so, feel free to try!

10. WiFi calling.  If you didn’t freeze or uninstall this earlier, set it to off at least.  Why?  Whenever you connect to WiFi while this is on, it will constantly flip between the WiFi signal and the cell tower signal, eating battery the whole time.

That’s the whole deal, folks.  I hope this helps some of you out and lets you get the most out of your G2X!  Again, credit to the guys over at XDA for coming up with another round of fantastic solutions to our mobile woes.


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