Battery issues since 2.1.0

Since 2.1.0 battery on both my Playdate have been acting up. If I leave the console alone, fully charged, it depletes down to 80% within a day. It’s a novel behavior that I never saw before, and it affects equally both my units. 2.1.1 didn’t fix the issue. Anyone else noticed this?

1 Like

I actually noticed this as well. For example just the other day the playdate was showing it was critically low. After I left it to charge for ~15 min, it said it's at 80%. That's not enough time for it to charge up to 80%

Yes same here. It seems like the charge level indicated is wrong, and fluctuates wildly. It’s quite the issue, so I’m surprised that not more people attest to that. It could be a rare bug affecting only a fraction of consoles, but then I got particularly unlucky since both mine demonstrate the problem.

I have the first generation console. Are yours both first generation?

Yes both mine are first generation.

I want to add more observations. One of the Playdate was at 86%. I charged it for 10 minutes and it was back at 100%. I left the console alone for 10 minutes and it’s now back to 92%. Before 2.1.0, I could leave the console sleeping for 24 hours and it would lose 1 or 2%.
Can we have someone from Playdate intervening here and telling us what they think?

It's also happening with my first gen developer preview device.

I unplugged it and just moving around the system menu I can watch the battery drop visually. (I don't know where to look to see the exact percentage.)

Yes there's really something up. At least it's consistent because both my first gen Playdate are having the issue. The thing that I'm not sure is if it's the battery depleting really fast or just the charge level giving the wrong reading. It's quite the problem though so I hope that the developers are aware and looking into this.

Another observation is that if I turn off my console (hold down the top button) after a week of being off the console's batter drops to under 50%. If I leave the console powered off for another week the battery is critical. It should stay 14 days on standby clock, although I would guess if the system is off that it uses very little power.

I observe jumpy battery indicator behaviour as well. I believe I saw it before 2.1.0 too. I own Rev B.

I don't use Playdate a lot these days, so it sits on my desk for about a week until new Season 1 games come out. Last week the menu indicator constantly suggested I plug the console. Ironically, that indicator disappeared after I played 5 minutes with new games!

I basically stop trusting the indicator and charge the console only when it's actually begging to do so (or goes dark). A Playdate developer once mentioned here that having a stable reliable battery charge percent value is a hard problem.

I've just found the citation: Numeric battery level somewhere in Settings - #4 by dave

I thought I noticed a marked acceleration in battery self-discharge after the 2.1.0 update as well. Previously, it felt like it could take weeks before there was a need to recharge; post-update, feels like a matter of days. So I decided to monitor it.

This is on a Rev B Playdate running 2.1.0 - 2.1.1 with under a dozen charge cycles (my best estimate) since I received it in mid-September 2023. No active use during the monitor period, only always-on lock screen word clock.

27 November 2023
008% @ 11:25 ET (connected 12W USB wall charger)
075% @ 11:44
091% @ 12:01 (new games LED flashing)
100% @ 12:05 (left house to run errands)
065% @ 13:25 (!!)
060% @ 23:20

28 November 2023
058% @ 09:40

29 November 2023
055% @ 09:40

01 December 2023
040% @ 11:30

02 December 2023
036% @ 10:00

03 December 2023
025% @ 22:36

04 December 2023
010% @ 10:00 (system requests recharge)

Bearing in mind this is only a single cycle from a single unit. Not sure if the battery indicator is accurate (or even if this is exacerbated by the recent firmware updates), but hope the data might be useful.

I'm thinking I may recharge and try again, this time monitoring with active use (since four new S1 games I want to play unlocked while I waited for the system to drain, and I also want to sideload some WIP personal projects). Will share those results once I have them for comparison.

Curiouser and curiouser.

I am going to post a battery timeline for 1 charge.
Hopefully this will help the devs make some fixes.

Today, December 5, 2023 - Everything takes place today

I had the playdate turned off (by holding the power button 5-10 sec) and in my drawer for about 2 weeks. It was 100% when I put it in the drawer. My playdate is REV A running 2.1.1.

10:05 AM - Turned the playdate on and it said it had not enough power. I then plugged in to a wall plug, my Android phone charger.
10:10 AM - ??% - I accessed Catalog and then I locked the playdate 2 min later. I forgot to look at the battery %.
10:19 AM - 44% - Locked the playdate and is on my desk to charge.
10:21 AM - 47% - Still locked and charging.
10:23 AM - 50% - Still locked and charging.
10:25 AM - 55% - Still locked and charging.
10:29 AM - 58% - Still locked and charging.
10:31 AM - 65% - Still locked and charging.
10:33 AM - 65% - Still locked and charging.
10:35 AM - 68% - Still locked and charging.
10:36 AM - 69% - Still locked and charging.
10:38 AM - 71% - Still locked and charging. New Message "New Catalog games!".
10:40 AM - 72% - Unlocked, opened Catalog and refreshed Catalog so that it clears the message. Went back to home and then locked the playdate.
10:42 AM - 70% - Still locked and charging.
10:44 AM - 77% - Still locked and charging.
10:46 AM - 81% - Still locked and charging.
10:48 AM - 82% - Still locked and charging.
10:50 AM - 84% - Still locked and charging.
10:52 AM - 88% - Still locked and charging.
10:54 AM - 90% - Still locked and charging.
10:56 AM - 91% - Still locked and charging.
10:58 AM - 94% - Still locked and charging.
11:00 AM - 97% - Still locked and charging. I saw the Wifi symbol show up on the lock screen beside the battery %.
11:02 AM - 98% - Still locked and charging. The Wifi symbol disappeared.
11:03 AM - 100% - Fully charged, still locked and charging.

I don't think it's normal to charge just shy of an hour from the playdate complaining about not being able to power on unless I plug it in to 100%.

Looks like there may not be any interest in this thread or the battery issue in general. We should close this thread and leave it for reference.

I spent a few days working on this last month and didn't really make any progress before I had to switch tasks. :confused: I need to get my battery current sensor working again so I can take better measurements. It looked like there might be something getting left in a state where it's pulling a few mA, but that's the USB power and I'm not sure I trust my cheap meter.

1 Like

Thought I'd record another charge cycle. Maybe this will be more of help.
I'm charging via cable plugged in to wall socket with playdate lock screen on.

11:36 AM - 15%
11:39 AM - 26%
11:40 AM - 31%
11:42 AM - 45%
11:45 AM - 64%
11:49 AM - 70%
11:53 AM - 76%
11:59 AM - 83%
12:02 PM - 85%
12:05 PM - 88%
12:07 PM - 91%
12:09 PM - 93%
12:11 PM - 98%
12:13 PM - 100%

Total charge time from 15% to 100% battery is 37 minutes.
Charging the playdate from 15% to 64% in about 9 min is too fast.