• How Sony’s STAMINA Mode works

    By Chris Ward , May 20, 2013 - Leave a comment

    How does STAMINA mode work?

    Sony Xperia ZBattery life is one of the aspects of smartphone design that still requires significant improvement. One way to facilitate this will be through hardware technology breakthroughs, one of which we recently covered here. The other approach to improving battery life, however, is by optimising the software used on handsets. With handsets such as the Xperia Z, Sony Xperia Z1, and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Sony has tried to do just that with STAMINA mode.

    An easy assumption to make when it comes to smartphone battery life is that placing your handset on standby will stop apps from running and therefore stop power consumption. This is incorrect – apps still run in the background and there are constant synchronisation requests for things such as message updates and notifications.

    Using STAMINA mode, Sony does its best to address the problem of apps running in the background. It achieves this by blocking data traffic a minute after the handset is placed on standby. Whilst doing this the phone automatically logs your IP address, meaning you are instantly connected once the phone is powered on again.

    When STAMINA mode is activated, you will still receive phone calls, text messages and picture messages. However, you should be aware that notifications that require an internet connection will stop.

    So, if I have STAMINA mode on, I won’t get alerts such as Whatsapp, Email, Facebook, etc?

    That’s correct. By default, STAMINA mode will block apps such as those above from syncing. However, there is the option to whitelist specific apps so that they are not blocked by STAMINA mode. If you still need email to sync, whitelist your chosen email client and you’ll still get your emails come through. It’s worth noting that if you have push email enabled your battery will be drained much quicker than if you have the handset to synchronise periodically, such as every hour. It really depends on how urgently you need to check email. You will be able to find synchronisation options in the setting of your email app.

    Sony STAMINA Mode

    [image name=sony-xperia-z]

    What else does STAMINA mode do?

    STAMINA mode features

    As well as disabling mobile data when your screen is turned off, STAMINA mode also has a few other features to offer. You can set it to show (as a percentage) how much battery life you have left with an icon in the status bar (for non-Xperia users, Battery Widget Reborn also offers this). There’s also the option to disable certain functions once battery reaches a critical level, or you can automatically enable Wi-Fi when in range of a preferred network – connecting to Wi-Fi drains the battery a lot less than scanning for 3G/4G networks.

    As well as offering the above features, STAMINA mode will also pop up with suggestions as to how you can improve battery. For example, if your device is left dormant for 6 hours and STAMINA mode is off, you’ll get a notification in the status bar to recommend that you turn it on.

    Which handsets have STAMINA mode and how do I turn it on?

    At the moment, those handsets which offers STAMINA mode include Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP and Xperia L. By default, STAMINA mode is turned off, but you can activate it by going to Settings > Power Management.

    Chris Ward

    Better known as 'Wardy', digital media is where his interest lies. Responsible for many elements of the Clove website and external advertising activities, Wardy is our interactive media graduate. Always chilled out, there is never a time when you see 'Wardy' stressed. A keen music follower, he knows his DJ's and how to mix a few tracks together. Always eating, he remains stick thin and is the envy of the rest of us! A very deep character, there are some suprising twists to what Wardy knows and you'll never meet a nicer bloke if you tried!


  • i have no data plan.
    I connect to Wifi in office and at home.
    i still want Whatsapp notifications while I have Stamina mode enabled.
    is it possible to whitelist Wifi?
    if yes, what would the option be?

    • Hi Das, you cannot whitelist Wi-Fi connectivity entirely as this would defeat one of the main objects of STAMINA.
      You should however be able to whitelist Whatsapp notifications from the STAMINA settings.
      You may also need to check the WiFi settings to make sure you are not forcefully disconnected when the screen is turned off

  • I use the Stamina mode and think its a great idea. The only problem I’ve come across is that once or twice a day I get a notification that Whatsapp is preventing STAMINA mode from working correctly, I then checked my power usage in the settings and low and behold whatsapp was at the top :/ any fix to this you know of? Thanks.

    • Hi Gary, Whatsapp is one of those applications that is at odds with the very nature of STAMINA so there is no ‘fix’, just workarounds really.
      STAMINA turns off WiFi and data connections except for whitelisted applications – standard SMS comes through your 2G connection on the device and has a very low power draw. Whatsapp however uses data / 3G and WiFi to pull in your messages.
      This means for Whatsapp to work correctly then it needs to access the very features that STAMINA is trying to turn off. You can whitelist Whatsapp and change the WiFi settings so you are not forcefully disconnected when the screen goes dark but this will have an effect on STAMINA’s performance.
      Basically you can get Whatsapp to work with STAMINA but you will not receive as much of a power saving than if you choose not to use Whatsapp

      • Hi Josh
        Oh right, I think I understand. I dont know if this will make any difference, but I dont mind if I have to wait til the next time I unlock my phone to receive a message, even if someone sends me one just seconds after I initially lock the handset. With that in mind, will I still have to put up with the same result as you mentioned. Thanks alot.
        Gary Hall.

        • Yes, if you don’t whitelist Whatsapp then this is basically what will happen – the notifications won’t come through until you unlock your screen.
          Your WiFi/3G connections will come out of hibernation and Whatsapp will then kick into life and pull in your new messages.
          Most people don’t like that as they want to hear / feel the notification at all times even when the screen is off, but if it works for you then you will get the best power saving that way

  • Josh,

    I just bought an Xperia SP, I use Stamina-mode, but every time I get the message that “google play movies” prevents stamina to work correctly.
    It uses as much as 80% of my battery-power.
    But I cannot find an app called “google play movies”, so I cannot block it.
    Do you have any Idea what to do?

    Thanks from Holland

    • Hi Harold, this might be referred to simply as “Play Movies” on your device, the icon is a red filmstrip.
      Play Movies is core Google app installed on almost every Android handset and is used to watch videos you have purchased and downloaded form Google Play.
      If you don’t use it then I would recommend locating it within your settings and attempting a force close or if possible uninstalling updates to the service. This might help. I don’t think you will be able to uninstall the app completely on the Xperia SP.
      If you locate it, I don’t think you should have any issue adding it to the STAMINA block list

      • Uhh i m having the same problem after .254 update.. i tried disabling the apps & putting them in exclusion list to the stamina mode also didnt help..

        • Interesting Tony, although I know how STAMINA works, I don’t personally use a Sony device so this isn’t something I’ve had to deal with. Just to check – the .254 update didn’t reset any particular settings did it?
          I know Google have been updating some of the entertainment apps (movies, music, games etc.) quite extensively in the last few months, perhaps some of their changes and how they run in the background are at odds with STAMINA.
          They only thing I can suggest is firing off a support email to both Sony and the Play Movies app through Google Play, you might get something

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