PocketFinder LTE Smart Tracker Charging & Battery Guide #
Battery Life is the top concern for users- and for good reason! Below is a breakdown of proper charging and the 3 factors that most affect battery life for the LTE Smart Tracker.
On average, customers see 2 days of battery life from a full charge. As you will read below, use case and environmental factors will determine if you will see longer or shorter battery life.
The PocketFinder LTE Smart Tracker utilizes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. These batteries are designed to be charged to 100% and then let drain down before being charged again. This will aid in the overall life of your battery. We recommend setting a low battery alert and not leaving plugged in to charge for more than 24 hours at a time.
When charging via a computer, please make sure the computer is plugged in as well. This will provide a trickle charge and takes around 2-3 hours for the device to reach a full charge.
When charging via a wall outlet or portable battery, please make sure it is NOT a rapid charger. The charging cube should NOT have an output higher than 5V / 1A. Charging with a rapid charger can lead to overheating, internal device damage, and shortened battery life.
When plugging in to charge, you should see a solid Blue light appear and the device will generally sound a short “beep”. Once charging is complete, the LED will go off.
The Smart Tracker can also be powered using a Wireless charging pad. Please note: Wireless charging is exactly as it sounds, wireless. The power signals may cut off and reset. This can lead to the device doing a light reset every few minutes when the disconnect happens and cause the device to beep every time it registers a charge.
3 Factors Affecting Battery Life
Battery life is dependent on several factors. Average battery life is determined through numerous tests in scenarios our customers often find themselves in. With normal use in the default 10 minute mode, the average user sees 2 days of battery. But, every use case is different. Below are the factors that most impact battery life.
– Frequency: This relates not just to Power Mode intervals but how often SOS is enacted. The more frequent the location interval, the more potential for locating; but that also means using more battery. SOS is an emergency locate function allowing for 5 minutes of locates outside the normal cycle. The more frequently this is used, the quicker the battery will drain.
– Awake vs. Sleep: Sleep Mode is how the device saves the most battery as it’s a fully dormant state. If the device is always on the move, its only chance for a battery break is the rest period between updating locations. So, if the device is being used in a way where it will rarely go into sleep mode, you will see shorter battery life than if it experienced periods of sleep mode throughout the day.
– Environment: This is the most overlooked factor. Like all GPS trackers, ours is designed for outside use. This is because GPS signals come down from satellites. As those signals rain down, they bounce off every surface. So, open areas provide the most accurate tracking and best battery consumption. When in and around buildings, these materials interfere with the signals. If too much interference is experienced, the device will switch to WiFi Touch. But, every time it starts a location cycle, the device always tries GPS first. So, if indoors or in and around large/ thick structures, this can impact locates and battery life. To combat this, there is WiFi Touch when indoors. But it takes multiple WiFi Touch signals to generate a single location; it only takes one GPS signal to generate a single location. Because of this, being used indoors will see expedited battery drainage; sleep mode will of course help combat this.
Partnered with environmental factors is cell service. The PF Smart communicates on the GSM LTE network (AT&T/ T-Mobile in the US). This is how it sends data to the servers. When the servers update, you see this reflected on your account. If the device is being used where LTE cell service is limited or non-existent, the device will whirl in the background trying to connect until successful or the battery dies (like a cell phone).