Most users would prefer overclocking their mobile phones to gain better performance. But underclocking has its benefits which most would agree with. The Samsung Galaxy Note features a dual core 1.4 GHz processor and has a battery specification of 2500 mAh which can give you a maximum talk time of approximately 13 hours. But since the Galaxy Note is designed to be your personal portable computer assistant while on the move, making calls, taking notes, surfing the web and a load of features being used on the spectacularly large 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display can run your battery down to less than half its expected time. And if you overclocked your phone to just get high performance from your phone, think twice, what did you benefit? 

Overclocking your phone simply does a few useless tasks such as starting an application faster, displaying or scrolling through the home screens or photos a bit quicker or a few other areas. But do your basic needs such as browsing the internet, watching a movie, composing an SMS or email or listening to music need an overclocked processor? Definitely not—the internet speed will be the same, videos and music won’t play any faster or better, and composing a message would be limited to your speed and so on. So why overclock and lose on precious battery juice? If this does not make sense to you, I suppose you should be happy in tagging along your charger wherever you go. Others can read on.

First make a nandroid backup so that you can undo all changes in case you mess up somewhere or if something goes wrong while flashing the kernel

Taking a nandroid backup to switch back to, in case things get messed up

Underclocking your smartphone can save you loads of battery juice that can be highly beneficial when you are constantly outdoors or travelling on a long journey. There are a lot of areas, that after tweaking, can help you reduce the power consumption and increase battery life. For example, switching off the Bluetooth, GPS and wireless radio when not needed, lowering the brightness levels of the display when in a darker environment, switching the phone to flight mode when it is not needed, and underclocking your processor. Most Android based smartphones, that have stock operating systems installed from their manufacturer, lack the ability of overclocking or underclocking their processor to save on power consumption. There are a few that might allow you to do so, but have limitations to overclocking or underclocking around 20 percent and the Galaxy Note is no outsider to this fact. 

In this workshop, we shall show you how you can underclock your Galaxy note to as low as 100 MHz to help save on battery life. The only one who can command the processor to underclock or overclock is the kernel and a properly tweaked one can definitely put a smile on your face when you see your battery icon still in green. 

Here is a list of requirements that you would need to get your Galaxy Note saving on battery life.

  • A rooted Galaxy Note: We assume you already have a rooted one, and if you don’t, you can follow the procedures mentioned here.
  • ClockworkMod recovery already installed on the phone: If you do not have it yet, you can get it done by installing ROM Manager from the Android Market, its free.
  • AbyssNote Kernel 1.5 or higher: This is the Android kernel which will be replacing the present kernel on your phone. The kernel is tweaked and designed for loads of features including underclocking and overclocking. Download the latest kernel from here.
CPU Spy shows the processors activity at different speeds

CPU Spy shows the processors activity at different speeds

Let’s get started. Download the latest AbyssNote Kernel from the above mentioned website and save it to your computer desktop. Next, connect your Galaxy Note to your PC or laptop using the USB cable as a mass storage. After a few seconds, your PC should be able to see the SD card of the Note in My Computer. Now copy the Kernel (zip file), you just downloaded, from the desktop to the root or parent folder of the SD card. To ensure that you can find it easily, make sure you don’t save it anywhere deep inside any other sub folders. Once done, disconnect the phone from the PC and reboot it into recovery mode (Volume Up + Home + Power Button). Once in recovery mode, you will need to first make a nandroid backup so that you can undo all changes in case you mess up somewhere or if something goes wrong while flashing the kernel. After the backup, you will need to clear the cache (Wipe Cache) and Dalvik cache (Wipe Dalvik Cache) to clean out the old system cache junk and make way for the new kernel. Next simply choose the option to install ZIP from SD card and choose the .zip file of the AbyssNote kernel you just copied to the SD card. Let the flashing process complete (approximately 5 – 10 minutes). Once done, reboot the phone. That’s it! 

The new kernel does have a lot of tweaks and tricks under its sleeve which can benefit you in a lot of ways. It comprises of bugs and fixes for applications and drivers too. But do note, the kernel development is continuously being made and updates for the kernel to eliminate bugs and new features are constantly being implemented. Do have a look at the changelog to keep yourself updated on the latest development of this kernel. 

You can install SetCPU (Paid) or AnTUTU CPU Master (free) from the Android Market and set your Galaxy Note’s Clock speed to whatever you need

You can install SetCPU to set your Galaxy Note’s clock speed

Now to underclock your processor, you can install SetCPU (not free) or AnTUTU CPU Master (free) from the Android Market and set your Galaxy Note’s Clock speed to whatever you need. You can overclock your processor up to around 1.7 GHz or underclock it below 100 MHz, choose your level. Do note that underclocking your processor will make your entire operating system feel sluggish, but it is the best way to keep your battery from being drained unnecessarily. In the programs mentioned above, you can set the processor’s low and high speeds to be scaled to ONDEMAND by the governor. This setting will set the processor speed to only the required amount and lower it to the minimal set value when not in use.  

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