Nokia Lumia 920 heating issue explained!

Posted: December 16, 2012 in Phones

Nokia Lumia 920 is definitely one of the most powerful, solid and sexy looking Windows Phone 8 powered devices, since the device released, contradictory feedback was given from various users indicating how much happy they are or how mad they are with device.

After the random reboot behaviour issue that all branded Windows Phone 8 powered devices suffered from including HTC and Nokia, which has been confirmed and admitted by Microsoft, they promised a fix to this issue, an OTA already pushed to HTC 8X, leaving Lumia 920 the only leading device waiting for this treat.

Is that all? Nope, there is a new player of the drops issues (Hope drops will not count to reach an ocean!!). Nokia Lumia 920 users are reporting an overheat issue on the top back of the phone in addition to deterioration in battery life, which makes users scared and annoyed. On forums and discussion boards there are lots of defenders and attackers, some users tried hard to help by suggesting different tweaks, starting from disabling NFC, GPS, background apps …. etc. Nothing helped.

Users claim it on the apps running in the background, which certainly could be a reason!! what? a  few maximum apps in the background could make the phone suffers from an overheat issue? Android with their theoretically infinity multitasking apps never ever suffers from this issue. Some users confirmed the issue happened even when NULL is running in the background, and the NFC … etc. tweaks applied.

From all the above, i decided to do my own test and investigation on my Lumia 920 unit, here what i found:

1) Built in applications running in the background will never cause the phone going warm, only after heavy use of Nokia Drive, City Lens and Camera, you can feel slight warm in the back top of the device, still this is not an over heat and normal this happen due to processor clocks to a full speed for consistent amount of time, this is reasonable, iPhone and Android power devices could get warm from similar activities.

2) Testing third party apps, even there is no huge selection of applications that are commonly used, but after careful asking users who faced this issue, i found that social networking apps are the most common apps installed of the complaint users. Facebook, the application certainly buggy and lacks proper notification, through out testing the app still function properly in coordination with WP8 OS, i didn’t notice any issue of battery drain nor overheating stuff, same applies to a lot of other applications like twitter, tweet caster, youtube, camera lenses apps … etc. Finally i came over the real play maker!! WhatsApp!! W T ….

Yes, the whole issue with WhatsApp, after using it for few texts, i notices noticeable heat increase in the top back, and things are under fire as more as i am using the app, i felt like am doing my fingers BBQ treat while holding the phone using WhatsApp, in addition, battery drain!! OMG, that was the fastest battery drain test i ever ran over in my lifetime using gadgets.

To conclude what happened with simple technical language with less fat. WhatsApp is malfunctioning in the background, took advantage over the S4 Processor, reserve all cores and threads to the application and over-clocking the CPU intensively. Even when you close the app, practically you are not, the App will keep going for some time in the background (15 to 20 minutes) abusing the devise resources without even functioning the application, that being said, the app will only release the devise resources when it goes idle which is not a fixed duration based on my intensive test. The app will dramatically drain your battery for granted, and will make you have a hot chill fried fingers after few minutes of using it. When i uninstalled the app. Yeaah fixed right?? Nope!! Why, the app looks sticky to some DLL libraries which calls the CPU registers (If you know assembly language and microprocessors you can tell!!), making these DLLs corrupted, and your only cure will be to factory reset your phone or giving it back to warranty to push a fresh OS copy.

Update: WhatsApp pulled out the application for the Market few days back, yesterday they published with new version number 2.8.1 which is obviously a proper one (so far as my test goes).


I hope the above will put an end to this myth, i wish you find it informative, see you in the next drop!!

  1. Mazhar says:

    yup you are right, even i m facing same issues with whatsapp…while chatting for 10 – 15 mins i lost 20% of battery n phone heated like hot plate..
    but cant loose whatsapp, thts the only app i use most….

  2. @Mazhar, you will need to live with this issue, even the recent update of WhatsApp isn’t stable, but at least the heat issue is gone i think, still it consumes the battery in stupid way. Hope these guys will deliver another update soon to address all issues,

  3. Mazhar says:

    do you feel any other app behaves similar to whatapp, giving heat n battery drain issues,
    , i wrote to whats-app abt my concerns n i got automated reply– they have reduced staff for holiday still 1st week of Jan, so we can assume we are not getting any update from whatsapp any soon.
    Hope they release update soon n also portico helps in better battery performance.
    Keep us updated if your performance improves,

    Till then Njoy ur Lumia 🙂


    • Nokia Drive significantly drains the battery. Being a beta app that is expected. Nokia lens city also affects the battery and the heat.
      WhatsApp will probably reply to U no time sooner, thats if they reply actually.
      And sure, I am not enjoying the phone at all and start regretting my choice. I dont use it as a daily driver now, iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 LTE are my stars now.
      Will keep U posted if something new comes out.

  4. Rahul Jain says:

    Even the updated version of WhatsApp is of no use.. The phone still heats up like a hot plate and if you use WhatsApp for an hour, you loose all the battery power and you need to put it to charge again..!!
    Silly issues..!!
    Waiting for Nokia & MS to fix it..!!

    • Hi Rahul,
      Nokia and MS released an update to the OS itself, did you receive it? If not, check the update manually from setting. The recent update fixes some bugs. I noticed whatsapp is getting better, still the heat is there not like before, and the battery looks much consistent than before. Some heat still there, not like before. Try to check the update and let me know if i can help.

  5. Peter says:

    I have the latest OS update (ATT) on my Lumia 920 and running Whatsapp 2.8.1, however the issue of overheating and battery drain still persists. The only “fix” I have found is powering down the phone, wait for it to cool down and power back on. That appears to release the “hold” over the CPU. The overheating issue is of high concern but as mentioned above, I use Whatsapp to stay in touch with family and friends so hopefully they will step up to the plate and deliver a more stable version soon.

  6. JM says:

    i have a Lumia 920 and been using it for a few weeks now.
    I had 2 issues i noticed within a few days and i found these to be the issues.
    1. Battery life drains very quickly.
    2. VERY Hot above the camera lens

    1. Battery Life Issue:
    i had a few apps installed and after reading forums decided to uninstall ALL of my downloaded apps, reboot the phone and use it for a few days and see if theres any improvement.
    I found the battery still drained very quickly. I then decided to do what a Nokia Salesman told me once.

    “use the phone till the battery dies (new phone) and then do a 16 hour charge and then use the fone”.

    to my surprise after the 16 hour charge i noticed till this day (2 weeks later after the 16 hour charge) my battery lasts me minimum around 2 days. i use it for work so i get calls , use whatsapp often during the day, browse the internet and battery life has improved ALOT.
    Some might fond it strange but for me the 16 hour “run in” charge defiantly helped.

    2. Heat Issue
    As i noticed VERY HOT on the back of the phone above the camera lens, i tested before and after having my installed apps (about 15 apps) and uninstalled and noticed the heat issue was not solved, not 1 bit.

    i then noticed it mainly gets VERY HOT when browsing the internet.
    after 20mins or so of browsing the net it feels like its on fire and as i stop browsing the net and close the browser it cools down after a few mins.
    I have tested this a number of occasions and same result.

    Im thinking of downloading anew browser like OPERA etc to test and see if this will help.

    I was considering returning the phone to network provider but it seems like a very common issue.
    Guy @ nokia repairs told me it might be battery related or OS related and i have the latest OS.

    Hope this issue is resolved soon as im luving the 920 but wondering if this heat issue will ever get resolved soon.


  7. JM says:

    btw if any has any other solution to heat issue/s plz update us.


  8. Guys, New WhatsApp version just hit the Store, version number 2.9.2
    I have done the update, hope you will also do.
    Let me know about your experience after the update, anything got betting in regards to the heat issue and the battery drain?

  9. Mazhar says:

    Hi Mohammed,

    Thanks for updating, somehow my windows store dint show Update available for whatsapp.
    Instead i had to manually go to whatsapp app in store to update,

    I have updated to latest version, will keep it under observations & ll share my experience.

    Hope to get battery & heat issue resolved


  10. Hi Mazhar,

    Good to know that you installed it.
    I will write soon all the change log for this new version and what does it contain.

    Will keep you updated.

  11. Mazhar says:

    Hi Mohammed,

    It has become worst for me, still hv heating & battery drain issues in addition app has become slow, crashes often… don’t get notifications on tile. previous version was better.

    I did reinstall, but still same.

    They need to fix this app soon cant live with this version.

    • Hi Mazhar,

      This sounds bad!! For me I didn’t have a chance to play with it much today. Still the notification works fine and the app seems more fluid than before.
      I will put it under heavy test and let you know if I am facing the same issue as the one had.

      I would suggest one thing, you may hard reset/format your device, then install whatsapp as fresh installation. I think whatsapp malfunction may corrupt some system files, so u need to re-build the OS.


  12. Hi All,

    Another WhatsApp update just hit the store, the version is 2.9.3 now.
    Still no change log mentioned from WhatsApp on what this update features.

    I installed it, will test it and let you know.

    Please do the update and let us know what is your experience.


  13. […] no máximo 10 hora conectado na rede 3G/wifi, mas depois de umas trocas de tweets ele me passou um link de um blog onde um editor do texto diz que o vilão do roubo de carga do Lumia 920 seria o […]

  14. pruthviii says:

    hi mohamed…
    i have brought my lunia last week….
    and since the 1st day i am experincing the heat and battery drain issue…
    i am using whatsapp and has the version 2.9.4…
    but still ma cell gets too hot within 5-10 mins of using whatsapp or brousing on net…
    so please help me to resolve this issues..

    • Hi Pruthvii,

      I hopr if there is anything i can do, so far WhatsApp and some other applications Like Nokia Drive and City Lens they cause the device to heat up and battery juice drain.

      You will need to be patient, there is nothing we can do as we have to wait and rely on the applications developers to fix thier mallfunctional code.

      If at any stage i figure out a fix i will indeed post it here and will let U know.

      Thank U for sharing your opinion, lookong forward to have U again.

  15. Ahmad says:

    Hello There,
    Do you advise to buy a Lumia 920?? I saw the issues you listed above ,but I think this phone looks great ,so buy it or not ?

  16. Hasan says:

    Hi, Its hasan..i have the phone, i wasnt sure about the whatsapp but i agree that it makes the phone very hot. another thing, i feel sometimes phone gets hot while on wireless there an issue between them or what..and once the phone gets hot, it starts draining battery faster then ever.

  17. davo6233 says:

    I have lumia920 3days yet and i never had installed whatsapp, and i have closed all apps, all is turned off(wifi, nfc, bluetooth…..) and my phone is so hot after 5 minutes od work (internet browsing, playing games …) 😦 😦

  18. Lionel Ferrer says:

    is there some update about this topic?, I have a Lumia 920 since few days ago… but Im not sure about install whatsapp… the issues listed above scare me a little bit… :S

    Thanks in advance

  19. ABHAY TIWARY says:

    Stop Nokia Lumia Music Player..
    Watch solution at forllowing youtube video:

  20. abhay pandit says:

    Fix to “Nokia Lumia Battery Draining”
    Watch Solution at Following Youtube Video:

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