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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! Recently got a Niro EX and loving it so far. Just have a question to those of you who use Android Auto. Does your phone's battery actually decrease when using AA even if your phone's screen is off? For example, on my 35-minute morning commute, I use Waze navigation which is displayed on the car's head unit (phone's screen is off). Music is not even streaming, as I'm listening to the car radio. When I get to my destination, my phone's battery % is down 2-3% since the start of the trip 35-minute trip. Of course, during the trip, my phone says that it's actually charging, but I'm guessing that the Niro's front USB port does not provide enough power, perhaps only 500mA (0.5A). The power draw of AA seems greater than what the USB port can provide.

I've tried a variety of USB cables (even bought a new Anker one) and they don't make any difference. FYI, my phone is a ZTE Axon 7 (released in 2016, Snapdragon 820 processor). I've searched the web and this seems to be a problem for other makes as well, such as Hyundai. Some have tried using USB Y cables or powered USB hubs as workarounds, but to no avail. Of course, if I use my dedicated 2.4A car charger plugged into one of the Niro's 12V outlets, the phone charges quickly. But to use AA, we have to plug the phone into the car's underpowered front USB port only (unfortunately).

So, just wanted to see if any other Niro drivers who use AA are/were experiencing the same problem. If yes, any possible solutions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Holy smoke, this was an old post which I thought had never actually posted successfully. Anyway, we learned a lot from this thread: http://www.kianiroforum.com/forum/9-kia-niro-general-discussion/6178-clear-up-misconceptions-new-potential-buyers.html

+ The Niro's front USB port outputs only 0.5A.
+ Using Waze on AA can drain your phone battery (even with the phone screen off) since it uses your phone's GPS antenna.
+ Using Google Maps navigation on AA uses the car's GPS antenna instead so your phone will most likely charge (slowly for me).
+ Possible solutions to charge your phone faster while using AA were discussed in that other thread. None of them worked on the Niro.
 

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Holy smoke, this was an old post which I thought had never actually posted successfully. Anyway, we learned a lot from this thread: http://www.kianiroforum.com/forum/9-kia-niro-general-discussion/6178-clear-up-misconceptions-new-potential-buyers.html

+ The Niro's front USB port outputs only 0.5A.
+ Using Waze on AA can drain your phone battery (even with the phone screen off) since it uses your phone's GPS antenna.
+ Using Google Maps navigation on AA uses the car's GPS antenna instead so your phone will most likely charge (slowly for me).
+ Possible solutions to charge your phone faster while using AA were discussed in that other thread. None of them worked on the Niro.
HAha that's the thing about forums even small ones like this...things can pop back up wack-a-mole style at any time and this issue you bring up is a big one for KIA to know about. Having said that, as an early adopter of Waze I used to be a big user with my iPhone & a Ford C-Max lease with no problem. However that was a 2015 model and pre AA and CarPlay so I just used the phone display for Waze and the charge which came from a ACC port USB adapter never had any issue with charging and running Waze. Now that I have the CarPlay option I've been using it along with Apple maps (which seems to work as well as Waze) and it doesn't appear that I have the charge issue...buut...LUK what your charge is when you plugin to AA and what does it decrease to. Sorry if I missed that but with your info I can do comparo of how my iPhone 8 works with CarPlay in this regard. Mebbe it's an Android phone issue...in fact what maker of phone do you have?
 

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I have a 2018 EX witout navigation. Are you saying that there is still a GPS antenna in my EX?
 

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We have a 2018 Niro EX, and have been using AA on a 2017 RedMi Note 4, and have not noticed a drop in charge. Having said that, we only use it for offline Google navigation. Data plans are very expensive here in Canada, so we use the offline option of Google maps, where you can download the maps while on WiFi, and use the phone's GPS and Android Auto to have navigation via the car's screen without cell data charges.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The attached picture of my phone's battery graph was taken from my post on the other thread.

My 2018 EX HEV is also the non-premium model, so it has the normal 7" infotainment system without the built-in UVO navigation (but it looks like the car does have a GPS antenna). My simple testing shows that Google Maps navigation on AA does not use my phone's GPS antenna (see graph where GPS is not in use), so I assume it uses the Niro's one instead (perhaps the car's GPS antenna is integrated in the shark fin on top of the car?). I've also read from the Google forums that Google Maps on AA will try to use a car's GPS antenna if it is equipped with one. To test, I've also used Google Maps navigation by itself (without AA), and my phone battery graph shows that the phone's GPS IS used if not on AA. BTW, I don't have any offline maps loaded in my phone.

Looking at the graph, in contrast to Google Maps navigation, my phone's power-hungry GPS is used at all times when using Waze in AA. There's already a request on the Waze forum (https://www.waze.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=657&t=255572), but if Waze will actually address this is anyone's guess.

Also, I think my phone (Axon 7) is pretty power hungry in general. There's a good site called notebookcheck.net which measures the power consumption (idle, idle average, load average, max load) for each phone they review. Based on their findings, my phone is not as efficient as others. So again, YMMV.

Finally, from what I've read, Apple Carplay users don't seem to experience any battery drain, so perhaps that system is more efficient that Android Auto in general...
 

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We have a 2018 Niro EX, and have been using AA on a 2017 RedMi Note 4, and have not noticed a drop in charge. Having said that, we only use it for offline Google navigation. Data plans are very expensive here in Canada, so we use the offline option of Google maps, where you can download the maps while on WiFi, and use the phone's GPS and Android Auto to have navigation via the car's screen without cell data charges.
Interesting that you mention data charges. Just drove from Montreal to Windsor and saw a shop sign advertising Rodgers 10 gig data for $50 and thought that wasn't so bad. I guess that doesn't include talk and text like it does in the US now that say that.

Both Verizon and TMobile have free roaming to Canada, so I was using data like there was no tomorrow!
 

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I have a 2018 EX witout navigation. Are you saying that there is still a GPS antenna in my EX?

I have a 2017 EX without navigation, the shark fin antenna on the roof is multi function, AM/FM, CELL, GPS


I have tried Google maps and WAZE and both cell phone reception, data, and GPS are all much better when plugged into the front USB port, which accesses the antenna.
 

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2017 Niro EX here, when plugged into the front USB port, phone charges FAST, as FAST as it does plugged into the secondary USB port under the arm rest.
 

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Confirming that Apple CarPlay and an iPhone 8 works/charges fine with heavy use. Was using Trulia (a house hunting listing app) and CarPlay/Apple maps extensively Sunday thru Thursday this week. Usually connecting the phone @ about 70% charge and was always at 100% after the use/charge session. So it must be either your Phone or AA or KIA's implementation (the last idea seems less of a possibility to me).
 

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My phone is very efficient, so I haven't noticed battery drain with waze and android auto. But when I was researching the Niro and Ioniq I did notice that some owners had reported this. I recall some (may not have been Niro owners, could have been other Kia/Hyundai models) suggesting that putting a usb hub in between the phone and the car solved the problem. However, it doesn't seem to work for everyone and I have no idea if it would work for the Niro. This is the hub: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MHIVYZ8/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1683W8HSNOXQZ
And if you want to research other's experience with it you can google: android auto unitek usb hub
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My phone is very efficient, so I haven't noticed battery drain with waze and android auto. But when I was researching the Niro and Ioniq I did notice that some owners had reported this. I recall some (may not have been Niro owners, could have been other Kia/Hyundai models) suggesting that putting a usb hub in between the phone and the car solved the problem. However, it doesn't seem to work for everyone and I have no idea if it would work for the Niro. This is the hub: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MHIVYZ8/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1683W8HSNOXQZ
And if you want to research other's experience with it you can google: android auto unitek usb hub
Yup, I tried that exact same powered USB hub before. Did not work on the Niro. Everytime I used it, Android Auto would not connect.
 
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