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Fix for scary OnePlus 5 911-call issue reportedly draining battery life

The fix for the OnePlus 5 911-call issue may be draining batteries

OnePlus 3T Midnight Black
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
A recent post made on the r/OnePlus Reddit board, and cross-posted to the r/Android board, highlighted a frightening issue with the OnePlus 5. Nick Morrelli — a OnePlus 5 owner — said he needed to call 911 and report a nearby fire, but the phone rebooted without connecting to the service. This happened a second time, and Morrelli was able to replicate it again at a later point, and he then captured the issue on video.

The problem wasn’t limited to OnePlus 5 owners in the United States either, with one Reddit commenter in the United Kingdom saying they had also found the same problem after running a test for the 999 emergency number. Subsequently, OnePlus worked with those affected by the bug to come up with a solution, and issued a software update to cure the problem.

Several users reportedly claim they are now facing battery life issues with their OnePlus 5. The official forum has since disappeared but according to Phone Arena, users’ smartphones have been losing 20 to 25 percent battery at night when the phone is idle — even with doze mode turned on. People mentioned the battery drain issues only started soon after installing the update last week.

Since not all OnePlus 5 devices were affected by the 911 reboot problem, the drained battery may not affect all owners of the smartphone. There is no solution yet, but since the thread was on the official OnePlus forums it is highly likely the company is aware of the problem and working to fix it.

What caused the reboot problem?

OnePlus released an official explanation on its forum in terms of what exactly caused the issue. The source involved a modem memory usage problem that triggered a reboot. This particular reboot was a random occurrence for some users on VoLTE network — where OTDOA protocol was set off when placing the call to emergency services.

The reboot problem has been noted on phones other than those made by OnePlus in the past, but reports of emergency dialing problems have turned up on the OnePlus forums, indicating older OnePlus phones and software may have suffered from isolated instances, too.

Dialing an emergency number is something none of us want to do, but would absolutely want to work should the situation arise. The question is, how do we know if our phones — whether it’s a OnePlus 5 or not — actually connect with the service? The answer is not to randomly and repeatedly dial 911 or 999. Do not do this. Again, do not just call emergency services to see if the call connects. This could be considered an offense, and may prevent a real emergency from getting through.

If you’re in the U.S., there is an official way to test the line, and directions can be found on the 911 website here. It involves calling your local non-emergency phone number and scheduling a time to do so. In the U.K., contact your local police and ask for advice on how and when to test the line.

Update: The bug fix for the emergency call issue has reportedly caused battery life issues for some OnePlus 5 owners. 

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