This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Do You Use An Antivirus App On Your Android Device?

That Android supports live wallpapers (LWPs) is a cool feature, no doubt about it. But to many people, it's no more than an impractical novelty - something that looks cool but kills performance and battery life. Still, they remain popular on the Market, presumably among more casual owners who don't notice (or care) about the performance hit, or just don't know better... or perhaps even hardcore users don't mind the trade-off.

So, which camp do you fall in? Do you use live wallpapers, and if so, how frequently? Or do you steer clear of them altogether?

Do You Use Live Wallpapers?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • skitchbeatz

    I value the performance/battery life of my device too much. Its a nice gimmick though

    • Robert

      Agreed, nice to have but not very useful, ultimately.

      • erik.g

        You get better battery performance from turn your 3G off then not using LWP! I barely notice a decrease in battery from LWP!

        • Mgamerz

          Depends on the LWP. I notice a huge drain on my atrix with some but not much with others, but performance wise the drawer is close to a slideshow on it... (LAuncherPro). However, on my CM9 Touchpad, everything is still smooth, even with a live wallpaper. Seems to depend on the launcher for me...

        • erik.g

          I haven't noticed performance issues on my phone... I've had LWP freeze up on me, but no decrease in performance... The only place I've experience LWP and performance issues Cuz of them is on my GoogleTV.

        • Tee

          The display is the main battery user in every smartphone. And updating your screen along the LWP, takes up the battery in no time.

          3G connection with autosync on, is another big battery eater.

          But flashy it is, and every iPhone user is envious not to have it when I show it.

        • J

          I use WiFi everywhere I possibly can. It's the single best thing you can do for your battery life. Since I'm at home and work for the lion's share of my days I use WiFi at both places and it's definitely a big battery saver.

    • Jon Garrett

      Its not a gimmick and you shouldn't go around giving them a bad rep.

      I have live wallpapers on my Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Player, and Acer Iconia Tab 7"

      none of them have issues with battery life and the wallpapers look amazing.

      I'll bet you run around with GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth turned on at all times.

      • skitchbeatz

        Not me, personally. You think I'd make a comment on an enthusiast blog about battery savings with respect to LWP and ignore GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth? lol.

    • Auguhank

      something to look at and say wow, that looks nice and say wow that looks nice and then hardly use it again. But strangely I don't get rid of them.

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    I'm on ICS and I use the Phase Beam wallpaper. It fits the overall color scheme very well and the movements are really subtle so you're not being distracted by it.

    • William D

      Exactly what I use, and for the same reasons!

      • dward2828

        ICS on the GNex does not play nice with LWPs... Phase Beam is the only one that runs smooth. It's logged in the Google issue tracker but I'm a static wallpaper kinda guy anyway!

        • Joe

          Only? I run solar winds:undertow, it runs great, doesn't drain much battery, and doesn't slow down the phone, plus it really shows off the Gnex HD SAMOLED

        • bassman418

          I use Microbes on my Gnex and have no lagging or performance issues. The only issue i have is the lag wben tyling in landscape mode. But that has nothing to do with LWP. It does it regardless......

    • Glenn

      Phase Beam is sort of the only LWP I ever use. Too cool to worry about the battery. Heh. But not much change in battery anyway.

  • Dan

    Nyan Cat FTW!
    Even on a low-end device like my HTC Wildfire (Buzz) I get around the same battery life (~2.5 days) and performance whether I use a live wallpaper or a static one.

  • Dennis F. Heffernan

    I was using a live WP called "Snowfall" for the Christmas season. I've gone back to my usual, which is a scan of Arthur Hughes' painting of Ophelia.

  • PB

    They dont really serve a purpose outside of showing off to other people...which the awesomeness of my phone does well enough or me.

  • Ryuuie

    I use the Pixel Rain, PlanetScapes, and Alien Shapes LWPs sometimes on my Nexus S.

  • Golightly

    Always Nexus LWP.

  • Silver Fang

    I use them on special occasions like holidays or on the weekend when I don't have to go out.

  • Matthew Kaufman

    I never use LWP's. As an Android power user I rely on my battery life? I also have integrated my wallpaper to fully help me in my daily tasks.
    LWP'S are nice but kill the battery and don't help me at all.

  • Edd

    I've probably got about 20 installed, and I love Snowfall, Hyperspace, Galactic Core and Silhouette. But I rarely keep them going for more than a day. Great feature tho! Just a shame about the performance and battery hit

  • http://wave-france.blogspot.com Supercopter

    I get quickly bored by LWP, I prefer, by far, to use an app like "Astronomy Picture Of the Day" (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.blork.anpod) and be surprised every day by a NEW, static but gorgeous, wallpaper.

  • L boogie

    Use various live wallpapers on my g tab 10.1 and my g-nex and even my og incredible. Currently using planetscapes'sunridge canyon on my tablet, koi pond on my nexus and multi pic on my incredible

  • Ivan92116

    Yes, but only when I'm showing off my phone to my iPhone friends.

  • Rob

    Since having my Xperia Play I try to save my battery for games, but on my older Android phones I used to use this one a lot: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.teragon.skyatdawnlw.lite&feature=top-free

    It's by far the best LWP I've found and the only one I'd use for weeks at a time!

  • Adam

    Unless it's a poorly done LWP, there isn't a significant battery or performance hit (3-4% at most) so I consider it a treat... no huge thing but I'm not really penalizing myself by using one either. So yes, I have a LWP on both my phone and tablet pretty much all the time.

  • Terepin

    I would love to! But they're turning my EVO 3D into laggy shit!

    • Simon Belmont

      Have you tried a custom ROM? I use a clean stock ROM with no live wallpaper issues.

      Frankly, I had no issue before I rooted either. Maybe you need to a factory reset and start from scratch.

      • Nathan Curtis

        Huh, I use LWP's exclusively on my EVO 3D and never notice lag. I use Exodus and pixel rain.

  • Jonathan

    I use the phase beam wallpaper on my Galaxy Nexus, because it's the only live wallpaper that doesn't kill the frame rate on the home screen and it looks all futuristic and shit.

  • Shiv

    Only when I show-off my phone to non-Android friends!

  • benson

    I like Celestial Bodies LiveWallpaper on my Sony S tablet and for my Xperia Play I use Circuitry Live Wallpaper :-)

  • tony

    also use beam on sensation, no fps/battery drop since ics hwa

  • Sam

    Not all LWP kill battery. I prefer stock ICS LWP.

  • duplissi

    i have, but as nice as they are there are few that i have found that have no impact on how responsive the launcher is.

  • Justin Moore

    I like having an visually appealing, minimal-performance-cost LWP up mostly in case some iPhan sees my screen. It's advertising and, frankly, like seeing it myself sometimes.

    If I plan on needing my battery to last > 20 hrs. I turn it off, but that's no trouble at all.

  • jusatin

    no i don't, still haven't found one good enough + I like not to charge every 5h like I need to when using one..

  • mike

    I don't even use a wallpaper. My background is a plain black.PNG to save battery life.

    • Jaymoon

      I hear that you'd save even more power if you kept your screen off all the time...

      • Mesmorino

        Pfft amateur. The best battery life can be achieved by keeping the *device* off all the time!

        • Andrew

          Never plugged my battery in eversince I bought it. WIN.

  • GraveUypo

    i use them like every 4 months because they look so much better than regular static wallpapers. but they don't stay there for much more than a charge cycle :\

    i can't not notice the performance impact

  • Eric

    On my phone, no. It's not that I see a performance or battery hit, I just don't like them much on a small screen.

    On my transformer, yes. All the time.

  • Androiduser

    Yeah my main reason not to use it is performance decrease on my CM7 Desire Z and battery life. Its good to show people however.

  • Jacob

    Im using the Galaxy LWP that came with the CodenameDroid ROM on my G-Nexus

  • Dark

    I'm a power user, but I love my LWPs. I really don't notice performance or battery issues on my Atrix. Currently I'm using the NFL Teams LWP to support the Giants, but i usually use the Eastern Glow LPW.

  • sriracha

    i try out all the ones that look cool and then keep them on my SD, ready to install for those occasions where i'd like to 'wow' my friends. Steampunk Skull, Celestial Bodies, Earth HD, and Mario Live are a few that i keep on hand.

    my trouble is not battery or performance issues, it's just hard to theme around some of these very nice looking LWPs. generally i keep my home page clean of icons and widgets just to be able to view whatever my background is, LWP or static image. even on my other pages, you get a few widgets and a few apps on there and suddenly everything clashes.

  • LadyDi

    I use them from time to time but with me using a bluetooth earpiece, GPS and texting/tweeting... it's a rarity.

  • Jay

    With the rite setup you wont see a difference.

  • Andrew

    I'm a power user, not casual. I use MultiPicture Live Wallpaper, so I can have different wallpapers for each homescreen pages (with a transition effect that matches well with the one I use for GOLauncher), and the wallpapers change every hour (configurable). Battery usage? Barely there.

  • Noreen

    Changing wallpapers, with or without widgets dramatically changes the appearance of a phone, and gives it a whole new look. So, from time to time, I've chosen to use live wallpapers.

    Some of my favorite LWPs have come from DualBoot Games. They have a Halloween HD and a Christmas HD LWP that captures my attention and draws me in as though I'm visiting a virtual world so well created... like a visual story. When a live wallpaper is done just right, it's fun and worthwhile to give it a try.

    Also, I've enjoyed the live wallpapers by Maxelus. Thanks to all the developers out there for giving us endless, creative, choices and possibilities!

  • Chris

    I love the Forest LWP that came with my Droid 3. It changes with the time of day and weather, so it's only really moving a lot if it's rainy or something. Although there's no noticable performance hit at all.

  • markymark

    I only use it when i'm showing my phone off to iphone users.

  • http://www.playtogetherstaytogether.co.uk Steven Thomsen-Jones

    I find most LWP very gimicky and good for about an hour before they annoy me, however a good minimal one can go a long way to making your phone look pretty cool whilst not compromising usability. I've been using Mystic Halo for a good few months now without issue.

  • N1-n-Done

    I like my swaying grass....the LWPs from KITTEHFACE are also very nice. It might nibble a little juice but it makes my desktop feel so tranquil.

  • Anup

    My phone galaxy 3 - i5801 did not have support for LWP. I rooted the phone and started using LWP.
    My favourite wallpapers are Nexus Revamped and Matrix LWP.

  • Darren

    I use the WP Clock LWP. Keeps the time, date and battery in the background on all screens. Looks cool too!

  • Esa

    I mostly use cinemagraphs and other animated GIF's as LWP's.

  • Dylan

    Currently using Spectrum ICS live wallpaper and its amazing.

  • bobbutt

    I find drawing attention to the background to be counter-productive
    if I want video, I'll start a video player

  • Citrus Rain

    Every now and then I'll use the My Little Pony live wallpaper to add 16-bit pony sprites to my desktop.

    Right now it has the young, depressed Inky Pie, Blinky Pie, and Pinkie Pie.

  • abc123

    If you spend most of your time at the Home screens, then you will probably notice battery drain (depending on the LWP).

    That said, I've noticed lag and battery drain on a lot of LWP's. Not huge, but noticeable. Especially those ones with galaxies, clouds, rain etc. The one I use now is called Substrate. I like it because it looks cool and the patterns it creates are random so you get a different background all the time.

  • Adondo

    Heck yes, I use LWP. Try THAT on your iPhone 4S. With my SGS2's AMOLED screen, they're pretty good looking.

    My favorites are Hyperspace, Solar Winds, Flurry, and, Aquarium.

  • Mat

    Im not fan of big motion LWP, on my incredible i used Swirling Ornaments. very clean, and even on my Incredible saw no home screen lag. On my GNexus, i had to convice my fiance it was a good buy so im using PhotoWall - Linked to the picasa album of our engagement photos. Photowall is quite cool actually. have to be careful of a few settings not to drop homescreen FPS. but poloroid mode seems to run very smooth. lovin it! Both links below :-D



  • http://about.me/deusdiabolus deusdiabolus

    I was using them for a while, but then I downloaded the Zedge app and discovered the joy of a nice, scrolling static wallpaper. I still have a few LWPs on my phone, but it's been a month or so since I last used one.

  • IgnoranceIsBliss

    I recently DL'd a free app that allows me to run the ICS Phase Beam LWP on my non-ICS Samsung Exhibit II (2.3.5) & I can't notice any extra drain among any of the frame rates. In fact, I can't even notice a visual difference between any of the FPS or Scrolling FPS settings - and I've tried them all! Can anyone tell me is lower FPS's supposed to equal less drain or less speed or less screen sharpness? Kinda new to all this - Thanks much... Looks GREAT though!!! - https://market.android.com/details?id=com.tribok.android.livewallpaper.icsclassic.lite&hl=en

  • http://gplus.to/ChromebookGurus Jason C

    I use Nexus Revamped Pro.

    Video of my LWP - http://youtu.be/_bdtlbpdYdY?hd=1

  • Idontwantyoutoknow

    Live wallpapers (Well made ones) don't require, but around 60% of battery power, with the processor at only 100MHz. Considering that's the lowest power state that anyone's phone usually goes to, I'd say it's no big deal on battery drain. And I doubt it impacts performance enough to be considered either. I've never had any performance issues or differences between running with or without a live wallpaper.

  • MpaBkataaa