How to get more out of your Smartphone’s battery
There isn't much to worry about, but better battery longevity is always a good thing.
If there is one thing smartphone users are worried about is battery life. The hustle of having to carry around portable battery banks has become a common sight for smartphone users nowadays. The ability to remove the battery for a fresh one on some smartphones proves to be a positive, but not the ultimate solution. Smartphone batteries life is measured in mAh (milliampere hour) which is 1000th of an ampere hour (Ah) mAh is commonly used to describe the total amount of energy a battery can store at one time. Even smartphones with more than 3,000 mAh can hardly get hardcore smartphone users throughout the day. But no matter what phone you have there’s always going to be a desire to get the most out of it.
Your options are relatively limited on any smartphone for extending battery life while also keeping the experience enjoyable, but we’re here to give you a handful of tips to make sure you get the most out of your battery.
1. Use Adaptive Fast Charging and portable batteries
This is one of the biggest advancements in phone technology of the past couple years and it is called fast charging. Using the same types of batteries and Micro USB ports, phone manufacturers have been able to boost charging speeds dramatically. Most smartphones ship with their own Adaptive Fast Chargers and it’ll give your phone a considerable battery boost in just 3a few minutes on a supported charger.
You can use any charger branded for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge standard as well. There are wall chargers, car chargers and even portable batteries with the tech, and if you have one within reach and your battery needs a boost, they’re the best way to go. Once you get the experience you may never use a regular charger again.
2. Power Saving Modes will save you a lot
If you can’t update to the latest OS (eg Android 6.0) that has the doze feature that kills all running apps when the phone screen is off, then you have to take advantage of Power Saving moves. Companies like Samsung have heavily advertised their Power Saving Modes in their previous generation of phones, and while the marketing has worn off a bit they’re still included on their latest devices. HTC, Sony and Huawei all have some form of Power Saving Mode. It should be noted that for some phone makers this comes in two modes — Power Saving Mode, and Ultra Power Saving Mode. You’re more likely to use the former. Here are the details.
Power Saving Mode is a way to save a small amount of battery (expect 5 to 15 percent savings over the course of a charge), but also only have a minimal impact on the experience of using your phone. When enabled, it’ll reduce your screen brightness, turn off the capacitive key backlights, turn off vibration feedback and reduce the delay before the screen turns off when not in use. You can turn on Power Saving Mode manually — we like using the quick settings toggle — or have it enabled automatically at 5, 15, 20 or 50 percent battery.
Ultra Power Saving Mode goes all the way to turn off or change as many things as possible to extend your battery as much as it can. Your phone will go to a grey-scale home screen, have only essential apps enabled, turn off data when the screen is off, and turn off additional connectivity like Bluetooth and WiFi. In this mode you can double your battery life, or more, but it really isn’t a viable option for anything but extreme battery shortage situations.
3. Uninstall or disable unused apps
The problem with most smartphones especially Android phones, Smartphone makers put on skins on-top of the stock Android. This is not found in iOS or Windows phones explaining why iPhones or Microsoft Lumia battery life is hard to beat. For as much most Android OEMs have cleaned up their software and pre-installed apps, in the past couple of years, there are still plenty of apps installed that you may not want. Even for those that you are generally indifferent to, they may be running in the background without your knowledge and taking up small portions of your battery over the course of the day. Each one may not use much, but if you have 15 or 20 apps periodically running that can really add up. It’s recommended to disable or uninstall such apps.
Not only will this clean up the phone visually, it can also prevent runaway apps from taking down previous battery.
4. A wireless charging pad could do the trick
Not all smartphones have wireless charging support but if yours can, it is recommend you get one especially if you are cooperate type who spends their time in office all day. You can set your smartphone down on any Qi or Powermat charger, whether you have one at home or find one in a store or airport when traveling.
Once you get a taste of how convenient wireless charging is you may be hooked, and for the best chance of keeping your phone topped up throughout the day you may end up buying one for yourself. You don’t need any specific charger, but keep in mind the size and shape of the smartphone when buying — some chargers are better suited for some phones.
Wireless charging isn’t as fast as a standard wall charger, but if you happen to spring for one of Samsung’s Fast Charging wireless chargers you’ll be able to charge up a bit faster than your standard off-the-shelf wireless accessory.
5. Do you need all that screen brightness and “smart” features?
Always know the kind of display its either and LDC or OLED. OLED screens like those on Samsung phones are quite efficient with amazing screen brightness, but there’s no getting around that one of the biggest drains on a phone’s battery is the screen. Higher resolution screens will need to push a lot of pixels hence draining more battery. If you’re hurting for battery while away from a charger or just want to make your phone last as long as possible, drop your screen brightness down to where you can easily use the display but isn’t any brighter. You can still leave automatic brightness turned on. Some OEMs don’t manage auto-brightness well so always keep the overall brightness low as you’ve selected.
When you’re in the display settings you can also consider turning down the screen timeout — or the amount of time it takes for the screen to turn off when not in use. Consider dropping it to 30 seconds or even 15 seconds if you really want to focus on battery life. Also turn off unused smart features aka gimmicks as they are a potential battery drain.