Jul 09, 2013

What’s the best way to extend battery life on a smartphone without making it useless?

One thing that doesn’t seem to be improving at the same pace as everything else on smartphones is battery life. I’m an android user, and sometimes I struggle to make it through the day. I know that you can turn off various features such as GPS, WiFi, etc. or put the device in airplane mode, but what are the most effective things while still keeping it functioning as a smartphone? If I shut everything off to save battery, that defeats the purpose.

It depends on the smartphone you are using. Some Android models have power saving settings. There are also tweaks you can do with an iPhone. Post back with the model you are using and we can find you more details for it.

Your screen uses a lot of power when it is active. Decreasing brightness can add to battery life significantly. If you are used to 100% brightness, try dropping it down to 80%. It may look a little dim until you get used to it, but after a short time you probably will not even notice, at least until you go into a bright area with lots of direct light. 


If you have a WiFi connection, use it instead of 3G/4G/LTE. It is more power efficient. If you are out of range of WiFi, turn it off to prevent constant querying as the device tries to find a WiFi connection. 


Some apps use a lot of power because of constant synching. Facebook is one that was so bad that I uninstalled it, which eventually led me to stop using Facebook. Related to this is apps that use GPS, either to benefit you or to target you for advertising. Look at the permission granted in a lot of apps, and you will see many have permission to access your GPS even when the app itself has absolutely no need of it beyond simply wanting to know you location and provide that data to advertisers. Sucks up your battery life to make money for someone else - no deal for me. 


A lot of people are fans of power management apps such as Juice Defender, but I find if I just turn off the things I’m not using/don’t need, decrease my screen brightness, and get rid of those apps that drain my battery, I make it through a day without a problem. 

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