When it comes to smartphones, there’s no shortage of advice on what you can do to optimize your experience. In this article, we’ll focus on smartphone battery life, discussing ways you can improve it, especially if you’re running out of juice at the most inconvenient times. First, let’s take a look at some of the most common smartphone battery myths and how they affect your battery life.
Turn off features you don’t use
If you only use your phone to talk and text, turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will save a lot of power. On an iPhone, go into Settings > General > Restrictions; on an Android device, go into Settings > Wireless & Networks. Disable both features and you’ll see a significant increase in how long your phone lasts between charges. (Learn how by reading Battery Hacks: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Smartphone’s Battery.) You should also turn off push notifications for any apps you don’t use that often—they’re big energy hogs. And when you charge overnight, be sure to shut down or at least disable cellular data on your phone so it doesn’t sit idly refreshing Twitter all night long.
Use the Battery Saver
Most phones have a built-in feature that allows you to extend your battery life. With iOS, for example, go into Settings > Battery and toggle on Low Power Mode. You should see a significant increase in how long you can use your phone for before needing a charge or turning it off completely. If you’re on Android, look for an app called Juice Defender; it’s free and makes big improvements with minimal configuration. Better yet, turn off all sync settings and background data usage while you sleep (you know they’re powering up even when you’re not using them). This can double or triple how long your phone lasts.
Charge your smartphone less often
We all carry our smartphones with us wherever we go, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Smartphones have evolved into mini-computers, which means they use more juice than ever—especially when you’re constantly checking Facebook or Instagram. If you notice your phone is getting hot and doesn’t have much of a charge left at night, it might be time to take some steps to keep it charged for longer periods of time. Try keeping your phone on airplane mode when you can and close any apps that are open in the background (it will save power). You might also want to consider switching off notifications for any apps that serve no purpose when you aren’t actively using them.
Don’t charge it too long
It’s an unfortunate fact of modern life: The more you use your phone, or any other type of smart device, the faster its battery drains. If you’re finding that your Android or iOS mobile device’s battery is draining too quickly, there are a few things you can do to extend its longevity. Avoid overcharging at all costs! Leaving it plugged in for hours on end is only going to wear out both you and your phone; give it a break and let it run low on juice before charging again. Be judicious with background app activity: Background app activity uses up precious energy even when apps aren’t open—which is another way of saying that closing out of certain apps can actually preserve battery life.
Vibrations suck up a ton of battery life, so if you have an option in your settings menu, it’s wise to turn them off. Better yet, use Do Not Disturb mode while you sleep at night or during meetings. You won’t get any notifications that way. You’ll thank yourself when your phone makes it through until bedtime without having to be plugged in. The same goes for automatic app updates—turn those off unless you really need them. If there’s one thing smartphones are good at, it’s sucking away our power before we even realize what happened. It can be hard to resist charging our phones constantly and always running new apps and trying out new things. But over time these little things add up and drain our batteries like crazy.
Lower screen brightness manually
Automatic screen brightness may work fine in most situations, but you may still want to adjust it manually when your phone is exposed to bright sunlight or flash photography. To change brightness: 1) Navigate to Settings > Display. 2) Tap Brightness and move the slider until it’s set at a comfortable level for you. 3) Save changes by pressing Back, or tap Adaptive brightness on/off if you want automatic adjustments. 4) In case you’re curious about how well Adaptive Brightness works, go ahead and turn off auto-brightness with Adaptive Brightness off / On.
Turn off Bluetooth and GPS
Turning off Bluetooth and GPS on your smartphone won’t necessarily save a ton of juice, but it will help conserve power. If you’re not actively using either of these features, you can get a few extra hours out of your battery by turning them off when you don’t need them. On Android phones with Lollipop or newer, for example, there are easy-to-use power manager settings that let you do just that with one tap—tap your phone’s Menu button > Settings > Battery Manager > Power saving modes. Here, you can also select Ultra Power Saving Mode (if available), which will turn off all nonessential apps and functions so that only core apps like Phone and Messages are left running.