How to Extend Smartphone Battery Life in 10 Tips

There are a lot of misconceptions on how phone batteries work. Here are 10 easy tips to make your smartphone last significantly longer.

Hey guys, in this tutorial I’ll be giving you 10 tips for extending battery life. And by tips I mean tips that will make your battery on Smartphones and Tablets last longer. But also a few tips for how to treat Lithium-ion techology batteries. I will mainly mention Android phones for they are more customizable than iPhones and Windows Phones.

Before you read on, be aware that you can’t magically increase battery life for 24 hours if it lasts 4 hours now but you can prevent draining your battery for nothing. Here are my 10 tips :

1. Use a mobile with a removable battery

First things first, in order to anticipate a draining battery, it’s best if you can easily change it instead of buying a new phone. The lithium-ion battery techlonology today can last for 2 to 3 years before noticeably degrading. Several trending phones today like the iPhone, Sony Xperia Z, HTC’s, Nexus 4, don’t have removable batteries. The big tech comanies claim that users don’t hold on to their smartphones for more than 18 months. Pretty surprising for a hi-tech product for more than 600€ !

On the web you can find powerfull external or spare batteries for 20 bucks. They can last up to 3 times longer than the original battery (one’s over 5000 mAh are worth while).

Don’t be fooled with solar powered rechargers, or ones with a crank handle. You’ll need at least a 10 hrs exposure with strong sun and cramps in your wrists for the crank handle types.

2. Desactivate unused or gadget functions

This is common sense. Functions such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, vibration can easily be toogled on or off, and can save up to 10% battery life. Even if 10% doesn’t seem like much, it still counts, so turn these features off if idle. New phones seem to have more and more of these clever functions such as on the Galaxy S4 with air gestures and they all use a lot of energy.

3. Use Wi-Fi if possible instead of 3G or 4G.

Surprising as it may be, Wi-Fi uses less energy than a 3G or 4G connection. So if you’re indoors with a wireless network available, use that instead. But if you don’t have a wireless connection, turn it off to avoid continously searching for a hotspot.

4. Use 2G instead of 3G or 4G

A 2G network uses less ressources than for a 3G network, and can save a lot of battery life. But be warned, this type of connection is only worth it for receiving message notifications when idle. To surf on the Internet or to download files, you will need at least a 3G network.

5. Display – Reduce screen brightness

This is probably not news anymore, the brighter your screen, the more power it uses. Screen brightness is what uses the most energy on your phone – at least 50%. Most phone manufacturers have included a fuction so you can ajust the screen brightness. You can also use the automatic mode that uses the light sensor. However, the light sensor on its own uses some power to detect the surrounding brightness, and it sometimes isn’t all that accurate.

Secondly you can reduce your screen timeout and that can save you a lot more battery than people usually think it does.

Also, avoid using live wallpaper. The super AMOLED, OLED screens and other screens will tend to use more power when using live wallpaper, instead use a static opaque black wallpaper and dark theme so there will be almost no backlight.

6. Set your sync options

Another area where you can save more battery power is app data syncing. Many apps need to sync data with external servers. Naturally, the process uses battery power. Facebook, Gmail, news or weather apps need to fetch updates on the internet at regular intervals and use a lot of the phones functions such as the auto-sync, the geolocation, or push notifications for email. All this data connection consumes lots of your battery life. Try to disable or at least reduce the sync frequency or search for updates manually.

7. Manage wasteful apps

Don’t hesitate to uninstall apps or widgets you don’t use. You could have some apps preinstalled that contiously try to sync, causing you to use data connection. Remember, the more widgets you have, the more power you will need and the more battery you will use.

The more recent smartphones with more processing power and RAM can multitask a lot of apps. Lots of users get confused and frustrated when their phone slows up. If you have multiple apps running on the phone, the processor has to work harder to compensate. Use the task manager to close (kill) opened apps in the background.

8. Lithium-ion battery usage (Recharging)

There are some misconceptions about the Lithium-ion batteries mainly because people confuse them with the old nickel based batteries. This is really how to use this technology :

– Never let the battery percentage go under 5% for this damages the battery, you can start recharging when at 10%, and that’s there abouts when the phone warns you to recharge.

– Small recharges of 20 or 25% DO NOT damage the battery (Lithium-ion). And keeping your phone charged when it has reached 100% doesn’t overcharge the battery and damage the battery life

– Don’t recharge the battery when in high usage. The ideal temperature for your battery when being recharged is 20°C. This is ideal yet hard to accomplish, but you can help by avoiding playing a game, or using the GPS at the same time.

– Once every now and again, you can calibrate your battery. This sometimes needs to be done because the phone software can have problems reading the battery percentage left. To do this you do a full discharge from 100% to 5% (not less remember) and then a full recharge to 100%. Idealy with the phone off.

– Remember, heat is the Li-ion technology’s enemy. Keep your battery in cool conditions (down to 0°C) when storing the phone, even in a fridge can do the job (although in a waterproof bag). Also, when storing your battery, have it charged at 40-50% just like at the purchase.

9. Root your phone

Jailbreaking or Rooting your phone can do your battery miracles. A lot of battery issues are partly due to the buggy firmware originally installed. A rooted device opens up several ways to lessen battery consumption such as the possibility to remove bloated apps that OEMs and network carriers preinstall on your device, you can gain access to rooted only apps on the Google Play store can so you can tweak the CPU clock speed (with SetCPU), get rid of ads, and so on.

With a rooted phone you can also install a custom ROM and custom kernel. Many can offer remarkable optimisations and improve battery life. Although legal, be reminded that flashing a custom ROM will be voiding the warranty of your phone manufacturor. Here are some sites you can check out : CyanogenMod, Tiamat, Chameleon OS

10. Battery apps

To easily control the battery usage, you can download battery apps such as Juice defender. Juice Defender is packed with a powerful and easy to use power manager app that specifically designed to extend the battery life of your Android device. When your phone is rooted you’ll generally have more options.

Every phone is specific, look up on the XDA developpers forum for details for your phone.

How to Extend Smartphone Battery Life in 10 Tips
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