A Dummy's Guide to Improving Battery Life
No matter which phone you have, an iPhone or a GS3 or a Xperia device, you always fret over the battery life of your device! (Xperia owners a little more)
Instead of splashing out on expensive battery packs, here is a list of things you can do to get the maximum out of your battery :
1. It’s all about the Apps!
Many of the more than one million apps available to download to smartphones contain programming errors and software bugs that mishandle power control. This means your devices can remain active when they should be sleeping which further leads to unnecessary draining of your battery. Identify these apps! (Other apps like Carat can help you with that) and monitor there use!
Also, there is a good chance that there are apps running in the background of your phone that you think you closed or reappear each time you reboot your device. Fortunately, it’s easy to identify and correct this on the iOS and Android operating systems with a few easy steps. All open apps drain battery, so in this case, the lesser, the merrier!
2. The battery is always better on the cooler side!
Your smartphone most likely uses a Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery. Be aware that extreme temperatures can negatively impact battery life so whenever possible keep your device in elements between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. While a frigid phone should reclaim its functionality once it returns to room temperature, an overheated device could permanently ruin your battery. Over the course of a year, prolonged exposure to climates above 95 degrees could reduce a phone capacity by as much as 35 percent.
Remove any protective cover or accessory every time your phone is being charged. When you’re walking around, keep your phone in a ventilated holster or belt clip rather than a sweaty hand or pocket. Over-charging will also contribute to an overheated phone.
3. Always look at the bright side of life! – well the screen actually!
Turn on Auto Brightness! Most phones have an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the light around it (darker in dark places, brighter when there’s more ambient light) to both save battery and make it easier to see. Turn Auto-Brightness on and you’ll save battery because your screen will need to use less power in dark places.
If not, manually adjust your screen brightness according to your needs by accessing it from the settings menu.
4. Stay (dis)connected!
Transmitting data wirelessly takes battery and leaving Bluetooth on to accept incoming data at all times requires even more juice. Turn off Bluetooth except when you’re using it (duh!) to squeeze more juice from your battery.
3G can be a real battery zapper, especially if you’re using it in an area of marginal coverage. If in doubt, your phone probably has a toggle setting where you can set your phone to use only 2G, You will soon see an extension to battery life that way while not really compromising speed or service.
And disabling a 3G connection when not needed is just the start. If you know you’re going to be away from home or a known wireless Internet connection, turn off your Wi-Fi locator. Also, GPS is particularly handy if you find yourself navigating somewhere new, but don’t leave it on all the time if you’re not using it.
5. Zip it!
When in a meeting or a movie, switch your phone into silent mode. Unnecessary notifications will only lead to lesser battery life. Use a basic ringtone! Advanced ringtones can sound better, but the phone will die soon! Also, turning off location services and push-notifications is definitively a step-forward towards saving battery life!
If you discover your smartphone seems to be running out of battery life quicker than ever despite your habits remaining unchanged, it could be worth investing in a spare or new battery. It’s worth noting that aftermarket batteries not made by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are considerably cheaper. They do, however, vary in quality. Some aftermarket batteries can be trusted, but be aware of ‘too good to be true’ prices for smartphone batteries on retailers like eBay. You could end up with junk, or worse, a faulty battery that permanently damage your device. Buy carefully and smartly from trusted retailers to be safe.