We have all been there. We are going through our day when all of a sudden… boom! Your smartphone is dying and you can’t stop and tether yourself to the wall (like a caveman). That 15% battery warning can be one of the most annoying notifications in existence.
Things need to change (Nicole would agree with this). And they have been, but we still need more improvements in battery technology. Larger batteries have become more popular, but we are not completely satisfied with the results just yet.
Even if devices like the LG G2 or Droid Maxx can stay alive for up to two days, we still need to stay conscious of our smartphone’s juice or we will kill it in a matter of hours. Until smartphones reach battery nirvana, there is nothing we can do but give you some tips so you can keep your smartphone alive for as long as possible.
Here are our favorite battery-saving tips.
Turn off GPS when not in use
GPS is one of the most battery-draining features in your smartphone. You may think it’s not a big deal to leave it on. After all, it only wastes battery when in use, right? Well, there is a plethora of applications that use location services. From Google Maps to Facebook Messenger, you can be sure you won’t escape the GPS’ battery-gripping claws.
Just keep an eye on your notification bar and you will notice that GPS icon popping up very often, eating up your precious battery life. I pretty much only turn on GPS when I need to Navigate or use Google Maps. It’s simply best to keep that little sucker off, most times. Same goes for bluetooth, but bluetooth is not as bad as GPS.
Use WiFi when available
This was not such a problem before 4G came into the picture; 3G is much more battery-friendly. Technologies like WiMAX and 4G LTE can be a bit heavy on your smartphone, so it is usually best to keep WiFi on as much as possible.
Try to keep WiFi on even when your screen is sleeping. You can find this option in the “Advanced” section of your WiFi settings. Also, it might be good to turn off WiFi when you are not using it. The antenna is always looking for networks, which could take some minutes off your daily battery life.
Turn off 4G LTE from time to time?
I would never do this, as I hate sacrificing performance for battery life. There is usually a huge difference between 4G and 3G speeds, so I would rather let my phone die early. You may not use many data-intensive apps, though. If you use your smartphone mostly for e-mail and Twitter, why not turn off 4G LTE sometimes?
I can assure you this will more than double battery life for most smartphones.
Keep an eye on your screen brightness
If you are not really in need of a bright screen, you should probably lower the brightness a bit. We know a bright, colorful screen looks much more gorgeous, but battery life is much more valuable most times.
Unless you are watching awesome videos or playing games, it might be a good idea to turn brightness down when indoors. Or at least do it when your battery starts getting dangerously low. You can also set the brightness to automatic, which would adjust the screen brightness based on the surrounding light.
Don’t turn your screen on unnecessarily!
We must all accept that we use our phones way too much sometimes. I have found myself bored during a long road trip or a calm afternoon at home. I just sit there – nothing is going on in the social networks, all my games are old and there is nothing online I really want to check out.
What do I do? I keep turning my phone on and off, as if expecting something different to show up every time I press the power button. Or I simply stare at the time and swipe from homescreen to homescreen. Then I open my app drawer and look through my apps for anything interesting.
All of a sudden I realize my phone went from 90% to 50%. Try not to do this too often if you want to save battery!
Get a battery case or external battery pack
This is not exactly going to help you save battery, but it will extend your battery life. Purchasing portable batteries is never a bad idea if you often find yourself with a dying smartphone. There’s all kinds of battery packs out there: portable ones, very capable ones and more.
My favorite kind is battery cases. These look like cases (albeit thicker) and protect your phone while giving it some extra battery power. Sadly, these are usually made only for the most popular smartphones out there. The most famous battery case manufacturer is Mophie, and they make cases for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and HTC One devices.
Use a black wallpaper if you have an AMOLED screen
This one may sound a little odd and we are not sure how effective it may be, but in theory it’s a valuable tip. For those who don’t know, AMOLED screens actually leave pixels off when they are displaying the color black. This is why blacks look so deep in AMOLED screens, they are actually not emitting light at all.
This means only other colors are wasting energy, so if you use a wallpaper that is black (or mostly black), you should be saving some juice in the long run.
Monitor your apps
First of all, don’t keep killing your apps over and over. Did you know this can actually waste more battery than it will save? Smartphones are designed to run multiple apps simultaneously. Some actually NEED many of these apps running in the background.
Some apps do need to be killed, though. Apps can often go rogue. If there is an issue, applications will often go nuts and start using more processing power than they need. How can you tell if this is happening? Well you can check the battery section in your settings, but that doesn’t always give you all the details.
I have a better way to monitor apps. If you use Android, the app Watchdog is awesome. It monitors your applications and warns you when they are using too much processing power (the threshold is set by you).
The time will come when we don’t have to keep an eye on all these factors and enjoy our smartphones to their fullest. Until then, you can take advantage of these awesome tips to help you keep your smartphone alive through the day.
There is one thing I always tell people, though. I don’t think it’s worth it to ruin your experience for more battery life. If any of these tips are too annoying for you, my advice would be to let the phone die a little sooner, instead.
With that said, do you have any other battery-saving tips for us?