Let’s face it – we all spend a lot of time on our phones these days. So, it’s no surprise that we are all on the lookout for ways to get long battery life on our phones. No one wants the frustration of having the battery die when there’s nowhere to charge your phone, not to mention the hassle and expense of replacing the battery – or even the phone – when it will no longer holds a charge.
Today we’ll look how you can extend your phone’s battery life, in other words how long you can use it before it needs to be recharged; and battery lifespan, meaning how long your phone battery lasts before it needs to be replaced.
1. Keep your phone’s operating system up to date
Always install operating updates on your phone. In addition to security fixes and bug patches, updates may include new ways to improve power management and battery performance. Generally speaking, it’s best to set up automatic updates on your phone.
2. Turn off push notifications
When you have your smartphone set up to send you push notifications – that is, to actively notify you with a sound or pop-up if there is breaking news, new emails, etc. – your phone has to connect to the internet regularly and check with the company’s servers for updates. This consumes some battery power each time. Even if you decide you’d still like to receive certain push notifications, e.g. for your emails, you can still disable them for less important apps.
3. Be selective with location services
Location services are another feature that consume battery power as your phone uses GPS and communicates with external computers. You may want to turn off location services for some apps entirely and set others so that the app is tracking your location only when you’re using it and not all the time.
4. Avoid extreme temperatures
If the temperature drops below 15°F or shoots above 95°F, not only might you be feeling a bit uncomfortable, but it can shorten the battery life of your smartphone. And in the long run, extreme temperatures can also shorten its lifespan. So don’t leave your phone exposed to the elements – keep it in the shade in the summer and in a warm pocket in the winter.
5. Check the background activity of your apps
The amount of power used by each app will vary, but games are often the biggest culprits. You can check the battery settings of your smartphone to see how much of the total power consumption is accounted for by each app. If there are any battery-guzzling apps you no longer need, you can uninstall them. (Warning: this may force you to confront your Solitaire habit!)
6. Use your phone’s power-saving mode
Whether you know you are going to be running errands all day without a chance to charge your phone or you suddenly notice your battery is running low, an immediate battery-saving solution is to activate your phone’s power-saving mode. This is called Low Power Mode on an iPhone and Power Saver Mode or Battery Saver on an Android phone. Turning it on disables power-hungry features like the ‘background app refresh’ we talked about above. Don’t worry – key functions like phone calls and sending or receiving emails and texts will not be affected.
7. Be selective with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
You may have heard conflicting advice about Wi-Fi and battery usage. That’s because activating Wi-Fi can be good or bad for battery life, depending on where you are. If you are out and about, you can save battery by activating Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS only when you really need them. Otherwise, your device will constantly scan for available networks and devices or track your location with GPS, which can drain your battery. However, if you are not moving around and your location offers Wi-Fi, a strong Wi‑Fi connection uses less power than a cellular network — so if you trust the network, Wi-Fi is the better, battery-saving bet.
8. Don’t keep your display on too long
Your smartphone automatically dims or locks the screen if it detects inactivity. One simple but effective way to cut battery use is to shorten the period before this function is triggered. Reducing your display timeout to 30 seconds is ideal for reducing battery usage. And since you probably have to enter a PIN or use facial or fingerprint recognition to “wake up” your phone, this is also a good way to boost your security.
9. Dim your phone’s screen
Reducing your screen brightness to at least 50 percent is a great way to improve battery life. On newer models, you can either set screen brightness manually or have it automatically adjust to the lighting conditions in your current surroundings – brightening the display in a darkened room, for example.
10. Battery lifespan and charging habits
The hints above might be great for giving your smartphone its best battery life, but will they help extend the longevity, i.e. increase the lifespan, of your battery? A smartphone battery is designed to retain its original capacity for a certain number of charging cycles. For example, according to Apple an iPhone battery will retain at least 80 percent of its original capacity for 500 complete charging cycles. So, it makes sense that if you can charge your smartphone less frequently by applying the tricks above, you will be able to achieve a long-lasting battery on your phone.