Given their diverse range of capabilities and multi-functionality running on a mobile (as in on-the-go) platform, it’s no wonder that battery life has always been a concern for developers, manufacturers and the users themselves. On average, most smartphone batteries last between one and two days before being completely depleted, and in need of a recharge.
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Here are 10 essential tips how you can conserve your smartphone’s battery.
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1. Turn Off VibrationsVibrations are great for notifying you about incoming calls or messages when you’re in the theatre, meetings or other places where it’s necessary to keep the phone silent. In places where it doesn’t matter, it will be better for you to use your ringtone as notification if you want to keep your smartphones on longer.
Vibrations actually use up more power than ringtones. The sounds produced by ringtones are just very tiny vibrations in your smartphone’s speaker. Compare that to the shaking of the entire phone via vibrating a smart weight, playing a ringtone definitely zaps less of your battery. The same applies for using vibration for tactile feedback. If you don’t think it’s necessary, then disable vibrations or at the very least, lessen the magnitude of the vibrations.
2. Dim Your ScreenThis one tip affects battery life drastically. It’s obvious that dimming your screen will reduce your smartphone’s power consumption since we all have to activate the screen whenever we use our phones. If our screen is brightly lit up every couple of minutes when we check our emails and such, it eventually will zap battery juice. Auto-brightness setting enable the smartphone to adjust the brightness to its optimal level for reading while conserving battery life.
3. Shorten Screen TimeoutIn the same manner, if you wish to minimize the power consumption of your smartphone of the screen display, you ought to consider shortening the screen timeout. This decides how long the screen will remain lit after you finish interacting with it.
Some of us do not have the habit of ‘locking’ the phone after we we are done with it; we just let it go lights out by itself. Keeping the timeout duration short will ensure that the phone doesn’t waste power when you’re not using it.
4. Switching Off When InactiveAlthough it is true that turning on your phone consumes more power than unlocking your phone, switching it off for a couple of hours can save more battery than leaving it on sleep or inactive mode. If you know you’re not going to touch your phone for an extended period of time, such as when you’re attending a meeting or sleeping, you can actually cut down a significant amount of energy consumption if you simply switch it off.
5. Charge Your Battery CorrectlySpeaking of phone charging, there are generally two kinds of rechargeable batteries commonly used for smartphones: Lithium-ion (Li-Ion), and Nickel-based batteries: namely Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd).
The battery capacity in NiCd batteries are reduced every time you recharge them. Nonetheless, NiCd batteries have longer life cycles i.e. they can be recharged more often than NiMH batteries before stop working. Nickel-based batteries should be charged (to the full amount) when they’re more or less out of power, and not when there’s still a good amount of energy left.
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6. Close Unnecessary AppsSome of us open app after app and don’t bother to close them even after we no longer need to use them. This multi-tasking capability is a common feature of smartphones, but it is also a main reason why battery life gets drained away easily. The worst thing is that you’re losing battery juice when you are not even using them. Leaving them open will leave your battery at half-bar in no time.
As often as possible, kill your apps if you are not using them. There are some valuable apps out there that manage the multitasking ability of your smartphone to ensure it performs at its best to conserve battery life without jeopardizing usage. One such Android app is the Advanced Task Killer.
7. Disable GPSCertain apps eat up more battery juice than others, particularly apps which utilize the GPS system to track your location. Your smartphone has a GPS unit that allows the sending and receiving of signals to and from satellites to determine your exact location, which is integral for some apps to work, for example, map-based apps like Google Maps or to check-in on Facebook.
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8. No Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G When Not in UseEnergy is consumed whenever your smartphone searches for signals, Wi-Fi, 3G or Bluetooth etc. When the reception is poor, the phone will continue scanning to attain a good connection. Repeated searches for these signals can easily make your battery level drop a notch.
What I’m saying is that you should turn off your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when you don’t need to be connected. One convenient way to do it is to switch to ‘Airplane Mode’ or just switch your phone off when you know you can’t get any signal.
On the other hand, when you need good reception for your smartphone, place or position your phone in high connectivity zones. This will prevent your smartphones from constantly seeking for a connection and wasting your precious battery power switching from one signal to the other.
9. Minimize NotificationsWith constant connectivity to the Internet, we tend to get notifications on our smartphones all the time, be it updates on the latest news, emails, high scores from games, add-ons for apps etc. But I’m sure that you would only want to be notified on the more essential stuffs like new text messages, or messages from Whatsapp.
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Manage your settings well and disable unnecessary notifications to save a little battery power (and avoid being frustrated with these constant notifications).
10. Maintain Cool TemperatureSome of us might have observed that our battery runs out faster when our smartphones are warm. Put simply, don’t leave your smartphones under direct sunlight or in any place that is hot.
One of the more common occurrences would be leaving the smartphone in a car parked under the sun. The battery will function optimally in cooler environments, so do look out for, and try to avoid, scenarios where your phone is exposed to unnecessary and excessive heat.