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How To Extend Your Mobile Phone Battery Life

Mobile phones are a great tool to carry around – you’re able to watch movies, send SMS, surf the web, etc but this all uses battery power. The question a lot of users ask is how to extend your phone battery life ?

It can be quite annoying not to mention inconvenient when you suddenly lose connection or get cut-off midway through an important phone conversation. Older non-touch phones tended to last longer in-between charges as they had same basic monochrome and later on colour screens. Nowadays they have bigger screens and growing (some latest Samsung models have a 4” screen as likely, will the iPhone 5) and packed with numerous power hungry features.

Firstly, you can reduce the screen brightness – most touch screens have the ability to change this feature via settings. This will help reduce the load on the battery. However, it may reduce readability but not too much.  You can also change the back-light timeout on your phone.  Try reducing this to no more than a minute (after all, most people can read a small screen’s worth of text in under a minute).

You can also close the any unnecessary applications that you may have installed – some will have frequent data access to websites or remote servers. However, you will have to be sure that they are not necessary for normal phone operations. This will especially be relevant if you are in the habit of installing lots of apps. On Android phones, apps are able to stay awake in the background, sucking up power more-so than they would on an iPhone.

One major power drain source is Bluetooth. It’s been many years since its first introduction; however its power usage efficiency hasn’t been improved and leaves a lot to be desired. Depending on how it is configured and operated, it could well be actively scanning for other Bluetooth devices – even when you have no intention to connect to them.  It’s also a good idea to only turn on Bluetooth only when required as it potentially opens a point for your phone to be targeted by hackers.

Similarly, most smartphones will also have an inbuilt Wi-Fi feature. Again, like Bluetooth, it could well be actively scanning for any public Wi-Fi networks it encounters and updating your phone Wi-Fi list.

Another well less known power drain is GPS. Although it’s nice to know precise location and be able to add it to tweets and other applications, constant use will severely affect your battery life. Furthermore, it’s best to avoid GPS intensive applications like mapping tools unless you really need to use them. Few people will realise that on the iPhone, if an application or web page requests your location then granting permission permanently allows that app to use GPS. If you never use the location feature, or simply don’t see the point then denying these requests will limit potential GPS use, thus saving battery. Disabling use of GPS altogether might appeal to those who literally find no use for satellite navigation except for car journeys.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need your phone simply for SMS or calls, and have no idea when your next charge will be, then disabling 3G will help save you precious battery. I have experienced this first-hand on my iPhone, after a day without any 3G (or indeed GSM) use at all I can make it to the evening with around 55% charge. Under similar usage with 3G enabled, a day of my phone sitting in my jacket results in around 26% or less charge in the evening. You can consider turning off 3G especially if you don’t need to send multi-media messages, video calling or web surfing etc.

Your phone’s vibrate setting consumes far more power than a simple audible alert, so by disabling it you can extend battery life. Similarly notifications in general consume power, switching on your phone or causing it to buzz in your pocket. If you find yourself simply dismissing them constantly then disabling the least useful will save you both battery and patience!

Another technique is to jail-break your phone, however, this will likely void you’re your warranty. However, undertaking this procedure will mean that you can have more customisation choices especially when it comes to Android phones. Rooting your Android phone allows you to replace your bloated branded OS to something a little more lightweight without all the power-consuming bells and whistles you never use. Similarly for the iPhone allows you to install something like SBSettings which provides quick access to toggle Bluetooth, wireless etc.

Mobile phones typically use Li-ion batteries. However, just like laptops they less efficiency over time and thus require more frequent charging. If this is the case with your phone, you may want to consider a replacement battery.

Lastly, one sure fire way is to simply turn off your phone when you don’t need it – however, it does mean that you could miss important calls.

 

 


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