Your new shiny smartphone might be able to take stunning pictures, let you answer email on the go, video chat with friends and even let you keep a tab on the whereabouts of your girlfriend.
However, despite its multi-functionality and wide ranging capabilities, if there’s one thing you want from your phone it will almost certainly be the assurance that it has enough battery life to make it through the day.
It can be pretty annoying when your phone has only been on half the day but is already advising you to connect the charger.
Of course, it could be that your battery is perhaps not performing as it should because of a technical fault but before you look at buying a replacement, there are probably much easier and cheaper ways to extend the battery life of your smartphone.
We tested out the tips below on a Google Nexus 5.
Turn down the screen brightness
These big bright LCD and AMOLED screens might look the part but they’re a massive drain on battery power. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in your battery life if you turn down brightness of your screen. Avoid using the auto-brightness display on your phone. Whilst this might sound like a good idea, the reality is that this function gives your phone a much brighter display than is normally necessary. Instead, set the brightness level for your phone manually then move it up or down as and when needed. The difference in the brightness of your screen mean hours more battery usage per day.
Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G and GPS when you don’t need them
GPS and Bluetooth can be another big drain on your battery so it’s best to only turn these on when needed. Alternatively, set the location data to use only 3G or Wi-Fi rather than GPS. Speaking of Wi-Fi you don’t need this and have 3G turned on at the same time – it’s just unnecessary. Instead, keep Wi-Fi switched on when at home, in the office or wherever else you may have access to a Wi-Fi connection and save your 3G for the times when you don’t.
Shorten screen timeout
Reducing the display screen timeout is another very simple way to extend the battery life of your smartphone. Set a short timeout, or at least one which is practical to you. If you’ve got a screen timeout of a minute, that will seriously drain your battery compared to if you set timeout to just 15 seconds. There have been studies that claim some people can check their phone more than 150 times every day so anything that can reduce the amount of time your screen is illuminated will help to preserve battery power.
Close unnecessary Apps and Games
Head over to your battery settings and take a look at what apps are draining most of your battery’s power. After using an app make sure you close it correctly. Many people will open an app and leave it running in the background unaware that it’s using a good chunk of battery power. According to a study by AVG, some of the worst apps for killing your battery are Facebook and Instagram, as well as some of the Samsung built in apps such as ChatON Voice and Video, AllShareCast Dongle and Samsung WatchON.
It’s not just apps either. Games such as Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds and Minecraft all quickly eat up battery power.
Keep your Apps updated
There’s a good reason why developers regularly update apps, and more often than not it’s to do with upgrades to battery performance. Likewise, if you have some apps that you don’t use, delete them to free up some space and save some battery power. That said, the actual task of updating an app will also require more battery power so it could be worthwhile updating your apps manually rather than setting them to update automatically.
Ditch the live wallpaper and home screen widgets
They may appear to be inactive just sitting there on the homescreen but chances your home screen weather widget or animated live wallpaper will be working away in the background consuming unnecessary amounts of battery.
Switch off vibrate
Unless you absolutely need it, try turning off the vibrate feature on your phone. You may not be aware but it actually takes nearly double the amount of battery power to vibrate than it does to ring your phone. Also consider turning off the vibrate or hiptac when using your keyboard for additional battery savings.
Use original batteries and chargers
Go to any shopping mall in Thailand and there’s likely to a huge array of mobile phones and accessories. And whilst purchasing a replacement battery, charger or USB cable might save you some money the likelihood is that these cheap, sometimes counterfeit imports may actually do your device more harm than good and are unlikely to provide you with optimal battery performance. Where possible, always try to use original batteries or at least ones from a reputable third party manufacturer.
If you implement only some of the tips above, you’ll start to see an improvement in the battery life of your smartphone.
Is there anything we’ve missed? Feel free to share your battery saving tips in the comments section below.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.