Eco-Living Magazine

Your Smartphone’s Battery

By Moralfibres @moralfibres

ways to extend smartphone battery life

It’s incredible to think that in just a few years smartphones have become a rather ubiquitous part of  life.  The thing is smartphones drink power like nothing else: my iPhone 4s is lucky if it lasts a whole day without needing recharging.  My first ever mobile phone (this one, in 1999!) in comparison, would last for days upon days without so much as having to blink at a charger.  Of course, my smartphone has considerably more features than that early Nokia, and I’m not for a second suggesting switching off all of the features that make a smartphone smart, rather than just a phone, but I’ve got eleven clever ways for you to extend your smartphone’s battery life.

Tips are applicable to not just iPhones but Samsung Galaxys, Blackberries and any other smartphone you care to mention, even Fairphones!

ways to save smartphone battery power

1.  Turn the brightness down

Just as turning down the brightness on your TV can save energy, turning down the brightness on your smartphone can extend it’s battery life quite dramatically.  Set it to the minimum level your eyes can cope with, without straining, and you soon get used to the dimmer screen, promise!

2.  Use wifi when you can

If you’re in range of a wifi network connect to it rather than using cellular data.  Apparently it uses less energy!

3.  Switch off wifi and bluetooth when you’re not using them

If you’re not connected to a wifi or bluetooth network your smartphone will continue to search for one: simply switching it off when you’re not using them will help conserve precious battery life.

4.  Switch of location services/GPS

Some apps work well with GPS, such as mapping apps, and location services on things like Facebook, etc, but it’s best to only switch on location services when you need to use them.  Otherwise it will run and run in the background, constantly calibrating where you are, and constantly sucking battery.

5.  Switch off vibration alerts

For years and years I’ve much prefered the vibration alert of my phone, over a ringtone.  Imagine my despair when I learned that ringtones use less power than vibration alerts.  Vibration alerts are useful – when you’re in a meeting, or at the cinema for example, – but at other times when your ringing phone won’t disturb anyone, switch the vibration alert off.

6.  Quit applications as soon as you’ve finished using them.  

how to close running applications on an iphone

My partner will attest to the fact that I am the worst at remembering to do this, but apps running in the background are a major drain on any smartphone’s battery.  Simply clicking out of them isn’t enough to quit the application – did you know you have to manually close them?  I’m not sure how to do this on other devices, but to do this on any iPhone simply double click the home button to show all running applications (if you’ve never done this before then you’ll be surprised just how many apps you have open and running!), and swipe any running applications upwards to close them.

7.  Switch off your phone when you don’t need to be reached

If you’re going into a meeting and don’t want to be disturbed, or are having a relaxing bath, or you’re in the cinema enjoying a particularly gripping movie then switch it off rather than switching it to silent mode.  Switching a phone off and then on again later doesn’t uses more battery.

8.  Switch off push notifications

I hate hate hate push notifications with a passion.  If I want to know I’ve got an email I’ll check my emails – I don’t want a notification about an email I’ve received at 3am!  Unless you’re waiting on a really important email then you probably don’t need email push notifications, let alone all the other apps that want to send you push notifications (especially Facebook – do you really need to know what your friend’s having for dinner RIGHT THIS SECOND?).  Every time you receive a push notification your phone lights up consuming battery power.

9.  Don’t leave your phone charging overnight.  

According to Apartment Therapy it apparently fries the battery faster than you can say “smartphone battery charger”.

10.  Consider your wallpaper

As strange as it sounds, a light coloured wallpaper on your phone uses more battery power than a dark coloured one so as you can see I need to change mine ASAP!  Animated wallpapers may look fun but are big battery killers too.

11.  Keep Your Phone Cool

Fortunately (or unfortunately?!) this isn’t a major problem in the UK for most of the year, but avoid leaving your phone on the dashboard of your car, or on a window ledge on a hot summer’s day.  For some strange technical reason that I don’t really understand, smartphones don’t like the heat, and their battery runs out quicker in hot weather.

So there you are, eleven really easy ways to extend your smartphone’s battery life!  Try them out and see if you can charge your phone much less frequently, and !  I’ve probably missed some – add your own in the comments below!

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