How to Improve Your Smartphone Battery Life: A Practical Guide

Dim your screen to reduce your smartphone’s power consumption.

Dim your screen to reduce your power consumption. Source: Shutterstock

The biggest complaint about smartphones, besides the fact that they keep us glued to the screen for more time than we’d like to admit, is that they have a short battery life. If you’ve ever had your phone die in the middle of the day, you know what we’re talking about. Data usage and certain apps can quickly drain your battery. When your phone is constantly dying before you get a chance to conveniently tether it to a wall charger, it’s time to take action and learn how to make the most of your battery life. We have just the tips to help.

Most smartphone owners use their gadgets heavily throughout the day – to take pictures, update social networks, IM with friends, check email, or even stream movies and TV shows. It’s no wonder that due to the diverse range of capabilities our phones come equipped with, battery life has always been a concern for developers and users alike. When you have an awesome mobile plan with lots of data, it can be hard not to stay glued to your gadget. As a side note, you can compare mobile plans here to make sure you get the best deals available.

While most smartphone batteries are meant to last between one and two days before needing a recharge, if you’re running multiple apps at once and use data heavily you probably run out of juice way more quickly. Even the latest smartphones often experience battery issues, and having you phone last uncharged or more than a day is often cause for celebration.

Until technology catches up and someone invents more powerful batteries, our only option is to figure our what steps we need to take towards improving battery life. Here’s how to easily minimize the consumption of battery juice.

Dim Your Screen

Dimming your screen seems like a pretty basic measure, but it will dramatically reduce your smartphone’s power consumption. If you check your mobile device often and it brightly lights up every few minutes, your battery suffers. Go to settings and switch the brightness level to the dimmest level possible or until you can still read without straining your eyes. Your battery will thank you in the long run.

Switch Off Your Phone When You Don’t Need It

Turning on your phone does consume more power than unlocking it. That being said, switching the device off for a couple of hours will save battery power, whether leaving it on sleep or inactive won’t. If you have a meeting, take a nap, or go see a play, consider turning off your phone. You can employ this tactic even during the night, if you’re not worried about anyone calling with an emergency. Repeated charging can eventually lower the battery’s ability to store a charge, so it’s best to conserve as much power as you can so that the battery retains its original capacity for as long as possible.

Close Apps When Not in Use

Multi-tasking capability is a common feature of smartphones. When you open an app, it stays open until you close it. That means that it can consume battery juice even when it’s not technically in use. Not closing apps can have a big impact on your battery life, so you might want to start killing them when they’re not in use. If you don’t want to do it manually, there are plenty of apps (ironic, right?) out there which can give you a hand. Advanced Task Killer, for instance, is one of the best.

Note: If you’re using an iPhone, you can also turn off the Background App Refresh function. This prevents apps (like Facebook) from downloading data in the background. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

Disable apps when you don’t use them to save precious battery life.

Disable apps when you don’t use them to save precious battery life. Source: Shutterstock

Disable WiFi/Data/GPS When Not in Use

Another thing that can drain your battery is leaving your WiFi on even when there’s no WiFi to connect to. Repeated searches for signals like WiFi, 3G, or Bluetooth can drain your battery life in a jiffy, so it’s best to disable them when they’re not in use. The same goes for GPS.

Minimize notifications

Since a lot of us are constantly connected to the internet, notifications keep rolling in. Think IM messages, add-ons for apps, updates on the latest news, emails, social network prompts, and so on. Not only are these notifications often annoying, but they also have an impact on your battery. Every incoming alert makes a sound, causes the phone to vibrate, or lights up the screen. If you’re looking to maximize battery life, manage your settings and disable any unnecessary notifications and alerts.

If you’ve gone through all the steps above and still have trouble with your battery, consider replacing it or getting a portable battery charger. Until there’s a real breakthrough in battery technology, this is your best bet. After all, no one likes to realize they’re out of juice in middle of the day or when there’s an emergency.

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