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5 ways to extend your smartphone's battery life

Tony Ibrahim | May 26, 2015
Avoid the dreaded 'battery low' message with these simple tips

Dim the display

Anyone remember the five day battery life of Nokia's 5110? Or that of Ericsson's T25? Battery technology was relatively primitive back then. The main reason why smartphones lack the longevity of yesterday's phones is owed to their displays.

Take a popular smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S5, for instance. Its Super-AMOLED screen has a 1080p resolution like most top-tier televisions. More modern smartphones go one further with 1440p displays, such as LG's G3, Samsung's Galaxy S6 and the Motorola Nexus 6.

Dimming the display is one way to prolong battery life. Most smartphones use an ambient light sensor and automatically adjust the brightness of the screen to suit a room's environment. Enabling this setting is a good way to balance screen performance with economy.

Some smartphones have an auto mode that isn't entirely accurate. Setting the brightness level to half-way, or adjusting it manually, is one way around this dilemma.

Keeping the screen active only when needed also serves to lengthen battery life. Be sure to put the screen to sleep as soon as possible for the best results.

Information gluttony

A multitude of applications are running in the background of your smartphone, most of which are sending and receiving information over the Internet in order to relay notifications in real time.

This sucks juice. Limiting how often a smartphone has to check for notifications not only improves battery life, but it also means you will be interrupted less.

Sync only the most essential accounts automatically. This pertains to emails, social networks and games. The fact remains all notifications will be there waiting for you.

Each email application or social networking app will have its own sync settings. Tweak them to your liking; the less frequent the sync, the better it is for your battery life.

Take it easy on location sharing

GPS identifies where you are anywhere on the face of the Earth. For it to work, a connection has to be made between the GPS receiver in your smartphone and at least three satellites.

It's no wonder then that GPS consumes a lot of power. Keeping this feature always on will drain your smartphone's battery quickly.

Turn off all location services in general when they're not needed. Many applications will request access to your location. Sometimes it's part of an application's core functionality; most times, it is not.

Turning off unused connectivity technologies will further extend a smartphone's battery life. This includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Hotspots.

Goodbye, Haptic

Make do without the vibration functionality of your smartphone. Android smartphones often vibrate during screen selections, when using the keyboard, when the alarm goes off and during notifications. Go through the various settings and be sure to turn off those that are superfluous.


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