One smartphone user at Android Forums says their phone stays on for about “48 hours,” lasting about “4-5 hours” if they use it heavily (for browsing videos, game-playing, and other tasks). Another says they get about “10 hours” out of their phone’s battery if they use it for less intense activities like e-mail and surfing the web.
Regardless of the model of phone or service you’re using, your smartphone’s average use and battery life are probably about the same. But really, we all want to get a little bit more use out of these devices before having to scramble to the closest outlet in hopes of plugging in before the screen goes black.
Steps to Increase Your Smartphone’s Battery Life
Reduce Screen Brightness
If your phone has an auto brightness feature, turn it on. That’s a start, but what works even better is manually turning the brightness setting as low as you can tolerate.
Minimize the Screen Timeout
“Screen timeout” describes how long it takes for your screen to dim after receiving input. Every second counts, so the shorter you can make yours, the better.
Turn Off Blue-Tooth Radio
It’s always listening unless you turn it off. Save your battery an additional hour of life by turning off the blue-tooth radio listening feature on your phone.
Tip: Before purchasing your next mobile device, be sure to research battery life features ahead of time. Don’t just ask the sales rep. For example, T-Mobile includes battery life information for its Google Nexus 5 on its website, which boasts a talk time of 17 hours. The provider also has its own “Battery & Power” support section on its website that addresses battery mode, energy savings tips and more for each device they offer. Check with your mobile provider’s website to see its own tips on good battery saving practices.
Apps and Accessories That Really Help
You can significantly increase your smartphone’s battery life by using any number of apps and accessories (and avoiding others). Some you should check out and be careful for:
Be warned – this app is for hardcore users. You already know what Wakelock is (even if you think you don’t). It’s an Android-only feature that wakes the CPU from deep sleep. This can be caused by a number of features and functions on your phone, and Wakelock Detector helps you manage them all. The waking kills your battery, but this program helps you monitor it for free.
An article at Mashable recommends you get rid of these 9 apps, or at least minimize your use of them: Carat, Facebook, any map app, your camera app, any weather app, Skype, Twitter, Square Wallet, and Angry Birds (or any other game).
Cases with Built-In Batteries
These cases, like the Powerskin (Power-Skin.com) for the Blackberry Z10 ($80), have a built-in battery. The power source doesn’t switch. Rather, the case battery charges your smartphone’s battery when it runs low. The Powerskin is just an example. These cases exist for all major types of smartphones. If you have a less popular model, you may not be able to find a case like this, however.
Smartphones won’t be increasing their battery life any time soon, but if you follow these tips, and keep your eye out for new accessories, you’ll get more life out of your battery than the average user.
Tech journalist, mobile guru, runner