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15 Ways to Improve Your Android Phone’s Battery Life

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Posted July 10, 2012 by Noah Mocorro in Feature

Android smartphone these days are becoming more powerful than ever before. With every new release, hardware specifications are constantly being upgraded to its maximum capacity.  Despite these improvements, there is always one thing that is left behind and that is the phone’s battery. Powerful Android devices such as the HTC One S and Samsung Galaxy S3, that sports a lightning fast quad-core processor takes a huge chunk of battery to power-up, that even the added battery capacity is still struggling to keep it alive for a single day of heavy use.

In fact, many Android users will be happy to know if their phone makes it in a single day, hoping that a night’s recharge will bring the phone back to life for another day.  Sadly, the truth really hurts, and even though many manufacturers are making enhancements to their design by featuring thinner body and powerful chipsets, they still forget the importance of having longer lasting battery life.

One of the many factors that constitute faster battery drainage comes from larger and brighter screens, power hungry processors, softwares that run in the background as well as connection radios like GPS and 4G connectivity.

However, there is always a workaround fix to remedy this sort of behavior. With just a simple tweaks and the right configuration, you can extend your phone’s battery life just by following these simple steps.

Switch off Unnecessary Network Connections

Well it’s great to experience running on a 4G network but do you need it the whole day?  Switching off GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and other connections when they are not in used are the best ways to keep your phone from hogging the battery. Switch it only when you need to update your phone or whenever you are out in your car. You really don’t need that connectivity once you’re inside your office or your house as the place is already filled with WiFi hotspots and you might be using a computer by then. In short, every time you use a connection like transferring files via Bluetooth, always turn it off afterwards.

Going 2G Mode / Disabling Background Data

Switching to 2G saves you so much on your battery of up to 40%-60%. Much more if you are disabling background connections.  ICS users might find it hard to find where the disable background connection is. You can do this by navigating to Settings > Data Usage. In here tap your phone’s menu button and check the “Restrict background data.”

Enable Airplane Mode

If you happen to be short on battery and won’t be home for a couple of hours, you can enable Airplane mode. This method also shuts down all connections from your WiFi and just about everything. This could be very useful most especially when you are travelling in places where you know there are is low signal or a dead spot. You may not know it but your phone constantly drains a lot of battery most especially when there is no signal as it will always keep on searching. It is best you switch it off.

Applications That Regulate Data Connections

Automate with Tasker

 If you find it a hassle switching data connections on and off, well you can always automate everything with the use of Tasker. One of the popular managing applications is Tasker that is able to automate any activity that you have in your phone like clockwork. Tasker works like this, you can configure your phone to do a specific task at a given time, like say turn on WiFi only when your downloading huge chunks of data, turn the GPS on once you open Google Maps, turn Bluetooth when you dock your phone and even scaling data usage during the night.

Automate with Juice Defender

JuiceDefender is one of the best battery saving applications in the Android market today. Basically the app is smart enough to manage your data connections. The app will turn off your data connection and reconnects depending on the user’s preference.

Doing it Manually

If you prefer switching your phone the old fashion way, you can always download one of those power control widgets like Power Control Plus or just by heading to the settings page.

Adjust Screen Brightness

Trimming your phone’s brightness down to a bare minimum is the best way to increase your battery life. After all, you really don’t need 100% brightness right? Not only it is painful in the eyes but it is also a battery hog. Although they are very useful in direct sunlight or dark places but using this much is just way out of the picture.

Depending on your Android phone, some devices are good at handling with display most especially those that feature Super AMOLED screens, as they are known to have better battery life most especially in handling with black colors.

To trim down your battery life simply go to Settings > Display > Brightness. Move the slider to the left. It is best that you keep it in between the 20% to 40% mark. You can also check the “Automatic Brightness”  so your phone will automatically adjust itself depending on your background.

Keep the Screen timeout short

Still found on your phone’s display setting, set your screen timeout to 15 seconds or less if it permits, to keep battery charges down. Every second counts, and those seconds when added up can translate to minutes or hours of proper battery management.

Other Options

Samsung phones have other features like Screen Mode that allows you to set what type of mode your phone should be displaying. Either in Dynamic Mode where the colors are bright,  Standard Mode for the default settings, and go for Movie Mode, useful for watching long movies.

Limiting the Eye Candy

Screen animations such as live wallpapers, and widgets are great way to keep your homescreen lively and vivid but at the same time it causes your CPU to use more power. If you are looking for ways to save your battery, you can turn them off or limit them. Widgets like Facebook, news and weather, constantly synchronize data in the background at define intervals. Because of this, your battery can drain as much without you knowing it. Do you really need to be updated constantly with your friend’s Instagram feeds?

You can adjust these widgets by configuring them one by one. You can go to the settings menu of the application. Once there, go to “Settings > Notifications / Widget Update Interval” and set the interval to 30 minutes or 1 hour interval.

Keep Your Phone From Becoming Too Hot

Temperature is the reason that kills a battery. Extreme temperatures that could reach to 51 degrees Celsius are way beyond than the normal and could likely trim your battery’s life in half. Don’t leave your phone in broad daylight near a window, place it in your pocket for a long periods of time,  or leaving it inside a hot car. Keep it cool as possible most especially during the summer months. The hotter the battery gets the faster its battery life will soon to degrade.

Playing Games While the Phone is Charging

Speaking of extreme temperatures, it is also not advisable to play games or do unnecessary things while you’re phone is charging. The more you play games the more your battery heats up and together with heat generated by the charging, your phone’s battery temperature will skyrocket. This could pose irreversible damage to your phone.

Never Use a Task Killer

Some of you might be using task killers in managing your applications but don’t you know that it can cause more harm than good?  Task killers harm battery life more than they can help. Android is already capable of managing applications in the background so there is no need to have one.  Simply quit applications when you are not using them.

Enable Power Saving Mode

Power Save Mode is a built-in feature that helps users manage their phone’s power saving feature. It will also prevent apps from running in the background and turns off vibration. By default, this feature will start to kick in when your battery drops at 20 percent but you can still reconfigure it. As soon it switches back to Power Save Mode, you’ll notice a big difference.

Underclock Your Phone

If you have a rooted phone it is best that you download SetCPU. Why use that much power when an application only requires a small amount of processing power? Using SetCPU will let you adjust your phone’s processor clock speed down to a bare minimum everytime your phone goes into idle mode or sleeping. After all, who needs a phone with dual core 1.5 GHz processor running all the time when you are not using it? SetCPU is powerful enough that you can set processor profiles and underclock your phone when it reaches at a certain battery threshold.

Another option is lowering the voltage kernel of your phone. You can grab your copy of Kernel Manager. A bit of warning though, this is a dangerous method and you really don’t want to mess your phone.

Conclusion

These are just a few common practices to save your phone’s battery from dying an untimely death. There are lot of things that you can try to do to save your battery. Choose the best method that is suited for your phone. You may have your own set of battery tips; you can share them in the comments section below.


About the Author

Noah Mocorro
Noah Mocorro

Noah Mocorro runs his own small online business and has been writing articles about identity theft protection ever since one of his email accounts was hacked.