Modern Android phones are great, but they are greedy. My Samsung Fold 4 can do pretty much anything I need in a compact package, but it sucks juice like a tech journalist in an open bar. Therefore, I sometimes have to restrain my phone, and coax it just as quickly. It’s an attempt to assure us both that we still have some wake up.
Here are 10 tips to extend the battery life of your Android phone.
turn down the brightness
The most power consuming part of your phone is the screen. No matter what kind of screen it has, it’s the most greedy component of a phone. Backlighting is generally the main power source.
The brighter it is, the more power you use. So, adjust the brightness to only the brightness you want. Turn off adaptive brightness, so it doesn’t brighten up when light shines on it.
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Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Even when you’re not connected, your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are always on, listening to nearby networks and devices. You don’t need to, so turn off Wi-Fi if you’re not using it, and disable Bluetooth if you’re not using your wireless headphones. Do not use Airplane mode, as this completely turns off your connection to the phone network, which means that you will not receive phone calls or text messages.
Stop app refresh in the background
Many Android apps (looking at you, Facebook) like to appear in the background, get new data and then go back to sleep. This is useful if you have fees to spare, but you probably don’t need to see new photos of your Aunt Doris and her cat right away.
Stop individual apps from doing this by disabling background app refresh. On a Samsung device, switch to Data Saver in Settings. This prevents apps from constantly updating in the background, thus extending battery life. But if there is a specific app that you want to keep updating in the background, select “Allowed” for the app.
Turn off mobile data
The constant flow of data between your phone and the cellular network allows you to stay connected. Do you need this, though? You can live without it for a bit if you try to get every other watt of battery power. So, switch to Airplane mode. Your phone will stop chatting with the phone network, saving a bit of power.
Discover – and use – smart battery modes
Many Android phones come with special modes added by the manufacturer that will tweak various settings to extend battery life. For example, scroll down on your Samsung phone’s startup screen and select Power Saving mode, which slows down the CPU, lowers brightness and limits background apps. On Sony phones, Stamina mode offers similar features.
disable location service
You probably know where you are if you’re stuck on a long trip and want to keep listening to the tunes. Turn off Location Services in the Settings app.
Enable dark mode
Modern OLED smartphone screens use more power when they are white because the backlight only turns on when needed. You can save a bit of energy by enabling dark mode, which turns your wallpaper black.
Turn off NFC
Most modern phones use Near Field Communication (NFC) to talk to credit card machines. If you’re not buying anything, turn it off. On Samsung phones, swipe down from the launcher and turn off NFC. On available Android devices, you can disable NFC from the Connections section of the Settings app.
use the sun
If you are outside and want to go without charging your phone, portable solar panels may help extend your battery life. This won’t produce enough power to fully charge your phone, but a portable pad like the $71 BigBlue 3 might give you more opportunity to take pictures on a camping trip. It’s also portable enough to hang a backpack for charging while hiking and it’s waterproof.
Take the watt rating of these panels with a pinch of salt, though: the 28W figure is the maximum power the device can generate, not what you’re likely to get from it. That would usually be much less.
Carry a small battery
Easiest way to add more battery power? Add another battery. A small portable battery pack like the TravelCard Plus can boost your phone’s battery, and it has USB-C and Lightning cables built in. Your battery won’t charge much (it only holds 3000mAh of charge), but it’s portable enough and only a quarter of an inch thick, so you can put it in your pocket and forget about it.
Until you need it, that is.
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