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HARDWARE GUIDES

How to Improve Your Smartphone`s Battery Life
By: wubayou
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    2011-12-02

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    It seems as if smartphone’s have no limit when it comes to functionality. As more and more smartphones flood the market, their features lists are becoming even more multi-dimensional. You can use your smartphone to not only make conventional calls, but also for messaging, entertainment, productivity, organization, and much more. Of course, with all this functionality comes a tradeoff – battery life. Yes, no matter how advanced smartphones become, most seem to suffer from less than desirable battery life.

    Can you really blame these do-it-all portable communication machines?  After all, they practically do everything under the sun, so the fact that their batteries can drain with the quickness is not exactly dumbfounding.  Luckily, there are several practices you can follow to help get the most out of your smartphone’s battery life, and this article will discuss some of them.  Yes, you might have to sacrifice in some areas, but it is worth it if you want to keep your smartphone alive for that emergency call at the end of the day.

    Adjust the Brightness

    This is one area that can really help boost your smartphone’s battery life.  It’s no secret that displays are the highlight of most smartphones, as they usually dominate their entire design.  While they may be bright and full of superb graphics, they pretty much act as battery killers.

    Some smartphones come with ambient light sensors that will automatically adjust the brightness according to your surroundings.  This does save battery life somewhat, but you can take things a step further by reducing your display’s brightness to the lowest level possible while still maintaining visibility.  It may not be ideal for your eyes at all times, but your battery will thank you for it.

    Adjust the Screen Timeout Setting

    It may carry different names across different phones, but the screen timeout is essentially the amount of time your display stays lit at a higher level after your last action.  For instance, you may tap your screen to close out of a phone call and it may stay lit for 30 seconds.  Having a long screen timeout can be helpful in dark settings, but it can also drain your battery life if it is set to an excessive amount of time.  Go into your phone’s menu to adjust the screen timeout to the lowest time possible, if you can bear it.  30 seconds is a decent setting, but anything over a minute is too much and is really not necessary.

    Avoid Vibrate Mode

    Vibrate mode is a courteous setting if you are in the movie theater, in class, at work, or in some other public setting where you don’t want to annoy others with an audible ringtone.  For that extra courtesy, your smartphone must perform extra work.  It’s not like a simple ringtone that emanates an audible sound, as vibrate mode requires more juice to actually make your smartphone move.  To save battery life, disable vibrate mode.  If courtesy is your worry, keep the phone on silent and in view so you can answer any incoming calls.

    Disable Wi-Fi

    Having Wi-Fi on your smartphone is certainly a luxury, but it is one feature that can definitely put a damper on battery life.  You’ll definitely want to have Wi-Fi on when you are at home, in the office, or anywhere else where there is a hotspot you plan on using, but if you are on the road, disable it.  Simply put, there’s no need to have Wi-Fi enabled if you do not plan on using the internet.  It will just drain your battery unnecessarily, and that is something you want to avoid.

    Disable Bluetooth

    Bluetooth is another useful feature found in smartphones that can also deteriorate battery life.  It’s similar to Wi-Fi since it is great when you need it, but should be turned off when you don’t.  Unless you plan on using a stereo headset or other apparatus to listen to some tunes or if you are not on the road planning to take phone calls, turn your smartphone’s Bluetooth off. 

    Manage Your Apps and Notifications

    Apps are a lot of fun and really help to turn your smartphone’s functionality up a notch, but they also use up a lot of battery.  Many smartphone’s come with the ability to multitask and run multiple apps at the same time.  This can turn your phone into a functionality powerhouse, but it will also cut your battery life short.  Be sure to exit any apps that you are not currently using to save your battery. 

    The same holds true for notifications.  Some notifications are essential, such as those for email, missed calls, etc.  Others, however, are not, and should be disabled to keep battery life optimized.

    Only Use GPS When Absolutely Necessary

    It seems as if a major theme with all of the battery saving practices is disabling all your smartphone’s goodies.  Unfortunately, that’s just how it is for the time being.  As mentioned, you will have to sacrifice some features for better battery life, and GPS is another one of those that must be tamed, so to speak.  Now, your GPS will be essential if you are in unknown territory and want to stay on the right path.  However, there are certain apps that will use your phone’s integrated GPS for some of their features.  Unless the app is completely vital to your survival at the moment, do not allow it to access your smartphone’s GPS.  It will simply use valuable battery life that is better served for other functions.

    Use Apps that Specialize in Optimizing Battery Life

    So, you are not a technical guru or expert at saving battery life.  Join the club.  There are apps out there that can make the process of adjusting settings for better battery life much simpler.  One is JuiceDefender.  Once installed, the app will help tweak your settings to give you the best battery life possible.  This is perhaps the best option for someone seeking a quick fix for their battery issues.
     


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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