The battle between mankind and phone battery life is one of the epic struggles of the Modern Era. While many people would call this a first world problem, it is amazing how dependent we have become on our phones and how stressful it can be to hit 15% battery life knowing that you still have a long time to go before your day or evening ends. There are several items at play when it comes to battery life and understanding them can help you get a little more time out of each charge.
The first thing to realize is that batteries have a life cycle that declines over time. The best way to think about this is that after about 500 charges your phone’s battery begins to lose capacity and each charge is going to last a little less time than the one before it. The best way to optimize your battery life is to wait until your battery is at least under 40% before charging it again. Try to avoid short charging sessions when possible as they can actually decrease the lifespan of your battery. Sometimes that is unavoidable but for best practices, try to aim for longer charging sessions.
After that, the best place to start is to look at your phone’s setting for screen timeout, meaning how long will it stay on before turning the screen off after you’ve last touched it. 1 minute or less is the best option for battery life. Usually having it set for auto brightness will help too. Next, and possibly more important look in your phone’s power management in the settings (or download an app that can do that for you) and see what things are running that are using your phone’s battery. You might be very surprised to see apps that you have not used in weeks or months showing up and taking a percentage of your daily battery life. The reason for this is that many of these are running in the background are doing things that you may or may not be aware of while your phone is idle. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to pay attention to the permissions that apps request access to when you download them. Coming soon you will be able to limit specific access to things for an app, but for right now it is all or nothing meaning that if you want that flashlight app for example, you are agreeing to let it use your internet access or whatever else it requests whenever it wants to for whatever reasons it wants to do. This sounds crazy when you realize that simple apps like a flashlight could be using your internet access, but remember apps are very expensive to develop and market, so if they are “free” sometimes something else is going on in the background.
A good rule of thumb is if you have not used an app in over 2 months just uninstall it. You can always reinstall it if you need it again but in the meantime deleting unwanted apps can easily add 10-15% or more to your daily battery life. If you really want to maximize your phone’s battery, back up all of your important data, VERIFY that it is backed up, and then do a reset on your phone to original factory settings. After this, only download the apps that you are going to use. You will probably be surprised and how much smoother your phone will run.
With the way that cell phone bills are set up, the longer you can keep your device after it is paid off, the more money you can save. Plus there really is not nearly as big of jump in performance from upgrading to a new device as there used to be. By following these tips you can have your phone last a longer which will keep a lot more money in your pocket and it will perform better for you while you use it.