In spite of all the great leaps forward in cellphone technology over the years, the whole enterprise still depends on nursing as much life as possible out of your device’s humble battery. Since we all love cutting edge conveniences like crisp HD screens, super-fast processors, and 4G LTE, remember: they all demand extra juice, so it’s important to do all you can to keep your power supply in good working order.
You’ll find plenty of tips out there about how to get more battery life. Some make good sense; others are of little practical value. Trust me—I’ve tried them all! So my list here is narrowed to a few simple things that consistently work well for me.
First, understand that certain activities use more battery power than others. Streaming video and GPS navigation are two of the biggest culprits. They require your phone’s screen to stay on constantly, and they make steady use of cellular and Wi-Fi connections—each of which requires a tremendous amount of energy. If your battery is getting low, or if you need it to last longer on a particular day, avoid video streaming and turn off the GPS feature unless you’re connected to a power source.
Your screen consumes more energy than any other component, so the simplest method to preserve battery life is to turn down your screen brightness. If you don’t want to do this manually, many smartphones include an auto-brightness mode in the Display settings. By turning this feature on, brightness will automatically adjust based on the amount of ambient light present—you don’t have to worry about squinting at a dim screen outdoors, or a super bright one indoors.
Batteries are also extremely sensitive to heat and cold—you’ll get the longest battery life by using your phone between temperatures of 62° to 72° Fahrenheit. This isn’t meant to suggest that your phone won’t work during winter in Minnesota, or summertime in the deep south— but it does mean your battery life could be impacted with long term exposure to the elements. And while your battery will recover from cold after it’s had a chance to warm up, heat can cause permanent damage. Never charge, or store, your phone in extremely hot environments, like inside your car on a scorching July afternoon or plugged into an outlet beneath a bright, sunny window.
Finally, if you’re travelling and need to use GPS and Bluetooth along the way, invest in a car charger. This simple, affordable accessory allows you to keep your phone plugged into a power source while it utilizes these energy-heavy activities—plus it keeps you from being inconvenienced by a drained battery once you arrive at your destination!
There’s no single magical way to ensure longer battery life. Instead, every little step helps it add up. It’s a lot like nursing a small savings account—if you focus on saving one penny at a time, it will assure you’ve got enough to make a real difference when you need it most.