Top Five Tips For Extending Your Smart Phone/Android Phone Battery Life (And Why They Don’t Work)

Fighting battery life is a daily problem for me. It’s my own fault because I use the phone in the way the makers intended. While they may have built in hundreds of incredibly clever features they failed to build in a battery that could sustain them.

I have of course scoured the internet for helpful advise and found that there is a convergence of ideas on how I might get more life from my smart phone. Here they are in brief, and an explanation of why they’re all complete nonsense.

1) Dim the screen

Okay, good advise. I’ve tried this with almost every phone I’ve owned and of course it extends battery life. Illuminating the screen can often account for 50-80% of total battery use. Problem is, you set the screen brightness nice and low and then spent half your day in squinting at your unusable phone.

2) Turn off Bluetooth

Sure, and why not turn off the phone while you’re at it. My phone’s a productivity tools and I need to work/drive/doodle while on a call. And I’m sure as hell not going to spend my life tethered to my phone with a wired headset. Bluetooth is what makes mobile phones so useful. I’ve had it on every phone for at least a decade. And now I’m to turn it off because my phone’s too smart?

3) Turn off your wi-fi

I could do this and save maybe 1-2% battery life but then every time I get to my office/home/client’s office I have to remember to turn the wireless back on. Surely  the convenience of the smart phone is what makes it so, well, smart. Browsing the internet, checking emails, keeping up on the footy scores, these are the things we like to do, and the idea of manually switching between wi-fi and phone data seems pointless and stupid on a device so capable of doing it itself. More to the point, I’d never remember to switch.

4) Turn of GPS

There is no doubt that GPS eats battery like I eat pizza after two games of soccer. I’ve had the GPS run the phone down to nothing even though it was plugged into the car charger at the time.

Thing is, GPS is pretty-well turned off when you’re not using it. Turn if off by all means but you’re not going to dig another hour out of your phone. Maybe another 30 seconds of talk time. For what it’s worth, I turn my GPS off, and it seems to be worth almost nothing.

5) Prevent accounts from syncing automatically

Again…why have a smart phone? Why don’t I just get myself a Nokia 3120?I’ll check my emails when I get back to the office. I’ll carry a little diary and write my appointments in that. Surely the whole point of my Android smart phone is that it synchronizes with my Google Apps account while I’m on the road. Surely Blackberry users have had this kind of access to email for years, and the fabulous Android OS is bringing that convenience to the masses? Or it would…if the battery could hold up.

Nokia 3120Some ideas that do work

Android phones have a handy function that allows you to check what has been using your battery. The number one runaway user yesterday was phone calls. So here is my tip number one:

Stop making calls

You’ll notice a dramatic increase in battery life. In fact, the average heavy user will, with this one tip alone, now finally get through an entire day without any charging!

Better yet, tip number two:

Turn the phone off

So obvious, makes me wonder why no-one else has thought of it. It takes months for modern batteries to discharge when not in use. With this one tip you can extend battery life from 6-12 months.

I trust you’ve found this blog interesting and informative. If anyone has any tips and useful as the one’s above we’d love to publish them.

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