How to Decrease Mobile Phone Battery Drain
|July 30, 2010||Filled under Telephony iPhone apps|
Battery drain on today’s sophisticated cell phones–especially on 3G/4G wireless networks–is one of the top complaints by phone users. While only a few years ago your cell phone battery charge lasted several days, many new smartphones drain like a SUV’s gas tank. Some mobile phone manufacturers even include an extra battery with your purchase or suggest you carry a spare.
So why are batteries draining faster and what can you do about it?
When Lithium-ion batteries were first used in standard cell phones mostly for phone calls, they performed very well. You didn’t need to carry extras with you or buy an auto charger because you weren’t surfing the Web, downloading apps, using GPS or playing music. Smartphones with “always-on” data connections to carrier networks or Wi-Fi hadn’t arrived yet. Cell phones were also much larger years ago providing more room for bigger, more powerful batteries.
But that’s all changed. So how can you maximize battery life without turning off useful smartphone features?
- Turn your phone off if you’re not using it or your signal meter indicates weak or no reception. For example, my BlackBerry Curve automatically turns off at night when I’m sleeping. My Sanyo flip phone and VoIP service stays on for emergency calls.
- Purchase a cell phone booster if you live or work in an area with low carrier signal strength. Your battery charge lasts longer if you have a stronger signal.
- Disable the vibrate function and use ring tones instead. When you don’t want to be disturbed, set you cell phone to “silent” or turn the ring tone volume to its lowest setting.
- Turn bluetooth and Wi-Fi off when not in use. While bluetooth and Wi-Fi are useful when connecting to computers, headsets, your auto’s phone system or wireless router, both drain cell batteries quickly.
- Lower or dim the back light since screen displays use a lot of battery power. Dimming the back light will extend battery life considerably.
- Avoid leaving your mobile where it’s cold or hot. Extreme temperatures drain power more quickly.
- Turn off applications you’re not using. Many new smartphones multitask (run multiple apps at the same time). However, if you take a photo with your camera, then view your calendar, then play a game and make a phone call, the launched apps are still running in the background eating up battery life. Periodically kill the apps you’re not using. (You’ll find utility software in your phone’s app store letting your disable apps by clicking one button. Search for “kill app” in the BlackBerry or iPhone app stores or the Android Market.)
- Make fewer or shorter phone calls especially if you’re in a weak coverage area. While it’s tempting to take advantage of unlimited calling plans, voice calls drain batteries just as fast as surfing the Web.
- Have a new Android phone? Check out these Android tips for ways to make it through the day on one charge.
While “battery life management” was probably not on your mind when purchasing your new Droid, iPhone or EVO, the tips above will decrease mobile phone battery drain considerably and help you stay sane.