To Squeeze More Battery Life From Your Android Phone
Smartphones typically last a full day. While there are smartphones with extra-large batteries that can last more than a day, those are the exception, not the norm. But the good news is there are many ways to strategically squeeze out a lot more battery life from your phone just by adjusting a few settings.
1. Lower the brightness, turn on sleep
This is, perhaps, the most common battery-saving tip that applies to any device with a screen. Keep your screen’s brightness at 50% or lower and your Android phone will last longer. You can adjust the brightness by bringing down the notification shade with a two-finger swipe down (sometimes it’s a single swipe) from the top menu bar or by going into Settings > Display > Brightness level. And while you’re at it, you may as well disable Auto Brightness.
The other feature within the Display settings that you can adjust is the screen’s sleep time, the amount of time the screen will wait while it’s inactive before switching off. It’s usually set to 30 seconds, but we recommend setting it to the quickest (15 seconds or less).
2. Figure out the power hog
Suspended apps — apps that are minimized but not closed — can still consume a lot of power without your knowledge. Luckily, Android has a built-in battery monitor. Go to Settings > Battery and you’ll be able to see which apps are the biggest offenders. Now, you’ll know which apps to avoid using when you know you’re going to be out all day.
3. Turn on battery saver mode
Not all Android smartphones have a power savings mode, but if your phone does — Samsung, Sony, Motorola and HTC phones usually do — you can turn it on when you’re running low on battery. On some Android phones, the power savings mode can be set to automatically kick in when your battery dips below a certain percentage.
4. Kill NFC and Bluetooth
Bluetooth usually isn’t turned on by default, but NFC might be. We’ve set up many new Android smartphones only to discover the battery secretly draining in the background because NFC was on.
NFC’s a great way to connect an Android phone to things like Bluetooth speakers and digital cameras with a single tap, but like Bluetooth, you should only turn it on when you need it. Some Android phones have an NFC icon in the notification shade. If your phone doesn’t have one, you can usually toggle NFC on/off by going into the Settings > Wireless & networks > NFC.
5. Use darker wallpapers
There two main types of smartphone displays: LCD and AMOLED. LCD uses a backlighting system that illuminates every pixel on the display. AMOLED displays, however, have pixels that are individually lit; a pixel that turns into a color is lit, and thus, uses power. A pixel that remains black, is not lit and doesn’t use any power. If your Android phone uses an AMOLED display (just about all of Samsung’s do), you can use a darker or all-black wallpaper to make your phone more power-efficient.
6. Turn off GPS/location tracking
Many apps like Google Maps, Swarm and Yelp use your location to provide real-time location data, but if you rarely use location-based apps or use them sparingly, it would be wise to leave the GPS off. Some phones have a GPS (called “location” on Lollipop) button accessible in the notification shade. Otherwise, you can turn off location tracking by going into Settings > Location.
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7. Disable gimmicky gestures/features
This one’s different for all Android phones. But if your device has any silly features like eye-tracking or air gestures, go ahead and disable them. There’s a good chance you won’t ever use them and they’re just sipping power in the background. You can usually find toggles for these in the Settings app.
8. Turn off vibrations and unnecessary sounds
Haptic feedback — the vibrations you feel when you tap on an Android phone’s touchscreen — is great. I love the tactile sensation when I’m typing on Android, but those buzzes activate the vibration motor, and as a result suck up more power.
To turn off battery-sucking vibrations go to Settings > Sound & notification > Other sounds. From there you can switch off the “Vibrate on touch feature,” as well as “Dial pad tones,” “Screen locking sounds” and “Touch sounds” — turning them all off nets you that teensy bit of battery that could come in handy, say, during an emergency and your phone’s about to die.
9. Keep widgets at a minimum
Widgets are a great way to see bite-sized info at a glance on the homescreen or provide convenient shortcuts for things like music controls. For the sake of better battery, kill the ones you don’t use often. You can remove widgets by long pressing on them and then swiping them to the “Remove” (sometimes it’s a trash can icon) that shows up.
10. Axe the animations
Did you know that your phone’s flashy animations and transitions are decreasing your phone’s battery? Good news, though: You can turn them off and get some battery life back by activating the hidden “Developer options” feature. Go to Settings > About phone, then scroll down to Build number and tap it seven times.
Hit the back button and you’ll now see “Developer options” that previously wasn’t there. Scroll down until you see “Window animation scale,” “Transition animation scale” and “Animation duration scale.” Turn all three of these off and voila, your phone battery will last slightly longer (and maybe even run faster). You may have to reboot before seeing the changes.