How to improve smartphone battery

If there’s one way that feature phones actually outsmart smartphones – it’s definitely battery life.

Gone are the days when we only had to charge our phones once a week. In fact for most people charging their phone is part of a daily routine – but we’re here to argue that it doesn’t have to be.

Obviously if you turn the internet and everything else on your phone off then you’re bound to save battery life, but then what’s the point in having a smartphone at all? There are ways you can have it all, it’s just about being clever. [tweet_dis]Check out our top ten tips to boost smartphone battery life.[/tweet_dis]

1. Adjust the screen brightness

Having a glaring display on all day can really drain your battery if your not careful, but luckily smartphone manufacturers have become more and more aware of thise over the past few years.

Battery saving auto display brightness smartphone feature

This means that some smartphones, like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and S5, allow you to select auto brightness so that the screen adapts to whatever surroundings you’re in. If you want to take things into your own hands then most phones will let you do this too – we recommend always having the brightness either on or below the auto setting. There isn’t really a good reason you’ll need your phone to get brighter than this.

2. Track exactly what’s draining your battery life in the first place

Half the time you’ll find that what you think is causing your phone to have poor battery life isn’t the real culprit.

Smartphones can tell you what is draining your battery life

In Settings > Battery on your smartphone you’ll be able to find this information, and it should look something like the above image. But if there are any apps, widgets or anything else which is reaking havock with your smartphone battery – then here’s how you can find them.

3. Turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when you’re not using them

This one really depends on what you use your phone for and how often. For example, we quite like receiving constant email or social updates and wouldn’t want to drain our mobile data if our phone decided to run on this instead.

Bluetooth and Wifi affects smartphone battery life

However, if you do turn these services off, it will help to boost smartphone battery life especially if your data roaming is switched off too.

While your Wi-Fi is enabled, your phone will constantly be scraping the area so see if there is something to connect to. Similarly, your Bluetooth will constantly be searching for other Bluetooth devices to swap information with. If you turn all of this off then you can be in control of when you need it on and how often. It’s not the answer for everyone, but for someone who barely uses their phone at work it could be a great idea.  

4. Close background apps that you’re not currently using

Once you know what’s draining your battery – it’s time to shut it all down. This doesn’t just mean leaving the apps either, most of the time when you leave an app it keeps running until you tell it to stop.

Closing down apps can preverve smartphone battery

On the iPhone you simply such the display and hold your finger there until the apps start to shake – when they do you can touch the minus sign to stop them running. Samsung and HTC allows you to do the same by pressing and holding the home button on your device and then swiping the apps away.

5. Reduce the screen timeout waiting time

This is simply the amount of time it takes before your phone decides it’s appropriate for your screen to timeout. It makes sense when you think about it – the longer your display is active, the more your phone batteries are going to drain.

battery boost screen timeout

You’ll find the option to change this in the settings menu, usually under something like ‘Screen Timeout’. The automatic setting could be anything up to two minutes, which is a long time for your phone to remain active while you’re not using it. Most phones will allow you to reduce this to just 15 seconds, which will be much kinder to your battery life.

6. Turn off unnecessary notifications

One of the great things about smartphones is their ability to notify you when just about anything happens. It can alert you when something big happens in the news, when you favourite sports team is playing, when you need to set off to get home from work in good time due to traffic. All that and it notifies you of your emails, texts and social activity at the same time. We basically now run our lives on our smartphones.

But do we need all of these notifications?

App notifications can cause poor battery life

One way to boost your mobile battery could be to shut some of these notifications down. For example, do you need notifying each time something big happens on the news, or could you just open your news app when you fancy catching up with the world? Do you need every single email notification if you’re sat at work with an email tab open on your desktop all day?

7. Don’t keep your phone on vibrate

Having your phone on vibrate is a bit pointless now when you think about it. Most smartphones come with an LED light which flashes when you have a notifications, so you can just keep your phone on silent anyway if you don’t want the ringtone disturbing you.

Turning your phone off vibrate can often help to preserve phone battery

This isn’t the only point either – it costs your phone a lot more battery to vibrate than it does to play the ringtone too. You’re better off either putting your phone on silent or turning off all notifications until you’re ready for your phone to be on loud again.

8. Keep it cool

These new smartphone lithium batteries are actually a lot more sensitive to heat than the old nickel batteries, and they will function more effectively in cooler temperatures. I actually noticed a big difference in my Samsung Galaxy S4’s battery life in the heat last summer – and that’s just in the UK.

If a smartphone overheats it can affect its battery life

There are ways to prevent this from draining mobile battery though – don’t leave your device in a window sill in the heat, or in a closed up car while you do you shopping – or, in my case, on your desk while the sun is glaring in from the window. We might enjoy the sunshine, but we will just have to accept that our smartphones really don’t.

9. Don’t be scared to charge your phone

Yep, that’s right – the old myth states that charging your mobile phone battery before it is completely drained will actually damage the battery in the long run. But that, my friends, is no longer the case.

Charging smartphone batteries regularly is actually good for them

Seeing as most of us have now said goodbye to those old nasty nickel-cadmium batteries and hello to the lithium smartphone batteries, we can now give our smartphone battery boost charges whenever we feel the need. In fact, experts say that charging your smartphone for short lengths of time to give it a little boost could even benefit your battery in the long term. So there you go!

10. Carry a battery case

Seeing as we’ve now discovered that you can charge your smartphone at any time, you might as well make the most of it. Battery cases exist for most current smartphones now, and most promise to double your battery life – some even promise to triple it.

morphie smartphone battery boost case

They will make your phone a little more bulky in your bag or pocket, but it could be worth it in the long run – and even if it doesn’t help your battery in the long run, it’s surely better than walking around with a dead, useless smartphone.

So get started! Try out these tips to boost your smartphone battery life and be sure to let us know how it goes! These 20 hours of battery life promised by manufacturers don’t always seem to work out.

Do you struggle with poor smartphone battery? Let us know what the worst phones for it are by tweeting us or writing on our wall. You can catch more smartphone tips here too.

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