Smartphones are about as fast as anyone really needs these days, so now it’s all about other aspects such as battery life.
Charging is improving, faster and more convenient, but phone batteries themselves aren’t lasting any longer. Getting a device on which you do it all; play games, watch videos, browse social media, chat with friends, pick up emails, manage appointments, navigate to destinations, etc.
Here are some of our top tips to extend smartphone battery life, without making your phone unusable.
First of all, you need to know what’s causing the battery to die prematurely in the first place.
A good place to start is in Android’s Settings > Battery menu, where you’ll get a health report on whether your apps are running normally. If anything is draining a large amount of power in the background you’ll be warned here. Battery Saver will turn off some device features and restrict some app usage, however, and in this feature, we’re more concerned about the changes you can make that won’t affect usage. Head to Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery and slide the toggle to enable Adaptive Battery. This Android Pie-introduced feature prevents any apps that you do not frequently use from draining an excessive amount of power in the background.
In Android Pie just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access this; in older versions of Android, you should see a dedicated button to one side of the home button.
You can reduce the screen brightness in Settings > Display > Brightness level, then moving down the slider to a more comfortable level. You’ll often also find a brightness slider in a phone’s pull-down notification bar.
Every time you wake the screen it remains active for a predetermined period even after you have finished whatever it was you wanted to do. You can adjust this length of time, and the shorter you make the screen timeout the less battery power will be wasted.
Widgets can come in handy for pulling in constantly updated data from your favorite apps right on the home screen, but all that constant checking is another source of battery drain.
the smartphone’s various radios all drain battery. It’s not a problem if you’re using them, but if you’re not then you should turn them off. You’ll likely find quick access toggles in the dropdown notification bar or can access all these settings in Settings > Network & Internet or Connected devices > Connection preferences.
The ability to choose which apps start up when you first turn on your phone is not yet a feature built into Android, but it is found in many custom versions of the operating system such as MIUI. On the Mi 9, for example, head to Settings and choose Permissions under App Settings. Tap Autostart, then check which apps on the list you actually want to be running in the background.
Google Assistant and voice search is the big new thing in recent years, but it’s easy enough to access without your phone needing to constantly be listening out for your instructions. In Settings > Google > Search, Assistant & Voice > Voice > Voice Match and disable ‘Access with Voice Match’. This will prevent your phone responding when you say “Okay Google”, even when the screen is off or you’re in another app, but you can still quickly pull up the voice assistant with a long-press of the Home button.