How to Increase Mobile Phone Battery Life
By Chad Upton | Editor
Sometimes, you’re far from your charger and won’t be back anytime soon. Here are some tips to extend your battery when it’s running low.
Not all of these tips will apply to all phones, so use the ones that match the features on your phone. If your phone, camera or other gadgets frequently run out of power while you’re away from an outlet, consider an economical backup battery charger.
Most data capable phones can operate in different modes. If you turn off the high-speed wireless data mode, such as 3G, you will significantly reduce the power your phone consumes. This is the single biggest thing I find affects battery consumption.
Dim the Screen
The screen’s backlight uses a lot of power, keeping it off as much as possible will extend battery life. On the iPhone, press the top button, on many BlackBerrys, press ALT + ENTER to lock the keyboard and shutoff the screen. If your phone has an option to adjust the brightness, dim it. If it has auto-brightness, enable it. If you can set an “auto off” time then set it to the shortest time allowed.
Text Message Instead of Calling
If you can get away with communicating by text message, this can save power too. Although, it does require your screen, so short messages are better. These messages are embedded in the signals that your phone is already sending and receiving to normally communicate with the mobile network, even when you’re not using the phone, so it’s a very efficient way to communicate.
Turn Wifi and Bluetooth Off
Wifi and Bluetooth are great conveniences, but when you’re away from your charger and worried about losing phone capabilities, they’re a luxury that can go. Most phones with these features, have an option to disable them.
Don’t Play Games or Music
Well designed mobile phone processors have a low power mode that sips power when the phone is waiting for incoming calls in standby mode. Playing games requires the processor to work at its limit, which requires a lot more energy than standby mode. The same goes for playing music, especially if they’re compressed, high bit-rate or encrypted or drm protected music files — extra processing is needed to process these files and power the headphones or internal speaker.
Stop Background Apps
Some background apps use more power than others, it really comes down to the hardware in the phone the app is using (ex GPS) and how processor intensive the activity is.
Generally, if you’re trying to save power, closing the apps you don’t need can save power. This mostly applies to BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices.
It isn’t as important on iPhone since background apps aren’t true background apps, they have limited capabilities and therefore don’t consume a significant amount of battery power. That said, if you have a GPS tracking, VOIP or a music playing app running in the background, it could use significant amounts of power over long periods of time and it should be closed.
If you have any other ideas, drop them in the comments. Thanks to Kraig Brachman for suggesting this secret.