‘Oh! I can’t talk now my phone battery is dying’ – How many times have you heard this or have said it yourself? Now- a-days there is so much more that depends on the smartphones than mere phone calls and one cannot afford to be out of touch just because the phone shuts down due to lack of battery charge. With the smart phones becoming thinner as well as app heavy it does take a toll on the battery. Android in particular is known to drain battery more rapidly than any other platform. There is a simple notion of stop playing games to save battery, whereas in essence there are quite a few other things that can be done not only to increase battery consumption but also the battery life. Keep the following in mind to improve the battery on smartphones-
A new battery needs to be initialized right– When you get a new phone, it is very important to fully charge the battery before the initial usage. Most of the Android smart phones use Li-ion batteries, these needs to be charged at least for 6 continuous hours before usage. Sometimes the phone battery status might show full but ignore that. Time your recharge time and ensure that the battery was plugged in 5-6 hours. Nickel based batteries should be charged at least 16 continuous hours. For the first couple of times maintain a full charge and full discharge cycle with ni-ion batteries. On the contrary, do not let your lithium batteries get fully discharged.
Use the right charger – There is a reason that each smartphone come with a charger. If you are not using the charger provided then read the charger manual before using a different charger. It’s also important to keep an eye in case the charger is heating up the battery. Heating up of the battery reduces the charge usage time as well as battery life. With the incorrect charger there is a possibility of a need to frequently recharging the phone. Lithium batteries come with a set number of times that you can charge them. Avoid instances where the battery gets completely draining.
Battery maintenance- The life of a battery does depend on the care it receives. Batteries should be stored in a cool and dry place. If you are not using your phone for a long time then remove the battery and store it in a cool place, You can keep it in an air tight bag in the fridge. This reduces the oxidization process. Batteries oxidize slowest when stored around 35%-40% charge. When you are ready to use the battery again, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before putting it in the phone. Recharge it completely before use. Also, clean the battery from time to time. Dust tends to settle on the battery contacts, which can be cleaned with an ear bud soaked in alcohol or cleaner.
Switch off the phone – You can turn off the phone for the hours that you won’t be using it. There is also an option of changing it to the Airplane mode. This is also applicable when you do not have reception or signal. The phone loses a lot of battery while it is trying to search for signals. If you often struggle with the issue of weak reception then get a cell phone repeater, it increases the phone’s ability to capture signal. This does not mean that you continuously keep switching your phone off and on because that will only increase power consumption. Switch off the phone if you are not using it for hours together. It helps retain charge.
Reduce brightness and the amount of time for back light- All smartphones have a back light which uses extra battery. To reduce this, either switch off the back light or reduce it to a few seconds. The longer it stays the more it eats into your battery charge. Similarly, reduce the brightness of the display. The bigger your android screen the more charge it drains. Usually it is not required to push up the brightness to the maximum; a medium brightness is user friendly and also battery friendly.
Avoid using the Vibrate mode– The vibrate mode consumes a lot more battery than the normal ringing mode. Try to avoid using the vibrate mode whenever possible. It’s not only about the volume control but also when you are playing games or just receive notification on SMS, Whatsapp or emails. Each time the phone vibrates it consumes a lot more battery.
Turn off un-used apps and running widgets– Bluetooth, EDGE, Wi-Fi, GPS etc. all these apps use a lot of battery. If you have all these running all the time your phone will lose charge frequently. These apps continue soaking charge even when they are not being actively used. One of the biggest problems with android apps is that constantly update. So even when they are not being used they do suck up power. It is advisable to remove all unnecessary apps. Some widgets keep constantly updating and using battery. You can retain only those widgets that are really required.
Switch to GSM instead of 3G- 3G uses a lot of battery power. Whenever possible switch to using GSM. The smartphone itself states two different battery lives for GSM vs 3 G. It’s estimated that 3 G uses 50%-55% more battery than GSM.
Black background is better– Now almost all the smartphones come with built in option of using active or animated wallpapers and screensavers. Although they give a very rich feel and make the mobile come alive they are pretty bad if you want to keep your battery charge for a longer duration. Instead of color rich backgrounds use black wallpaper. It uses the least battery. Avoid screensavers completely, even if they are static. Animated wallpaper uses the most battery so it is advisable to not use it at all.
Timely checks- It is a good practice to check what is using the most battery in your smart phone. You can check this under Settings-Battery Use. It shows the amount of battery that is being consumed by Voice calls, Video calls, screen, Wi-Fi, cell standby, camera, Apps etc. You can stop the functions that you don’t need in order to cut the battery consumption and increase battery life.
Author: Sanjay Kumar Negi
The article has been submitted by Sanjay Kumar Negi, working at 91Mobiles.com.