The conversation about mobile phones is never ending until a smaller and smarter device takes over the scene and performs all of our daily tasks more quickly and more efficiently. However, until such time comes, smartphones are, and will remain, the most important devices in our daily personal and professional lives.
In the past, when mobile phones were just "phones" and had somewhat limited capabilities, there were less functionality to consume the phone's power which meant that the batteries were able to last much longer on a single charge back in the day.
As the mobile phones evolved into smartphones and the functionality increased over the years, the power and battery consumption have also increased to a point where some smartphones batteries need more than one charge to get the users through a day of heavy gaming and watching content on their smartphones, for example.
Thankfully, there are a few things that the user can do to increase his or her battery life in an Android phone. The reason for differentiating between Android phones and iPhones here is mainly because those methods are mostly related to software factors which means that there are no general power saving moves to perform on all types of smartphones.
Battery life vs battery health
Before getting into the details of what steps that mobile experts recommend to preserve your phone's battery lifespan, we need to make the difference clear between the battery life and battery health. These two concepts regarding mobile phones' batteries that are often mixed or mistaken for each other and it is important to tell them apart in order for the users to have realistic expectations of the effects of the tips included in this article.
The main two points that any user is concerned with when it comes to smartphone batteries is how long this battery will be able to power the phone during a single use before needing to be connected to the charger and how long this battery is going to perform in a dependable manner; in other words, how long this battery is going to be functional over the lifetime of the phone. The first aspect is known as the battery life while the second concept is the battery health.
It is important, at this point of our article, to make it clear that there is no way for the user, or repair professionals for that matter, to restore a battery once it has reached the end point of its health. If a battery runs its course and is no longer working properly, the only solution for it is to be replaced.
How to increase the life of your phone's battery ?
So, this article is strictly about giving you, the smartphone user, tips on how to save your Android phone battery power and increase its life between the times that you have to plug it into the charger cable. Since this article is focusing on Android phones, all of these methods will be focusing on saving battery power using apps and, in some cases, not using apps.
Turn off your GPS
For many smartphone users, GPS is just an option that you turn on and off from your phone's settings. For engineers and communication specialists, however, GPS is a very expensive service that costs a lot of money as it requires the phone to communicate with 3-4 satellites to determine its location. Money is not the only resource that GPS uses in order to merely function, it also has to use up your phone's data and battery power. A part of how much battery life GPS uses is due to that GPS prevents the phone from quickly going into and out of sleep mode which prevents the battery from retaining its power.
Now, there are two ways to remedy this issue. The first one would be to shut off your phone's GPS altogether from the main settings of the phone. However, this would render most of your smartphone's functionalities useless. So, to find a middle ground between preserving your Android phone's battery life and preserving the functionality of your smartphone, you can go into your applications' settings individually, choose the apps that unnecessarily uses GPS permissions, and turn the GPS off for those specific apps.
Turn on the Dark mode
If your Android phone is a Samsung phone, or any other smartphone that has an AMOLED or OLED display, choosing a dark theme will help you to preserve your battery life. The idea behind having a dark screen on an OLED screen is that those screen are specifically designed to show the darkest black smartphones are able to display. To achieve this dark black, the OLED screen will disable certain pixels which will save some of the display's battery consumption.
Don't use Automatic WiFi
One conclusive proof of the fact that smartphones increases their battery life consumption as their makers try to make them smarter devices than they already are, is the Android Oreo upgrade that makes the phone constantly look for open WiFi to connect to. Don't think that your phone won't do this just because you have a later version of Android than Oreo. This is an update that works on all the versions that come afterwards.
Also, turning your WiFi won't do the trick as the OS of your phone will keep looking for networks to connect to in order to be ready to connect once you enable your phone's WiFi. It may seem too annoying when you consider it from the battery stand point. However, when you consider that it makes using your phone and the internet much easier and more convenient, you can see how this is a useful feature.
Luckily, there is a way to stop this functionality and save the battery life it wastes. Rather than turning off or disabling the WiFi, you will need to go into your settings and turn off the "automatically turn on the WiFi" feature. The name may differ from one phone to the other, but you will most definitely find it under the "Network & Internet" settings menu.
Check what apps are running in the background
One of the biggest mistakes that mobile phone users in terms of wasting their phone's battery life is leaving apps running in the multi-task state of the phone. This problem appears mostly with users of the older age group as they think that minimizing an app and returning to the home screen gets rid of the app for them and closes it.
This may seem like a simple problem with an obvious solution which is: make sure to close the apps that you're not currently using. But what about the apps that you can't see running and consuming your phone's battery?
Many apps run in the background even if you don't physically open them or have their screens running in the front. The reason for this is usually that these apps need to constantly update their data and get notifications through to you. To stop these apps from draining your battery, just go your phone's settings, open "apps", then choose advanced, and from this page, you'll be able to see your battery options and restrict which apps can and cannot run in the background.
Stop apps from using data (internet) in the background
Just like GPS needs to use up your data to connect to different satellites to locate the approximate place of your device, other apps need to use data and internet connection to perform multiple different tasks. However, not all of those tasks are an absolute necessity for all mobile phone users. Since consuming data requires also consuming battery power, it is important not to let all of your apps randomly run and consume data in the background.
According to your personal needs and preferences, you will be able to determine which apps that need to be connected to the internet whether your device is connected to a WiFi network or using data. As for the rest, you can limit their data consumption from the phone's settings by turning off their "Background data" option.
Remove apps that consume too much power
While going through the battery and data consumption of the apps that are installed on your mobile phone, it is quite likely to come across apps that you don't use anymore, haven't used in a while, or downloaded them a long time ago thinking that they would be useful at some point, but haven't really benefited from them since.
You can do your Android phone's battery a huge favor by removing these apps that take up space, power, and memory for no reason.
Try the "Lite" version of your apps
One of the Android phone users dilemma is having important apps that are battery draining. For example, social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Messenger are absolutely necessary to keep up with your everyday contacts and posts and, for many people, business as well.
The battery-friendly solution in the cases of such apps is to use the Lite versions of them which are designed specifically to reduce the battery and data consumption of your phone.
There are several other ways that enable you to keep your mobile battery life in check. However, other measures may be considered restrictive to some users and may get in the way of enjoying the smartphone. This is why it is important to choose battery saving methods that are compatible with your phone usage needs.