We couldn’t imagine life without our reliable desktop computers a decade back, and now it feels like we are living in a stone age whenever we don’t have access to our smartphones. Smartphones have become a daily part of our life. We check it as soon as we wake up in the morning for checking new emails and notifications and watch a few videos on it before going to bed. The modern smartphones we evolved a lot in terms of processing power and imaging quality. However, battery backup / battery life is the only thing which keeps us from using our smartphones to their fullest potential.
A smartphone having long battery life was considered a myth a few years back. Apple iPhone was notorious for its poor battery backup so were its Android counterparts.
The current smartphone market has a lot of Android mobiles having great battery backup, but they are not affordable to everyone as they cost Rs. 40,000 (~ $700) and above.
But, if you purchase an old flagship/ mid-range phone, then you can easily increase its battery backup with the following tricks and optimizations:
1. Install Greenify
Greenify is the first app that I install whenever I change my Android smartphone.
If your Android phone has started to lag and has its battery backup greatly reduced by some reason, then Greenify should be able to fix it.
Greenify works by putting misbehaving apps into hibernation, freeing up RAM in the process. It also improve battery backup as the hibernated apps don’t use the CPU. All you have to do is to add the apps to Greenify and then create a hibernation shortcut. Now go to Accessibility under Settings andturn ON Greenify Service. That’s it.
Caution: Greenified apps cannot provide any notifications. It is advised to not Greenify important apps like Instant messengers, alarm, etc. unless you know what you are doing.
2. Use a battery saving app that puts inactive apps to Deep Sleep
I am sure that you might have tried tens of battery saving apps and have settled upon using some battery saving app.
The in-built battery saver in most of the phone doesn’t do much expect turning off radios, reducing screen brightness, turning off vibrations, etc. when the battery level touches a certain threshold. This doesn’t improve the efficiency of your phone. And that is why you must use a battery saving app.
For phones running on Qualcomm chip, Snapdragon BatteryGuru is one of the best battery saving app. It learns your usage pattern for 2-4 days and then extends the battery life without disabling any functionality of the phone.
We highly recommend using a battery saving app along with Greenify for maximizing the battery backup.
3. Uninstall apps that you don’t use frequently
Uninstalling infrequently used apps doesn’t have any direct effect on the battery life. But, if those apps were running continuously in the background then you will see a noticeable boost in your phone’s performance and its battery life. The examples of such apps include social networking apps, instant messengers, etc.
You must always uninstall the social networking apps and instant messaging apps which you don’t use.
4. Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile data, GPS, and Location Services when not in use
We turn ON Wi-Fi whenever we reach our workplace or home but forget to turn it off when we leave. Similar is the case with Bluetooth. If you are sharing something via Bluetooth, then your system app will notify you to turn it ON, but never reminds you to turn it OFF after the transfer is complete.
You should always remember to turn off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios when not in use. Mobile data consumes a lot of battery so turning it off can provide your phone with a few extra hours of extra battery life.
GPS suddenly becomes our best friend in unknown locations by providing exact directions to our destination, but also eats up the battery very quickly.
You must never keep your GPS always ON. Location services on the other hand, show us notifications related to our current location. If you don’t rely too much on Google Now, then it would be a good idea to turn off location services by disabling Wi-Fi and Mobile Network Location.
5. Set brightness to ZERO and then enable Auto Brightness
You should always enable auto brightness if your phone supports it.
A Very bright display not only causes significant battery drain but is also bad for the eyes.
If your phone has an ambient light sensor then you must always set brightness to auto mode.
Many phones, like those LG, have different kind of auto brightness mode. The auto brightness changes the brightness level as a function of user selected brightness value. You should do some experiment and find out the optimum brightness level for your usage.
I keep my LG Optimus G’s brightness level somewhere between 40-75% before enabling auto mode.
6. Don’t strain your battery too much
Most of the latest phones have Li-Ion batteries inside them which don’t need to be fully charged or discharged regularly to stay healthy.
Lithium batteries love shallow discharges. You should use them between 20-80% charge levels as often as you can. Full discharge should only be carried out once in 3-4 months.
This will keep your battery healthy in the long run and hence will help you get the most out of your smartphone by extending its battery life.
7. Avoid using Live and Parallax wallpapers
Live and parallax wallpapers keep the CPU very busy even if no app is running in the background when you are at the homescreen.
So, avoiding such wallpapers will save you a few percent of your battery charge by the end of the day.
8. Set your display to turn off after minimum possible time
It is very important to set your display to turn off (screen timeout) after minimum possible time (15 sec or 30 sec). This won’t have too much effect on the battery backup unless you are using live/parallax wallpapers with a screen timeout of 2 minutes or more.
But who would mind getting even a few minutes of extra battery life?
9. Disable touch sounds and vibrate on touch
Yes, I agree that touch sounds and vibrate on touch seems like cool harmless features which don’t take a toll on the battery life, but they don’t run on air.
The touch sounds might also annoy someone sitting close to you. So, we would advise you disable these settings.
10. Disable auto-sync for apps that are not important
Auto-sync is very nifty feature which checks for updates and notifications at regular intervals when connected to the internet. It does this by not letting the apps requiring auto-sync go to deep sleep. This can take a huge toll on the battery if you have too many apps to be updated.
I would suggest that you disable auto-sync for all the but for important apps like email, WhatsApp, etc.
11. Use a service provider having good network coverage
Have you ever noticed that your phone has better battery backup at your friend’s place than your home?
This is because of the fact that you receive poor signal at your home causing your phone to do more work and hence consuming more battery juice.
If you receive very poor signal strength at your home, then we’ll advice you to switch to an operator proving excellent signal strength in your area.
This will have a significant effect on battery drainage in standby mode.
12. Enable Airplane mode in areas with Poor Network Coverage
The explanation behind this point is similar to what I explained in the previous point.
I would highly recommend turning on Airplane mode when you are travelling in the country side with no/poor network connectivity.
The point is, your phone is never going to catch signal when there is none. So, why drain the battery for nothing?
13. Keep your Phone to Stock Settings
The more you customize the look and feel of your stock operating system, the lesser will be its power efficiency. The logic behind this is very simple. The cool transition effects that you fell in love with take up CPU processing time. So, running such launchers consumes more battery life than the stock launcher.
In case you absolutely hate your stock UI, then I would suggest that you try something with very less and basic transition effects like Nova Launcher with default theme.
14. Always keep your smartphones updated to the latest OS
The latest firmware updates not only bring in more features along with bug fixes, but also come with performance improvements leading to more performance out of the same hardware.
This also means that the latest firmware available for your Android phone might also pack in improvements for the battery backup.
Are there any tips for improving the battery backup of iPhone & Windows Phones too?
Yes, of course.
The above mentioned tips apply to every smartphone in the market. These steps that I’ve mentioned are somewhat specific to the Android users, but if you do some digging then you will easily find how to do similar processes on iPhone, Windows Phone, and Blackberry smartphone.
If all of the above tricks apply to your usage style, then you can expect your battery life to be elongated by quite a significant amount. The first 2 points will alone help you increase the battery backup of your Android phone by 10-15% at least.