There are many scenarios where phone battery life becomes a problem.
Like the range anxiety experienced by owners of electric vehicles, a depleted battery soon becomes a major inconvenience in today’s smartphone-reliant society.
But if there isn’t a plug socket to hand, how can you optimise remaining power?
Preserving battery life in an emergency
A battery with less than 20 per cent charge doesn’t have to spell disaster.
These are some of the ways to eke out every last drop of energy:
- Turn off connectivity tools in public. Bluetooth and WiFi are rarely useful outdoors, so switch them off unless either is essential. These connection platforms are constantly searching for connections, draining resources for no real benefit.
- Ensure the phone rings, rather than vibrates. It takes far less battery to play a tune than to make the entire handset pulse. It’s also advisable to turn off vibration and flashing light indicators for text messages, incoming emails or social media updates.
- Avoid lengthy conversations. A low-battery situation isn’t the time to get involved in a WhatsApp group chat, requiring constant internet connectivity and screen/keyboard usage. Plus, tapping the screen while typing is another battery-killer.
- Slash the interval before the screen times out. Some people turn this function off, meaning a phone only goes to sleep when it’s instructed. Activating a 30-second timeout ensures the screen won’t remain illuminated when the device is dormant.
- Enable power-saving mode. Most smartphone manufacturers attempt to preserve energy once charge drops below 15 or 20 per cent. Engage these modes, enabling them to reduce energy consumption.
Extending battery life in normal circumstances
A number of minor day-to-day tweaks could significantly enhance how long a full charge lasts:
- Check network signal strength. Handsets have to work harder in areas with weak cellular coverage. This is worth bearing in mind when choosing a new SIM-only deal, with provider coverage maps clearly identifying network performance across the UK.
- Screen brightness is the single biggest drain on battery power, so reduce it wherever possible. Some devices default to 100 per cent brightness, even though 50 per cent ought to suffice in any environment outwith a sunny day at the beach.
- Monitor app activity. Many applications continue to run even when they’re not in use, so try to avoid apps that constant request or receive data. Android and iOS make it easy to check data usage for each program, identifying resource-hungry software.
- Delete or disable any unwanted programs. Manufacturer bloatware is hard to eliminate, but you should be able to prevent push notifications. Get rid of apps you don’t use – newer versions of Android suggest unused apps for deletion.
- Don’t charge the battery until it’s really low. This sounds counter-intuitive, but charging a half-full battery means only half the cells are being depleted and replenished. Battery life gradually shortens over time, whereas charging from almost empty prolongs its lifespan.