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September 22, 2017

How to Get the Most Smartphone Battery Life When You're Out and About

Whether you’re traveling for work or running a long day’s worth of errands, chances are that you find yourself away from a phone charger on a regular basis. While the obvious choice is to invest in a power bank, what do you do if you forget your power bank at home, or even forget to charge it? Don’t worry too much; there are plenty of ways you can tweak your smartphone settings to ensure a full day of battery use.

Use Auto-Brightness Adjustment

The worst offender when it comes to battery discharge is your screen’s brightness. It takes a lot of juice to keep your device screen illuminated, and if you’re running errands and going back and forth between indoor and outdoor lighting, constantly changing your brightness settings can drain your battery even worse. Instead, rely on your phone’s auto-brightness adjustment feature. It automatically detects lighting conditions through your phone’s camera sensor and adjusts your brightness accordingly.

Run an Ad Blocker

Whether you’re browsing the web or using the Facebook app, ads are an egregious offender when it comes to battery life by forcing video, Flash animation, sound, and pop-ups. Both Android and iPhone have popular ad blocking apps available in the Google Play Store and App Store, which let you configure the level of ad protection to match your needs.For Android, try AdBlock Plus, which you can tweak to block specific types of ad content. If you have an iPhone, then 1Blocker is a good choice designed specifically for Apple devices, and you can choose between free or premium functionality. As a bonus, ad blockers also help protect your smartphone against malware, so it’s a wise idea to run one 24/7.

smartphone battery life

Stay Cool

Nickel and lithium-ion batteries discharge more quickly when the device temperature rises above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Maximize your battery life by staying in air-conditioned spaces. Especially if you’re doing processor-intensive tasks on your phone that naturally cause the device temperature to rise. Keeping your battery from overheating helps to extend its long-term health, too. Regular overheating diminishes the battery capacity so you may not get the typical 2-3 years of life if your phone regularly stays hot.

Disable GPS

Even when you’re not actively using your phone to route directions or play Pokémon Go, your phone’s GPS is constantly working to make location-specific suggestions or tag photos and video with location information. If you’re facing a long day away from the phone charger and don’t need location services, you should disable your GPS feature to help preserve your phone’s battery life.

Say No to Push Notifications

Chances are, your phone sends push notifications for nearly every app you have. When push notifications are enabled, your phone constantly scans that app for updates so it knows when to send a notification, so even if you haven’t received a new e-mail lately, your e-mail app is still constantly demanding attention from your battery. Disable push notifications from any apps that you don’t absolutely need a play-by-play from, especially social media or communication apps that are likely to get frequent updates.

Charge the Old-Fashioned Way

The previous tips are sure to help you out in the moment when you need to extend your battery life. However, if you’re interested in keeping your battery’s maximum capacity intact for as long as possible, then say no to the “quick-charge” feature that brags it can charge your phone from 0% to 100% in just 60 minutes. This feature is extremely hard on lithium-ion batteries, which prefer a slow and steady charge and discharge cycle. In the long run, your phone’s battery is much happier with frequent, consistent charges at a low voltage, so your standard charger will do just fine.

Still Having Battery Trouble?

Sometimes you’ve tried every solution and your battery still seems to discharge more quickly than you’d like. Running a mobile diagnostic test can help identify problems with the battery itself, or processor issues with the phone that affect the battery life. It can also point out user patterns that lead to overly fast battery discharge, such as checking Facebook too frequently or leaving your GPS on when it’s not in use.Depending on how heavy your smartphone use tends to be, it may take some tweaking to find the best way to maximize your battery life. Besides auto-brightness, ad blockers, temperature control, and turning off push notifications, you may want to try closing out extra apps that are running in the background but not currently being used. If you follow these tips, you’ll never be caught out with a dead battery again.

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