Get a (better) battery life

Jul 18, 2012, 11:16 IST | Nimish Dubey

The days when you could charge your phone a couple of times in a week and get by comfortably are history. Here's how to eke out more from your smartphone's battery

Not so bright, please
Phone displays have been getting bigger and brighter over the years. While a bright, large display is easy to read and grabs eyeballs, it also drains battery. In most phones, the display is the biggest battery draining factor of all. In most cases, you can read quite comfortably at half of the highest brightness levels, so turn it up to the maximum only when you really need it.

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Use 3G with caution
3G lets you make video calls, play multiplayer games and surf the Internet with ease. It also butchers your battery — use 3G to its full potential and your phone’s battery will struggle to last even a single day. Switching to 2G/EDGE when you do not need blazingly fast Internet speeds. Your call quality will not be affected and even online tasks like push mail work well on 2G.

Careful with gaming and videos
There was a time when you could spend hours playing Minesweeper and Snake with no fear of battery life. But mobile games today are more complex and rich in multimedia, and tax the battery much more. Watching films and videos too does no wonders for the battery. So if you’re running low on juice, the last thing you need is a mobile gaming and/or film session.

Go easy on multi-tasking
If you like to keep half a dozen apps open and running on your phone and switch from one to another, then you should not stray too far from a power socket. Running all those apps — be they chat, office suites, browsers, or games — saps the phone’s battery. The more apps you try using together, the lower your phone’s battery life will be.

Do a background check
Reduce the number of notifications you receive or space them out. Set your phone to check mails and updates at longer intervals. The fewer apps that run in the background, accessing the Internet and pulling information from it, the longer your phone’s battery will last. Android users check if the apps you exit have actually shut down or are running in the background, merrily chewing up battery.

When not needed, stay disconnected
Rare is the phone today which does not come with a host of connectivity options, ranging from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth to GPS. While these do enable you to connect your phone to other devices, they also guzzle the battery if left running accidentally. So if you are not using a particular connectivity option, make sure you switch it off by checking the Settings menu.

Get a battery manager
If you’d rather not spend time fiddling around with settings and checking which apps are running and when, just grab a battery manager app like Juice Defender or Battery Manager Pro. These are designed to ensure that you get the most out of your phone’s battery by automatically tweaking settings and shutting down apps that drain battery. You will have to set it up and prioritise what needs to be shut down, reduced and when. But once done, you can focus on working and leave the battery tweaking to the manager. 

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