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Smartphone Battery Life: How to Extend the Life of Your Smartphone Battery

Smartphone Battery Life: How to Extend the Life of Your Smartphone Battery

While the latest smartphones now offer advanced features like fingerprint access, 4K screens, and cameras that rival DSLRs, it might come as a surprise that the battery life of these phones is increasing as well.

In fact, the latest Galaxy phone now boasts a  smartphone battery that experts claim will last up to 12 hours and 35 minutes.

Unfortunately, while many smartphones start out with long battery life, that is rapidly depleted as we use them. Whether you love playing games or scrolling through social media, or you require your phone for work, the more you use your phone, the more your battery suffers.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do about it. Keep reading to learn a few tips and strategies to extend your smartphone battery.

Avoid Extreme Temps

If you’ve ever noticed camera companies advertising equipment designed to stand up to extreme temperatures, you might have wondered just why exactly regular cameras can’t stand the heat or chill.

Cameras-like that smartphone in your pocket-contain lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries offer plenty of neat perks. They charge very quickly, compared to other types of batteries. They also don’t need to be completely depleted before you recharge them. In fact, it’s best to not let them die completely before plugging them in (more on that later).

But the downside to lithium-ion batteries is that extreme temperatures, in particular, the cold, can cause their lifespan to rapidly diminish.

One study in Canada on lithium-ion smartphone batteries was conducted during a recent Polar Vortex when sub-zero temperatures were experienced. The study found that an iPhone lost 14 percent of its charge in just 30 minutes when exposed to -18 degree Celsius weather. 

A control phone kept in warmer temp lost just 1 percent of its charge in the same length of time and level of use.

If you want to keep the cold temps from zapping your battery, it’s best to keep it protected when you do venture outside. Store it in an inner pocket of your coat, or even consider leaving it inside while you run outside to shovel snow.

Extreme heat can also deplete battery power, and even put your phone at risk of overheating. Avoid leaving your smartphone in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Don’t Let Your Phone Die

One old myth that still gets brought up from time to time is that you should let your smartphone battery drain all the way to 0 percent before you charge it again.

This myth was once rooted in fact; older smartphone models feature rechargeable batteries with “battery memory.” If you didn’t allow these batteries to drain fully, they recorded this and over time would reduce the range of charge.

Instead, owners were instructed to let their phone batteries die completely and then charge them fully, before using them again.

But the days of “battery memory” are over. Now, modern smartphone batteries actually aren’t designed to be fully depleted. Doing so puts stress on the battery. The same happens if they are charged completely.

Instead, it’s best to charge your phone once it reaches 20 percent, and only charge it until it reaches 90 percent.

Alternatively, you can stick to shorter charges, topping off your battery as long as you stay about 10 percent away from a full charge.

Slow Your Charging Down

Fast chargers have become popular tech tools in recent years.

Many of these chargers promise to boost your battery in just minutes, often charging a phone completely in as little as an hour.

If you need to use your phone for work or if you’re constantly checking in on social media and can’t stand to be without your phone, waiting for it to charge, one of these chargers might be a good investment. But keep in mind that you might be sacrificing the long term health of your battery in the process.

Those fast chargers put extra stress on your smartphone every time you use them. Over time, this stress can shorten the lifespan of your battery. Soon, it will no longer be able to hold the charge it once could.

As mentioned above, this happens any time you charge your smartphone anyway. But regular charger put less stress on your battery, slowing the process.

To extend the lifespan of your battery, even more, you can choose a gentler method of charging. Plugging your smartphone into your computer, or searching for a smart plug designed to limit voltage are all better choices.

Some external battery packs also feature a lower voltage and might be safer for your battery.

Keep in mind that these chargers will take longer to power your phone back up to 100 percent. You’ll need to leave yourself plenty of time to charge your smartphone before you need it again.

Run Your Updates

Running updates on your smartphone will drain the battery at first, leading many users to put them off.

But not running them can cause even more battery drain.

Some updates are actually designed to extend your phone’s battery. Others help prevent glitches that drain the battery.

Whatever the case, running these updates as soon as possible after they are released can help ensure that you don’t end up keeping around software that’s harming your battery life.

Choose a Different Theme

Many modern smartphones now feature an OLED screen. This form of the LED screen offers a different way of saving power on your mobile phone battery, simply by choosing a different screen theme.

Your screen theme is the color of the background, apps, and other features of your home screen, messaging screen, and other pages.

When an OLED screen is set to a dark theme, it doesn’t have to work as hard. That’s because rather than blocking out the backlight in order to display black, it simply doesn’t display anything.

This can drastically reduce the battery power necessary to power your screen. Plus, it makes the other colors on your screen pop, which may just help you better see your screen even with the brightness turned down.

Of course, if you have an older smartphone that doesn’t have an OLED screen, choosing that darker theme won’t do anything for your battery life.

Reduce Your Screen Brightness

One of the fastest things to zap your smartphone battery is one that can be tricky to reduce.

Your smartphone’s screen is often the component that takes up the most of your battery charge. But if you have trouble seeing, are trying to use your phone outside, or are simply adjusted to a brighter screen, you might hesitate to reduce it.

Auto brightness can help with this. It will automatically adjust your screen brightness based on the amount of light around you. This does still draw power, as it makes your phone’s light sensor work over time.

But if you’re someone who usually leaves your brightness turned all the way up, this should extend the life of your battery some.

Another option is to manually adjust the brightness of your screen. When you’re outside in bright sunlight, you might need to turn it up to see. Indoors and in the shade, however, you don’t need it to be very high to still easily see your screen.

This takes the least amount of battery power but does require a little work and a lot of memory on your part.

Let Your Screen Time Out

One way to keep your screen brightness, not to mention other battery drainers, from zapping your power is to reduce your screen time out time.

Your screen “times out,” or turns itself off, after a set amount of time. You can control that amount of time, though many smartphone owners leave it at the factory setting. For some phones, that could be as long as 2 minutes.

Even if you usually switch your phone screen off when you aren’t using it, you’re bound to forget from time to time or accidentally turn your screen on in your pocket or purse.

If your screen doesn’t time out for 30 seconds, a minute, or even 2 or more, your phone’s battery will feel the effect. 

Reducing your screen time out to 30 seconds or less can prevent this. It will take some getting used to. You’ll no doubt get annoyed as you adjust to your screen going black in seconds instead of minutes. 

But when you’re able to use your smartphone for a day or longer on a single charge, you’ll be grateful for the switch.

Get Rid of Apps that Drain Battery

Everything you do on your smartphone drains battery power. But if you aren’t going to send texts, make phone calls, or buy concert tickets on the go, then you probably don’t need a smartphone anyway.

However, some apps drain more power than others and maybe ones you can live without in order to keep your battery from draining.

One notorious battery drainer is Facebook. The average Facebook user spends 135 minutes on the social media platform every day. Much of that time is spent scrolling through the mobile phone app.

It’s not just the amount of time we’re spending on the app that’s draining our phones’ power supplies. It’s also the app itself.

Facebook features video audio play, so videos play automatically as you scroll through your feed. It checks in on your location to send you targeted ads and update your posts. It also sends lots of notifications.

All of these features drain your phone’s battery. You can go into your settings and turn off notifications, autoplay, and GPS location on your phone. Or you can do your battery a favor and get rid of the app completely.

Maybe stick to scrolling social media on your tablet instead.

You can also go into your phone’s settings and check to see which other apps are draining the most power. Turn them off so that they don’t use power unless you’re actively using them. And get rid of the apps that you no longer use; they may still be using power, even if you no longer open them.

Invest in the Ad-Free Version

If there are apps that you want to continue to use, but that you know are draining your battery, there is one thing you can do; buy the ad-free version.

Displaying ads, and especially those that move (looking at you, Candy Crush), does draw extra power from your battery. 

While utilizing an ad-free version won’t save you hours of battery, it can make a difference in apps you use frequently.

Replace Your Broken Screen

If you’ve ever dropped your phone and picked it up to find a tiny crack or a vivid web of cracks, you’re far from alone. In fact, on average, Americans break two smartphone screens every single second of the day.

Whether it’s your first cracked screen or you’ve had dozens in the past, it can be tempting to keep using your phone as long as possible without replacing it. After all, getting it replaced by your phone carrier can cost you hundreds of dollars.

But doing so can actually hurt your battery in the process. 

When your screen is cracked, it may click apps or turn on your screen when it’s not in use, draining your battery power. You’ll end up charging it more often as a result. Soon, you’ll need to replace your screen and your battery in order to use your phone again!

Don’t get stuck having to do major repairs on your phone. Get your phone screen replaced after a crack to protect your battery. Then, invest in a better case of screen protector so that it doesn’t happen again.

Extending Your Smartphone Battery

If you’re sick of having to charge your phone halfway through the day, it’s time to put some of these tricks and tips to work.

Unfortunately, if your smartphone is old and your battery is already severely stressed, even these strategies might not be enough to get you through the day on a single charge.

Don’t rush out and spend thousands of dollars on a new phone.

Instead, it might be time for a new smartphone battery. We can help with that. Check out our cell phone repair services to see how we can help you get a new, powerful battery back in your smartphone so you can extend the life of your smartphone without sacrificing actually using it!

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