Skip to main content

5 tips to extend your phone’s battery life

Battery technology is continuing to improve, but ultimately struggles to keep pace with the sheer number of applications and processes that we demand from the modern smartphone.

Read more: Dyson invests £10m in tech that could double battery life

The classic Nokia 3310 lasted about a week on a full charge, while modern day handsets do well to last a single day. However, until battery tech can provide us with unlimited energy so we can play Candy Crush all day, every day, there are a few simple tips to follow for getting more out of your smartphone battery.

Disable non-essential notifications

Disabling push notifications, the ones that appear at the top of your phone even when you aren’t using that particular app, can give your battery that little extra boost that sees it through to the end of the day.

You probably won’t want to disable all the notifications that you receive, particularly if they’re work-related like incoming emails, but there are so many apps looking to push information your way that some of them are bound to be unnecessary. Gaming apps in particular can be an energy drain, informing you of new high scores or new levels being made available.

Next time you receive a notification, ask yourself if it is really useful and if not, disable it. The process varies from device to device, but if you go to your handset’s settings and then click applications, you should be able to stop them coming through.

Lower screen brightness

Although you don’t want to be carrying a torch around with you in order to see your smartphone screen, dimming the display will result in a noticeably improved battery performance.

Often smartphones will include an auto-brightness feature, which means that the display will automatically adjust to the amount of light in your surroundings. Of course, if your handset doesn’t come with this feature built-in, it’s still worth checking if you can reduce your screen brightness. Even a small decrease can result in battery conservation.

Stop background apps

Just because you’ve exited an application, doesn’t mean that it has stopped running, and background apps can be a constant drain on your battery.

The ability to “kill” apps is built-in to some handsets, but there are also a number of apps that provide the service from both Google Play and the App Store. Some, like Advanced Task Killer, can auto-kill apps that are using memory even when not running.

Download a battery saver app

There are a whole host of battery saving apps available across Android and iOS that will help you manage those juice guzzling smartphone features. They are completely customisable, so you won’t have to compromise functionality in order to conserve power.

Often the main focus is on automatically managing the phone’s Internet connection via Wi-Fi and mobile data packages. Essentially, these applications look to disable or reduce certain battery draining features when your phone is idle, but return your handset to full capacity instantly when you need it.

It is, however, important to select a highly-rated battery app as there are plenty of dud versions on the market. Some task killers can actually cause your battery to drain more quickly if they do not kill apps completely.

Go offline

Although it may seem counterintuitive to take your smartphone offline, switching off the Internet connection will save a huge amount of energy and removes another distraction from your day.

Read more: Is battery life the most important smartphone feature?

Obviously, this isn’t something you’ll want to do for long periods, but if you aren’t expecting an important email or online message, then why not switch off your Wi-Fi and mobile data? Smartphones are hugely enabling, but can become something of an addiction, so going offline can give you more battery life and make you more productive.

Barclay Ballard
Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.