Nowadays, super-powerful slim smartphones, tablets and multitask foldables make it possible to get through the day so lightly – until your battery runs out and you’re forced to pull out a portable power bank, or worse, sit next to a wall outlet for an hour to keep your device running for a bit longer.
If your phone struggles to keep up with your busy daily schedule, or you’re just somewhere outdoors with no access to electricity and need your phone to help you survive, here are some tips to help you keep it going all day long:
1. Reduce the brightness of your screen
Especially for larger and higher pixel-count screens (that is, for devices with more pixels), decreasing your screen’s brightness can extend your battery life significantly. It is likely that you may need your phone at 100% brightness only if being outdoors during midday when the sun is the strongest and brightest.
At any other time, you might want to set your phone’s brightness to 75 per cent or less, just enough for satisfactory readability. If you’re using Android, you can change this in Settings > Display or using a quick toggle by swiping down from the Notifications bar.
On iOS devices, you can change the brightness either in a quick swipe down/up Control Centre or in Settings > Display & Brightness which also includes other useful features such as Night Shift mode or Automatic settings which changes the brightness of your screen automatically depending on outside conditions – how much light gets to the ambient light sensor (mostly built-in by the front top side of your phone). Make sure this function is turned on.
2. For high display refresh rate phones – Turn on the adaptive refresh rate
In addition, many high-end devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy S21, Poco X3 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 11, etc. got much better screen refresh rates up to 120Hz, providing smoother viewing but also at the same time, drawing power away faster.
In this case, if your phone supports such a feature, you can turn on an adaptive refresh rate setting so that the device will adjust depending on what are you doing with your phone or what content you are viewing (different refresh rate for reading an ebook, browsing the web, movie watching videos or playing games), which will preserve your battery life even further.
If you are not keen on using the higher refresh rate, you may always turn it down to the standard setting to preserve your battery power.
3. Use dark themes and wallpapers
This also results in a noticeable reduction in the power consumption of your phone. You can find plenty of dark coloured wallpapers in your phone’s Settings > Background (varies from brand to brand). Some phones such as Samsung S21 or iPhones have a feature called Dark Mode, which is purposefully designed to improve battery life and be more gentle on your eyes during the evening. Most of the systems (user interfaces) will also allow you to set a certain time of the day when you want the Dark mode to turn on.
3. Reduce the amount of time your screen stays on
Keeping your screen off when you’re not using it can also save you plenty of valuable battery power. You will also find this feature under Settings > Display where you can set your screen to timeout anywhere from 10 minutes down to a couple of seconds
4. Turn off or change the settings for power-draining apps
The vast majority of apps are busy bees, constantly downloading content and providing notifications while you’re on the go, always connected via LTE while running in the background without you even noticing. There are several options available.
On Android phones, by going to Settings > Battery you can check which apps are consuming too much battery power and press Force Stop to terminate them. By doing this, the app will turn off together with all of its processes. You can then turn everything back on, simply by opening the app again.
On Samsung phones, for example, by going to Settings > Battery and Device Care > Battery > Background Usage Limits you can check which apps are consuming too much battery power and put them to sleep.
On iPhones, to check what apps eat most of your valuable battery life, head to Settings > Battery and slide down to see the most consuming apps. By tapping on them, you can also reveal more detailed statistics of how long you have used the app and for how long the app has been running in the background in the last 24 hours.
To turn off the battery consuming app or to adjust its settings (not to use Location Services, Mobile data, to turn off App’s notifications, or even exclude it from Siri & Search results and to turn off tracking) you then head to Settings and scroll down to find the app you’d like to modify.
If you’re using apps like Google Maps, Spotify, Netflix, or other streaming services, make sure to pre-download maps, playlists, podcasts, and movies over Wi-Fi before you head out. Collectively, all these changes conserve a significant amount of battery life.
5. Use the power-saving mode feature
In extreme situations — like when your battery falls below 15 per cent — you may need to take drastic actions. The power-saving mode on Samsung devices is a smart feature that automatically decreases screen brightness, reduces screen resolution, limits processor speed and stops background network usage. You can adjust each of these settings and see an estimate of the additional battery life you’ll gain with each change.
On most of the smartphones from recent years, there is also an Emergency Mode that helps you to keep your phone on for many more hours by keeping only essential core apps and features running while hibernating all other apps in your phone.
6. Disable your location services
Because so many apps are pinging the GPS chip on your smartphone, not to mention the chip itself (which needs relatively a lot of energy to send and receive the signal from the satellites), it’s one of the biggest power-consuming parts of every smartphone.
There is an option to turn off GPS completely, but that would obviate many important functions.
As an alternative, you can identify which apps are pinging Location and turn off the ones that are unnecessary.
7. Disable data roaming
As with GPS, the 4G and super-fast 5G modems drain a lot of power when the cell signal is poor. While travelling in a remote or mountainous region, you may wish to temporarily turn off data roaming if your battery life is more important to you than connectivity is at the time. Android users can do this under Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks where iPhone users can turn off the data roaming under Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options.
If you’re really desperate to keep your phone on for as long as possible, you may want to turn on Airplane Mode, even though this blocks all service, including Wi-Fi – and then turn it back on, when you actually need it.
If you’re in an area with a poor signal, this will almost completely stop the phone’s battery from being drained by repeating the reconnection process to the nearest cell tower.
These tricks and ways of significantly reducing the battery consumption in your device are usually the most common and reliable ways of power-saving people use. If you have any more handy ways or ideas on how to save valuable battery power, let us know in the comments below.