Optimizing Battery Performance: How to Make Your Mobile Device Last Longer

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Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our phones. We love how this little block of glass, metal, and circuitry helps us stay connected to the world, capture memories with a snap, and access a wealth of information in the blink of an eye. However, this convenience comes with the frustration of continuously keeping our eyes glued to the battery life. 

Moreover, it seems our phones always choose the most inconvenient of times to run out of juice. We have a long way to go until the battery performance of modern phones can match our appetite for usage. Until then, all we can do is maximize what we have with a few simple tweaks and hope the extra few minutes or hours are enough to last us until we’re within range of a power outlet. Take a look at some of the suggestions below to optimize your phone’s battery performance.


Optimize Screen Brightness and Timeout

Out of all the components that make up your phone, it’s the display that consumes the most power. If you have a larger screen size then you’re likely running out of battery faster because each pixel (out of the thousands that make up your display) draws power continuously when your screen is on. You’ll save more power when you’re not using your phone but it’s hardly the solution. You need to use your phone and fortunately, there are four ways you can limit your display’s power consumption.

  1. Turn down your screen brightness and only raise it to the max when you’re out in the sun. 
  2. Turn off the always-on display as it drains the battery four times faster.
  3. Set a short screen timeout duration in case you have a habit of forgetting to turn off the screen.
  4. Use a dark wallpaper and dark mode when you need some serious savings.


Disable Location, Bluetooth, and WiFi

After the display, it’s the hardware components such as GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi that draw the most amount of power. In fact, when you use GPS in weak signal areas, it can deplete the battery by over 30% as it continuously pings your location. This is why it’s always best to turn off these features when they’re not in use. Many phones have settings that you can toggle on to turn off Bluetooth and hotspots when no mobile accessories are connected to them.


Limit Background Activity

Your phone loses battery even when it’s not in use because of background processes, system hardware, and app activities such as live wallpapers, widgets, push notifications, and auto updates. You don’t need every single app on your phone sending you alerts and neither does your phone’s battery. So do both a favor and turn off all non-essential notifications. 

You should also limit which hardware processes apps have access to in the background. This includes location, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Most phones these days have the option to choose whether you want to allow the app access to these features always or only when you’re using the app. Another good practice to save juice is to close apps in the app switcher when you’re done using them.


Keep Your Battery Sufficiently Charged

Many of us are guilty of letting our phone’s battery drain completely or leaving our phones plugged in to charge overnight, not realizing that both can harm the battery’s health in the long run. Lithium-ion batteries are complex and although most of them have built-in protection circuits to prevent overcharge and discharge, it can still put a strain on the battery over time. To maintain your battery’s longevity and charge-holding capacity, don’t let it drop below 20% too frequently or keep charging after it hits 100%. 


Use Power Saving Mode

When you’re in a stitch and need to preserve as much of the battery life as possible, go to your phone’s settings and toggle on the power-saving mode. Every phone has this handy setting that shuts down all unnecessary system processes and optimizes the phone to conserve power in critical situations—you need your phone for more than watching videos or listening to music after all. Some phones even have an ultra power-saving mode that conserves every last drop of battery life possible.


Monitor App Battery Usage and Battery Health

Do you know which apps on your phone consume the most power? If not, take a look at the battery option in your settings and you’ll find a breakdown of exactly where all that juice has been going the last 24 hours. You can use this data to limit your usage of power-hogging apps and maximize your battery life. You’ll also find helpful information about your phone’s battery health that can help you determine when you need to get the battery replaced.


Update Apps and Operating System

Keeping your apps and operating system updated is one of the easiest ways to boost your battery life as new patches and releases contain bug fixes and optimizations that improve how battery life is utilized. You don’t even have to go out of your way to update each app individually. You can simply enable automatic updates when connected to WiFi in your settings and keep your phone in peak performance.


Final Thoughts

Extending your battery life through the tips shared above may seem like limiting your phone’s functionality. However, unless you’re willing to carry around additional phone accessories such as a battery case or power bank (which is actually recommended), these are the only ways to ensure your phone doesn’t give you the dreaded low battery warning when you’re only halfway through the day. Make smart choices on which features to keep on or off and the extended juice will be worth the trade-off.

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