How to extend the battery life of your mobile

01 September 2015 ( 20 July 2017 )

If your smartphone battery just won’t last the day, here are some simple tips to help it go the distance.

Most of us are so accustomed to life with our smartphones, we feel lost when the battery dies and we're unable to check our email or access our contacts. 

If your battery often doesn’t last the day, these tips should help it go the distance.

Make your battery last all day

There's nothing more annoying than seeing your smartphone battery getting critically low at 2 or 3pm and knowing you can’t recharge it. 

Here are five things you can do to squeeze a few more hours out of it:

  • Adjust the brightness level of the screen down to a readable level. Most of us really only need full brightness when we're out in the sun.
  • Turn off the vibration. The vibration can be handy when your phone's in your pocket but every time your phone vibrates, it’s draining power from your battery.
  • Turn off functions you don't need. If GPS, Bluetooth or WiFi functions are left on, they are quietly gobbling up power. If you don't need them, turn them off.
  • Don't use animated wallpaper. It might be entertaining, but it’s an energy drain.
  • Don’t play games or watch videos. Games and videos can be great when you need to pass some time, but they’re also a surefire way to cut your battery life in half.

Handy apps 

You could also try using a battery saving app. Some of the more popular ones include: Battery Doctor for Android or iPhone; Juice Defender for Androids and Battery Lover for Blackberry. 

Just type in the name of the app you need on your device’s app download centre to find them.

And while turning your phone off for short periods of time can seem like a good idea, it uses a lot of power to start it up again. Turn your smartphone off if you know you won’t need it for a few hours, otherwise don’t risk it.

10 essential smartphone apps

Make your battery last longer

The rules of extending battery life have changed since manufacturers switched to lithium ion batteries. If you have a new phone, find out which type of battery it has and follow these directions:

  • If it’s a nickel-based battery, your first charge should be a full 16 hours. After that, fully charge it and allow it to fully discharge for a further two to four charge cycles. Taking these steps will help extend its life. After that, you can fully charge a nickel-based battery.
  • If it's a lithium ion battery, charge it for five to six hours initially. After that, it's better to charge it to about 80 percent capacity and avoid letting it fully discharge. About once a month, deliberately let it fully discharge to allow the battery to ‘re-calibrate’.

Nothing reduces a battery’s life more than heat. Although storing your phone in the fridge isn’t practical, try to avoid letting it overheat. 

Leaving your phone in the sun or in a hot car will drain the battery faster and also shorten your overall battery life.

There’s really no sense having a smartphone if you can’t use all of its features. Just be sure you’re not accidentally using more features than you need. 

Experiment for a few days and find the right balance between battery life and the things you need to get the most out of your phone.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.