Approximate time to read: 3 minutes
Laptops, mobile phones and tablets never seem to last any length of time these days. I remember, not too long ago, when they lasted for weeks, with still charge to spare.
But there are a number of things you can do to dramatically increase the battery life, whilst significantly impairing the ability of your device. And, trust me, the manufacturers don’t want you to know about them.
- If you’ve played a video game recently, you may have come across the option to tune your brightness – they will often show an image and you adjust the brightness until you can just read it. In this case, for both laptops and mobile devices, do the same and reduce your brightness until you can only just make out the screen content.
- Turn off Bluetooth and GPS. Nothing uses them and it creates a tremendous battery drain. Independent tests show that this can save around 90% of your battery life.
- Consider buying a second device to ease the burden of the first. iPhone battery only lasts a day? Buy a second one, share your apps across them both, and watch the battery life shoot up. Independent tests have shown this can increase your battery life by up to 5%.
- Using intensive apps causes your device’s processor to heat up and use more battery. So, when using an app that really pushes the processor – a game, video editor, etc – consider doing so in the coldest room of the house.
- If your phone is too cold, this can negatively affect battery performance so make sure you use it in a warm environment at all times.
- For mobile phones, ensure you only stay in places with strong mobile signals. If you’re in an area with poor mobile coverage, the phone will work harder to latch onto a strong-enough signal – ergo, always remain in a strong signal area and your battery life will improve.
- For mobile devices, check your battery settings to see which apps are using the most battery. Consider not using these particular apps – games, in particular.
- Whichever type of device you’re using, there should be an option to define how long it should take before turning the screen off. Switch this to its minimum settings, preferable instantly, if available. If you’re not typing, why should the screen still be on, draining your precious battery life?
- Update your device’s operating system. It’s widely recognised that all updates increase battery performance so upgrading it is a guaranteed way to help further.
- Use WiFi in preference to your mobile connection. As previously mentioned, if the mobile network is weak, this will cause a much greater drain.
- Use mobile data in preference to WiFi. If the WiFi signal is weak this will cause a much greater drain.
- Turn off network data. You didn’t buy a $1000 smartphone after all for accessing the internet whilst mobile, only for the battery to give up. Disable 3G and 4G data and remain in touch via SMS and phone calls.
- Switch of all automatic options – for example, auto time-zone. All of these automations will impact battery and it’s a lot more fun, particularly when travelling, to remember to have to do these manually. Indeed, you can turn remembering these into one of the few games that you can use without feeling guilty about battery consumption.
- Turn down the volume. Higher volume output means greater battery use. And, if you can no longer hear notifications, you’ll be less inclined to look at your phone, boosting your battery savings further. Consider headphones – not wireless ones as you should have turned off your Bluetooth. And if your phone doesn’t have a headphone connector, then consider a DIY solution to add one yourself.
- Turn off your phone when you’re not using it. Do you really need to be contacted when you’re not looking at the phone, or be informed of anything that’s happening? So, whenever you put it down, consider powering it off.
- Use the device less. Independent tests show that using your phone or laptop can lead to increased battery drain, so using it less often can improve your battery life. Remember this simple mantra – when you’re not using it, don’t use it.
- Never un-plug your device from the mains. It sounds too good to be true but leaving your device permanently plugged in will ensure your battery drains a lot slower than normal. In independent tests, this has been shown, unbelievably, to work with all hardware. Alternatively, consider permanently plugging in a power bank, which will give your battery capacity a much needed boost.
Yes, of course, this is sarcastic. I’m tired of reading magazine and website articles about saving battery life this seems to just consist of switching off abilities, using it less often or generally making it work less well. I didn’t buy a spanking new OLED phone only to have the brightness so low I can barely read what’s on it.
Believe it or not, every single one of the suggestions above is based on genuine advice that is being dished out to the public.
So to you, the lazy article writers, this is for you.