The problem with having a cool smartphone that can do lots of cool things is the temptation to immediately install lots of cool apps – and then stand back in horror as the battery level heads for zero in double quick time.
Luckily, with a bit of knowledge, a tweak here’n’there and a smidgen of common sense, you should be able to improve your handset’s battery life considerably.
Find the culprits
Start off by going to Settings –> About Phone –> Battery to see who the bad boys hammering your battery are, and if you want to save yourself a lot of menu navigating later, slap ‘Power Bar’ on your homescreen (hold your finger on a blank homescreen, select widget and click on ‘Power Control’).
This handy widget gives you one touch on/off access to (from right to left) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, data sync and screen brightness.
Quick battery tips
We’ve included links to two comprehensive guides below, but here’s the main points in a nutshell:
1. Turn down the screen brightness.
Go to Settings –> Display –> Brightness, and either haul the slider as far to the left as your peepers can bear, or just click ‘automatic brightness’ – or use the widget above.
2. Whack off the Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi may make data fly, but it’s also a bit of a battery hog, so turn it off if don’t need it or if you’re just wandering around town.
Turn it on/off at Settings –> Wireless & networks or use the Power Control widget.
3. Sort out your syncs
Some apps are hell bent on syncing constantly throughout the day, and with each fresh download, your poor little battery dies a little more inside. Go into the settings of the apps and reduce the sync frequently (or turn it off altogether if you don;t need constant updates).
4. Switch off 3G
Although 3G is faster, it’s also more power hungry, so if you’ve got good coverage and are only intending to chat and slam out the odd email, you could save some juice by switching to EDGE/2G/GSM.
Settings> Wireless network> Mobile Networks> and check the box for “Use 2g networks only” (this may say ‘GSM/WCDMA”). If that sounds too much of a faff, download this widget instead.
5. Banish Bluetooth and get rid of GPS
If you’re not using Bluetooth, turn it off here – Settings –> Wireless & networks–> Bluetooth – and if you don’t need the pinpoint accuracy of GPS satellites, go to Settings -> Location and turn off the ‘Use GPS Satellites’ option (or use. the Power Control Widget).
If you keep ‘Use wireless networks’ selected, the phone will have a fairly good stab at getting your location right, but at less cost to the battery.
6. Keep it cool and out of the sun
A hot battery is an unhappy battery, so keep it out of the sun for a longer battery life.
7. Dump the chumps
If your phone is stuffed full of apps that you no longer use, or uninstall them as they may be contributing to your battery drain.
If your homescreen is peppered with widgets yanking data off the web, it might be an idea to dump the ones you rarely use, and it goes without saying that although eye candylike animated wallpapers look well k3wl, they’re a bit daft unless you’re within 5 metres of a charger.
Get a spare battery
Even with all these power saving tips, heavy use of the phone can still result in a conked out battery, so we recommend grabbing some back up batteries
We used one of these over the weekend and were impressed, so expect a review shortly.
More detailed guides
For more battery saving tips and a more in depth guide, send your browser spinning in the direction of: