How to save battery life on your Android Smartphone
It's no secret that smartphones are notorious battery hogs, with some devices having an almost embarrassing screen-on time. Those big luscious AMOLED and LCD screens are an obvious drain on your battery, but did you know there's lots of things you can do behind the scenes to get the most out of your Android? Read on for our best battery saving tips to make your battery last longer.
How Android batteries work
First, some background: most smartphones have either a Lithium Ion battery or a Lithium Polymer battery. Both are Lithium Ion though, and as such, do not have a ''memory'' which means you don't have to fully charge or discharge them at the beginning, and partial charging is fine throughout their life.
In fact, these types of batteries suffer from low voltage problems, so it's actually better to partially charge them (say, from 20 percent to 90 percent) than to fully charge and fully drain them. Battery care is always open for debate though, so for every accepted tip there will be someone that says it makes no difference. Just find the ones that work for you.
1. Black wallpaper can save battery
If your phone has an AMOLED screen (like most Samsung devices), use a dark-colored background. Black wallpaper can save your battery because AMOLED screens only illuminate the colored pixels. Black pixels are unlit, so the more black pixels you have, or the more darker pixels, the less battery you need to light them up.
2. Use dark themes and settings
Using darker app backgrounds/themes and darker launcher themes will further prolong your battery life (but only if your device has an AMOLED screen). The first version of the Android M developer preview had a stock dark theme (which was subsequently removed). This could means big things for system-wide stock theme support, if it returns in the final Android M release.
3. Don't use adaptive/auto brightness
Don't use display auto-brightness. It may sound good, but auto-brightness is usually way brighter than you really need. It's much better to manually set a super low brightness level that is still comfortable, and then just bump it up when necessary. This is one of the main ways to improve your battery life as the screen is one of the biggest battery suckers.
4. A shorter screen timeout setting saves battery
Set your display's screen timeout to as short a time as is practical for you. Just think, if your screen timeout is set to a minute, it'll use four times the amount of power to have it on, every time you switch your screen on, than if your timeout is set to 15 seconds.
Studies report the average smartphone user turns their smartphone on 150 times a day, so anything you can do to limit that frequency (through self-control or other methods listed below) will help keep your battery running for longer.
5. Your phone doesn't have to be smart all the time
Turn off smart features like air gestures, smart scrolling and the like, especially if you have a Samsung. Unless you really use these features every day, they're just using battery power for a feature you don't use.
6. Turn off vibrate and haptic feedback to save battery
Switch off vibrate. Unless you really need that added awareness, turn off vibration alerts for incoming calls. It actually takes more power to vibrate your phone than it does to ring it. Turn off haptic feedback too (that buzz you get from typing on the keyboard). Sure it feels cool, but it doesn't really add anything to your experience, and it's another battery drainer.
7. Use lock screen notifications
Lock screen notifications can also help save you battery life, especially if your phone has an AMOLED screen. This is because you can see your notifications at a glance without having to turn your whole screen on. This is especially useful if you get lots of notifications that aren't worth following up on immediately. Lock screen notifications come standard on Android Lollipop.
If you're using Android KitKat, try using lock screen widgets or notifications if your ROM supports them, or install an app that does it for you like Dynamic Notifications. You'll be able to get basically all your content without having to unlock your phone fully and navigating around. You'll still need to light your whole screen up, but you'll have it on for much less time than normal.
8. Only use original batteries
Only use original batteries or respected third party manufacturer batteries. Saving a few bucks on a battery that might damage your beloved smartphone is a poor choice indeed, and may also deliver sub-standard battery performance.
9. Set your ''Do Not Disturb'' or ''sleep'' schedule
Set ''sleep times'' or ''blocking mode'' to switch off Wi-Fi and mobile data when you don't need them. If your phone is basically off limits at work, set your device to not ring, vibrate or connect to the internet while you're at work. Many phones have a ''Do Not Disturb'' setting for just this purpose.
Likewise, you can set your phone to airplane mode when you're asleep or use sleep or blocking modes to set up limits for what your phone does during certain times of the day, whether that's while you're asleep, at work or in a meeting. Cool apps like IFTTT let you create rules that can help you save battery life too.