Today’s super powerful, ultra-slim smartphones enable us to move ever so lightly through our days … except when you’re tripped up by a drained battery, and are forced to pull out a hefty portable charger, or, worse, plop yourself down next to a wall plug for the next half hour.
As someone who has resorted to both options too many times in the past, I’ve tested many battery-saving tactics. Here are my personal recommendations.
1. Reduce your screen brightness. This can help extend your battery a huge amount, especially the larger and sharper your screen is (that is, the more pixels it has). The only time you need your phone at 100 percent brightness is probably outdoors at noontime when the sun is at its brightest. Any other time it can be reduced it to 75 percent or less. You can adjust this in Android by going to Settings > Display or by swiping down from the Notifications bar.
2. Change your screen theme and wallpaper to dark. This also translates to noticeable savings. On Android, go to your phone’s Launcher app by holding down an empty part of your home screen, and click on Settings. From there, you can choose different colored wallpapers and toggle between light and dark themes for other screens.
3. Shorten the time before your screen goes to sleep. This saves power not only from the darkened screen, but because it decreases the chances your phone will pocket-dial or do something else unintended when the screen is touched. It’s also available from Settings > Display.
4. Change the settings on power-draining apps. Many apps are busy beavers, waking your phone up and downloading content in the fore or background, sending you notifications while you’re on-the-go, tethered to your LTE carrier. There are several solutions. On Samsung phones, you can go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery to identify the power-hogging apps, and then hit Fix to put the app to sleep (use Force Stop from Settings > Battery in other Android phones). For Google Maps, Spotify and other streaming apps, make sure to pre-download maps, songs and podcasts using Wi-Fi onto your phone before you go out. You can also turn off notifications and limit the amount of background activity of other apps. Collectively, this has a significant impact.
5. Turn on Battery/Power Saving mode. Drastic times — like when you fall below 15 percent — call for drastic measures. The Power Saving mode on Samsung devices is a smart feature that automatically decreases screen brightness, reduces screen resolution, limits processor speed and stops background network usage. You can adjust each of these settings, and get an estimate of the additional battery life you will gain after each change. You can also choose mid or max power saving modes. The latter can sustain your battery for several days, though performance will be impacted.
6. Turn off Location services. The GPS receiver in your smartphone is one of the biggest power hogs, due to the number of apps pinging it, and to the chip itself. You can turn off the GPS entirely, though that sacrifices many vital services. Instead, I suggest finding out which apps are pinging Location and turn off the unneeded ones individually. In Android, you can do this from Settings > Connection > Location. Going into Google Maps and pre-downloading maps while on Wi-Fi accomplishes the same.
7. Turn off 4G/LTE data. Like GPS, the 4G modem can suck power, especially if the cell signal is poor. If you’re traveling in a remote or mountainous region and battery life is more important than connectivity, I recommend turning 4G off temporarily. In Android, you can do this at Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks. A quicker method is turning on Airplane Mode, though this obviously blocks all service, including Wi-Fi.
Many folks also recommend turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as a power-saving tactic. I’m not a fan of the tradeoffs. Both use a fraction of the power of GPS and cellular LTE. On the other hand, you can save some power (and sanity) by turning off notifications whenever a public Wi-Fi network is available, and turning off Wi-Fi when your phone is asleep.
The simplest strategy for better battery? Upgrade
If you find all of the above battery life tips as exhausting to implement as they are for your phone to display them, it might be time to sidestep the problem by upgrading to a smartphone with all-day-and-more battery life, such as the Galaxy Note9. Designed expressly for the mobile power user, Note9’s 4,000 mAh battery lets you maintain maximum productivity while on-the-go. Turn on Power Saving mode and you’ll have enough reserves to last several days without a recharge.
Combine that with all of the Note9 other improved specs — ultra-fast processor, a standard 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, a larger and brighter 6.4-inch Infinity Display, Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, powerful DeX capabilities and more — and you’ll see that the Note9 is the future upgrade you need today.
Learn how the Note9 can power your mobility, your productivity and your business.