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Today’s super-powerful, ultra-slim smartphones allow you to move ever so lightly through your day — until you’re tripped up by a drained battery and forced to pull out a portable power bank or, worse, sit next to a wall plug for an hour.
If your phone is struggling to keep up with your work schedule, here are a few ways to keep the device powered on all day:
1. Reduce your screen brightness
This can help extend your battery life significantly, especially for devices with larger and sharper screens (that is, with more pixels). The only time you probably need your phone at 100 percent brightness is outdoors, midday, when the sun is at its brightest. Any other time, you can reduce your phone brightness to 75 percent or less. You can adjust this in Android by going to Settings > Display or by swiping down from the Notifications bar. Most recent phones also have an Adaptive Brightness setting, letting the device adjust automatically. If your phone as an adaptive screen refresh rate, setting that to standard will also improve battery life.
2. Change your screen theme and wallpaper to dark
This also translates to noticeable power 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. The latest Samsung smartphones, such as the Galaxy S21/S21+/S21 Ultra 5G, also feature a Dark mode that is specifically designed to reduce battery life and be easy on the eyes later in the day. You can even set a schedule for Dark mode to switch on at a certain time each day.
3. Shorten the time before your screen goes to sleep
You can save power by keeping your screen dark when you don’t need it. This also helps prevent pocket dials and other kinds of accidental screen touches. This feature is also available from Settings > Display.
4. Adjust the settings on power-draining apps
Many apps are busy beavers, waking up your phone to download content and sending you notifications while you’re on the go, always tethered to your LTE carrier. There are several solutions.
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On Samsung phones, you can identify the power-hogging apps by going to Settings > Battery and Device Care > Background Usage Limits and then choosing which apps should be put to sleep. (On other Android phones, use Force Stop from Settings > Battery.)
For Google Maps, Spotify and other streaming apps, make sure to predownload maps, songs and podcasts over Wi-Fi before you go out. You can also turn off notifications from other apps and limit their background activity. Collectively, these changes conserve significant battery life.
5. Turn on power-saving mode
Drastic times — like when your battery falls 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 see an estimate of the additional battery life you’ll gain with each change.
On the latest Samsung phones, there is also an Emergency Mode, found under Settings > Advanced Features. This lets you sustain your battery for several days, though you’ll only have access to core apps and features. It also sends a message with your location to a chosen contact so they can see where you and your phone are.
6. Turn off location services
Your smartphone’s GPS receiver is one of its biggest power hogs due to the number of apps pinging it, not to mention the chip itself. You can turn off GPS entirely, though that sacrifices many vital services. Alternatively, you can find out which apps are pinging Location and turn off the unnecessary ones individually. In Android, you can do this from Settings > Location. You can accomplish the same by going into Google Maps and predownloading maps while you’re on Wi-Fi.
7. Turn off data roaming
Like GPS, the 4G and hyperfast 5G modems can drain power, especially if your cell signal is poor. If you’re traveling in a remote or mountainous region and your battery life is more important than connectivity, you can temporarily turn off data roaming. In Android, you can do this through Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks. A quicker solution is to turn on Airplane Mode, though this blocks all service, including Wi-Fi.
8. Make use of intelligent performance management
Get proactive and save time: Enable the intelligent performance management system, which you can access through Settings > Battery and Device Care. The S21 lineup’s artificial intelligence (AI) engine is smart enough to learn your habits and optimize battery usage accordingly. You can also manually set routines, including when to turn Wi-Fi on or off and when to dim the screen.
Many folks also recommend turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as a power-saving tactic — Wi-Fi and Bluetooth each use a fraction of the power of GPS and cellular connectivity — but some people don’t like the trade-offs. 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 while your phone is asleep.
The simplest solution: Upgrade
If you find these battery-saving tips exhausting to implement, it may be time to sidestep the problem by upgrading to a smartphone with all-day-and-more battery life, such as the S21. Designed expressly for mobile power users, S21 devices have long-lasting batteries that let you maintain maximum productivity while you’re on the go. Turn on adaptive power-saving mode and you’ll have enough battery reserve to last several days without a recharge.
These devices also feature Super-Fast Charging so you can get hours of power from just minutes of charge, plus Wireless PowerShare so you can share some of that charge with a friend or top up your Galaxy Buds.
Add all of the S21’s other features — including seamless Microsoft integration, HyperFast processor, wireless DeX capabilities and a larger, brighter Infinity-O display that eliminates bezels and the notch — and you’ll see that the S21 is the future upgrade you need today.