Smartphone battery life: 20 ways to juice it up

Smartphones perform more tricks than ever, but battery technology hasn't kept up. Try these tips to keep your phone powered up for longer.

Manage your software

Many of us are loyal to a specific mobile operating system. And applications make your smartphone useful and fun. But both the operating system and the applications drain the battery, so manage them so they sip, not gulp, power.

5. Update your operating system. "The biggest battery drain is the operating system," notes Kristi Lundgren, Motorola's product manager for the company's Q smartphone. She said that vendors tend to improve power consumption from version to version, so update when you can.

6. Use simple ringtones. "Musical ringtones use the phone's processor, which uses more battery," says Derek Meister, who has the title of double agent with Best Buy's Geek Squad. Simpler, standard ringtones don't require such processing power.

7. Push less. Perhaps the most popular smartphone application is push e-mail, which requires your device to check for messages nearly constantly. That guzzles juice, but settings are available on the server side (you'll need to talk with IT) and, often, on the phone itself that enable your phone to check for messages, say, only every 10 minutes or half hour. Admittedly, this will require an adjustment for those who are used to constant communications, but it's worth it in terms of battery savings.

Besides push e-mail, many other applications and Web services such as instant messaging, navigation tools and stock, news, sports and weather checkers periodically update information. "You may not realize that ESPN, if it's set to update every five minutes, will drain your battery," says Motorola's Lundgren. Close these apps and sites when you're not using them.

8. Ease off alerts. Do you really need your phone to vibrate when any old message comes in? Turn off visual or audible alerts for newly arrived messages or, at the very least, be selective so you are notified of messages from only your boss or spouse, for instance.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Haskin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?