Sunday, 8 September 2013

5 Practical Points to Extend Smartphone's Battery

Have you been charging your smartphone more often recently? A friend of mine says her phone has been fully charged at the start of the day but need to charge it again in the afternoon. It seems that the phone just can't get enough of the mains supply and seems like her charger and phone are inseparable. I admit that I have frustrations as well in terms of power specially when I am on call. What worries me is that I might be getting called back to the lab when the phone is just dead! This makes me thinking of buying another battery perhaps. But what if the phone in question has its embedded battery? Maybe buying another unit is the answer. But before I spend anything, here are my observations why my phone battery is draining fast.

1. Low network signal.


I always get this when I am inside my workplace, and this gets worse when I move into inner corridors. Low signal (zero to one bar) strains the phone to continue looking for a better network signal and in the process draining the battery. Putting away my phone inside my locker whilst on also worsens the problem.

My simple solution to this is to put it into flight mode. This is simply because I am not expecting any personal calls during work and do not usually surf the web. However, if I am expecting a call, I usually divert it to my work phone's number and put the trigger as "when it is not available".

To do this, if you are on android, tap phone(1), then the left hand soft key button, call settings(2), call forwarding(3), voice call(4), forward when unreachable(5), then type in the phone number(6). Be sure to enable (7) before you exit.




For iPhone, go to settings, phone, call forwarding(tap on), then type your chosen phone number

iPhone users need to remember to turn off forwarding as there is not much option to choose from not like android that it can receive calls again when flight mode is off.

2. Mind the screen brightness and time out


According to the battery use application in my phone, the screen drinks the most power juice(1) , so most  self helps recommend turning the screen down or putting it into auto mode. But for myself, I find this very frustrating, as I can not see anything in a bright room or when outdoors. And also the fact that my vision needs a better lighting to understand what I am looking at. Outdoors is worst when you are at auto mode, you can not see a thing.



What I recommend is to set the screen setting to a comfortable level according to the user. To know what is comfortable level at every occasion is to set the screen brightness whilst outdoors! In fact when I do this, the maximum setting(2) is my comfortable level! 

Another self help tip is to limit the screen time out into the minimum, perhaps 15 seconds. With this setting, I am also frustrated.  Before I can read a line, the screen becomes black! I am more comfortable in setting it the longest and have set it up to 10 minutes, which is enough for me to read a mile long article without being frustrated.




To compensate for the lavish settings, my simple solution is to mind the power button. I just turn the screen off manually by a simple short touch (not too long that shuts down the phone) at the power button! Like driving a car, auto cars tend to use more gas than manual.


3. Mind your voice calls

This happened to me on several occasion. I called my home number but forgot to end the call. The difference in calling a landline is the call does not terminate automatically when the landline end ends the call. This means, the mobile phone is still connected. It is not only that the battery is being drained, but your calling allowance as well. So be sure to always press the end button when calling a landline. 

There's no problem in calling mobiles as the call is terminated automatically when the other end ends the call.


4. Mind connectivity buttons

These are the major culprits that most of the time I overlook. The wifi, bluetooth, and data buttons. Be sure to manually turn them off when you are out of coverage and not using the internet. Because just like low network signals, the radio buttons of these connectivity interfaces are more active in trying to scan and connect to an available network when there is low to no signal is detected. 





Practical rule for this is, if you are not using it (GPS included) or NOT able to use it (when at off coverage area), turn it off. Being on whilst not using them is pointless. 

5. Mind your browsing habits


I notice this to friends who has battery problems. They are most of the time online. This means the screen is on most of the time plus the phone's processor and ram to run the program. If you are like them and can't help being online, then you need to be aware that loading a page, listening to music, streaming you tube movies and looking at FB pictures use power. Battery power might be easily depleted according to how much you are doing online. So if you are a heavy user, turning the screen brigthness down might extend the battery life.

As much as possible, open only one window or tab at a time, and avoid multi tasking. You can also set your social network(1) and other applications like emails(2) that updates it's contents over the internet into manual mode. This means disabling the sync button. Do this by going into settings, then accounts, and tap the application (4) to change the settings . Live widgets (3)are cool but sometimes it is better to avoid using them when battery is the worry.


So is it just our smartphone habits that are keeping our phones to the charger? Or it might be time to buy a new battery or perhaps a new unit? 


1 comment:

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