How to Extend the Battery Life on Your Phone

how to extend the battery life on your phone

Your phone is nothing without a battery

Major smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung release new flagship phones every year. Australian consumers are amongst the millions of customers around the world who flock to stores and websites just to purchase the latest iPhone, Galaxy, and many others. And while these gadgets seem to drastically improve several features with each new release, battery life typically gets better in much small measures.

Regardless of how great your phone is, you can’t operate it without a battery. And so far, if you’re a heavy phone user, batteries simply can’t keep your phone on forever without getting plugged in to a wall socket every few hours. 

For many, this can sometimes become an inconvenience. And in some extreme cases, a dead battery can even amount to a serious hazard. Imagine getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead phone battery, leaving you with no means to contact emergency services. Or perhaps even something more trivial – like your phone shutting off just when you’re finally about to pass that difficult Candy Crush level that you’ve been failing for the past few weeks.

The fact of the matter is that phones play a major role in our everyday lives these days, and batteries are what keep those phones on. However, you won’t find a lot of tips from phone manufacturers about how to keep your phone battery kicking for as long as possible.

But we’ve done the research from you and added that to our hands-on experience. In this article, we’ll give you three great tips on how to extend the battery life on your phone, so you can stay on longer regardless of which brand you own. Read on to find out.

3 tips to extend your phone’s battery life

Your high-end flagship phone is useless without a two things: a SIM plan and a battery. And while you’ll find a ton of options to choose from when shopping for a SIM plan for your phone, you’re typically stuck with whatever battery your phone’s manufacturer gives you. That being said, you’ll need all the help available to get the most out of that battery, and we’ll be glad to give you some useful tips just for that. 

But with the many phone manufacturers on the market, you might be wondering if our tips will apply to yours. Thankfully, we’ve been able to generalize them so that they can apply to both iPhones and Android phones. However, some of the steps and details may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the whole idea is pretty much the same.

Here are 3 tips to extend your phone’s battery life:

1. What exactly is draining your phone battery? 

Knowledge is power, so knowing exactly why your phone’s battery drains so quickly is key to extending battery life. This is probably the easiest step of all, and it’s quite similar across all manufacturers, models, and operating systems.

To find out which apps use the most battery power, just go to your phone’s Settings > Battery. You’ll find a treasure-trove of information here, and even more about details about battery-sucking apps if you click the menu on the top-right of your screen. For instance, you’ll find information about nosey apps that use your location while running in the background, which is another power-gobbling feature in modern phones, as well as services breakdown and graphs showing your usage pattern.

2. Kill background apps

Those apps that suck your battery life by using your location in the background aren’t the only culprits. Apps that run in the background in general are your main target, because they all eat into your battery life whether they use your location or not. 

After reviewing your battery usage in the Settings menu, you should already know which apps are guilty of lingering in the background even after you close them. To keep those stubborn apps from staying awake in the background, you can put them to sleep so they stay away until the next time you open them. 

To do this, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to see which apps are still open. Close the power-hungry apps as well as those you aren’t using. In fact, close them all and leave only the app you’re currently using, if any.

Newer phones like those running Android Pie an above have a great feature called Adaptive Battery. If you have this feature on your phone, you can use it to automatically kill apps that haven’t been used for a while. Go to Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery and enable this feature. It will monitor your apps to figure out which of them use too much power while running in the background, and then add them to a restricted list, and also limits power usage of apps you don’t use frequently.

3. Change display settings to the lowest

Your shiny new phone is even prettier when it’s on, thanks to its bright display and awesome graphics. But these glossy features come at a cost to your battery, eating away percentage by percentage until you get to that dreaded, red warning battery sign. To extend your battery life, you can reduce a lot of display settings to lower options. Yes, your phone won’t be as bright as before, but you’ll be able to use it longer.

Start by reducing your screen brightness. To do this, go to Settings > Display > Brightness Level. Move the slider down to level that’s good enough for you. The lower the brightness, the less power your phone’s screen will use, and you’ll probably even preserve your eyes from too much artificial light.

While you’re in your phone’s Display menu, also reduce its sleep timer. Doing this will extend battery life by turning off the display when your phone is inactive for the amount of time you choose. Go to Settings > Display > Advanced > SleepHere, you’ll find options that are typically in 15-second increments – choose the lowest (probably 15 seconds) so that your phone’s display will automatically go to sleep when you haven’t used it for the amount of time you select.

Some of the latest flagship phones have extremely high resolutions. For instance, newer Samsung phones might have a QHD option, which is extremely high and power intensive. If your phone has an option to reduce the resolution, then do so to extend your battery life. To do this, go to Settings > Display > Resolution. Choose FHD or HD for a more conservative battery drain.

Final words

While we’ve given you the top 3 tips to extend your battery life, keep in mind there are many more useful steps that can keep your phone running even longer. For instance, while we have never seen any formal advice about this from phone manufacturers, we’ve found that making sure a phone is turned off while charging overnight makes the battery last a lot longer. 

Weirdly this isn’t the only tip that manufacturers don’t talk about – they are usually slightly tight-lipped about any tips to extend your phone’s battery life at all. 

The good thing is that you can find resources like this post for tips. Solutions typically fall into 2 buckets – getting through the day with one charge, and extending the overall long-term health and life of the battery in your device. 

Getting through the day comes down to screen brightness and the apps you’re running. Getting into settings and seeing which apps are drinking your battery’s juice will be a scary but rewarding experience for many. Extending the the long-term health and life of your battery on the other hand, simply boil down to less usage and less charging/overcharging.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.