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How To Make Your Mobile Phone Battery Last Longer

Updated on November 18, 2012
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I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest are just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learner, & development professional.

How long does you battery last?
How long does you battery last? | Source

11 tips to squeeze every last drop of power from your cellphone battery

Don’t you just hate it when your mobile phone battery dies when you need to make an important call? Even the best mobile phone is limited by its battery life. Whether it’s a smartphone or a low-tech cellphone, you need to maximize their use. Learning how to extend battery life is one step that we often neglect.

There are numerous factors that will affect how fast the battery drains and how long you can use it. This can be anything from your phone habits to the actual phone you are using. Prolonging battery life is actually easy if you know what to do.

1. Switch off your cellphone.

I know some people who will squirm at the idea of switching their phones off. But this is the easiest way to extend your mobile phone’s battery life. A good time to do this is when you’re going to sleep. Also, if you’re travelling to areas where there is no cellular reception, it will be a waste of battery power to have it on. If you are not expecting a call turn it off.

How to Switch off your phone:

Skip this part if you already know how. Hit the off button. Some phones have this on top of the unit. For others units, you need to press and hold the "end call" button for a few seconds - that's usually the red icon on your phone.

Reminder: Make sure you close all open applications before doing this. Saving whatever you’re doing first will spare you headaches in the future.

Important note

Battery life means both extending the talk time and idle time as well as the actual service life of your battery. Likewise, phones differ in the type of battery used. As such, the amount of power saved and service time of the battery will vary.

2. Switch to flight mode

Many smartphones and android phones have flight modes. Choose this mode so you can still use other functions of your phone while on a plane. You may even want to do this when you’re in areas where there is no reception such as subways or secluded areas. This is more appeal than switching your phone off.

How to switch to flight mode:

In many phones you have to go to MENU then click SETTINGS and then hit PROFILE. Choose flight mode and you’re all done. Some models have it under their WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY menu.

Reminder: You won’t be able make or receive calls and text messages if you’re in this mode. Remember to switch back to the General Profile or whatever profile you use when calling or texting.

3. Disable the vibrate mode

The vibrate feature of your phone uses additional power. It is wise to simply use the ring tone to alert you when there’s a call or text message. But there are times when you need to put your phone on silent mode and the vibrate feature is your only alert option.

How to disable vibrate mode:

You can switch off the vibrate feature by going to SETTINGS then choosing PROFILE. Choose the profile that you’re using and select PERSONALIZE. Scroll to the different features until you see vibrate on/off. Choose vibrate off.

4. Set backlight and brightness at the lowest setting

The phone’s backlight provides the right amount of contrast so you can read what’s on the screen easily. Setting your backlight at the highest level will undoubtedly cost you more energy. Putting it at the lowest possible setting (but still comfortable for you) will extend your battery life. Some cellular units have light sensors that automatically adjust the setting based on the environmental conditions.

How to set the backlight to the lowest setting:

Go to SETTINGS, Some phones have this feature under DISPLAY, others have it under LIGHTS. Once you find the backlight setting choose the lowest comfortable setting for your needs.

Reminder: Not all phones have backlight adjustment. So check the manual just to be sure.

Top 10 Longest Battery Talk Time As Reviewed by Cnet.com

Model
Talk Time
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
19.78 hrs.
LG Optimus Vu (unlocked)
16.08 hrs.
Apple iPhone 4 (with 3G off)
14.55 hrs.
RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360 (T-Mobile)
12 hrs.
Kyocera DuraPlus (Sprint)
11.47 hrs.
Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T)
10.3 hrs.
ZTE Fury (Sprint)
10.02 hrs.
Samsung Galaxy S II (U.S. Cellular)
9.47 hrs.
LG Optimus 3D Max (unlocked)
9.35 hrs.
Huawei Mercury (Cricket Wireless)
9.32 hrs.
Follow the charging instructions of your mobile phone
Follow the charging instructions of your mobile phone | Source

5. Turn on power saver feature

Many smartphones and android phones come with a power save feature. As the name suggests, switching it on helps you save battery power. This feature varies. Some have settings that help you choose the most energy-efficient settings. Some automatically shuts off some features when they are not in use or when there is no reception. But it usually takes around 30 minutes of having no reception before it becomes useful.

How to turn on your Power Save feature:

For my Nokia phone, I go to SETTINGS, then to DISPLAY. Power Saver can be turned on by choose “on”. In other phones, this can still be accessed through SETTINGS.

6. Follow the charging directions

Follow the proper charging guidelines for your phone. We've all heard this before. But many still don’t take heed. Even the best mobile phone cannot give you extended battery life if you do not follow the charging directions. Charge when the battery is almost drained. Lithium-ion batteries will last longer if you do not wait until they get fully drained. Wait until you get a “Low Battery” message before you charge it.

In addition, remember to use the right charger for your phones. Use only the one recommended by the manufacturer. Power inputs and outputs for phones may differ.

How to charge properly:

The most obvious way to do this is to read the phone manual. You can check online manuals by keying in your phone’s model in search engines. Likewise, phone kits come with their own charger so use what is supplied. If you lose yours, buy a replacement from the manufacturer.

Reminder: Check the input and output power of the charger. Likewise, check the voltage of the power outlet. If it gets too hot, then your charger may not be working properly. Immediately remove it from the outlet.

Do you read the charging instructions of your phone?

See results

7. Keep call duration to a minimum

I know that cellphones are for calling and receiving calls. But the longer you stay on the phone, the faster your battery will drain. Opting to send text messages can be a better energy-saving strategy.

How to keep your call durations to a minimum:

This is actually hard since every user is different. Some phones have minute reminders beeping at specific intervals. If your phone has this feature, you may want to turn this on.

8. Disable your wireless connections

Wireless connections like Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, Infrared and the like drains battery power. Of course switching them off will limit what you can do. But living them on even if they are not in use is a huge waste of power. Moreover, wireless connections continuosly search for a signal and when signal becomes poor, they work overtime. This drains your battery faster.

How to switch off Wireless Connections:

You can navigate to Phone SETTINGS and then go to WIRELESS CONNECTIONS. In some phones there is a menu called WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY. You will find all the wireless connections here. You may need to switch them off one at a time.

9. Minimize use of applications

With the advent of free applications for phones, many users can easily download applications for free. This can be anything from a cute screen saver to games. Moreover, some run in the background while others are accessed on your own whim. In addition, some applications work in tandem with other phone features like WiFi, GPS and others. This increases the power usage of your phone. The more apps that are running, the faster your battery runs out.

How to turn off applications:

Depending on the type of application that is running, you may need to go to the application and shut it down individually. Click the application icon and disable it.

Reminder: Some applications work in tandem with other phone features. Make sure that what you are switching off will not affect other functions that you will need.

10. Choose static over animated screen savers or call alerts

Screen savers and other animated stuffs on your phone will consume more power. Don’t use screen savers or animated call alerts on your phone. Some of the best mobile phones use animation or even videos as alerts. Although this is really cool, they consume additional battery power.

How to disable screen saver:

Go to SETTINGS, and then go to DISPLAY. Choose screen saver and switch it off. Some screen savers are associated with certain profiles or even themes. You can switch them off by adjusting the profile features or switching off the theme.

A Life-Saving Reminder

Texting While Driving Is as Worse as Drinking and Driving. Sure Phones provide us with additional productivity and ease of doing tasks. But we are expected to act responsibly when we use our cellphones.

DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING

11. Clean the battery terminals

One often neglected step in prolonging the battery life of mobile phones is to clean the unit – especially the battery terminals. Dust or even corrosion can accumulate thus reducing your cellular phone’s battery efficiency.

How to clean the battery terminals:

Turn off the phone. Remove the back cover. In many phones, this is done by sliding the cover. Remove the battery carefully. Use a cotton swap to remove dust particles.

Reminders: Don’t use mental implements to clean the terminal as this can short the battery. When there is corrosion, you may need to use solvents like acetone or nail polish.

A final appeal to save energy

Every phone is different and every mobile phone user behaves differently. These tips on how to extend cellphone battery life will only work if you consciously make an effort. Remember that the more energy we save, the more we protect our environment.

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    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello kapilddit,

      It would be prudent for me not to endorse any app. Any app that you will use should be based on your usage. But I know several who use Juice Defender for their smartphone. You can tweak it to manage your Wifi and Bluetooth and other features. Another is Battery Defender. It has lots for features for a free app. Of course free apps can only do so much. you can upgrade them and get more out of your app. Right now, I have not found an app that can do everything I listed above. There are autorun managers but they are quite risky as they control a lot of the features of your phone.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there ChitrangadaSharan,

      I'm glad you found this useful. The more energy we save the better.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is a very useful hub, with interesting information for everyone. I am definitely going to try your suggestions and tips.

      Very well written and nicely explained. Thanks for sharing!

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello mariasial,

      Thank you for the kind words. I just hope that we can all save more energy. Simple things do matter. See you around.

    • mariasial profile image

      maria sial 

      5 years ago from united kingdom

      I like the way you touch the every single detail related to topic as well as your how o detailing is awesome rated up and interesting

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello Nicole S, It's really wonderful to know that there ar so many products out there to help consumers. I really like the solar chargers available. this one, I can charge my phone anytime.

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      Very useful. I've also seen there are new travel sized battery extenders that you can carry with you and if your battery is about to die you just plug in this little gadget and it'll give you more battery life. I could've used one of these a time or two! lol

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there MomsTreasureChest,

      Thanks for dropping by. Do try out some if not all. The more energy you save the better. :)

    • MomsTreasureChest profile image

      MomsTreasureChest 

      5 years ago

      Great suggestions, thanks for sharing, I will be sure to use a few to increase the battery life for my cell phone!

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Tom Schumacher,

      When battery terminals are not clean, it reduces its usefulness. The cleaner they are the better. Light and brightness settings can really drain the battery needlessly. I'm glad the suggestions work for you.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Sue Bailey,

      Good luck with conserving energy and prolonging the life of your battery. But there are times when you really need to change the battery.

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 

      5 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Thanks jpcmc, I never thought to clean my cell's battery terminals. I did, however, notice a significant energy savings by adjusting the back light/brightness settings. Voted up for useful.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 

      5 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Thanks for this, I didn't know about cleaning the battery terminals or turning off vibrate. I'll try these because my battery life is very poor.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hey Lex, just make sure you don't get your phone wet. :)

    • profile image

      Lex Santos 

      5 years ago

      You won't catch me with my cellphone switched off. I even bring it to the shower just in case.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there my Redberry Sky friend. It's been a while. I actually put my phone in flight mode whenever I travel by air. Try it. the energy save may not be that huge. But still, every bit of energy saved is worth it. See you around.

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 

      5 years ago

      I use a couple of these to conserve my cell phone's charge, but I never even thought of putting the phone into 'Flight Mode' - I didn't even know what it was! I'm so glad you explained it, I'll try it out on those long commuting journeys :)

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That's a good one Lynette. :) A little self discipline goes a long way.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Topher,

      You don't need to be a techy to make your batteries last long. With these simple steps you can do this. Let's help save the earth my friend.

    • profile image

      Lynette 

      5 years ago

      Here's another tip: Don't buy your husband a smart phone and he won't play with it and use up more power than needed. :)

    • profile image

      Topher 

      5 years ago

      Very useful. I'm not too techy but this is an important topic for all users.

    • jpcmc profile imageAUTHOR

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi GiblinGirl,

      Don't we all? It's really annoying when you need to use your phone but the battery is drained.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      Great tips. I'll definitely have to try some of these - I freak out if my phone's battery gets too low.

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