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How to save the Battery Life of Android Smart Phones

Updated on July 18, 2011

So you got yourself a new smart phone. It's awesome, but there's just one little problem. Your battery keeps going dead in no time!

If you need to know how to save the battery life of your new android smartphone than you've come to the right place. This article is dedicated to showing how to make your battery last longer and get more use out of that expensive smart phone. First I will show you how to check your battery usage, followed by simple changes you can make to your phone to improve battery life. Finally I will talk about the Android OS and how upgrading can improve your battery life and performance.

Checking Battery Usage

First thing you need to do in order to address this problem, is to turn your phone on and figure out whats draining your battery the most. Fortunately the Android operating system has a nifty tool built in to help you identify the major culprits when it comes to power usage.

  1. Turn on your phone.
  2. Make sure you are on the "Home" screen. (push the home button)
  3. Now push the "menu" button. At this point a small menu should pop up.
  4. Select the "settings" option.
  5. Scroll until you find "About Phone" option and select it. (usually found at the bottom)
  6. Click on "Battery" followed by "Battery Use"

Now you should be seeing a breakdown of your batter usage. At the top you should see a message that says how long your phone has been unplugged. Mine says "5h 29 min 33s." However the information displayed underneath about your usage is from the last time your phone was powered on, minus anytime it was plugged into charge. The biggest offender will be at the top with the lowest drainer being at the bottom along with percentages.

The 2 biggest drains on battery life for me are the screen, and the Android OS (operating system). These percentages will depend largely on how you use your phone. If you make a lot of voice calls, these take a lot of energy so you might find this at the top.

However, most people have smartphones to take advantage of other features, like web browsing, video, music, facebooking and mobile gaming. All of these require screen time as well as the Android OS. So if we can figure out how to minimize these two power hogs we can end up saving a lot of battery time.

Screen brightness and Battery Life

All of the new android phones that have been coming out recently are getting ever bigger and ever brighter and clearer screens. These big screens make touch controls, web browsing and video watching so much more enjoyable. But they can also be a huge drain on your phone's battery. The easiest way to save battery time is to not use your screen that much. But it takes all the fun out of having a sexy android smart phone.

Instead, we'll just lower the brightness level. If you go back into your phone settings like we already did above, but instead click on "display" you can then change the settings on your screen. The biggest way to save juice is to change the screen brightness. I've got mine all the way down almost to the very end of the scale. But most of the time I hardly notice that it's so low. You can mess with the slider until you find a place that fits you and your android phones battery life.


Shut Off WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth

While still in the settings menu you can also improve battery life on your Android Smartphone by turning off certain features. Don't worry you can always go back and turn them on again at anytime. Turning off wifi helps a lot because the wifi card onboard your phone can be a huge drain especially when your out and about. You won't need it because you'll be on your mobile carriers 3G network and also you wont have access to many free wifi locations. Once at home you can turn this back on if you wish.

Same goes for blue tooth. If an occasion arrises where you need blue tooth you can simply turn it back on. However, I find that I hardly ever use it. 

Most of the time you won't need GPS, and for the most part it stays off automatically. But if you use any sort of navigation applications on your phone, GPS will turn on. So avoid navigation apps, unless you really need them and make sure that you close your navigation app and turn of GPS.

Android OS and Upgrading

Perhaps the biggest factor in determining the battery life of your smart phone, is the version of Android it's running. Newer phones will of course be running the newest versions of the OS, but eventually everything becomes obsolete. Newer versions of the Android OS are always more efficient, faster and use less energy than previous versions. Right now, Android 2.2 also known as Froyo is the most advanced and stable version available.

However Google is working on Android 2.3 named "gingerbread." This new version promises to be even more efficient with the resources available for phones. Do some research and find out if your phone is capable of upgrading and if it is able to, go ahead and upgrade. You wont regret it. 

Conclusion

Android smartphones are fantastic pieces of technology. I highly recommend these phones for their versatility and ease of use. But if you find that you are having battery trouble, please don't be so quick to write them off. Instead learn how to manage your phone and get the most out of it.

Thank you for reading my article on how to save the battery life of your Android smartphone. If you have any other tips or ideas for saving batter life, please post them below in the comments section.

Happy Androiding!

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