Smartphones can do a lot of stuff at once, but they don't always need to.
These days, electronics are rarely as simple as turning them on or off. They’re complicated enough that there’s a sliding scale for power usage.
I discovered how true this is on my first international trip with a smartphone — an iPhone 4 I’ve had since the device came out in 2010. It’s getting a little old, so usually my battery runs down in a few hours if I’m actively using it. I figured I just had to deal with that until I eventually upgrade.
I didn’t want to face hundreds of dollars in roaming charges you hear about smartphone users racking up abroad, so I put my phone in airplane mode, and turned off Bluetooth, roaming, and cellular data. Basically, I had to use Wi-Fi to do much besides play a few games on my phone. It saved me money and did wonders for the battery, which could now last a couple days without a charge.
Of course, that’s not practical for people who aren’t on vacation because it really limits the functionality of the phone. I couldn’t even make calls in airplane mode! But the idea hold: As much as you can turn off or disable, the more power it should conserve. Push notifications, GPS and other features you don’t need to have on right now are wasting the battery.
Here are some other battery-saving tips from Digital Trends that apply to any smartphone, and that shouldn’t affect regular usage much:
- Turn down the volume and screen brightness.
- Find the setting to reduce the time it takes for your screen to dim and turn off after use.
- Disable sound effects for typing.
- Keep your apps updated, so you always have the most power-optimized version.
- Keep the phone out of direct sunlight.
- Use an app to monitor what’s draining your battery fastest or to quickly flip between settings. DT recommends JuiceDefender for Android, Battery Doctor for Apple, Battery for Windows phones, and Battery Lover for BlackBerry.
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