I have had android phones since the the original HTC Google Nexus (2010), coming previously from a blackberry curve , I have always been disappointed with battery life. Where my pseudo “smartphone” blackberry curve could go 3-4 days before a charge, my new nexus at the time struggled to get in a a whole 24-hour day. It was no surprise a full-screen color phone with a high-speed processor and was surely going to burn more juice than a much simpler blackberry.
I eventually upgraded to other Android phones, first the LG 2X and then then HTC Sensation, they all had the same power demands and seldom got more than a day worth of use. This was not unusual all the popular smartphones had about the same battery life, iPhone, Android all shared .
So I have been on a quest to find the best battery strategies to maximize my phone’s battery life between re-charges , and here’s what I discovered.
Step 1: Determine your actual battery usage by the phone. All modern android phones (since the gingerbread release) , have a setting that gives us a pretty good indication of what it using the battery. Simple go to Menu >> System Settings >>Battery . This page will give you a small graph on top followed y what system services ranked in descending percentage order made most use of your battery. Typically the screen is almost always the highest usage. You can click on these items to get even more details about each individual usage.
The first surprisingly simple and effective battery strategy, since the screen is the hungriest consumer of power, is to change sleep and brightness settings to the lowest level , in my case it was 15 seconds timeout. Yes, Its annoying as heck to have to tap the power button to awkaen the phone, but you’ll be very surprised with the savings . Do this as a simple test, take a look at your Time On in the Screen power details and compare that with your current setting and a lower setting.
This second strategy is a combination approach: Add the Power Widget to your home screen and make sure you turn everything off you don’t need. For me this means usually only Wifi and Sync are turned on, everything else is off (unless needed like the GPS) . The Sync is the one I find offers the best savings when turned off, since this means that neither the wifi or cellular radio need to be on to check for activity.
Removable battery? If so see if you can find an aftermarket battery with more mAh , there are many aftermarket battery manufacturers, but beware most from China manufacturers exaggerate their mAh claims. I strongly recommend Anker Batteries they actually produce quality cells and generally over 200-400 additional maH than the stock battery, I have used them myself and can say its true. Example
|Battery Mfg.||mAh||Rated Standby||Rated Talk|
|HTC Sensation Stock||1520||350 hrs||8.25 hrs|
|Anker HTC Sensation||1900||437 hrs||10.3 hrs.|
What about Power saving apps?
Apps like Juice Defender, Easy Battery Saver, Green power all do a decent job of helping you maximize your battery life by automatically turning off certain functions (like wifi, bluetooth , gps) and having good automated timers to turn off items during the evening etc. My experience is mixed, they do add a bot more life, but they also inconvenience me more by inadvertently turning off sync (ie. no wonder I go t no emails the last 8 hours) or messing with GPS so when I need to use GPS its temperamental in turning on. i suspect the latest crop has gotten better give them a try.. but just don’t expect any miracles.
Most of the above techniques will likely get your phone to a day or two, until some revolution in battery power technology comes along, that’s probably the best we can do.. Don’t underestimate the power of a removable battery, since you can always have one, two extras charged and ready to go.
Have a tip you want to share leave it in the comments below.