Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Prolong Your Smartphone's Battery Life

You’re in the middle of an important conversation when your phone suddenly conks out due to lack of battery power. You got shocked, because you left it charging it all night! Annoying, right? We’ve all been there.

Smartphones today are faster, smarter and more user-friendly, and we love that. However, there is still one thing that we do not like – the lack of battery power to sustain a day’s heavy use. Yes, at this age and time when technology innovations are at its prime, I don’t understand why no manufacturer has ever launched a long-lasting battery yet.

Aside from the portable extra batteries or chargers available in the market that may resolve this issue, here are some tips on how you could ultimately conserve or at least prolong your smartphones’ battery life.

Charge fully, but don’t overcharge.

Make sure not to charge your battery unless it really needs to get more juice. This means that you don’t need to plug the smartphone if it’s still half full or you still haven’t heard the beeping sound that signals it has reached a low battery level.

In addition, do not leave your phone charging overnight. Battery packs that are often overcharged will have a shorter life span in the long run, making it drain faster than the usual.

Make your phone sleep.

Most phones today have the “sleep” feature, which stands by when locked or remains un-used for a certain duration. Remember, it will constantly drain the battery whether it’s searching for a signal, receiving texts or calls, or even just lighting up every time you accidentally push a button. Unless you plan on using it or you’re waiting for a call, simply power it down to avoid phantom drain.

Consider usage patterns.

Obviously, the less you use your phone, the longer the battery will last. So if you make frequent calls of great length for example, then consider laying down the cell phone and using the landline instead. This will extend the life of your charge and ensure that your battery doesn’t run out of juice when you’re in the middle of an important call.

Avoid extras.

At any given time, your phone may be running a number of functions without your knowledge. Smartphones usually require additional battery power to access the internet or perform multimedia functions like taking pictures (flash photography, in particular, can drain a battery quickly). Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and 3G mode also suck the life out of your battery, so be aware of your battery life when these features are active. Remember to close off all inactive applications as well.

Steer clear of heat.

One sure-fire way to mess up your battery is to allow it to heat up. A warm environment can have a negative impact on your battery’s longevity. Keep it away from hot lamps, electronic devices (like your computer), and other heat sources (vents, for example).

The type of charger you use may also cause the battery to heat up, so check it while charging to see if this is the case and make any changes necessary to ensure that your casing stays cool.

This article is my 65th contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on April 2, 2012 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here (lower left portion).


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