One of the most frustrating things about owning one of the latest high end devices is the painfully quick battery drain. Some phones like the Galaxy SIII and RAZR MAXX have shipped with larger batteries, but the latest large, high resolution displays, beefy processors and power hungry radios aren’t helping the situation.
High data speeds are awesome, no doubt. But the traeoff for a large, power-hungry, data-seeking antennae is a reduction in battery life. What can you do to fix this? Wifi!
Staying on known Wifi networks whenever possible has helped battery life immensely. The Verizon Galaxy SIII and many other LTE devices will use significantly more battery when connected to their respective 4G networks than when connected to Wifi. When leaving the area of a known Wifi network, however, it may be wise to turn this feature off. It helps with faster location when navigating, but unless you’re relying on Wifi triangulation over GPS, your device will constantly search for the next open Wifi network to connect to. Turning Wifi off when leaving the home or office networks will save your device from that process (and the power it consumes).
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity is a great example of throttling the CPU to have a major impact on battery life. Not only is the processor already insanely smart on its own but there are profiles that can be set by the user depending on what performance:battery ratio suites them. Using these wisely can give you a balanced, smooth user experience without using much power!
When it all comes down to it, the display is easily the #1 battery killer on mobile devices in 2012. With our responsive, huge, bright, high resolution screens there’s no wonder battery technology is struggling to keep them in operation for more than about a day. Although my main device, the Galaxy SIII happens to have one of the best batteries of any LTE device, its massive Super AMOLED display is easily the biggest influencer of how long it lasts on a charge.
Consider manual brightness. Add a power widget to your homescreen to allow you to flip between 3 levels of brightness at your command. Feeling lazy? Auto brightness! I’ve found that recent Samsung and Asus devices have relatively aggressive automatic brightness algorithms. This means the software tends to over-compensate for any light the ambient light sensor picks up, meaning it’ll dim the screen below what you may think you need. If you work in a mostly indoor environment with your device, this may be particularly helpful!
Sometimes you feel like you’ve tried everything and your battery is still draining at a ridiculous rate. If this is the case, especially on newer devices, it could be a case of some rogue app causing “wakelocks” and never really allowing your device to sleep. Imagine someone sitting in the corner of your room slamming plates together and making loud noises while you try to sleep. That’s a rogue app, and you’re the CPU. Roughly one in four Android apps have battery-killing bugs. If you suspect a faster-than-usual battery drain, there are apps in the Play store that can help you determine if it’s abnormal activity.
Keep calm and carry on!