Whether you use an Android or an iPhone, you’ve probably experienced the struggle of trying to keep your smartphone alive on five per cent battery. When you first buy a new phone the battery lasts a long time. Gradually, however, general use and age can start to wear the battery down. Keeping your device running for as long as possible will help you defer the expensive process of buying a new one, as well as make your daily life easier.
Here are five common reasons why your phone battery is depleting so quickly.
1. The screen brightness is too high
Having your phone’s screen brightness set high all the time is a major source of battery drain. Either take the brightness down a notch and keep it like that, or take advantage of the phone setting that enables the phone to automatically determine the screen’s brightness based on your environment. For example, if you’re in a dark cinema, your phone will adjust to a lower screen brightness so you don’t waste precious battery power. Another way to reduce battery consumption by the screen is to shorten the amount of time that it takes the display to turn off after you lock the device.
2. You’re using too many power-hungry apps
Any app that relies on GPS or plays video and music is going to use a lot of battery power. If you’re using Google Maps, checking the weather or tracking your run distance, you’re giving apps permission to use your location. It’s fine to use these apps but it’s good practice to shut them down after use, rather than leaving them running in the background. Streaming music and videos, playing games with heavy graphics and using the camera a lot is also going to drain your battery faster.
3. Your phone is always trying to connect to wifi
Using wifi as a preferred internet connection over using data is a great way to save money. But having wifi turned on while you’re doing the shopping, on the train or out for lunch means that your phone is constantly using battery to find and connect to wifi networks. If you’re not expecting to connect to a wifi network, turn off wifi to prevent your phone wasting battery.
4. Apps are busy working in the background
Some apps, such as Facebook and email, have an automatic feature called ‘background app refresh’. This basically means new information is constantly being updated in the app from the internet. Unless you’re plugged into a power source and on wifi, this chews up both battery power and data. You can check which of your apps are the largest culprits by opening the Settings app and navigating to Battery on either Android or iPhone.
5. Your phone has a hardware problem
If you try all the above fixes and find your phone battery still doesn’t last the day, you may need to address a hardware problem with your device. Depending on the kind of phone you have, how old it is and where you bought it, you might be able to return to the shop for a professional opinion on whether something is wrong (and if it’s worth fixing). If you choose to go ahead with paying for a repair, it might help to look into independent licensed repair services, which sometimes offer services at reduced rates compared with official phone retailers.