There's little in life more frustrating than having your mobile phone run out of battery in the middle of the day when you've left your charger at home. But you don't just have to accept this — follow these simple tips to extend your phone's battery life and avoid being caught short.
Watch out for 3G and Wi-Fi
3G and Wi-Fi are now standard features in most new phones, and while they are essential for anyone who keeps tabs on work email while away from their desks, or Twitters about the bad smell on the train ride home from school, they are also one of the great battery life sinks in a mobile device. Because these are features which won't affect you making or receiving calls you should figure out how to turn these both off and make sure you only switch them on when you need them. Most phones feature a "GSM only" options, and switching to this could double or triple your battery life, depending on the phone model and on your usage.
Turning off a phone's 3G radios can significantly increase battery life
(Credit: Screenshots CBSi)
Turn off your Bluetooth when you're not using it
One of the most infamous battery-draining culprits is Bluetooth, which can be left on unintentionally. Bluetooth is a radio standard that can receive and transmit information, but to do this it consumes battery power. Unless you're using a Bluetooth headset, transferring files or sending information to someone, then you should turn it off and only use it when you need to.
Lower your screen's brightness
Another feature that you should keep an eye on is your screen's brightness. Some phones adjust the display's brightness automatically according to the ambient light, but most don't. The majority of mobile phone displays will be set to full brightness when you first switch them on and, unless you change it manually, they will stay on that setting.
You don't usually need full brightness to view the screen properly and setting it as low as possible will save plenty of energy. Some phones also have an option letting you adjust how long the backlight stays on for. It's best to keep the backlight on for as short an amount of time as possible, so turn it down to around 15 seconds, or less if you can to save your battery.
Adjusting your screen's brightness may also give you back a few hours
(Credit: Screenshots CBSi)
Keep it plain and keep it quiet
Screensavers and moving wallpapers may look pretty but they use up battery power, so turn them off. A loud ring and the vibrate mode also use up a lot of power, so turn down the volume and turn off the vibrate mode if you don't need it.
Use your phone sparingly and turn it off when you don't need it
If you restrict your phone usage to text messaging or phone calls and turn it off when you don't need it, your battery will last much longer. It may be fun playing games or browsing the Web at the bus stop, but your battery may well run out by the time you get to work.