How to make your phone battery last longer

Does your phone keep dying when you’re out and about? Here are a few tried-and-tested tricks to preserve your battery for longer.

Does your phone keep dying when you’re out and about? Here are a few tried-and-tested tricks to preserve your battery for longer.

Holly Niblett
From the Digital team
6
minute read
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Posted 7 JULY 2021

How can I make my phone battery last longer? 

If you find your phone battery dies just when you need it most, you’re not the only one. Here are a few tips for making your phone battery last that bit longer: 

  • Turn on airplane mode
    When you put your phone on airplane mode, it cuts off your phone’s radio-frequency signal transmissions. That means you can’t make calls, text or email, but on the plus side, it’s a great way to save battery for later. That is, as long as you can handle being temporarily out of reach. Having your phone on airplane mode will also make it charge faster. 
  • Turn off apps that use GPS
    A lot of apps use GPS to track your location. This can really sap your battery, so unless you’re using them, make sure those apps are switched off. 
  •  Don’t over-charge your battery
    Lots of us leave our phones charging overnight, or whenever we aren’t using them. Don’t do it. If you keep your phone charging after it’s reached 100%, you could find it degrades the battery.

    Apple, for example, recommends leaving your phone constantly half-charged, although obviously that’s tricky if you need to be using it all day. 
  • Carry a portable charger with you
    If you pack a portable charger in your bag, you won’t get caught short when your battery dies. 
  • Watch the temperature
    The weather can affect your phone’s battery life. Phones don’t like to be left in direct sunlight, and you’ll also find your battery drains faster in cold weather. In sub-zero temperatures (let’s say you’re on a ski trip) you may find that your battery charge looks fine, then your phone suddenly cuts out.

Battery-saving tips for your phone

Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, here’s our advice for keeping your battery fresher for longer:

iPhone

Is your iPhone battery dying fast? There could be a number of reasons for it, so here’s what to do: 

  • Check battery health
    The iPhone has a tool that lets you see which apps are draining your battery most. Go to Settings, then Battery, and you’ll find a summary of your battery health, and how much each app is using.
  •  Replace the battery
    In extreme circumstances, you may need to replace your iPhone battery. If you find your phone’s playing up, don’t replace it – check if you need to change the battery. It’ll give your smartphone a new lease of life. Your warranty might cover changing the battery. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay for a battery change.

Android

Got a Samsung Galaxy or a Google Pixel 4A, for example? Here are a few ways you can make your Android battery last longer: 

  • Turn on power saver mode
    Doing this will help your charge last longer 
  • Use WiFi
    If you can stick to WiFi (which connects your phone to the web using a router), rather than cellular data (which connects to the web using your phone’s signal), you’ll save your battery. 
  • Turn your phone on silent
    All that sound and vibration from your smart phone uses energy, which you can save by keeping your phone on silent.

What’s draining my battery? 

There are a few things that might drain your battery, so it’s worth seeing if any of these are the problem: 

  • You’ve got your screen brightness turned right up
    Turning your brightness down will help save your battery.
  • You leave apps running in the background
    It’s so easy to search an address on Google Maps, for example, and forget to turn it off, but it’s bad news for your battery.
  • You spend whole train journeys on social media
    If you’re taking a long journey and spend the whole of it on Facebook, you’ll leave the train with a lot less battery than when you got on. By all means check into social media, but maybe take a book or magazine to read too.

Which apps drain the most battery? 

The bad news is that the apps most likely to drain your battery are probably the ones you use the most. Google apps, Facebook app, Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail, Uber… Apps like these can all give your battery a hammering if you’re not careful. 

The trick is to shut down your apps when you’re not using them. Apps like Google Maps and Citymapper, which track your location, can drain your battery of charge if you’re not paying attention and you leave them on for long periods. So, unless you need directions, switch them off. 

Some apps will help your battery stay juiced for longer. Battery HD+, for example, can automatically dim your screen to save battery. There are also many other battery app options available including Battery Life, which will give you all kinds of data on how your battery’s being used. Some of these may require in-app purchases.

How long does a phone battery last? 

Smartphone batteries have a limited lifespan – roughly about two years, but potentially longer or shorter depending on your phone usage.

Exactly how long your battery lasts between charges will depend on a couple of things: 

  • How you use your phone
    If you’re constantly on Facebook, have your screen on full brightness, and use Google Maps, it won’t last long. 
  • How old your phone is
    Lithium batteries like those in your phone, degrade over time. After a while you’ll find your phone no longer keeps its charge like it used to, and eventually it might start cutting out altogether.

Which mobile phone has the longest battery life? 

The downside of smartphones is that the batteries don’t last nearly as long as old-school flip phones. Those sharp screens might be useful, but they don’t half drain a battery. 

That said, models like the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy M31 have received favourable write-ups for their long-lasting batteries. But please note, while we do compare a wide range of state-of-the-art Samsung Galaxy phones, we don’t currently compare the M31 model.

Do I need a new phone battery?  

Remember, smartphone batteries have a limited lifespan of roughly two years. Here’s how to tell if yours is on its last legs: 

  • If you have an iPhone, check the Battery Health section in your Settings.
  • Does your phone feel hot when you touch it? This can be a sign something’s wrong.
  • Your phone keeps cutting out for no reason.

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