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Do Smartphones Have Poor Battery Life? Plus How to Extend Yours

veteran

Smartphones are improving at a breathtaking pace: however, people still complain about poor battery life.

 

Unlike other smartphone features, battery technology isn’t improving at the same pace. Generally speaking, the larger the battery, the higher the capacity. The never ending quest to make smartphones lighter and thinner gets in the way of high battery life.

 

If you have a phone with excellent battery life, share it in the comments section, and we might add it into a future post.

 

Here are some other reasons why smartphones still have relatively poor battery life, and what to do about it.

 

 

Changing usage patterns

 

Not too far back, you needed a laptop in order to shop online, pay bills etc. Fast forward to now and smartphones are a quicker and more convenient way of conducting online activities. As a result, we use them more often. Therefore, it can feel as if your smartphone is suffering from poor battery life. Remember, all those selfies, videos and notifications use energy.

 

If you would like to extend your smartphones battery life, check out my post on the best power banks.

 

 

More powerful hardware and demands

 

Each year tech brands develop better screens, faster hardware, and faster internet browsing speeds. This is very taxing on the battery. For example, the higher a smartphone’s resolution, the more energy is required.

 

The latest smartphones are so powerful that they can leave most mid range laptops in the dust. In fact 8GB and 12GB RAM phones are on the horizon. Until thicker phones come into fashion, we will continue to suffer from poor battery life.

 

 

Background sync

 

Most apps are constantly try to find new information to serve. For instance, the Facebook app downloads the first few seconds of videos as you scroll. Your email client keeps in constant communication with servers.

 

You could turn off background sync, but this would mean that you miss out on ‘important’ notifications. Saying that, I found that this made a dramatic difference to my battery life.

 

Here is how to do it:

 

Android

 

1) Open “Settings”

2) Tap on “General”

3) Tap on “Users and accounts” and untick “Autosync accounts”

 

 

IOS

 

1) Open “Settings”

2) Tap on “General”

3) Tap on “Background app refresh” and toggle the switch to off.

 

In-built obsolescence

 

Many decades ago, tech companies liked to build products which would last for as long as possible. This built confidence in their products and expanded their reputation. One of my uncles owned the very first Nokia and still refuses to use any other brand. He is convinced that they are the best and “indestructible”.

 

Modern day smartphones are built to be replaced in the future. It isn’t a coincidence that there are fewer new smartphones with removable batteries. The hope is that you upgrade once the battery gets too poor for everyday use. The average smartphone upgrade cycle is 21 months. Smartphone batteries are designed to last for between a year and 18 months. Coincidence?

 

Smartphones have also gotten more fragile, so that you need to buy a case. Tech companies make a lot of money from selling cases, and other accessories. The profit margins on accessories can be much better than the phone.

 

This isn’t a critique of the current tech landscape. It costs a lot of money to develop outstanding phones, and people want the latest and greatest. Tech brands are simply responding to what customers want and the need to make a profit.

 

 

3 tips fro a dramatic boost in battery life: 

 

1) Save your favourite articles to your phone using the Pocket app. I use this every morning while having breakfast. This saves batery life and data. 

 

2) Download music and videos instead of streaming every time. Netflix, Youtube Music and Sportify have a download option. Use it to download your favourite content so you don't have to stream it everytime. Streaming uses a lot of battery life. 

 

3) One of my friends drops incredibly large videos into our group chat. They take a long time to download and kil my battery. After turning off auto downloads, this is no longer a problem. Follow the links to turn off auto downloads on Facebook and Whatsapp

 

 

Final thoughts

 

I hope you found this post interesting, and it has been a bit of an eye opener. If so, share it on social media.

 

Do you have a phone which has such terrible battery life that you can’t wait to upgrade? Let the community know in the comments section below.


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23 Comments
guide

Good advice. Doesn't help that we spend more and more time on our smartphones on a daily basis. 

marvel

I wouldn't buy a phone that didn't have a removeable battery, and the first accessory I buy is an extra capacity battery.  This means that I typically get 4 - 5 days battery life (though less than that when I'm away from access to my desktop computer and relying on my phone for web browsing).

 

Another reason for getting the big battery is that I find most phones are too small and light otherwise - I hate those nagging worries about have I remembered to pick my phone up, so it's reassuring to be able to feel the heft in my pocket.

 

 

The Honor View 10 could easily last 2 to 3 days depending on use.

helping the masses

One thing I look for in the specs when buying a phone is battery size mine has a 5000mah battery but I see a lot of phones with just 2600mah and people getting just half a day out of them.

unlikely to be wrong
Click to reveal
 

@abdulf

 

A great informative blog👍

Many thanks

Yvonne 

newcomer

When riding on London Underground put your phone on airplane mode. Otherwise, your entire journey your phone will devote battery power to trying to secure a stable connection to phone towers (even though it is impossible) and therefore waste battery power. You'd be surprised how much longer you phone will last if you do this.

 

Likewise, when it is prudent/safe to do so, take your phone out of your pocket/handbag or work desk draw, as again it will devote more power to trying to maintain a connection when it is buried on your person thab free and unobstructed nearby (watching for thieves though when in public places!) 

kingpin

Try the new Nokia 7 plus, it has excellent battery life (I can get 3 days from it with moderate use).

visionary

Thanks for info. I like a phone I can easily change the battery unfortunately there seems to be less on the market these days.

Cheers

newcomer

By saying that the "battery technology isn’t improving at the same pace" as other smartphone features, I think you uderestimte what happened to batteries. They evolved ftom Nickel-Cadmium, through Nickel-Metal Hydride, to Lithium-Ion / Lithium-Polymer batteries. The electrical capacity to weight ratio grew approx 8 times. So, yeah, the batteries are evolving too.

steward

I always try and go for large battery capacity, and get a spare if possible