Smartphone batteries are cruel mistresses. They can either last all day, allowing you to surf the Web and crush candies to your heart’s content, or they die two hours after you unplug them. If you’re a Samsung Galaxy S5 owner, though, there are a few things you can do to greatly improve your phone’s battery life.
Though the following tips are specifically for the Samsung Galaxy S5, many of them will work on any Android device. The directions, however, will vary slightly, depending on your phone’s settings. With that out of the way, here are the best ways to improve your phone’s battery life:
1. Lower the display brightness.
The majority of your smartphone’s power is consumed by its display. So it follows that lowering your phone’s display brightness will save a good amount of battery life.
To reduce your phone’s screen brightness, pull down the notifications drawer and disable auto-brightness by unchecking the box next to the brightness slider.
Next, lower the brightness slider. The dimmer your screen, the less battery you’re sucking up to power it.
If you don’t have a brightness slider in your notifications drawer, then open the Settings menu and find Display.
Tap the Brightness tab and uncheck the box next to Automatic Brightness. Then move the slider to 30 to 40 percent.
2. Disable WiFi.
When your smartphone’s WiFi is turned on and you’re not connected to a WiFi network, it will continuously search for available connections. This will, in turn, hurt your phone’s battery life.
To turn off your phone’s WiFi when not using it, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notifications drawer and, if the Wi-Fi icon is green, tap it to turn it gray.
If there isn’t a Wi-Fi button in your notifications drawer, then open the Settings menu and select the Wi-Fi option.
Find the switch at the top of the screen and flip it to the Off position. Your WiFi radio should now be turned off.
3. Turn off the GPS.
Your smartphone’s GPS is an incredibly helpful tool when you’re in need of directions. But when you’re not using it, your GPS is just sapping your phone’s battery power.
If you’re not using the GPS, then open your phone’s notifications drawer and press the GPS button to gray it out and disable the GPS radio.
Don’t have a GPS button in your phone’s notifications drawer? Open the Settings menu and select Location.
Move the switch at the top of the screen to the Off position.
4. Switch off Bluetooth.
Your smartphone’s Bluetooth radio allows it to connect to other devices such as Bluetooth headsets and speakers. But when it’s not in use, it’s just eating into your phone’s battery.
To turn off Bluetooth, open your phone’s notifications drawer and tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it gray.
If you don’t have Bluetooth saved in your notifications drawer, then open the Settings menu and choose the Bluetooth tab.
Tap the switch at the top of the screen to turn it to the Off position. Your phone’s Bluetooth radio should now be off.
5. Disable Vibrate (haptic feedback).
Sometimes the only way you’ll notice your phone is ringing is through its vibrate feature. But it can also drain your phone’s battery faster than you’d like, especially if you’re getting a lot of calls or notifications. It can be even worse if your phone vibrates whenever you touch the screen.
To turn off vibrate, open the Settings menu and select the Sound tab.
Uncheck the box next to Vibrate When Ringing to ensure that your phone doesn’t vibrate when you get a call.
Also uncheck the box next to Haptic Feedback.
To disable vibration when typing on your keyboard, uncheck the box next to Key-tap Vibration under the Samsung Keyboard heading.
If you want to disable vibration when you receive text messages, choose the Message tab under Samsung Applications and uncheck the box next to Vibrate. You can repeat this step for the Calendar and Email apps.
6. Turn off Sync.
In order for your phone to receive updates from Facebook, Twitter, Email and other apps, it has to repeatedly send requests to them to see if you have any messages. This process is referred to as syncing.
Normally, syncing doesn’t chew up much of your phone’s battery life, but if your handset is almost dead, or you’re not going to be near a charger for a while, you might want to disable syncing.
If you have the sync icon in your phone’s notifications drawer, you can simply turn it off by tapping it until it’s gray.
If the sync icon is nowhere to be found, you can open your phone’s Settings menu and select the Accounts tab.
Choose your Google account and tap your email address to access your sync settings.
From here, you can choose which apps you want your phone to sync with and which you don’t want it to sync with. The fewer apps it syncs with, the less battery life you’ll use.
You can follow the same instructions to turn off syncing with Facebook, Twitter, and any other apps with which you don’t want your phone to sync.
7. Enable Airplane mode.
Your smartphone’s Airplane mode is designed to turn off all of its available wireless connections. That includes everything from 4G LTE data to voice capabilities. If your phone’s battery is on death’s door — or you’re on an actual plane — this feature can be extremely helpful.
To enable Airplane mode, open the notifications drawer and tap the Airplane mode icon.
No Airplane mode icon? Not to worry; open the Settings menu and select the Airplane mode tab.
Set the switch to On, and Airplane mode will be active. Just don’t forget to turn it off when you get back to your phone charger.
8. Turn on Power Saving mode.
Samsung’s newer Galaxy smartphones come with a special Power Saving mode that can easily improve your handset’s battery life.
As with each of the above examples, check the notifications drawer to see if there is a Power Saving mode quick setting.
If you don’t see one, then open the Settings menu and tap the Power Saving tab.
If you have a Galaxy S5, you can select either Power saving mode or Ultra power saving mode.
The standard Power Saving mode will let you cut down on your phone’s processing power, block apps from accessing background data, and even set the display to show grayscale rather than colors.
If you enable Ultra Power Saving mode, your S5 will completely switch to grayscale and let you use only a custom interface. It’s very restrictive, but it will certainly save on power.