How To Make Your Phone’s Battery Last Longer And Hold More Juice

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How often do you recharge your smartphone?

It’s different for everyone; personally speaking, my phone is charged (on average) every other day, but of course this changes when I’m working “on the road” (conducting interviews or just hanging out in cafes working on my tablet or just with pen and paper).

A few years ago I worked as an IT technician, something that required me to have my phone switched on 24/7. This also meant almost perpetual charging, whether at home, in the office or in the car. That’s a lot of recharging; a lot of energy.

In a society where energy costs are rising, brownouts and blackouts are more common and the urge to stay connected is ever-greater, knowing how to manage your mobile phone’s battery as effectively as possible is increasingly important.

This isn’t only to keep costs down – it’s also about staying in communication with emails and social networking services as well as text messaging and phone calls.

Why Battery Life Decreases Under Different Conditions

Smartphones almost exclusively employ Lithium-Ion (aka Li-ion) batteries as these offer an affordable, high capacity solution for the various functions, services and connections that smartphone users expect from operating systems.

Battery charge decreases on a day-to-day basis through constant use – but what factors affect the life of a Li-ion battery?

The age of the battery is most important, as this can affect that maximum charge. A 2010 study demonstrated that from a starting capacity of 88-94%, battery life after 250 charges reduced to 73-84%.

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Internal resistance and self-discharge is largely redundant in modern batteries, and while age is something that cannot be easily managed (batteries can sit on shelves in their smartphones for months before purchase) all of this means that managing your battery life is something that you will need to monitor closely.

Looking After Your Battery

A few years ago I was convinced that full battery discharge from time to time was the best way to maintain long life for the power cell – I’ve since learned, however, that this is not the case. Instead, avoiding full discharge and charging regularly is apparently the best way to keep the battery working longer.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fully discharge your battery every couple of months. Doing so enables the device hardware to recalibrate capacity, thereby ensuring that the correct charge is displayed on your smartphone.

Interestingly, temperature will affect your battery life; even occasional use in hot conditions will drain the battery faster…

Native Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Battery Life on Your Mobile Phone

There are various ways provided by mobile phone operating system developers that you can employ to lengthen the time between charges.

Sadly this means a trade-off with functionality.

The most obvious thing to do is make sure your screen is set to switch off after a certain amount of time unused – perhaps after 30 seconds or a minute. You can also disable the phone’s vibrate mode and any vibrate/haptic feedback designed to help you determine when software buttons have been pressed.

After this, it’s time to turn your attention to connectivity. Bluetooth will drain your battery, so if this isn’t in use, disable it. Similarly, Wi-Fi will severely deplete battery life, especially if you have a few rogue apps or games maintaining a connection with a remote server.

Mobile Internet such as EDGE, 3G, 4G and beyond will also lead to faster depletion of battery life. If you’re not using these connections for anything (i.e. your phone is sitting idle) then disable them.

Finally, take a look at the apps you have installed, and determine whether or not they require localization services. These are typically provided by GPS, one of the biggest drains on your phone’s battery. If you’re not using GPS, switch it off!

Battery Management Apps

Pretty much all mobile platforms have battery management apps available for them. These are available either as third party apps that can be installed from the corresponding app store or provided as a native option.

Sadly, these apps don’t really do anything magical. Typically they will restrict data transfer on mobile Internet services, or at best all but disable non telephony connectivity in order to maintain battery life for as long as possible. After all, smartphones are basically for making phone calls, so as long as this fundamental function is available with a low battery, there isn’t an overwhelming need to recharge.

Can I Recharge My Phone in the Freezer?

As crazy as the idea of placing an expensive piece of hardware in a coolbox might sound, it is actually possible to get more battery life from a smartphone by placing it somewhere cold for a while.

While a freezer is unsuitable – it is likely to cause the casing of the battery to crack – the principle of keeping a Lithium-Ion battery cool will increase the amount of power that it delivers to your phone. Li-ion rechargeable batteries generate heat when in use, something that is mitigated by internal resistance (this is also why charger voltages are so low; a high voltage would result in a faster charge but also a higher temperature – above 30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit – reducing the life of the battery). This causes the battery to discharge more quickly while simultaneously providing energy for the normal functioning of the device.

Using the phone in a cooler environment or storing the battery itself in a cool place when not in use can extend the charge and the life of the cell.


Keeping your smartphone battery charge going for as long as possible isn’t just environmentally sound, it is financially sound too. While recharging from a modern car battery might not cost as much as recharging your smartphone from the mains electricity every day, understanding what services and functions impact battery power the most and taking steps to minimise these is the best way of increasing the life of the current charge.

As for your battery itself, regular top-up charges, with occasional recalibration discharges will increase battery life, as will storage in a cool place away from heat.

Image Credit: Mobile Phone via Shutterstock | Battery Full via Shutterstock |  Two Battery Chargers via Shutterstock |  Mobile GPS via Shutterstock | Nearly Full Freezer via Shutterstock 

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51 Comments - Write a Comment


Erlis Dhima

I really need to take my time reading this post!
I hope it really helps a little! There are times, when the battery can’t last longer than 4-5 hours, or even less..


Vanja Gorgiev

i’m charging my phone for a long time even when the battery is 100% it’s still on the charger, i’m fully draining it once a month or once in two months is that bad?


You shouldn’t keep it in the charger after charge as heat would damage it, you should only drain it once in 3 months .

Julie Smith

In general, keeping a phone on a charger shouldn’t overheat anything. All the modern phones (post 2005) that I’ve encountered have automatic charge control circuitry, which stops charging the battery once the battery reaches 100%. I would suggest that the phone has a fault if the phone continues to heat once charging is complete.

The charging circuit in a phone is generally similar to the charging circuit in a laptop. Nobody suggests unplugging a laptop once the laptop’s battery is charged.


Sebastian Hadinata

Nice tips.. especially the freezer one. gotta try it :P


It says the freezer is unsuitable and likely to cause the battery to crack. Not good. You should keep your battery cool… not freeze it.

Sebastian Hadinata

Maybe you can adjust the temperature to make it not so freezing? :P


Then all your food will thaw or if you use the fridge and turn it’s temperature higher your perishable food will go bad. lol I think more things can go wrong putting an electronic device or a part of it in the fridge/freezer than the possible (small) benefits. The other tips are really good. See my other comment.

Sebastian Hadinata

LOL.. perhaps you’re right. Will try the other tips instead.


Bruce Thomas

I didn’t know about vibrate mode drains battery life. I need a battery management app. Any suggestions which is best for a Nokia 710?


Alan Trinder

The advantages of good old Symbian. My N8 gives me 1 to 3 days per charge, I take lots of photos, maps and facebook. Use Bluetooth for music, Plus I live in the tropics so the worst temperature conditions?
I guess I will be changing to a more modern “in vogue” operating system at some time and I hope the battery technology has improved by then.



For Android phones (at least on my phone and a few friends’ phones I’ve tried) there should be a widget called Power Control already in there, it puts a bar with buttons to toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Sync and a brightness button that goes between minimum, medium, and maximum brightness.

Then there’s a widget you can download called Data Enabler, takes up the space of one icon and you just press it to turn the data connection off when you don’t need it then press it again and wait a few seconds and you get your data back. One person did tell me their data wouldn’t turn back on when they did that.. so try it out when you don’t need it, just to be safe. Saves a lot of battery, sometimes I don’t charge my phone for two days. It isn’t my only connection to the world, so usually it’s just sitting on my desk or in my pocket waiting for calls or texts, not checking for new emails, Facebook notifications, app updates, or telling everyone where I am when I don’t want it to. If GPS, sync, and 3G were turned on like they were already when I first got the phone, my battery would drain fast.


Thanks for the suggestion about Data Enabler. I’ll have to tell my sister about it because she recently got a Galaxy S2 and the battery has been draining quite rapidly. Hopefully it’ll help. :)

Keith Ambrose

I use a Data widget that works wonders. If 3G is off, the battery seems to last forever. I tried using those app killer and battery saver apps but those don’t work since the apps they try to prevent from starting just keep restarting, which drains the battery. But this simple data widget gets the job done.

Julie Smith

I also found that 3G was the biggest battery life killer. I would usually be down to below 40% by the end of the day.
I now have WiFi at home, and I leave my WiFi enabled all the time, and I’m usually above 60% at the end of the day.


Va Du

I just accepted that the battery life is what it is. You will have to eventually replace it or the phone.


Kieran Colfer

One tip they missed out on there was screen brightness – if you have a smartphone set to 100% brightness the whole time,you’re burning more juice than if you have it set to say around 80%, and in real terms unless you’re outside in bright sunshine, you won’t see much difference between 80% and 100%.

Another one is if you’re in a low signal area and you have no reception, and you know you’re going to be there a while, just turn on airplane mode to stop your phone from trying to fruitlessly re-connect to the network. If a phone loses signal, it ramps up the antenna power to try to boost the signal to connect again. If it’s constantly out of signal, it’ll just keep doing this, which drains the battery even faster than usual. So, just turn on airplane mode to stop it even trying.


Ahmed Khalil

Freezer? it is new idea

Christian Cawley

“a freezer is unsuitable – it is likely to cause the casing of the battery to crack”

Seriously, don’t do it; it’s on your own head, Ahmed


VS Vishnu

delete the freezer line…from the comments looks like people are going to try it for real..!


Nart Barileva

It’s also really good to keep an extra battery with you just in case, it helps me a lot


Krishna Vallabhaneni

The same works for laptops right?


Heru Saputra

Thank you. Its really help


Ciprian Nitu

Thanks for the tips. For a better experience I recommend to replace the battery after 2-3 years of use.



Also, if you’re using Android, you should stick to stock ROMs and don’t use custom ones IF you want a longer battery life. I have a SGS and I was using Darky’s latest ICS ROM and after a month or two, my phone couldn’t resist even a day without discharging. Now I’ve gone back to 2.3.6 and it has a 2 day battery life with WiFi constantly on. Also you should reset the battery data every six months, for a longer battery life.


No. Usually smartphones with custom ROM have longer battery life. It’s depend of developer and his skills. I think you should try ROM from other developer.



Nice article i must say.
But it missed one important point of removing mammoth apps which are installed over the period. More the apps, more energy battery has to put.

I noticed this thing on my BB, where the battery would discharge within a day.


JS Farkas

Interesting. The challenge now is to remember & implement…



I use a battery saver app named JuiceDefender Plus and it extended the baterry life one day more. I really recommend it.

Vampie C.

I have that as well on my droid.

It is true that it extends the life, but only if you don’t regularly use your phone.
IT switches all connections off when the screen is off, and turns them on if the screen is on.
This is good if you don’t touch it for an hour.
But if you check it every 5 to 10 minutes, ti constantly has to disable and enable your connections, witch drain battery power.

But Juicedefender works good.


Frederick Doe

A smartphone in your pocket absorbs a lot of heat from your body. Putting your phone in a hip holster will significantly increase its battery life. Keep in mind, though, that a holster + case (like an Otterbox) may have a net negative effect on your phone’s battery life because the case holds heat in.


Ron Morrow

Nice tips, thanks. Now I just need a backpack fridge to make all my plans work…



Darren Reynolds

im lucky if my battery lasts 8 hours when I’m out and about.. I turn the blutooth off but need the wifi…. A couple of calls and thats it. dead in the water…


Dos Moonen

Awesome, thanks!


MerVzter Balacuit

what i do every time i discharge my phone, is that i will wait for 5-10 minutes to use my phone.. its just because i observed that sometimes phone generate heat while charging so after i let to cool down it first the effect is that battery usage for long run..


Louwra Preyser

Good tips :) I now always turn of 3G and Wifi if I am not using it and have noticed a very big difference in battery life!



Charging at some cool place is really very cool idea.


Ray Thompson

Will these suggestions also work for extending the battery life on a Kindle?


Kylee Kanavas

Does this only work for smartphones?



Freezer? oh umm, i not recommend it hehe :D the truth is cool place


Ale Bendersky

thanks for the tips!



My solution: Have more than one battery and a charger that can charge phone and spare simultaneously.

To me, it’s just not worth worrying about. I charge my battery when I need battery, and I use battery when I need battery. Pretty simple.

I don’t own a smartphone so that it can set there disconnected from all networks and essentially become a paperweight. I own a smartphone because I want to be able to do the things a smartphone allows me to do.


Igor Rizvi?

From time to time,every battery gets its Memory effect … great article..sharing–


Ellen Odza

Great article, thanks – I need to read it over again more carefully.

My husband’s smartphone was always dying on him much faster than mine (and since we have the same phone purchased at the same time, that was a bit weird). We finally realized that he let the kids play on his phone a lot (I don’t!) and they left games running in the background the chewed up the battery.

I put an app killer on our phones and that really helps extend battery life.


Home Less

smartphone can store to keeping power at freez


Roman Vávra

Phone in the freezer, that got me :DD


Hot dogs and Beers

You don’t really need battery management applications.

Everything you need is already built into the phone.
i.e. Notification bar: giving you access to wifi / bluetooth / gps / data / vibrate-sound

& Power management tool: giving you access to: wifi / bluetooth / gps / sync(background data) / backlight.

I have the backlight @ lowest setting, data (off) if not using it, wifi (off) if no need, gps (off) never needed it, background data and sync off, unless I’m downloading an app. from google play store.

Just a thought; for dedicated gps use, it’s hard to beat a handheld garmin gps. Mine runs on 2 AA batteries and the battery life is very good. Upwards of 24 hours on a set of sanyo eneloops. Not to mention it provides much more detail and more functional than any gps app. built into a phone. From waypoints to routing/tracks and backtracking, it’s great. There’s no way I’m going to subject my phone’s little lithium battery to gps duty.



I really like the tip on keeping your phone cool. Extreme heat can really take a toll on your iPhone 5s battery life. If it gets too hot it will shut down to avoid damaging it.

We have a few cool recent iPhone 5 iOS 6 tips & tricks posts as well.



i would suggest that stick to a desktop in terms of playing hardcore games then use your phones for calling or communication only. people forgot that hardcore games are designed to get you addictive to it, if you play more than 12 hours in your phone then forget about saving your battery life… coz whatever you do, all games are designed to be addictive.



i just bought a Zenfone 5 phone..Concern about the battery it affected if played games??

Christian Cawley

Happens on pretty much every phone. So probably.

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