11 Apr 2012
By Sunil Joseph

HOW TO: Save battery power on your Android phone


Android continues to offer more features, functionality, and great integration of web services.  For all those Android users who have ever wondered – “How can I get just a little bit more power from my Android battery”, we have a few tips* below to help you proactively and intelligently manage your battery life.

1. Check Battery Usage

The first step is simple, find out what is actually hogging your battery life and then do something about it. The easiest way to check your battery usage is by going into your settings.

  • On an Android 2.3 device. You need to click on Settings  -> About Phone-> Battery Usage
  • On an Android 4.0 device. You need to click on Settings  -> Battery (Which sits under the device sub-section of the screen.)

Telstra Exchange battery indicator

2. Turn down the screen brightness

As you can see from the above screenshots, the ‘Display’ is a big battery hog. Only turn this down if you have good lighting around you to see your screen.

  • On an Android 2.3 device and Android 4.0 device you can easily turn down your screen brightness by clicking on ‘Display’ in settings then hitting Brightness and adjusting it on the slider.

Telstra Exchange brightness

3. Use dark-themed apps

If you are happy to turn your screen brightness down it makes sense to use apps which utilise blacks and darker colours. Two things I do regularly on my phone are: Google Searches and reading books. For Google searching, I have found a great replacement app called ‘Black Google’ which I downloaded by entering in the search term ‘bGoog’. This app replaces my Google Search widget with a completely black theme.  Also if you like to read books like me, there should be an option in your book reading app to change the theme to “Night”. In Google’s ‘Play Books’ you can access this feature through the settings menu.

4. Disable Auto-Sync

This is an easy task and can save a lot of battery life depending on how many emails you get, simply jump into Settings  -> Accounts and untick ‘Auto-Sync’. The idea behind turning this off is to ensure that apps are not constantly pushing information to your device. This will also mean you will have to check your email manually.

  • On an Android 2.3 device: You need to click on Settings -> Accounts and Sync ->Uncheck the Auto-Sync button
  • On an Android 4.0 device: You need to click on Settings -> Accounts & Sync -> Switch the Sync button from On to Off which sits next to the Heading

Telstra Exchange accounts

5. Download paid apps

A recent issue which has been identified is that apps which showcase ads are sucking up a lot of battery life. Although it saves you money by not paying for an app, if you play Angry Birds or Draw Something on a regular basis I would recommend switching to the paid apps. Not only will you get more options, but also you will use less battery.

*This blog is recommended for those who are using Android 2.3 and up.

If you are reading this and know of more battery saving tips, you can list yours in the comments below.


Posts: 13


  1. James says:

    Also turning on 3G or 4G Internet when you really need it. On samsungs galaxy’s hold down the power button and a box will pop up then there should be an option to deactivate and reactivate data

    • Sunil says:

      Great tip James, my only caution with this one is forgetting that you have turned this off and not getting any pings from your Social Networking apps. I usually do this if I am getting very close to the red.

    • Ant says:

      Using a default email client with say 15 minute update also helps. Push email is a problem not just on android but on Iphone as well ( its one of the few things the blackberry does better than anyone in terms of battery power)

  2. Splade says:

    If we could remove or turn off Telstra One it would help. I never use it except it continually turns itself on after I use Advanced Task Killer to switch everything in the background off.

  3. Harry says:

    What will happen, if I tick the automatic brightness box.?

    • Level380 says:

      Harry if you turn it on your screen brightness will adjust up and down depending on how bright it is. ie the brighter it is the brighter your screen needs to be for you to see it.

      I highly recommend the Auto setting.

      • Sunil says:

        I agree the auto-setting is great for detecting when the brightness should be higher and lower. From a personal perspective I have noticed that sometimes when my device thinks the screen should be brighter I tend to disagree and think it could be a little lower.

  4. Level380 says:

    Install a wifi app that turns off wifi when not around any wifi hotspots. I highly recommend a call called “Y5″ from the market. It automatically turns on and off your wifi based on known wifi connections you have. It uses the mobile tower location to turn it on for you. For example whn I leave home my wifi auto turns off and when I return it auto turns back on again.

    Also uninstall unused apps, some of these will run in the background for no reason at all.

    Adjust your facebook and twitter ‘refresh’ settings from the default up to 1 or more hours between refreshes. Some apps are refreshing often in the background, which uses data and data costs battery life.

    Another battery saving tip is to use 2G (ie turn off 3G when not needed), but this is a bit exterme as data speeds are sooooo slow on 2G.

    For the hardcore battery hogs who need every bit of juice, have a look at a battery saver app, some phones like the moto ones have this built in. Look at JuiceDefender, it will enable a heap of battery saving tips for you. Including disabling data for you when the screen is off, but will cycle it on every 15mins to allow mail refresh etc. Huge battery saver app!

  5. Bad-sig says:

    What about the obvious? Make sure you leave Bluetooth and WiFi off unless you need to use it then turn it off again after use. Also turn off GPS to save power. You can easily switch these on and off with a widget.

    • Sunil says:

      Was waiting for someone (in this case you) to mention these tips, I didn’t put them in the blog as for some people they are as you said – quite obvious. I hope some of these tips may have been ones you hadn’t previously thought of?

  6. Ian says:

    I have found the app named, “juice defender”, useful. As above, it automatically turns the 3g/4g off whilst the screen is dark. It only takes a split second to turn on once you light up the screen again. No miracle worker, however does make a small difference.

  7. Level380 says:

    Turning off GPS to save power is myth, UNLESS you have a app running that enables GPS usage.

    ie if you don’t have the flashing/solid GPS icon in the taskbar then the GPS is off!

    The widget only controls access to allow an app to turn on or off the gps. So turning this off, only stops an app turning on the GPS. It doesn’t save power unless you have some app that has the gps running all the time

  8. I got a new phone it,s an apple I phone got no problem

  9. Daniel says:

    Just use app Juice defender in Android market it automates all the above options. And yes there is a paid version too.

  10. Will says:

    there a number of power control widgets available (pretty sure even an out of the box included one) that allow you to toggle these battery drainers on and off (wifi, bluetooth, 3g). the one that made the most difference to me was turning off mobile data. the phone will only drain about 10% for a whole day if left idle, as opposed to draining 30% throughout the course of the day prior.
    obviously once the data is switched back on to browse the net, it still sucks through the battery, but its the idle time that now has the improvement, and gives me more than one day without recharge.

  11. Jack Dorney says:

    What an awesome blog, followed the steps and it worked out really well for me. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jig says:

    How if we installed FREE power saving app from google play. I am using easy battery Saver app it belive me it’s giving me 2+ days rechargeing cycle. I dont need to adjust or change any setting. Hassal free & very usefull stuff. It’s free so atleast you can atleast try..

  13. Dave says:

    When setting up you’re corporate mail you should have the option to turn off your push mail during off peak periods. This saves me heaps of battery life and helps me switch off from work!

  14. Level380 says:

    Hi Dave…. This is a great tip and works very well. That said not all devices have this feature. For example I know HTC devices do, but the Google Nexus devices dont (ie Galaxy Nexus running ICS).

    Anyone wanting to do this on HTC here is a quick howto guide

  15. Angelina says:

    Try this app “Battry Plus”.(FREE)

    I have installed this app from playStore. It is incredible. Works great on my Android. It really reduces the battery consumption and also i can kill the unwanted apps running through this app.

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