Google’s Android operating system continues to get better and better with each new release. Can you believe we’re already up to Android 12?! For all those Android users, whether you’re rocking a Samsung, Pixel or anything else – here are a few quick and easy things to look at to improve your Android phone’s battery life.
There are loads of things that will help your battery life, but a lot of those tips can be more complicated or technical than they’re worth. So we thought we’d pull together some of the easiest and quickest things you can try that will help you loads.
1. Check battery usage to see what’s draining your phone
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. Your menu might visually look a little different, but the steps should be roughly the same across devices.
- Either swipe, type or search for your phone’s Settings
- Once you’re in there, scroll to Battery to get a basic look at your apps’ power usage
- Tap on Battery Usage to learn in more detail
2. Turn down the screen brightness and set to automatic (or adaptive)
As you can see from the above screenshots, the ‘Screen’ is a big battery hog. With such big, highly detailed screens on your phones these days, it is no surprise they need the most power. Keeping your phone’s brightness to automatic so the phone can adapt to your current lighting situation is the best way to manage it in general. But, if you need to boost your display’s brightness manually, here’s how:
- Pull down from your status bar up the top of the phone, near the clock
- You should see a brightness slider in the quick-settings menu now – some phones only half open the menu, so if you don’t you may need to swipe down again to see the full menu including slider
- Slide your brightness to the desired level and you’re set! You may need to temporarily untick the automatic brightness option if it keeps changing by itself. Just don’t forget to turn it back on when you’re done.
3. Use dark (night) mode even in the day
Dark Mode is one of the most useful features of a modern smartphone. Not only does it make your screen easier to look at when the lights are off and lines of code easier read, it can also save you quite a bit of battery on the right phone. That right phone is any phone with an AMOLED or OLED phone – any Samsung Galaxy S device from the last couple of years, or Google’s latest Pixel phones, for example. To oversimplify what’s going on here – OLED (and AMOLED) technology is able to completely turn off individual pixels on your screen when it needs to display black. So when you have Dark or Night Mode on, your phone’s display won’t need to power as many pixels depending on how much black is on your screen.
You might need to go in to some apps to change their settings individually for this, but most apps these days will respect your phone’s default choice. Here’s how to set it:
- Go to Settings–>Display and tap Night Mode. Some devices might also call it Dark Mode.
It’s as easy as that! Most phones will also have an option to set it to turn off and on automatically depending on time of day or even to line up with sunrise and sunset.
4. Turn on battery saver or power-saving mode
This is an easy task and can save a lot of battery life depending on how you use your phone, particularly how many apps run in the background. Most phones these days offer some kind of battery or power saving mode to help reduce battery drain by limiting things like screen brightness, always-on display, processor speed and background notifications. If you know you’re going to be out all day without a chance to top up the battery, you should be able to squeeze an extra couple of hours by turning this on at the start of the day.
5. Restart your phone
It might sound a bit silly, but this could genuinely help. Sometimes apps can get stuck in the background and use extra amounts of your phone’s resources which drain its power – when you turn your phone off and on, your apps are all fully closed too. So when you turn it back on, if you had any apps misbehaving, they’ll return to the best behaviour after a clean start.
Bonus tip: limit your high battery use apps
We mentioned right at the top checking which apps use the most battery. If you pay enough attention, you might see an app you don’t expect or use often that’s draining your battery, many phones will let you limit its background usage. In that same battery usage screen, tap into the app where you should see an option to limit its background activity.