Gizmo Chat

Cellphone Bars? Battery? … or … Both?!

What’s Eating Your Smart Phone’s Battery Life?

And what can you do about it


US smart phone case maker mophie of Kalamazoo, MI recently conducted a survey in England asking people for their reaction to the possibility that their phone might run out of battery charge. The results made headlines all over the British press:

“Flat battery in your mobile? Time to panic: Nine out of ten Britons feel stressed when their devices run out.”


“Phone battery life ‘causing stress’ for millions.”


“61% of Brits said they would be frustrated, 92% would stress, and a quarter would panic over a dead smartphone battery.”


And most worrying of all…

“More than 70% said they would give up dessert or watching TV in order to have a fully charged smart phone for a month.”

Give up dessert?! Stop watching the TV?! This is serious stuff. No wonder the headlines appeared everywhere. Makes you wonder what the results would be in the US. Would you give up dessert or TV for longer battery life in your phone?

Now Ok … The ubiquitous appearance of this “silly season” Not-Really-News story shows that Kevin Malinowski, mophie’s PR spokesman earned his dollars this weekend. But the story does raise an important issue.

As Malinowski put it: ‘Millions of people rely on their smartphones daily to stay in touch with loved ones and do work on the move. But all of these activities hinge on a single factor: having enough juice to keep the phones running.’

And he’s right, so…

What can you do to preserve the battery life of your smart phone?

The first thing to realise is that even though battery life is still the same as it was years ago when I was running round with a Nokia 6110, this is a triumph for battery technology not a disaster. The reason for this is that the phone in your pocket is now a full-blown computer, not just a way of keeping in touch with your family, friends and co-workers. The fact that we can still have eight hours of usable performance is amazing.

That’s all very well, I hear you ask, but I’m still worried about running out of juice. So what can I do about it?

Well, other than the obvious strategy of keeping your phone turned off whenever you don’t need it, like when you’re asleep, there are a few simple usage things you can do to extend your phone’s battery life. For example:

  • Turn off auto-brightness and manually set the brightness level of the screen as low as you can cope with
  • Turn off the vibrate function and just use a ring tone
  • Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (if you know you don’t need them at the moment)
  • Turn off GPS and infrared (if you know you don’t need them at the moment)
  • Manually set apps like Mail, Twitter and Facebook so that they’re not constantly polling for inbound information, unless it is vital.

And importantly…

  • Don’t follow the full charge/full discharge strategy when charging your battery. This strategy worked well with the nickel battery in my old Nokia 6110, and still does with the regular rechargeable batteries you see in the supermarket. But modern lithium batteries are designed to be charged often and when not too depleted. So the best way to preserve the battery life of your modern day smart phone is to keep an eye on the meter, and if the charge approaches 80%, plug it in and charge it up.

What’s the thing that Most Eats my Battery?

The suggestions above will really help preserve the battery life of your phone. But there’s one more thing that’s generally reckoned to be the most serious consumer of your phone’s battery life, and that’s letting the phone constantly search for a non-existent or weak signal.

Remember that time when you forgot to turn your phone off on a flight? When you arrived, your phone was stone dead. The reason for this is that your phone is designed to constantly look for a connection or better connection. And as it does this, the radio in the phone consumes your battery at a phenomenal rate. If there is no signal, you lose battery life and get no benefit.

Which is where a Cell Signal Booster comes in.  You can check some out at

If your workplace, home or office is in an area of poor signal quality, one of the best things you can do to extend the life of the battery in your phone is to install a Cell Signal Booster. This will stop your phone from constantly looking for a better signal, because you’ll already have a strong permanent signal available. And so not only will you extend the life of your battery, you will also have reliable connectivity whenever you need it without having to worry about signal drop out.

A Cell Signal Booster means not having to decide between Bars or Battery – you get Both!

Wilson Quint Booeter

That’s all for now folks. Why not go straight away and check out those battery preserving settings on your phone? You never know, doing it might just mean you’ll be able to make that vital call instead of staring at a dead piece of glass, electronics and plastic.

Jim Carroll

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