10 simple tricks to make your smartphone's battery last longer

Girl on phone

We've all been there: you've got an important call to answer, or a couple more levels to the end of a game, but your smartphone's battery just won't last. But don't worry... here are 10 ways to avoid the problem.

1. Keep your screen's brightness as low as possible

That big screen is your battery's worst nightmare. Minimise the power it drains by using the automatic or adaptive brightness feature in your display settings, or turn down the brightness manually to as low as you can tolerate.

2. Turn off Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when you don't need them

Unless you're actively using them, keep your wireless connections turned off. The only exception to this rule is when you use location services like maps. Instead of only using GPS, turn on Wi-Fi as well to boost your signal and use less power.

3. Close background apps and use fewer widgets

Some apps use lots of power. To stop them draining your battery once you've finished using them, manage what you have open with your multi-tasking screen.

To save even more power, delete home screen widgets (such as Twitter and weather feeds) and use their corresponding apps only when you need them.

4. Use flight mode when you don't have signal

When you're somewhere with poor or no signal, your smartphone constantly searches for a better connection. If you're going to be there for a long time, turn on flight mode until you leave.

You can also save battery this way when you don't want to be disturbed or won't be checking your phone for a while.

5. Turn off notifications and vibrations

Turn off alerts in your smartphone's app settings or notification centre to save battery life.

For calls, texts, and notifications you actually want, you can save even more battery life by turning off vibrate and using a ringtone.

6. Use Doze if you have an Android phone

When you update your Android's operating system to 6.0 Marshmallow or 7.0 Nougat (if your smartphone can run them) you get the Doze feature. It automatically saves much more battery when your smartphone is locked and not moving. So it's well worth updating if you can.

7. Keep your battery between 20% and 80% charged

Charging your battery overnight can actually reduce its lifespan, so charge it in bursts throughout the day instead. Then, once a month, charge it to 100% to refresh the battery.

It's usually best to use the charger that came with your smartphone, but some third-party chargers work well and even charge your battery faster. Just make sure you don't buy a cheap knockoff as these can do permanent damage.

8. Download free apps that optimise your battery life

There are lots of free apps that claim to help you manage your smartphone's performance and increase your battery life, but only some of them are worth having.

Check out Greenify for Android, Battery+ for Windows, Battery Booster for Blackberry, and Battery Doctor for iPhone.

9. Buy an inexpensive portable power bank

If you're going to be away from a plug socket for longer than a day or two, you might want to get a portable power bank so you can charge on the go. Prices start at around a tenner, and it means you won't have to worry even if your battery reaches zero.

10. Upgrade to a smartphone with a better battery

Some smartphones simply have better batteries than others. If you want to boost your battery life with minimal effort, go for a Sony Xperia. Their batteries last up to twice as long as most other smartphones and have intelligent Battery Care functions too.