The list of items you never leave your house without probably includes your wallet, keys and cell phone. Today’s bestselling smartphones are all advertised to have a longer battery life than the next, but how can you make sure you don’t run out of juice mid-day while you’re out running errands or in the middle of a long day of work?
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According to a study by PCMag, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx chimes in with a battery life lasting up to 16 hours and 45 minutes of continuous talk time. As the No.1 phone on the market at the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S III comes in a little shorter than the Droid, with 11 hours and 29 minutes of continuous talk time. Interestingly, the iPhone is nowhere to be found on this list. According to Apple’s website, this must-have smartphone appears to only have eight hours of talk time before the battery taps out, which explains why it didn’t make PCMag’s top 10 list. Research in Motion’s Blackberry Bold 9930 has just over six and a half hours of talk time available to its users, but it also comes with other battery-saving features that the previous smartphones do not.
Although the current bestselling smartphones promise up to a whopping 17 hours of battery life, this is usually not the reality. We use our phones as more than just a calling device. Cell phones have become tiny computers that help us keep our days organized, manage our banking, look up GPS directions and respond to emails. We are constantly on our phones checking social media and sending text messages. That being said, your phone battery probably dies pretty fast, but there are many small changes you can make to extend your battery life.
The first and most important factor in retaining your smartphone’s battery life is to understand how to properly charge it. Whenever you’re at home or near your phone charger, plug it in. Most smartphones run on lithium-ion batteries that cannot be overcharged. This means that plugging your phone in when it’s not completely dead will not harm the battery at all.
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Another way to prolong your cell phone’s battery life is to turn off all GPS tracking when you are not using a GPS related app. Think about it. When your phone is constantly trying to figure out where you are, it’s using its battery constantly too. Also, be sure to turn off all apps running in the background when you’re not using them. Facebook and email apps are typically set to be automatically updated when you receive a new a message or notification so your phone is continuously sending data back and forth to checking new updates. Change your settings so the app only updates when you physically open it to save tremendous battery time.
Last but definitely not least, turn your cell phone’s screen brightness down. We all know you have the most up-to-date crystal clear LCD screen. Unfortunately, that pretty bright screen is eating up more battery life than your little phone can handle. Go into your phone’s general settings and turn down the screen brightness to as low as you can for it to still be functional. Save even more battery life by making sure your screen goes dim faster when you’re not using it.
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Once you’ve made these changes to your cell phone, you should try using some battery management apps to make sure you’re optimizing your phone’s capabilities. Android and iPhone users have hundreds of apps to choose from for monitoring. Download a few and see which works best for you. All of RIM’s BlackBerry phones also offer an auto on/off setting in their options menu, which turns off your cell phone when it’s not in use for an extended period of time. This is useful for when you’re sleeping or at work, for example.
Cell phones today come with all sorts of futuristic, mind-blowing features that you’ll want to constantly show off. If you don’t pay attention to your phone’s battery life, your prized device will quickly become a paperweight on your desk.