Remember when cell phones could last for a whole week on one charge?

That was back in the days when phones were just phones. And maybe a quick game of snake. Now, our phones are personal computers wrapped up in a handheld package. And they're used constantly.

The biggest gripe with our smartphones nowadays is that the phone battery doesn't quite meet our demands. Our phones end up spending about as much time on the charger as they do in our hands.

Granted, there's only so much juice you can pack into a little machine as small as a smartphone. It's up to the user to step in and manage their phone battery usage. You may not have realized it, but there are quite a few ways to conserve power.

Check out our 10 tips below to start getting more out of each charge.

Identify the Trouble Makers

To begin, let's take a look at how and when your phone is using up its battery reserves.

On an iPhone or Android device, you can head into your Settings and check out your phone battery usage under the Battery category. Here, your phone will show you a breakdown of how each app you have installed is using (re: draining) your battery capacity.

This will give you a decent gauge of what to tackle first. Top on your list will probably be your phone's Home and Lock screen, so let's take a look at how to remedy the problem.

1. Tone Down the Brightness

Every new phone iteration aims to offer the greatest viewing experience. A wider display with more pixels per inch that provide stunning, vibrant colors.

This comes at a cost to your battery.

If you're watching a video on your phone, sure--bump up the brightness. Otherwise, keep it as low as you can reasonably go for general usage.

Most smartphones have an option to activate adaptive lighting. Using the camera, your phone will adjust the screen brightness for a friendly user experience. Granted, this uses a bit of your phone's CPU--and battery--so it might be best to do it manually.

2. Lose the Location Services

It seems like every app wants to know where you are at all times.

However, you can switch the default in your phone's Settings. On an iPhone, head into Settings > Privacy > Location Services. On an Android, navigate to Settings > General > Location.

This will give you control over whether your apps can access your location:

  • Always
  • While Using
  • Never

There will be a brief description of why each app wants to access your location, so you can judge if it's necessary or not. For example, the Bank of America application will verify your location to protect against fraudulent charges with your debit card.

3. Bluetooth When Necessary

Bluetooth is great to connect wirelessly to your headphones or smartwatch.

Otherwise, it's a slight on your battery. Most smartphones have the option to quickly toggle the Bluetooth services on and off, as well as the WiFi and Cellular services. If you're not using any of them, might as well give your phone battery some relief and switch them off.

4. ASAP that Screensaver

Most smartphones have the option to auto-lock your phone and turn off the display when it hasn't received an input for some time.

Head into your Settings and find the option to select how long you'd like your phone to remain on before it automatically shuts off. The default is usually 5 minutes, but you should tone it down to 1 or 2 minutes to help conserve your phone battery.

Don't worry, videos and music apps will disable this feature so that your entertainment isn't interrupted.

5. Push Notifications? No-No

Smartphones have the option of waking your phone up from its slumber to send you an app notification.

This keeps your CPU always alert, wasting battery. And every time your screen lights up to show a little notification message, more wasted battery. And if you have your phone set to vibrate, even more of your phone battery life is drained away.

Use your push notifications sparingly, only for what's necessary.

6. Close the Apps

Applications on your phone don't close themselves once you return to your home screen.

Unfortunately, all those opened apps can put a strain on your phone battery. Make sure to properly close out of the apps you're no longer using each time to preserve power.

7. Put the Background Refresh to Rest

Having your phone automatically check each application for new notifications can be helpful, but too much is an overkill.

If you use a work email frequently, have that account running in the background at all times to get updates as soon as possible. But your social media apps like Facebook and Instagram probably aren't necessary for this feature, so switch them off and manually check them when you can.

8. Back to Basics

Phone companies have rolled out some updates that make the browsing experience on your phone very flashy and appealing with animations and transitions.

However, these features use CPU power, which in turn uses up the battery. You can turn these off in your phone's Settings to go back to a more basic experience while conserving power.

9. Charge Sparingly

The most opportune time to charge our phones is while we sleep. However, this is actually the worst time for your phone.

As your phone charges, it can actually still use a little power checking for notification updates and such. Your phone will keep fluctuating between 99 and 100%. This is a huge strain on the preservation of your battery.

Instead, while it might be an inconvenience to you, your phone will benefit from charging only while necessary. Unplug it as soon as possible to improve the longevity of your battery life.

10. Phone Battery Saver to the Rescue

When in a pinch, most smartphones have a battery saving option.

Head into your Settings and find the option to turn this feature on. It will turn off most of the features we've already discussed above. Your phone functionality will be limited, but it might be enough to get you through until your next charge.

Improve Your Phone's Charge

The above tips will help improve the use of your phone's battery.

If you still need a little more juice, check out our portable power banks to keep your phone charged on the go.

Contact us with any questions about your phone's battery supply and other concerns.