Apart from a long list of great features, Android smartphones have a relatively low battery life. But those features cannot be blamed at all because they make your phone awesome and also, because your phone is not a Nokia one.
There are no magical ways to improve android battery life but I’ll describe some ways how you can get more out of your battery. The first part comprises of simple settings while the second one section lists some more advanced tips
Part I. Stock Options
1. Disable Latitude if you don’t really need it
Latitude uses a considerable amount of battery when enabled. It’s good in some case but isn’t necessary in all cases. Ask yourself, do you really need it? If your mind says no, it’s time to disable it.
2. Disable automatic time & date sync
Your phone frequently checks for date and time data from your carrier. I haven’t seen any proper proof yet but some users from reddit have experienced it. Try it, maybe it’ll help you as well.
Settings > Date & Time and disable the date/time automation
3. Keep Brightness to Minimum
About 30-50% battery is consumed by the screen. So it’s best to reduce the brightness of screen to low to save battery. For my Galaxy S2, I always set it to 1% except when outdoors.
Settings > Screen > Brightness and Disable Automatic brightness and set a value that suits you. Like, at night you can set it to the lowest value and at day, you can increase it back.
Android only lets you reduce brightness to 10% at most. So, for decreasing it to an even lower value, use Widgetsoid.
4. Enable Power Saving Mode
Settings > Power Saving > Enable Power Saving. This way, your radios, Bluetooth, sync etc. will automatically be disabled when not in use after a certain battery threshold.
5. Disable Background Data at Night
Settings > Accounts and Sync > Uncheck Background Data
When you’re going to sleep, I would recommend to disable it else apps may still use data connection and you’re phone might not go into sleep mode. Or you can use JuiceDefender to manage this setting automatically. More on it later.
6. Live Wallpapers are Cool but CPU Hungry
Live wallpapers look good but these interactive wallpapers eat a lot of CPU. It’s good if you stay from them unless you always have your charger around.
7. Use less no. of Widgets
Widgets eat a considerable amount of CPU resulting little high battery usage, Try minimizing the number of widgets on your home screen, specially Real-time widgets such as Weather, Facebook, RSS feed.
8. Switch to 2G when 3G connectivity is low
If you’re in an area where the network signal is quite low, it’s better to switch to onto a different network type as your phone’s radio will boost its broadcast power to compensate it. As a result more battery will be used.
Like, if you’re on 3G and the signal is low, try switching to 2G.
9. Do not use a Task Killer
Okay, this is hotly debated topic, to use a task killer or not to. My suggestion: Do not use it. I repeat, do not. Why? Because they keep loose hanging threads of incomplete tasks of the apps that you suddenly just end using the task killer. Instead, simply go to that app and close it.
Android can handle running apps on its own. When you minimize an app, android keeps it in its memory and when you re-launch that app, it’ll launch quickly. So while Android actually uses RAM efficiently, most users see that their RAM is full and assume that’s what’s slowing down their phone.
Oh by the way, if you don’t want true multi-tasking, why not just buy a Nokia 2330?
10. Disable Fast Dormancy
One of the goals of Fast Dormancy is to increase the battery life of a device, by limiting the amount of signalling between the phone and the cell network. But, when Fast Dormancy it is not enabled in the network and is enabled on the phone it ironically works the other way around, and actually drains more battery than before.
Dial *#9900#* and disable it.
Part 2: Apps, Li’l Modding n Hacking (root reqd.)
11. Get JuiceDefender
Having connectivity always on is not always a good idea. JuiceDefender is an app which manages toggling of data connection automatically to save your battery juice. For example, you can disable connectivity for some particular apps or set connectivity to be disabled when screen is off.
Further, it can also handle CPU speed, screen timeout, control radios (like WiFi, GPS etc.) to extract more juice from your battery.
12. Control CPU Speed with SetCPU.
When you’re having a smartphone which boasts a beastly CPU, keeping it running at a very high speed always is not a good option. How about lowering it when your screen is off or when your battery is low?
SetCPU can do this job for you. You can set different profiles. For example, I’ll show you mine:
Screen off: 200 Mhz Min and 500 Mhz Max. (on demand)
Charging AC: 500 Mhz Min and 1.2 Ghz Max (performance)
Battery < 40%: 200 Mhz and 800 Mhz Max (on demand)
You get the idea 😉
Download: SetCPU ($1.99)
13. Custom ROM
A custom ROM doesn’t exactly magically extends your battery life. All it does is remove several bloatwares and stuffs that are mostly useless and eat your CPU.
Different phones have different sorts of ROM developed for them but the most popular of them is CyanogenMod which supports several phones (except mine samsung galaxy s2 for which it’s still in beta). You can check the list of supported phones to see if you can have CM as well:
Apart from CyanogenMod, XDA is a good place to find ROMs for your phone.
14. Use Night Mode
An AMOLED screen consumes less battery when displaying a darker color like red, salmon etc. You can use Chainfire 3D, a useful app in doing this job, specially when it’s night and you’re reading a book. This will also not strain your eye.
Download: Chainfire 3D
15. Lastly: Have Patience, Battery Life will get Better with Time
After some time, your battery life should get better. Try to calibrate android battery by emptying your battery to 0% and then charge it straight to 100% without a break in between at-least once or twice a month. Or, get the following app from Android market:
Download: Battery Calibration
This should help IMO.
16. Your Idea?
If you know more ways to save battery on android that I’m not aware of, you’re welcome to tell me about it.