We all use our phones differently. And while the batteries inside them should be plenty big enough to last all day without worry, that’s not always the case. With bigger screens, more powerful apps, and streaming everything, it’s rare when we make it from morning till night without a quick charge along the way — let alone actually last as long as the spec sheets claim.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are quite a few ways your phone’s battery can adapt to your particular routine, and with a few tweaks and toggles you’ll gain precious minutes and even hours on a charge. No matter how big your battery is, you can squeeze a little more juice out of it just by making a few changes, some of which you won’t even notice.
But which battery-saving techniques work best? Over a couple weeks of tests I found that while none of the methods I tried had a negative impact on my battery life, they didn’t all deliver the kind of results that will save you from carrying around a battery pack. That being said, I was ultimately able to add several hours to most days simply by implementing a combination of tips and tricks — most of which were as simple as flicking a single switch in Settings.
Taking an inventory
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve learned a lot about my Pixel’s battery. Or rather, I’ve learned a lot about how much I use it. Truth be told, I never paid too much attention to just how much I use my phone. And I have to admit, it’s a lot.
, for instance. I pretty much use it whenever I need to drive more than a few miles, and I’ve taken to leaving the screen on like I could follow along like I would on a built-in navigation system. But I always have my phone plugged in, so I never really considered how much the way I used my phone was draining my battery.
in Settings), adding 1-2 hours to my battery. However, the stop-motion jerkiness of the interface made for an awkward experience, so it’s not something you want to deploy every day. Think of it as sort of a nuclear option. When you absolutely need your phone to last and won’t be able to plug in until the end of the day, shut off Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale under Drawing in Develop options. What you’ll lose in charm you’ll gain in battery life.
Tweaking notifications and updates
They get a bad rap, but turning off notifications might not actually be a good way to preserve battery. Today’s OLED screens optimize lock-screen alerts to push as few pixels as possible, so unless an app is sending an obscene amount while you’re using your phone, you probably won’t save too much juice. I’m not one to load up too many notifications on my screen, but switching off the ones I did get didn’t do all that much.
One area where you might find battery savings, however, is Play Store updates. There’s a toggle in the app’s settings to allow auto-updating of apps over cellular or Wi-Fi, but the savings isn’t just about data. If you have a lot of apps on your phone, there could be dozens of updates in a day. And while auto updating isn’t necessarily a huge battery drainer, turning it off might save you some precious percentage points. For example, after updating 27 apps over Wi-Fi, I saw my battery percentage drop from 84 percent to 78 percent — a not-insignificant decline. So unless there’s a specific app you specifically need, there’s no reason why you can’t wait till you’re plugged in to update.