HOW TO: Get The Most Out of Your Battery

One of the main complaints about Desire users is the battery finishing quickly.  From smartphone experience, I’d say ideal battery life on any smartphone (which obviously the Desire is) is about a day.  That’s to say if you need to charge your battery every night then it’s pretty standard.  This isn’t your standard phone which might play a few MP3s, receive a few calls and possibly view a couple of low-quality webpages on a small browser.  No, the Desire is a powerhouse full of emails, full web browsing, media playing, wireless connections, navigation, high quality video playback, gaming and a whole lot more!

If your battery is getting drained a lot quicker than that, then here’s a good few tips on how to make it last to the end of the day:

  1. Remove your Task Killer.  Seriously, the Desire doesn’t NEED one and I’ll be writing up another post about them after this to explain in detail why.  If you do want to use one, make sure it isn’t always running in the background.
  2. Turn of Mobile Data when not in use.  The phone uses a lot of internet functions, whether it’s checking email, syncing contacts, GTalk or checking for tweets.  To be able to do it all properly it needs an active Internet connection.  When there’s no mobile internet coverage it will REGULARLY check to see if there’s coverage available.  If you know you’re in a location without mobile internet, do your battery a favour and turn the Mobile Data off to prevent those checks, then enable it again when you’re leaving.
    To do this go on Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile networks > Use only 2G networks
  3. Disable GPS – if you’re not using it then there’s no need to keep it on is there?
  4. Screen brightness – this one’s a tricky one.  With the AMOLED screen you do need it turned up quite bright to view outdoors.  But if you’re indoors then a lower brightness shouldn’t a be a problem.  I normally keep my phone set to Auto-brightness – to enable go on Settings > Sound & Display > Brightness > Automatic brightness.  Even with auto-brightness enabled I can get to the end of the day with 30-40% battery remaining.
  5. Remove unnecessary widgets.  Whilst they look very nice, widgets can use up a lot of battery.  Try removing some that you can live without.
  6. Use Wireless for browsing – yup, if you’re planning on using the Internet for an extended period of time whether it’s normal browsing, or watching BeebPlayer or YouTube, it’s actually preferred if you have a wireless connection rather than using mobile internet.   The bonus is you get a much better browsing/viewing experience too!

Extra Tips

Use a widget to easily toggle settings.  Even though I’ve listed the entry in Settings to change those settings, a lot can easily be handled using widgets or apps.  I normally use MySettings which you can open using the notification bar, and it allows quick toggles of: Mobile Data On/Off, Silent/Loud, WiFi On/Off, GPS On/Off, Bluetooth On/Off, AutoSync On/Off, Auto Rotate On/Off, Screen Timeout, Brightness Level, Unlock Pattern

You can monitor which activities are actually using up your battery.  Have a look under Settings > About phone > Battery Use to see what’s being taking the toll on the battery.  It’s normally Display, Standby and Voice Calls for me.

The main ones are Mobile Networks and GPS, but all the above tweaks will improve your battery life!

Feedback

It’d be great to hear other peoples tips too, and hopefully I can extend this list.  If you want to contribute either leave a comment or email hello [at] myhtcdesire [dot] com.  Thanks!