Android Battery Use

A simple clock and weather widget can use battery life when your phone is locked.

The battery life of your Android smartphone is affected not only by how you use the device when it’s in your hand, but also by the processes taking place when it’s not. The charge of a lithium-ion battery varies greatly; adjusting your personal behavior along with your Android smartphone settings can improve its performance.

Battery

Regardless of the manufacturer, an Android smartphone uses a lithium-ion battery as its primary power source. These batteries have a finite number of charge cycles. Though their number is large and varies depending on usage, each one causes a small decline in battery capacity. Lithium-ion batteries operate at a higher voltage than alkaline batteries, while discharging at a lower rate, making them ideal for use with smartphones and computers. Independent of your personal phone usage, keeping your Android device out of extreme temperatures, especially heat, maintains normal battery life.

Applications

Applications will drain your Android smartphone’s lithium-ion battery. The Android Market offers thousands of free and paid applications, some of which are more taxing than others to run. For instance, game applications that use detailed or 3D graphics will drain the battery more quickly than a simple news application. Placing a widget on your Home screen is a convenient way to view information without opening the full application; however, widgets access data even when your smartphone is locked, using energy by updating at frequent intervals. Don’t use a large number of frequently updating widgets, or if you do, set them to update at the slowest rate possible to conserve battery life.

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Data

The frequent transfer of data can force you to charge your Android smartphone sooner. GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all battery draining features. Turn these functions off when the device isn’t in use to conserve battery life. Streaming audio and video, browsing the Web and downloading files are other data-intensive tasks that make your smartphone use more energy. Put your phone in Airplane mode in areas with little or no service, to prevent your Android device from frequently searching for a signal and further draining your battery.

Screen

With normal everyday use, the light required to illuminate your smartphone’s screen is the biggest drain on your lithium-ion battery. Set your screen to fade to black at the shortest interval, and lock your phone before setting it down or placing it in your pocket to conserve energy. Check the amount of battery power your screen and other processes are using by pressing the “Menu” button from the Home screen and tapping “Settings,” followed by “Battery and Data Manager.” A list will display the percentage of your battery that each item used since your last charge.