Thursday, June 21, 2007

Extend your mobile phone's battery life

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Tip : Features and settings

Nowadays phones have a tonne of functions and all of them drain battery power, so if you don't need something, switch it off. Some phones provide ways of saving energy by putting the phone in standby mode or turning off non-essential features when idle. You can usually make any changes to your phone's features via the 'Settings' or 'Tools' section in the menu. Almost every modern feature on a mobile phone puts a strain on the battery and while batteries are improving, they're still not good enough to support all the features available on modern mobile phones for long periods of time.

Turn off your Bluetooth when you're not using it
One of the most infamous battery-draining culprits is Bluetooth, which can be left on unintentionally. Bluetooth is a radio standard that can receive and transmit information, but to do this it consumes battery power. Unless you're using a Bluetooth headset, transferring files or sending information to someone, then you should turn it off and only use it when you need to.

You can usually turn Bluetooth off in the 'Settings' section of the menu. Here we have done it on a Nokia mobile phone.

Lower your screen's brightness
Another feature that you should keep an eye on is your screen's brightness. Some phones adjust the display's brightness automatically according to the ambient light, but most don't. The majority of mobile phone displays will be set to full brightness when you first switch them on and, unless you change it manually, they will stay on that setting.

You don't usually need full brightness to view the screen properly and setting it as low as possible will save plenty of energy. Some phones also have an option letting you adjust how long the backlight stays on for. It's best to keep the backlight on for as short an amount of time as possible, so turn it down to around 15 seconds, or less if possible.

You can change screen brightness in the 'Settings' section of the menu. Here we have done it on a Sony Ericsson mobile phone. Reducing screen brightness will save battery life, but make sure you can still see it in daylight.

Keep it plain and keep it quiet
Screensavers and moving wallpapers may look pretty but they use up battery power, so turn them off. A loud ring and the vibrate mode also use up a lot of power, so turn down the volume and turn off the vibrate mode if you don't need it.

Watch out for GPRS, 3G and Wi-Fi
Other features that drain power but aren't featured on every phone are 3G connectivity and Wi-Fi adaptors. You should be able to turn off a Wi-Fi adaptor and switch from 3G to GSM in the 'Connectivity' section of your mobile's menu. If you enjoy browsing the Web on a GPRS connection, make sure you set the GPRS connection to 'only when needed' so that it turns itself off when you stop using it.

Use your phone sparingly and turn it off when you don't need it
If you restrict your phone usage to text messaging or phone calls and turn it off when you don't need it, your battery will last much longer. It may be fun playing games or browsing the Web at the bus stop, but your battery will have run out by the time you get to work.