Is your smartphone battery lasting as long as it should? Among 25 leading smartphones, a single battery charge lasts an average of 11 hours and 7 minutes for the Google Pixel 2 to 16 hours and 46 minutes for the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom, Tom’s Guide testing has found. Each time you recharge your phone, its battery’s capacity decreases. For instance, your phone’s charging capacity may be 88 to 94 percent out of the box, but after 250 charges, this may reduce to 73 to 84 percent, assuming you do a full recharge from 0 to 100 percent each time, according to Battery University. This translates into a decrease of 10 to 15 percent capacity in eight months, and 15 to 22 percent in a year, meaning that after a year, your battery is ready for a replacement.
Why do phone batteries wear out so fast? And is there a way to get them to last longer? Here are three reasons why your phone battery may be running out faster than it should be.
Aging hardware may be one culprit behind low smartphone battery life. Each time a lithium-ion battery is charged, the electrons flow through the battery like water, and some electrons get attached to lithium ions, creating electrically-charged “puddles,” Texas A&M research has found. Over time, these puddles collect, reducing battery efficiency until batteries eventually become unusable. This process of decay accelerates if you let your battery run down all the way before recharging it and if you leave your phone plugged in all the time after your battery is full. To slow down the process of decay, recharge your battery whenever it reaches 50 percent capacity and unplugs it when it reaches 100 percent, advises Battery University.
Your smartphone’s mobile processor can also be a hardware factor affecting your battery life. Today’s best mobile processors, such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, use on-device artificial intelligence to automatically optimize battery use, extending the duration of your charge and the life of your battery. Qualcomm Quick Charge also means you can double your battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.
Software issues can also affect your phone’s battery life. One of the biggest factors is your screen brightness setting. The brighter your screen setting, the more power your phone needs to use to illuminate your screen. For power users, turning your phone’s brightness down can add two hours to your average charge. Using darker wallpapers and themes can also conserve power.
App usage habits are another software factor that can drain your battery life. Power-intensive applications such as videos, video games, and social media apps can use up your battery, especially if they’re running in the background constantly. Constant notifications also consume power. Minimize these issues by checking your settings to see which apps are using the most power, disabling background activity for apps that don’t need to run constantly.
The way your phone connects to your wireless network can also cause battery issues. If your phone is always connecting to the internet, it drains power, explains Google. To prevent this problem, change your settings so that your phone isn’t searching for a Wi-Fi network when you don’t need it, avoid mobile hotspots, don’t use GPS for extended periods of time when not necessary and minimize the use of phone calls from your car.
Streaming music and videos can also increase the number of times your phone is connecting to the internet. If your battery is running low, reduce the amount of time you spend on streaming mobile entertainment.
Hardware, software and connection issues are three types of factors that can shorten your phone’s battery life. Being aware of these factors and taking steps to mitigate them can keep your smartphone charged longer and lengthen the life of your battery.