Smartphones are miraculous devices – powerful, pocket-size computers that have reshaped modern life so completely it's hard to imagine a time when you unfurled a paper map, popped a CD into the car stereo, or wondered what a friend's new baby might look like (spoiler alert: like a baby). There's a price, though, for all that personal digital empowerment: actual power, sucked from your phone's battery by new apps and features, at a rate that seems to outpace the device-makers' ability to build more energy-dense batteries.
There is a relatively simple solution to energy hemorrhage. You can familiarize yourself with what's arguably the most-used gadget in your life, and plug the leaks by toggling settings, getting new apps, and knowing what's going on now on your phone. Here are ten tips to help eke more electrons out of your smartphone.
Charge Longer, and Less Often
Every moment of every day, your battery is dying. It dies a little whenever you cruise Facebook or snap a photo, but also whenever it sucks power from an outlet. Batteries aren't passive containers, but bundles of active, chemical reactions, and the more that chemistry churns, the quicker the cells become inert, and unable to hold as much of a charge.
To slow the pace of degradation, avoid compulsively charging your phone. Every five-minute top-up at work or in the car is eating through one of the battery's finite charge cycles, and shrinking its total capacity. Instead, try to conserve energy (using the other tips listed here), and for the truly battery-conscious, consider buying a small, portable external battery, most of which can charge a nearly depleted phone back to full in less than an hour, while you're using it.
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