Most of today's phones run on Lithium-ion batteries, which (contrary to a counter-productive battery myth) don't need to be fully emptied before recharging. The opposite is in fact true: a Lithium-ion battery's life is shortened every time it runs out. Keep it charged and it will thank you for it.
Extended exposure to high temperature causes a battery’s life to plummet. If your phone is getting too hot (a hot sunny day is enough to have an impact) then try cooling the battery down by zipping it in a sealed freezer bag and sticking it in the fridge for a while (although never put it in the freezer). Unfortunately, this option only works for phones with a detachable battery.
One of the biggest drains on a mobile’s battery is searching for a signal. If possible, try to use your phone in areas with good reception – and try turning your phone off if you’re travelling on a train or travelling through a remote area where the reception is poor. If your phone has an airplane mode then switching this on is a quick alternative to shutting your handset down altogether. Conversations that keep cutting out can be a painful experience anyway.
Phone batteries last up to 50% longer when you use a standard GSM signal rather than 3G. If you’re not surfing the web or sending and downloading large emails then there’s really no need to have 3G enabled.
Each of these features eats into battery power just by being turned on. If you’re not actively using them (which, let’s face it, is quite a lot of the time) then make sure they are switched off.
The vibrate alert on your phone uses extra battery power. Try turning it off and relying on sounds instead.
The bright light used to illuminate your phone screen and make it easier to use in bright conditions is another big power user. Dim the setting and save some more battery power.
Android handsets and iPhones tend to keep applications running in the background that eat up battery without you even noticing them. Try turning off the Push notifications on iPhone Apps or turning of Auto-Sync on your Android handset.
Apps that you no longer use still have an impact on battery life. Try deleting a few of the truly forgotten ones.
Lock an in-car charger in your glove compartment – or buy a spare battery and carry it with you. If all else fails, you’ll still be able to resuscitate your phone if your battery decides to call it a day.
Wouldn’t it be simpler if we could do without batteries altogether? Here are two fresh ways of thinking about power on the move:
It’s not just mobile owners who dream of freedom from failing batteries. Shortly after the battery was first invented, legendary inventor Nikola Tesla found a way to get by without one. In 1893, he invented a way to transfer energy through radio waves, removing the need for wires and potentially batteries altogether. Tesla’s ideas fell out of fashion but scientists have returned to them in recent years, exploring ways to use the ambient energy that surrounds us to power devices such as mobiles, without the need for a charger.
US Army researchers are working on a truly extreme solution to battery failure. EATR is a robot designed to accompany soldiers into remote areas, gathering and consuming solid fuel, then burning it to produce electricity. The troops could use EATR to charge their satellite phones. The Robot may not be a solution for everyday circumstances – but the idea of a device that can take the initiative when it come to keeping itself charged is certainly an interesting one.