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Best practice: Improve your mobile phone’s battery life

One of the most common questions we get at Recombu is “How can I improve my mobile phone’s battery life?” There’s not a lot we can do about the batteries themselves but we can offer you some advice on how to get the most out of your phone’s battery.  

Don’t be flashy 


Perhaps a no-brainer but the higher the brightness on your phone’s display settings the more it’ll drain the battery. Some phones automatically adjust the screen’s brightness depending on ambient light but even then we recommend going into settings and setting your phone’s brightness levels as low as possible.

If you own a phone with an AMOLED display then it’s also a good idea to have a dark or predominantly black background or theme for your phone. A report by 4D Systems shows that a device with an AMOLED screen can save battery power by opting for a black background.

Another effective screen-related tip is to adjust the screen time-out. Set your screen to time-out at 30 seconds or less.

Bad vibes

Turn your vibrate setting off if you’re running low on power. Yes, we know it’s useful to have vibrate on but if you can hear your phone ring and don’t need it to vibrate then you’ll save a lot of power by switching this off.


Email updates

Mobile email is fantastic but it can also eat away at your phone’s battery. If you’ve got push email activated or your email client is set to check for emails very often, then your battery is going to suffer. Try setting your mobile’s email client up to check for emails every hour, or longer if possible, and you’ll find that your phone lasts even longer.  

Danger signals


Your phone is constantly trying to locate the strongest possible network connection. Leaving your phone in an area of the house or office which has low signal will place unnecessary strain on the battery. Leave it instead in that one corner of the house where you know you’ll be able to get a bit of signal. If you live or work in an area which has a weak 3G signal it’s a good idea to switch your phone to ‘use 2G networks only’, if the option is available to you in your phone’s settings.

Watch the wireless

If you don’t need them, turn them off. Unless a friend wants to send you something or you want to pair with another device then we’re not sure why you’d want to keep Bluetooth switched on. The same applies to 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.

No need for pictures and banner ads

If your phone’s web browser has the option not to display images on websites or disable plug-ins for things like Flash content, then enabling these settings will save your battery.

This is useful for when reading news articles on your phone on the train; you really don’t want to be putting extra strain on your battery by having the phone download big images and banner adverts as you race in and out of 3G areas on the 18:36 from Waterloo.

Charge athletically

It’s often said that it’s a good idea to let your phone’s battery run down before giving it a full recharge. This isn’t always true. While it is true of the rechargeable nickel-cadmium-based AA batteries you used in your GameBoy, the same isn’t true for modern mobiles, which run on lithium-based batteries. It’s best to charge your mobile at regular intervals. Charging your phone in a series of short, regular bursts – before you go to bed, at lunch – is also a good idea.

Keep it cool

Phones get pretty warm when they’re being charged up which isn’t great for the battery. So if you leave your phone charging for long periods of time then it can reduce the battery’s performance over long periods of time. BatteryUniversity says that a battery regularly kept at temperatures under 25 degrees Celsius will retain 80% of its maximum charge level after a year of use. Keep your phone somewhere cool and out of the sun’s light especially in the summer months.

Busy battery

Current lithium-ion batteries have a lifespan of around 2-3 years. A modern mobile’s battery will generally last you the lifetime of your contract. If you’re not interested in upgrading after your contract is up, getting a fresh battery is a good idea.


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