Cell Phone Battery Tips

A friend complained about low battery life. Here are the tips I gave him:

  1. As batteries age, their max talk time begins to fade. You may just need a new one.
  2. Putting your phone on vibrate will kill your battery.
  3. Keeping your phone in an area with bad reception will kill your battery. When it loses contact with a tower, it goes to full power to search for a new signal. If you have to leave it in an area with bad reception, shut the phone off.
  4. The GPS radio will kill your battery. If you have a GPS on your phone, you have to fully exit from the GPS/navigation software to shut down the radio. In Sprint Navigation, I have to keep hitting the back button until it asks me if I want to exit navigation – sometimes twice. You’re not done until you’ve hit the home screen. You also have to exit from Google Maps, if you’ve installed that app.

BTW, I found that the Google Maps app works WAY faster than Sprint Navigation when showing you your current location and scrolling/zooming around the map. It also gives better routes. You can set route preferences with Sprint Nav., but they don’t seem to work well (or at all). Still, voice navigation is nice when you’re completely lost. Eventually, you do get home.

3 thoughts on “Cell Phone Battery Tips”

  1. Most Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries can be charged a total of about 400 times before they die. I’d also recommend charging your phone when it’s needed and not leaving the phone on the charger all the time. This will effect the phone’s battery age as well.

  2. Thanks for the info, and I must give you credit for tip #3 above.

    I normally have my phone plugged in, but I’ll stop that. I had heard that with Li-ion you don’t want it to go completely dead before a recharge; unlike NiCad, there’s no memory effect. According to Wikipedia, you’re best off storing it at 40-60% charge. That will minimize the yearly capacity loss, which is normally 20%. But I don’t know how that counts towards the charging cycles.

    I guess this means you want to try to find the most recently manufactured Li-ion battery you can get, although I’m not sure how to determine that. Maybe it’s on the packaging? I’m sure I know your answer – when the battery dies, buy a new phone! 🙂

  3. I always always always have my phone on the charger when not in use. I’ve read from several sources that this no longer causes a problem with battery life.

    The most startling battery killer you’ve mentioned is the weak signal/tower search. Keeping your phone in a gym locker, or simply hanging out in a basement will kill the battery in an hour or two easy. If you KNOW you will be somewhere without a signal, it’s best to just switch airplane-mode on until you are clear.

    GPS is a tricky one. With so many different model phones, each using their GPS chip in a different way, it’s tough to know exactly when your GPS is off. There are apps out there than can ensure this for you with a simple tap. You can also reset your phone to be sure.
    If your into ROM burning like I am, you know the headaches of tweaking that GPS to perfection. I’m currently using an HTC Touch Pro from Sprint on the Verizon network. It’s the best setup I’ve ever had!

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