Why Your Phone Battery Sucks!

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on September 9, 2015, How To Guides

Battery complaints are almost certainly the most often heard negative comments about smart phones, and there are a few reasons why mobile phone battery life sucks. However, it is worth keeping things in perspective. Yes, mobile battery life these days isn’t as great as we’d like it to be, but that’s because we’re all using our phones for pretty much everything. Constantly getting emails, calling, texting, messaging, opening and using apps, getting calender updates, the list is pretty endless. So, to be fair, it’s not so much that phone batteries suck, and it’s more that we’re simply using our phones more and more. However, if you want to know what effecting your phone’s battery life, then we’re here to tell you the big culprits. Think your phone battery sucks? Here’s why.

It’s Too Cold

Temperature actually has a pretty big effect on phone batteries. And with modern lithium-ion batteries, the cold increases internal resistance, which in turn makes performance less than stellar. The good news is that cold doesn’t have a permanent effect on batteries, but if you’re pulling out your mobile when it’s freezing outside, don’t expect your battery to last as long as it does at home.

It’s Too Hot

And on the opposite side, being too hot also effects your battery. Okay, we’ll be honest, getting warmer actually decreases internal resistance therefore making performance slightly faster in the short term. In the long term though, too much heat is going to degrade the battery and make it less able to hold a charge.

Sure, you need to keep your mobile away from radiators and the like, but also keep an eye on operating temperature. If your phone feels like it’s way hotter than it really should be you might want to take a look at the task manager and find out which programmes are running. Anything especially CPU intensive could be making your mobile run hot, which isn’t a good thing.

It’s Too Bright

Guess what? That huge, brightly lit touch screen that we’ve all come to expect in a great phone is a huge battery drainer. It simply takes way more power to light a screen brightly than it does to light it dimly, and that means that by keeping your display turned up to the max (or allowing automatic settings to do so) you’re losing battery and losing it fast. Another consideration is OLED screens (like those found on many Samsung Galaxies). These kinds of screen light each individual pixel of a display, rather than lighting the whole display. This means that using light pictures as wallpapers, for example, is going to use up a whole bunch more power than using dark pictures. Seriously, that really makes a difference!

It’s Too Vibratey

Okay, okay, we know that vibratey isn’t a word, we were just trying to keep with the theme. But having vibrate switched on or having haptic feedback enabled on your keyboard is also a reason why your battery sucks. Why? Because there’s a little motor inside your phone that creates these vibrations, and this motor switches on and off each time you need a vibration. This results in spikes of power being used, rather than a continuous flow of battery juice, which drains a battery far faster.

Oh, and on the subject of motion, all those live action wallpapers that you like, and the animations that make switching home screens look cool? Yeah, they’re all sucking away your battery power too…

It’s Too Connected

Think about how many connection possibilities your mobile has: 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, WiFi. All those connections use up power, but even worse, all those connections aren’t always available. When you’re out of reach of your home WiFi, for example, but WiFi is still switched on on your mobile, your phone is constantly searching for a network and constantly trying to connect to new ones. All that searching uses up power. And the same goes for Bluetooth, 3G and 4G. All those connections might be convenient, but because they’re not all widely available your phone is using up battery power just trying to see if it can get you a network.

It’s Too Busy

How many apps do you have on your phone? If you’re like most people, you’ve got at least a couple of home screens full of icons. Many of these apps out of necessity run in the background of your phone. Your email inbox (or inboxes…) is constantly checking to see if you’ve got new mail, Facebook is constantly looking for new posts, messenger apps are constantly surveying for new messages, maps apps are constantly looking to pinpoint your position. See how your phone might be a little busy? With all of these apps running it shouldn’t really be a surprise that your battery is draining faster than you’d like.

It’s Too Used

The bottom line here is that whilst you might not like that you need to charge your phone battery more than once a day, the truth is that your phone’s battery doesn’t really suck as much as you think it does. It’s just busy. All those things that you do with your mobile, all the apps that you have, the cool features like haptic feedback and moving wallpaper, all those things add up. Throw in the fact that your mobile is a little too hot or a little too cold as well, and it’s pretty easy to see where your juice is going.

It’s easy to think that your mobile battery sucks, when in fact you’re getting a lot more power out of each charge than you might consider. Don’t want to have to charge your mobile more than once a day? Then look into using it a little less. You might need to make calls and send messages, but do you really need a moving background? Or Bluetooth switched on when there’s no connection? It’s up to you, but a little careful planning might mean that your phone battery lasts a lot longer than you think it can.

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