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Phone charging hacks to enhance battery life

From the most effective charging techniques to on-the-go ways to power up your phone, here are seven tips to preserving your smartphone’s battery life.

Nothing exemplifies modern anxiety quite like a running-on-empty smartphone. Here are some helpful hints to keep your battery powered up for when you need it most.

Jerry Seinfeld has a joke in his comedy special 23 Hours to Kill about smartphone power and life without a charger. "When that battery gets low, you feel like your whole body's runnin' out of power, don't you?".

Such is the dependency on smartphones and the apps that organise, entertain and inspire us every day, Seinfeld's 'joke' hits pretty close to home. But before we get too deep and meaningful, let's agree that a full smartphone battery makes our lives much easier. Here's how to keep it that way.

1. Don't get app happy

This is the most obvious place to start, but it would be remiss in keeping from this list. With so much information at our fingertips via apps, it's easy to open six or seven in a quick flurry without a second thought.

However, running dozens of apps at one time can eat away at battery life. For the sake of a quick double-check now and again, you can avoid hours of needless energy-sapping activity, which could come in handy later in the day or night when you really need it.

2. All power to you

The more wattage at your disposal, the faster your smartphone will charge. This is the primary reason why charging from a wall socket is the quickest way to power up your mobile device. Where possible, plug your smartphone into a wall charger rather than a USB from your desktop computer or laptop.

3. Clearing the air

You'll have to sacrifice reception for a short amount of time, but aeroplane mode is one surefire way to preserve battery – on or off a charger.

While turning on aeroplane mode does automatically disable your phone's Wi-Fi, on most devices you do have the option of logging into your settings and turning the Wi-Fi back on.

Young male smiling at his phone on the couch

4. Keeping a cool head

The optimal temperature for a smartphone is room temperature. You may have found if you have left your phone next to a window on a peak-of-summer day, a warning will appear.

In the case of an iPhone, it reads: 'Temperature. iPhone must cool down before you can use it.' In extreme cases, this can even cause a battery malfunction. If you do see this message, it doesn't necessarily mean your smartphone's days are numbered.

It does reflect the stress that heat on your device's hardware can wreak upon your phone. This does exhaust your phone's power and can bump your battery back down to zero. From there, you will just have to wait it out.

With that knowledge, there are small things you can do to shield your phone from the heat and protect the battery. For instance, one way to ensure you get every last ounce out of a quick-fire charge is to remove the phone's cover while it powers up.

5. Track the use of your GPS and Bluetooth

Another one that is easy to forget but worthwhile is a battery saver when you can afford to. If you're sitting at the office for eight hours without moving further than the kitchen to refill your cup of coffee, chances are you don't need your smartphone to GPS track your every movement.

When sitting down to go over your morning inbox, getting in the habit of turning off your GPS will save some battery life. It's also worth turning off your Bluetooth if that's an option – although it's required if you're using AirPods or wireless headphones.

6. Investing in a power bank

These little gadgets may not be the most efficient way to charge your smartphone, but beggars can't be choosers – and when you're on the move, it keeps your phone alive and your battery ticking upwards at a moderate pace.

On a packed train on your way to a meeting or interview where you need your smartphone's GPS to plan your next move, you'll be happy to have one with you.

You can pick up a lower-tier power bank for as little as AU$20 or elect for something from a more premium range from AU$99, which can be worth its weight in gold should a nervous moment arise.

7. Seeing the light

Turning down your smartphone's brightness to preserve battery is one of the oldest methods to preserve battery life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that going from full brightness to half brightness will save a figure between 15 and 20 per cent.

Learned eyes will notice that faded brightness is one of the first things that is altered when you switch your smartphone to 'low power mode', indicating that this is a great place to start when saving battery life.

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