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Being Smart About Smartphone Batteries

Power - by David Neubert - updated on 11/14/2014

The technology behind today's smartphones is remarkable. With the ability to talk, listen to music, take photos and download, upload and store huge amounts of data, all at the same time, there is virtually no limit to the access of information these devices provide.

The lifeline of these phones (as well as tablets, laptops and other mobile devices) in almost all cases are lithium-ion batteries. These tiny power sources have been effectively operating smartphones since their inception, and they are a remarkable improvement over previous cell phone batteries. Yet with the amount of power needed to keep our phones running countless programs and apps day in and day out, something has to give sooner or later; and it's usually the battery.

Black iPhone with a 10% battery screen

Here are some limitations, considerations and tips regarding cell phone batteries to help you get the highest performance and longest runtime from them:

What is draining my phone battery?


  • Social media apps are often updating in the background, causing a drain on your battery
  • Free, ad-driven apps take a toll on your power source
  • Apps that use GPS are constantly updating your location, thus constantly working your battery
  • Tips: Limit social media apps running on your phone, perform frequent background app refreshes and turn off those you're not using, consider using paid apps instead of free ones, and be sure to run GPS-based apps only when needed

Other Processes

  • Animated wallpaper will use more power than still photos
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will constantly search for a connection, even when there isn't one
  • Pushing and fetching mail too frequently will cause more work for your phone battery
  • Tips: Stick to basic photos for wallpaper and enable your screen to lock quicker, turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use – however, if Wi-Fi is available, using it will be more efficient for your battery than using 3G or 4G, and change your settings to fetch new emails less frequently

How to take care of your battery?

  • Don't recharge it all the time, but don't let it discharge completely too often either. Try to keep your battery level between 40% – 80% as often as you can, while deep discharges and shutting your phone down from time to time are good ideas, too – performing these tips should give your battery roughly 300-500 total discharge cycles
  • Avoid exposing your phone to extreme temperatures. The ideal operating range for Li-ion batteries is between 40 °F – 85 °F
  • Always replace your batteries with products from a trusted source, where circuitry is tested for safety and performance

If your smartphone is vital to your existence, be sure to take these simple steps toward maintaining your battery and getting the most out of its runtime. With so many apps, games and functions to access and download, it's easy to lose sight of how much your battery is draining before it's too late. While many people complain that li-ion batteries don't last long enough in their mobile devices, by just paying attention to how they are used and charged can make a huge difference in prolonging battery life.

If you need a new battery, please check out our variety of battery replacements for almost any cell phone model, including iPhones. Stop at your local store for smartphone battery replacement and installation, as well as cracked screen and button repairs. Also, consider portable power packs to give your battery a little extra runtime when you need it most!

8 teens in a living room on their phones in different positions