How to give more juice to your smartphone's battery
Considering how much smartphones have changed our live s, it is amazing how feeble they are when it comes to battery life. Most people are ready to accept that a smartphone is barely able to make it through one day. As we have all experienced at one point, this is not nearly enough. As a result, the aftermarket of power alternatives is huge. We analyzed this cluttered market and we want to share some of the best ways to extend the power of your smartphone. Let’s get started:
Do you need more power on your smartphone?
A few years back, phones would easily last 4-5 days between charges. Today we moved from phones to smartphones that barely get us to the evening. The all powerful apps of the smartphone era, make us weak in the knees and they do so for a reason . The almighty smartphone is able to exchange messages in dozens of ways, manage your bank account s, serve you music on the go, connect with your social circle s, show you the latest news, access scores of addictive games and the list goes on and on. The conundrum here is that the more you can do on your smartphone, the faster i t will run down .
So what can you do? Let’s make sure you have a full list of options in front of you.
In order to make this examination of options practical, we will pick up a few popular smart phones . We decided to get one each from iOS, Android and Windows Phone. When we discuss options, we will put links to the products that work with them so that you have access to pictures and specs and make it easier to get similar options for your smart phone .
Here is the list of smart phones under consideration in this article and their power specs:
- iPhone 6s : battery 1.715 mAh, Lightning connector
- Nexus 6P : battery 3.450 mAh, USB-C connector
- Lumia 640 : battery 2.500 mAh, Micro-USB
One ability that is conspicuously missing from all the above smartphones is wireless charging. Do not lose hope yet. We will find creative way s to get this added to the mix.
C hargers, chargers everywhere!
The first thing that you may consider for prolonging the battery life of your smartphone, is getting additional chargers. The investment is rather small compared to the price you paid for your smartphone and the bonus of doubling or tripling its use is worth the money.
The key here is to carefully consider where exactly you spend your day (and night!). The usual places, for which you will need additional chargers, are the workplace and your car, assuming that you keep the original charger at home and use it mainly overnight. If you are an avid smartphone user while at home, you may even cons ider having two chargers there: one for the bedroom and another for the living room.
Another scenario is to have a charger in your bag. I have gotten numerous respites in cafes, trains or airports once I found an electrical socket.
A notable variation are the docking chargers. These allow an upright position of your smartphone which makes it easier to check on for notifications. Your work desk or your nightstand are the favorite locations for such docks.
The alternative to a full blown electrical charger is to get a USB cable that plugs into your smartphone and use any computer or any device, for that matter, with a USB port available as the power source.
There are lots of manufacturers that sell chargers. The risk here is that a cheap charger may not charge as fast your smartphone or even damage it in the long run. It is always a good idea to carefully check the reviews left by other buyers to minimize this risk. The chargers produced by the original manufacturers of the smartphone are the safest bet, although they are usually more expensive.
Here are some good power chargers for the smartphones in our list:
- iPhone 6s: wall charger , docking charger , car charger
- Nexus 6P: wall charger + USB-C cable , docking charger , car charger
- Lumia 640: wall charger , docking charger , car charger
Before we close this topic, we need to say a few words about fast charging. This is another area where manufacturers do not manage to converge (yet) to unified standards. Qualcomm Technologies have been promoting standards in this area for a few years with the latest one Quick Charge 3.0 announced this September. Although two of our smartphones are equipped with Qualcomm processors, none of them comply with Quick Charge standards. The Nexus smartphone does come with a fast charge claim, but this is based on Google proprietary devices, which use a special voltage/amperage combination.
What you need to take from this is that fast charging is an important feature that may apply to your smartphone . Qualcomm claims that, in tests with a particular battery, a regular charger achieved 12% in 30 minutes, a Quick Charge 1.0 device 30% and a Quick Charge 2.0 one 60%. Quick Charge 3.0 should be able to deliver more than 80% in the same amount of time.
Check out the specs of your smartphone and, if your smartphone is compliant, pick up a charger that takes advantage of the same fast charging standard.
The twin battery
Here we have to decry Google’s decision to follow Apple in making the battery of Nexus 6P non-removable. From our line-up, Lumia 640 is the only smartphone that allows replacement of the battery. Leaving your home with two fully charged batteries, gives you the confidence to use your smartphone as long as you please throughout the day, even if you don’t have anywhere on your route, enough time, or an available socket to re-charge. Shutting down, replacing the battery and starting your smartphone again takes only a couple of minutes which may be even less than the time it takes to chase an electrical socket throughout the coffee shop.
One downside is that the back cover of your smartphone may be worn out much faster than usual. After all, the cover is designed to be rarely opened and closed. Making this a daily exercise may push its resistance to its limits. However, replacing the cover is a small expense for most smartphones.
One last bit of hardware in this mix: charging the extra battery is a hassle if you have to use your smartphone . Waking up in the middle of the night to get the first battery out and to put the second one in, is not the ideal scenario for a good night sleep. I n this case , w e recommend that you get a battery charger. We advise caution against buying these chargers based strictly on price. You need a smart charger that knows when the battery is full and avoids overcharging which decreases its capacity and lifespan.
Let’s see how these options look like for our only candidate with a replaceable battery: