We’ve seen a lot of different tips for boosting your smartphone’s battery life over the years and while some of them are legitimately great, some of them are also myths. The New York Times recently ran a series of tests with the help of product recommendations website The Wirecutter to come up with a comprehensive list of the best and worst ways to really improve your phone’s battery life. While I had heard some of these dos and don’ts before, some of them were new to me and they thus might be new for you as well.
For example, they found that people who still sync all their music to their phone and play it that way instead of through streaming services will definitely consume less power. The reason for this is obvious since having all your music on the device means you won’t have to consume power by getting it through your 4G or Wi-Fi radio.
One less obvious tip is to not shut off your Wi-Fi access in favor of cellular data if you’re away from home. While it does cost more power to run both the Wi-Fi and 4G radios, it’s also true that being connected to a strong Wi-Fi hotspot is more power efficient than using your cellular connection. That said, they also recommend not always choosing Wi-Fi over cellular because having a weak Wi-Fi signal will actually consume more power than having a decent LTE signal.
Another counterintuitive tip is to enable your phone’s virtual assistant to be able to listen to you at all times. While you might think that this would gobble up lots of battery power, the Times and Wirecutter found that there is “a negligible difference in battery usage between having the always-on virtual assistant enabled or disabled over a two-hour period.”