The real reasons your phone battery is rubbish - and how to solve them

Stay charged for longer

2. Turn off vibrate

The vibration function on your phone, along with haptic feedback, uses a tiny motor which rotates a weight at high speeds to turn electric energy into kinetic energy and cause the phone to vibrate.

vibration motor

Our spokesperson explained that motor, operated for a short period of time before being turned off and then on again, creates short spikes of current which use more energy than a sustained level.

The energy required to do all that is not insubstantial and is actually a bigger drain on the battery than a ringtone, which only requires a small vibration to produce sounds through the phones speakers.

So unless you're really attached to that vibrate function turn it off and turn your ringtone on. Or just turn them both off and embrace the lunacy of never being able to tell when your phone is ringing.

3. Lower the screen brightness

Just having the screen on is one of the biggest battery drains for a phone, and obviously the bigger the screen, the bigger the drain. Having it brightly lit sucks the power down harder than an aggressive shower drain, as the phone requires more power to sustain a bright light than a dim one.

So turn it down.

We asked our Samsung spokesperson why phone screens are such a battery drain and they explained that a screen simply converts electrical energy into light energy. On a full HD screen the energy required to change the colour of each pixel is substantial. On top of that, brighter screens require more electrical energy to convert into light energy.

Bright screen

Many phones have very bright screens anyway so you might find that you can comfortably drop the brightness to around 40% or lower.

Alternatively you could activate the 'auto brightness' mode that most phones have, which will automatically adjust the brightness as needed, dimming it when your surroundings are dark and brightening it when they're light.

It could also be worth adjusting how long it takes before your screen times out (switches itself off). If it stays on for two minutes every time you get a text, or check the time, that can quickly add up so consider lowering it to more like fifteen or thirty seconds.

iPhone Wi-Fi

4. Don't leave Wi-Fi on unnecessarily

If you leave Wi-Fi on without a connection (for example when out and about) your phone will keep checking for Wi-Fi networks and constantly trying to connect to open ones, which uses power and can be a significant battery drain, so turn Wi-Fi off when you're not connected to a network.

Similar principles apply to Bluetooth, GPS and 3G/4G. So if you're not using them, turn them off.

Modern batteries and CPUs are designed to minimise these effects, so the issues aren't as bad as they used to be, but if you really want to save power this is a real pro tip.

It needn't be a chore to do either, as most Android phones can toggle connections straight from the notifications screen, while on Apple devices running iOS 7 you can just pull up the Control Center. Admittedly it's a little more time consuming on Windows Phone 8 (although there are live tile widgets available) but your battery will thank you.

5. Check what's draining your battery

Any app, system process or Google service can potentially drain your battery as they all require CPU power to run and some also download data (for example an app that's syncing).

It's not always obvious which the main culprits are, especially as apps often run in the background, so it's worth checking and luckily many phones come with task managers that make this simple.

task manager

If it turns out you've got a rogue app on your hands at least then you'll know to delete or disable it, or if for example you find that the screen is the main drain, you'll know to turn down the brightness.