How to extend your phone, tablet or laptop battery life on the move

Of course you can also be more proactive with the power you do have when on the move. There are plenty of practical steps you can take to conserve battery power:

1. Go darker

The brightness of the screens on your devices can be a major power drain. Turn the brightness down as much as you can.

2. Turn off services

Having Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched on means your phone or tablet is constantly scanning for any devices within range. Only switch these services on when you need them.

3. Check your apps

Some apps, such as Facebook, are always on, so constantly checking for updates. This puts a strain on your battery.

4. Don't vibrate

You might be used to setting your phone to silent/vibrate, but turning off vibrate is a great way to save some significant battery life.

5. Shorten auto-off

With most people checking their phones over a hundred times a day, shortening the time it takes for your smartphone to turn off the screen can easily add up to a significant amount of time, and this can help save some drain on your battery. And try using an app like DynamicNotificaitons (Android) to see notifications without switching on the screen.


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Future of battery tech

As we've seen, when you are away from mains power or need to work completely off-grid for lengthy periods of time, there are many battery solutions to choose from. But what about the future?

Already smartphones have begun to appear with larger capacity batteries. Acer recently launched its Liquid X2, which has a 4000mAh battery that is a third larger than comparable Samsung and Apple phones. Last year also saw the launch of the Xenium W6610 sporting a 5300mAh battery – but the leader at the moment is the Elephone P5000, which has a battery capacity of 5350mAh.

Simply trying to squeeze a larger battery into a phone handset without the form factor looking like you're holding an iPad to your ear clearly has its limits, which is why so much effort and money is being poured into finding new battery technologies. Recently Stanford University has shown details of an aluminium graphite battery that could offer one minute charging for a smartphone. And StoreDot has also shown off its fast charging technology.

Pushing existing lithium-ion battery technology could also deliver vastly improved performance, at least that's the claim of Qnovo which is going back to basics and revisiting the chemistry that today's batteries use. If successful they claim to cut recharging times by up to 75%.

The massive growth of the wearable device market is also pushing new battery technologies with wearables powered by your movement, and even foldable batteries to deliver still smaller, lighter and thinner devices.

What is clear is that our appetite for power shows no signs of diminishing. There are, however, several technologies that together can deliver all the power you need when on the move. Whether it's to stay connected with friends or family, or to work in remote locations, portable power is readily available. And with new battery technologies just around the corner, the days of running out of power at the most inopportune moment will become a thing of the past.