Do it yourself
    19 October 2015


    Keep your phone alive for longer

    Ways to make it through a full day without having to charge your smartphone.

    Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks for extending your phone’s battery life.

    Know how to charge your battery

    Your phone is likely to have one of two kinds of battery: it’s probably either a Lithium-ion (as in all iPhones) or a Nickel-based battery.

    Nickel-based batteries do better if they’re charged only when they are pretty much out of power, while lithium-ion batteries need to be charged frequently to keep their capacity up, even if they’re not fully used up.

    Finding out which battery your phone has will give you an idea of how often it needs to be charged so that it can keep as much of its original capacity as possible.

    Change display settings

    Shortening the screen timeout

    Dimming the screen is one of the easiest ways to save a whole whack of power in your phone’s battery. You can also shorten the screen timeout time, which means the screen will stay lit up for a shorter time after you’ve finished interacting with it.

    Disable power-sapping apps

    Any app or service that requires your phone to search for signal will sap battery power. If you’re not using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G or LTE, turn them off by switching onto Airplane Mode.

    When you’re in areas of low connectivity, your phone has to keep switching from one signal to another, and this is a big energy drainer. Rather wait until you’re in an area with a strong Wi-Fi signal before switching it on.

    Your phone’s GPS unit also eats up a lot of battery power because it is constantly sending and receiving signals to and from satellites. If you don’t need your GPS, turn it off.

    Keep it cool

    This is especially important in the South African summer: your phone’s battery will take a real hit when it gets hot. Keep it in a pocket or a bag when you’re outside, don’t leave it in a hot car, and make sure not to leave it in direct sunlight, even if you’re on the beach.

    Operating system-specific tips

    The most cutting-edge Android phones have extra power saving modes. Select Ultra Power Saving or Extreme Power Saving mode if you’ve got it on your phone: these will limit your phone’s functionality to the bare-bones essentials. You’ll still be able to SMS, make calls, browse the web and use Facebook, but that’s about it. It’ll help you squeeze a few extra hours out of your battery.

    For iPhone users, iOS 9 has a lower power mode that also shuts down a lot of unnecessary processes. You’ll get an auto-prompt when your battery gets down to 20% but you can activate it at any time.

    New phones with the best battery life


    The company is making a name for itself when it comes to the battery life of its smartphones. The brand-new Xperia Z5 has a 2 900mAh battery which delivers about two days of power. Even Sony’s 'budget' options like the Xperia C3  have long-lasting batteries.


    Samsung’s smartphones, including Samsung Galaxy S6, all have removable batteries, so you can swap your battery out for a spare with more juice.

    iPhone 6s Plus 

    With almost 10 hours of power, the battery life of the 6s Plus resoundingly beats that of the 6.