There is an interesting trend going on with modern smartphones over the last several years – big advancements are made in nearly all hardware and software areas, but battery life always seems to improve at a slower pace
This peculiar progression can be clearly observed in 2017 – so far, some of the biggest Android manufacturers came out with flagships that have thin bezels, large displays, and beefed-up performance specs.
Samsung has been at the forefront of these developments, as the company's Galaxy S8
handsets feature a beautiful new design with minimal bezels, huge 5.8-/6.2-inch displays, and extremely powerful chipsets.
While the changes are undoubtedly welcome, isn't it a bit sad that these expensive contemporary flagships can't even compete with cheap smartphones
in the battery department?
How do the Galaxy S8 and S8+ perform in terms of battery life?
Compared to other flagships, the two phones actually do really well when it comes to battery life.
The Galaxy S8 with its 3,000 mAh cell scored 8 hours and 22 minutes in our dedicated test
, while the larger 3,500 mAh battery on the S8+ clocked in at exactly 8 hours.
All of this may sound great, but it's still noticeably less than the 2017 versions of the Samsung Galaxy A3, A5
, which all achieved scores of above 11 hours.
What can you do to increase your battery life?
Odds are that the Galaxy S8/S8+ will get you through a busy day with some juice to spare, but what can be done if you'd like to get even more time between charges?
Below, we've compiled a number of tricks and tips that will improve the battery life on Samsung's latest and greatest. Some of them are obvious, while some are a bit more sneaky.
Nobody expects you to stick with all of them, but you can test them out and decide what works for you. A good rule of thumb here is: If one of the techniques takes away features that you consider as essential, don't bother using it.
Tips and tricks to improve battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
Tips and tricks to improve battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
1. Use a darker theme
Going for a darker theme with your Samsung phone is a simple and efficient power saving trick. Due to the way Samsung's Super AMOLED displays are designed, the color white requires the most out of the screen in terms of power draw, so slapping a black or dark wallpaper/theme will save you a decent amount of power.
You can change your theme by going to Settings -> Wallpapers and themes.
2. Tweak the automatic brightness
Samsung devices have allowed users to offset brightness even when under automatic mode for years. It's a really nifty feature, as your phone will still adapt to your surroundings, but the max brightness limit is yours to control. The huge display is among the most power-hungry components inside your smartphone, so you have to keep it in check.
3. Always On Display
Ah, the Always On Display. Samsung loves it and the feature can definitely be useful, but it's also true that it leads to more power consumption. It makes more sense to turn it off and just light up your screen whenever you need to check something out. Besides, you'll be more productive if there are no notifications demanding your attention all the time.
You can turn this feature off by going to Settings -> Lock screen and security
4. Utilize the App power monitor
Another feature present on your Galaxy S8/S8+ is the App power monitor. Basically, it saves you power by putting apps running in the background to sleep if they're not used for 3 days. However, you can also do it manually by going to Settings -> Device maintenance -> Battery.
5. Game Launcher and Game Tuner are your friends!
Game Launcher has been around since the introduction of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. If you'd like to spare your battery while gaming, make sure to press the Save Power toggle when you're in the app.
As for Game Tuner, this is a Samsung app that isn't automatically installed with your S8 but it can be downloaded for free at Google Play. It is an application that enables you to change the resolution and frames per second settings in mobile games that require tuning for different Android devices and thereby control heat generation and battery drain.Download from Google Play
6. Should "Smart Stay" stay?
Smart Stay is a useful feature - it detects when you're looking at your phone's display. If you are, then your screen won't go to sleep as long as you're looking at it, which can be handy if you're frequently reading e-books and such.
Here's how the magic happens - your S8 uses its selfie cam to track your face and then determines if it should keep the screen on or off. While this feature is undoubtedly nifty, the process does consume power. Thus, if you don't usually stare at your phone for too long, it might make sense to turn Smart Stay off.
You can do that by going to Settings -> Advanced Features -> Smart Stay.
7. Fine tune screen timeout
While we're still on the screen timeout topic, we feel obliged to mention something that may be obvious for most of you. It makes no sense to set a long timeout period for your display. All of us are probably used to turning the screen off when we're done operating with our phones, but every now and then, it just so kinda happens that we forget to do it.
Setting your timeout to 30 seconds or a minute will be more than enough for your needs, while it will also guarantee that your display won't stay turned on for too long while not used.
Tweak this option by going to Settings -> Display -> Screen timeout.
8. High resolution = high power consumption
There are three display resolution options for the latest Samsung handsets - HD+ (1480 x 720) FHD+ (2220 x 1080) , WQHD+ (2960 x 1440). Here, things are simple - lower resolution translates to lower power consumption and vice versa.
Your Galaxy S8 is probably set up to use FHD+ by default, and you'd be better off sticking to it for the most part of your day to day usage. You can go WQHD+ if you'd like to play high-res videos or games with the S8's maximum capabilities, but keep in mind that this put a strain on your battery. Alternatively, if you find yourself in a situation where you'll need to squeeze out the most of your battery, switching to HD+ will certainly help.
You can change these options by going to Settings -> Display -> Screen resolution.
If you're not a frequent user of Samsung Pay or don't transfer data through NFC, there's really no point in keeping it on. The overall drain on your battery is negligible, most likely less than 1% per day, but it's important to remember that these little things tend to add up.
There's a dedicated toggle for NFC in your notification shade/drop down menu, but you can also turn it off from Settings -> Connections.
10. The LED indicator is a massive distraction
The LED indicator lamp is omnipresent on phones since I can remember. This little thing alerts you when there are unread notifications, and turning it off will give your battery a really minuscule boost.
However, the funny thing about this apparently negligible component is that it is one of the most addicting features of a smartphone. Let's be honest, how many times did the blinking of this small light cause you to immediately grab your phone? This is a massive distraction and can be very harmful if you're trying to be productive or need to be focused on something.
Kill this mini devil off by going to Settings -> Display- > LED indicator.
11. Keep screen turned off
This one should be enabled by default on your S8 or S8+, but you might want to make sure just in case. Keep screen turned off is a feature on Samsung devices allowing them to recognize when they're inside a pocket or a bag, and shouldn't be turning on in the event of an accidental button press. Not only will this save you from butt-dialing people, but also help your battery life.
You can check if it's enabled by going to Settings- > Display -> Keep screen turned off.
12. Nearby device scanning
So, you toggled your Bluetooth off and you think your phone isn't using it, eh? Sadly, this is not the case, as there are several services that employ Bluetooth until they're specifically shut down. One of them is Nearby device scanning which lets your phone automatically scan for nearby devices at all times, in order to make the connection process easier when you actually want to hook up to something. Needless to say, you can live your life to the fullest without this luxury, so make sure to turn it off.
Go to Settings -> Connections -> More connection settings.
13. Get apps in line by setting proper location guidelines
Location, location, location. Most contemporary apps always want access to your location, which is a bit disturbing and harmful for your battery. You do get functionality for this information, but your handset does use a lot of tools to pinpoint your precise position.
Fortunately, there is a way of saving a bit of battery juices with location turned on - you can switch to a GPS only mode by going to Settings -> Connections -> Location -> Locating method and switching to Phone only.
14. While you're at it, disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning
While you're still in the Location tab of Settings, make sure to tap on Improve accuracy and shut down Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning. These things are designed to improve the accuracy of location services, but as mentioned in the previous slide, your precise whereabouts are usually not that essential for most apps.
15. Get rid of these silly gestures!
While Samsung has eliminated a lot of "gestures" over the last few years, you'll still find a lot of them on the S8 and S8+. I think that most of these gestures are ridiculous, but at the end of the day, that's just my opinion. If you find some of them useful, then keep them. But if not, just turn them off—you've got enough processes running in the background anyway.
You can do so by going to Settings -> Advanced Features.