This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
I got my first cell phone back in 2002 – an Alcatel OneTouch 511. It was far from a perfect handset – the ringtones were too quiet and the D-pad was awfully flimsy – but eventually, I learned to live with its flaws. In fact, there was a number of things I absolutely loved about my 511, including its compact size, the fun pre-loaded games, and, definitely not least, the outstanding battery life. The thing lasted about five to six days between charges, and I wasn't even trying to preserve its battery juice.
Today, some 12 years later, I'm using a Samsung Galaxy K Zoom as my daily driver, and it is not too hard to guess that I picked it because of the camera. That happened three months ago, as of this writing. Several days after getting the phone, I had already accustomed to its gargantuan proportions. I had learned to live with the frequent lags as well. But the K Zoom's dreadful battery life really bothered me – a full battery in the morning was usually in the red by the evening, and how lightly or heavily I was using the handset didn't seem to make much of a difference. That was something I wasn't willing to accept.
I was confident that I could get better mileage out of the K Zoom with a little tinkering – by disabling features I did not need, by tweaking the screen's brightness, by enabling the built-in battery saver mode, for example. But at the same time, I was not planning on turning my smartphone into a dumb phone with a touchscreen. I wanted to get my mail instantly, to have my photos and files automatically uploaded to the cloud, and to never be without internet access, be it over Wi-Fi or cellular. Also, I wasn't keen on the idea of rooting the handset for the sake of disabling system apps and I was definitely not going to install any task killers or battery "optimizers" on it.
Once I had this rough plan in mind, I took the following steps to increase my battery life. Note that the tips provided below do not apply solely to the K Zoom. In fact, they are either universal or applicable to a number of other phones, regardless of their make and model, so feel free to try them out on your device if you're not happy with its longevity.
How I doubled my phone's battery life
My typical battery life stats now
You're eager to learn whether or not any of that had a positive effect, aren't you? Well, the chart to the right sums it all up. After applying the tweaks I just described, my phone's battery life increased drastically, and now, I can comfortably use it for a couple of days before reaching for a charger. Yes, I know that a two-day battery life is anything but mind-blowing, but it is good enough for my needs.
Better yet, I did not have to change any of my usage habits to get some decent mileage out of the Galaxy K Zoom. I still go on Facebook, Twitter, 9GAG and Reddit every once in a while, I still take photos and tinker with the phone's camera whenever I feel like it, I read my news feed and email, use Spotify, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Dropbox, Facebook Messenger and Google's services as much as I want. The only inconvenience caused by my tune-up is having to turn my GPS and location services on whenever I need to get directions, but in all honesty, I think the trade-off is worth it.
Ultimately, I am now content with my phone's battery life, and I don't feel like I've crippled it in any way to get to this point. I can rest assured that when I unplug my phone in the morning, it will last me through the evening and beyond even if I use it extensively. And I think I've clearly shown that as far as battery life goes, how a phone is configured can be as important as how it is used.