Unlike the iPhone, which comes in just two screen sizes (3.5-inch on the iPhone 4 and 4S and the not too much bigger 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and above), Windows Phones come in a range of sizes all the way up to a monster 6-inches. Bigger screens mean more beautiful displays, but they also mean more battery drain. Here I’ve compiled a list of the top ten tips and tricks that have helped me save hours of battery life on my Windows Phone running Windows Phone 8.1.
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Learn to Love Battery Saver
Battery Saver is an app your find in your Apps List in Windows Phone 8.1 (it’s also found in Settings). It has two main functions: letting you enable Microsoft’s built-in battery saving features and also to see which apps and services are eating up most of you juice. If you find an app is eating up a ton of battery (it will be at the top of the Usage list), it’s probably best to close that app for good.
In the settings screen in Battery Saver you’ll find a switch to turn the feature on. Doing so will allow your phone to conserve battery power when the juice gets low. Some default services will turn off, but you’ll still receive texts and calls. Things like emails and other app notifications will need to be manually refreshed.
Turn on Auto-Brightness
Increased screen brightness takes up a TON of battery power. This is because the extra light required to illuminate your screen requires more energy, draining your battery faster. Screens generally require less light in darkness and more when it’s bright outside. To have your Windows Phone adjust to external brightness levels automatically go to Settings > Brightness > and toggle the switch to ON (blue).
Reduce Screen Brightness Manually
If Auto-Brightness isn’t doing it for you, you can also set the brightness levels automatically. Go to Settings > Brightness > and under the “Level” header select medium or low.
Turn Off Double Tap To Wake
Nokia Lumia phones can now use the double tap to wake feature. It means when your handset is in sleep mode you can just double tap on the screen without having to press any buttons. It can also use up some battery life as well as it’s waiting for your taps at all times.
To turn the feature off and save some precious battery you can head into Settings > Touch. There will be a section called “Double tap to wake up phone” which you need to turn off from there. You’ll have to use the power key from now on but you can just head back in and turn it back on again if you miss the feature.
Keep Your Windows Phone Background Black
I love the white Windows Phone background but it actually eats up more battery power than having the black background. That’s because it takes more energy to colour a screen white than it does black. If your screen is currently on the white background settings go to Settings > Start + Theme > and under the Background header tap the box and select “dark”.
Turn Bluetooth Off
Most Windows Phones have Bluetooth 4.0, otherwise known as Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE. And while BLE uses a lot less power than earlier versions of Bluetooth it still takes up power needlessly when you leave it on and don’t intent on connecting to any Bluetooth devices.
To quickly switch Bluetooth off simply swipe down from the top of any screen in Windows Phone 8.1. This will bring up the Action Center. Tap the Bluetooth button so it turns grey. This disables Bluetooth.
Turn Off Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is another connection technology we generally don’t need while out and about. It’s more important when we are in our home or office, as using Wi-Fi doesn’t eat into our data plans. But having it on all the time means our phones are constantly looking to join Wi-Fi networks, as we traps across the city or take a ride on the train. The result is battery drain. Simply swipe down from the top of any screen in Windows Phone 8.1. This will bring up the Action Center. Tap the Wi-Fi button so it turns grey. Wi-Fi is now disabled.
If your Windows Phone has NFC capabilities… chances are you rarely use it because, well, there are just not a whole lot of NFC-enabled things anywhere. This means that is you have NFC running all the time you are burning through battery for no reason. To turn NFC off go into Settings > NFC and toggle the switch to OFF.
Don’t Keep Scanning For New Wi-Fi Networks
By default your phone will continuously scan for new Wi-Fi networks. This is useful the first time you get it, but most of us only connect our phones to Wi-Fi at home, at work, or at cafes we frequent. There’s no point in having your phone scan for Wi-Fi networks as you stroll down the street. So go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Manage and uncheck “Automatically connect to Wi-Fi hotspots provided by my mobile operator” and “Send information about Wi-Fi connections to help discover nearby Wi-Fi.”
Kill Apps You Aren’t Using
Just because an app isn’t open on your screen doesn’t mean it’s not running in the background eating up battery life. To close an app for good (until you launch it again by tapping its tile) press and hold the back button on your handset. This will bring up the open apps screen. Scroll through this screenshot list and tap the black X over any app you want to close.
Set Glance to “Peek”
Glance is a setting found on Lumia handsets that allow you to see the clock and notifications when your phone switches to standby simply by waving your hand over it. It’s a handy feature, but if you have it set to “Always On” you’ll lose a lot of battery life. Go to Settings > Glance > and under Glance Screen change it to “peek”.
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