| | 02-16-2013, 04:30 AM #1
Like every OS out there be it android iOS or WP8/7 there's many things that are on by default that aren't necessarily important and drain your battery. Especially if you are new to using a smart phone some of these things kind of just hide there till you discover them or are told about them.
I thought that perhaps some of those who are new might like to know some of the things you can do to mitigate this somewhat. I know there's some of you out there
who might think this is basic information and some of it is, but its important none the less I think. There are of course other ways besides what I will list here to further save battery but these ones I think are ones you can definitely live with and not sacrifice too much for the battery you gain.
This list specifically will focus on WP8 but there is some overlap with WP7 too. Some of these things I have found make all the difference with my Lumia 920
Turn off Bluetooth when not in use.
As handy as Bluetooth is most of us will probably only use it for the occasional file transfer or to sync up inside the car while driving. In the car you can almost ignore the usage by having a charger of some kind. I have used bluetooth headphones before and across the board on devices I found that sound quality suffers as opposed to a wired connection so to be honest you shouldn't be pining too much for it really. As for those business power users who use a headset to answer calls I suppose this issue might be something you might need to just live with unfortunately but the power consumption is still way less than using bluetooth headphones to listen to music so it's something you can definitely live with. Bluetooth isn't evil it's just better if you can manage it to be off when you don't need it that's all I'm saying.
Now, to turn off bluetooth in WP8 you can go to
Settings > Bluetooth.
It is simple enough but there are very nice shortcut tiles on the marketplace you can download and use such as "Shortcut Tiles" by AnKo Software among others that you can use. Best part is most of them are free.
You can use this QR code to go straight to the app in the store using bing vison if you so desire
Turn off NFC when not in use
NFC is another wonderful feature however most of us especially outside the US or UK might find you don't use it much if at all. Simple, turn it off when not using it.
You can turn off NFC in WP8 by going to
Settings > tap+send and flipping the switch.
Close Apps/web pages when not in use
Unfortunately as it stands there is no way to fully close apps in wp7 or 8 without mashing the back button until all that's left is the start screen yet however it's worth it sometimes if you want to save more battery. Apps will automatically suspend themselves after a while and you cant have more than 5 running at a time but while not as major especially apps like Nokia Drive and the camera can chew up some battery while in the background I have found. So if there's apps you use like a flashlight or camera based apps and especially nokia drive (assuming you don't want it to keep giving you voice navigation to somewhere while you do something else) should always be exited with the back button instead of the home button. This is still in testing for me but games too should be exited with the back button until they let you shut down the app.
As for web pages I have been reading on some of the forums that web pages with an auto refresh function like facebook or others can chew battery in the background if left open. In WP8 I can recommend in IE tapping the "..." symbol and going to Settings and changing the address button to manage tabs instead of refresh or bookmarks. I can also highly recommend in advanced settings changing the default search provider to google (Sorry Microsoft) as you will not need to use the bookmarks tab as much with the better searching. But yes, in the end, just close your tabs when not in use. A its tidy and B odds are it could save you some battery a lot of the time.
Manage your background apps
Just because there's apps that can run in the background doesn't mean you have to have them running. In your settings menu you can swipe to the right to applications and the first item on the menu is "background tasks". Within this menu is a list of all the apps that can run in the background and what functions you want and how often they should do what they do. For a lot of weather apps the default refresh is every half hour or so for live tiles, this is a pretty stupid battery drain so change it to once or twice daily for example. for GPS based apps you might want to turn off settings like background GPS tracking as well as this tends to drain the battery a lot also.
Change your email sync options
By default most email is set to check very frequently. Unless you need to constantly be alerted to new emails for work or such this isn't ideal because downloading data in the background means using data and using data means using battery. I found that for me setting it to only check once an hour is about ideal though you can set it to be even longer if desired. Not to mention you can always manually check email by opening the mail app and hitting the sync button if you are looking for something important.
These settings can be changed in
Settings> email + accounts and then by tapping on the account you want to change the settings for.
Pro tip facebook is in here too and if you ever find new contacts you have added or deleted are messing up your address book, holding down on the facebook icon in here you can force the account to sync from the menu that pops up here
Sign out of online chats in messenger if you don't need them
Simple enough but to do so in the messenger tile tap the little silhouette icon and select "offline"
Keep wifi on!
If you weren't aware, the latest update to WP8 called portico brought a wonderful new feature that lets the OS keep wifi on all the time (assumed normal behavior if you are coming from iOS or android) even when the screen is locked. It is off by default and seeing as wifi uses a lot less power than mobile network data all those things like getting email in the background or messaging or updates from Facebook or twitter can greatly benefit your battery if they are using WiFi to get information instead of mobile data.
To change this go to
Settings > WiFi > Advanced and tick the little box saying "Keep WiFi on when screen times out"
As a side note for battery, use WiFi whenever possible! If you have it around your university or workplace or home or your friends place definitely tap into it as the battery savings are amazing.
Turn off 4G
I love 4G, if your handset supports it the speeds are amazing but practically it just drains battery in any handset way too fast. It's great if you want to download a large file from an email or an album from xbox music or an app quickly but that doesn't mean you have to have it on all the time.
To limit your phone to using 3G go to
Settings> Mobile network and set the highest connection speed to 3G instead of 4G.
The speed tradeoff is really negligible for most tasks like Facebook or web browsing (most of the time) so may as well.
Lumia 920 Tips
Just one really, turn off the hyper touch sensitivity if you don't need it in
Settings > Display+touch
It will save you a lot of battery I have found.
If you want to make your battery last for as long as humanly possible do all of the above and you can also limit your mobile network to 2G instead of 3G, turn your brightness settings down to low or medium instead of auto in
Settings > Brightness
and turn on battery saver to temporarily turn off all background syncing and processes. Battery saver is under
Settings > Battery saver
and is toggled via a switch.
Doing these things should make your battery usage a bit more reasonable. Of course high draining apps like navigation/ usage of 3G/4G and the camera used a lot will also drain your battery a lot so it won't save everything but for most daily use these things should see you through to the end quite nicely.
Best of luck!
If anyone has any other things to add to this please feel free to chime in in the comments!
- <3 Wisp