Sunday, January 16, 2011

Battery Saving Tips

So, you've got a brand spanking new Windows Phone 7 device but you realized that your battery cannot last the day (or if you recently move from a non-smartphone). What do you do?

For the readers who never owned a smartphone before (other than Blackberry devices - those bloody things just lasts for days), your new WP7 phone is not lasting the day or you have charge your phone everyday can be annoying. Unfortunately, charging everyday is just a norm now in the big screen smartphone world especially when you are using 3G.

But if you just want your wp7 phone to last the day with regular usage, Microsoft's has a good article on what you could do to save some battery so that your phone can last the day. I am going to share what I do in addition to the Microsoft article to make sure my phone lasts the day under my normal usage (3G surfing, music, videos, normal phone stuffs). I owed a iPhone 3G before so I am taking some of my findings from there as well.
  • Brightness - set to automatic - low is waaaay to low and from my experience medium is brighter than automatic. It would be nice if in the next update MS would let us fine tune the brightness for for now automatic seems to be ok
  • Lock screen time to 1 minute
  • Turn your unused connections off - Wifi, Bluetooth - when these are on, eventhough you are not connected to your Wifi hotspots or Bluetooth headsets, these will constantly scan for Wifi hotspots/bluetooth connections so these activities will drain your battery quicker. (For the record, I leave my bluetooth connection on all the time)
  • for my email, I just used 30 minutes interval for my more important accounts (i.e. work, my mail email account), the rest I set them to 1 hour interval.
  • For my "Find my phone" settings, I turned off "Get results faster". Only "Save my location..." is checked
  • Under Settings->feedback, I turned of Send Feedback mostly because I don't want Microsoft snooping around. As a default settings when I got my phone, it was Enabled... Turn it off
  • This is the most important thing when charging your battery - If you think your phone is low on battery, don't just plug it in. Once in awhile (i.e. once every month?), even after you get that "Battery is low" notification, keep on using your phone until the phone turns itself off (pretty much drains battery). Plug in your charger to charge your phone.
These are just some things I do to make sure the battery on my HTC Surround (on 3G as well) can last me a through a typical day. The HTC Surround's battery is suppose to be one of the weakest ones in the Wp7 launch devices (1230mA) but it lasts twice as long as my iPhone 3G with similar types of usage.
I am also ordering some OEM batteries from eBay (shipped from HK - 3 for $15!! - free shipping). They are rated at 1500mA each. Probably going to be another month or so before I get them. I'll test those out and write another review about these OEM batteries. I hope it doesn't blow up in my pants :)... or my face...

Free feel to share some of your battery saving tips!

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