The battery is one of the most complained about component in modern smartphones and they never last as long as we would like. These apps and built-in phone features combat battery drain.
Whether you need a battery saver app on your phone to reduce battery drain depends on several factors. One is whether the phone itself has any battery saving features. Some have, but others don’t. If the phone does have battery saver functions, they may not be sufficient.
Battery saver apps can reduce battery drain even more than the features built into Android, so if your battery life is terrible, you need powerful tools. Let’s take a look at three options to boost battery life.
Power Battery - Battery Life Saver & Health Check
Price: Free | By: LIONMOBI | Size: 14MB | Android: 4.1 and up
Power Battery is a free ad-support app that aims to make the battery in your Android phone last longer. On the home screen is a battery graphic showing the percentage charge remaining and the estimated time before the battery expires completely.
There are several sections to the home screen and a section further down shows the battery temperature, voltage and capacity. Tapping this leads to another section where you can see much more information and the time spent on Wi-Fi, standby, playing audio and video and so on.
What it calls a battery cooler is really just a list of apps that are running in the background. The battery can be cooled by stopping them from running. Stopping them will indeed reduce the temperature because the workload on the the system is lowered. More importantly, the stopped apps will stop using the battery.
There is a Power Protection feature that can be enabled and basically this monitors the power used by apps so action can be taken when one uses too much.
Several Saver Modes are available and these have names like Prolong, General, Sleep and Default mode. They are preset power plans and they configure the screen brightness and timeout, battery vibrate, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and syncing.
You can manually switch between modes and you can create your own Saver Mode with your own power settings. There is also a Smart Mode and this enables you to schedule modes and you could schedule a very low power mode from say 11pm to 7am. While you are asleep, your phone can be asleep too.
The app shows ads and it would be nice to be able to remove these, but there doesn’t appear to be a paid ad-free version. It is still a great app and it has a lot of battery-saving features, including home screen widgets and status in the notifications pull-down. It is recommended, although the adverts are irritating.
Avast Battery Saver
Price: Free | By: Avast Software | Size: 27MB | Android: 4.03 and up
Avast Battery Saver is free and ad-supported, but there is a paid upgrade that removes ads and enables some premium features. It costs UK £6.99 a year subscription.
The home screen looks good and a large display of the time remaining on the battery dominates. Below are app icons and a circled number. This is the number of apps running in the background that can be safely stopped to stop battery drain.
You can view the background apps and choose which ones to stop. There is also an Allowed apps list that has apps that are never stopped. They can also manually be stopped if you want even more battery savings and you can modify the list.
One of the best features of the apop is the profiles. These are power plans and there is Smart, Work, Home, Night and Emergency. Each one is preconfigured, but they can be modified and you can change things like the screen brightness and timeout, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, vibrate on ring, and so on.
A useful feature of these power profiles is that they can be triggered according to the Wi-Fi network. For example, you can set the Home profile to activate when it detects your home Wi-Fi network and the Work profile is activated when the Wi-Fi network at work is detected.
The Night profile can be set to automatically activate and deactivate at certain times, such as 11pm and 7am. There are certain overrides that can be set, such as keeping Wi-Fi on if you are streaming music. This ensures the music isn’t cut by the Wi-Fi being shut down to save power.
This does not have as many features as Power Battery, but it has a simpler and cleaner interface, which makes it easy to use. The power plan switching based on Wi-Fi network (or location in the paid upgrade), is useful.
The third battery saver I will look at is not an app, it is the features built into the top end Samsung phones running Android 7. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8, S7, S6 or one or two other models, there are battery saving features built in that mean you might not need an extra battery saver app.
If you have a phone from a different manufacturer, explore the settings to see if there are similar features.
Every app that runs in the background, and many do, use battery power. So a battery saver app uses battery power itself. Hopefully, it saves more than it uses, but you do need to be aware that battery, CPU, memory and storage are all consumed by a battery saver app.
Using the features built into the phone and Android might be all you need.
For example, pull down from the top of the screen and there is a battery icon. Tap it and it sets Medium power saving mode. This decreases the screen brightness, limits the speed of the CPU and turns off background network usage.
(If you don’t see the battery icon, pull down the top drawer of icons to view the full set.)
Apps running in the background are monitored and notifications sometimes appear telling you that an app has been put to sleep. Apps are put in a suspended state where they use no power if they have not been used for a while.
Go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery and it shows the battery charge level and time remaining. There are three power settings. Off, Mid and Max power savings and the estimated time the phone will last in each state.
Max power savings are severe and it turns your smartphone into a fairly dumb and basic one, but the battery life is amazing. It is best used only to put the phone in standby in emergencies, such as when the battery is really low. Phone calls use a lot of battery, so don’t spend hours chatting to friends.
Swipe up the screen and there is a list of apps running in the background. These can be selected and the SAVE POWER button stops these apps using the battery when they are not actively being used.
The best battery saver
The features in Android 7 on my Samsung Galaxy S6 are sufficient for me and I don’t need to use a battery saver app.
If your phone does not have any battery saving features or if you need more than the phone provides, Power Battery is the best app, but the ads bug you. However, Avast Battery Saver has a simpler interface and useful automatic switching of power plans based on your location.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 10 June 2017