Expanding Cell Phone Lifespans

 Personal Experiences

People these days can’t seem to let their cellular devices out of their sight for even one slight second. Whether it’s to check for never-ending emails from your client inquiring the status of their product, spending hours texting your boyfriend about how much you adore his new haircut, or the constant need to check your phone to see the updated play-by-play of the Lakers game, the obvious universal truth is that: everyone NEEDS their cell phone. What happens to you when that handheld gadget that stores so many of your life’s important components fizzes out on you and dies? Some call it the apocalypse; the end of the world. It means the end of all connection to the outside world: your friends, family, significant others, bosses, coworkers, and so on. It also means the end of access to check how many people liked your new profile picture on Facebook, or the endless scrolling to view your friends’ Instagram pictures of their dogs, food, and outfits. Also vanished is the perfect opportunity to capture that picture of your friend tripping and falling down the stairs. Don’t worry and panic if this happens to you (way) too often, this dilemma happens to everyone. Even Brad Pitt gets mad when his phone ka-puts on him.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my phone has died on me in the worst possible times and locations. How would you feel if you had no source of entertainment while slumped in an uncomfortable chair in a chemistry lecture on a late afternoon of a beautiful Friday? It’s unpleasant. Sure, it forces me to actually pay attention to what the lecturer is rambling about, but let’s face it: not having your phone in class sucks. When you’re in class, you want to do anything but listen (which you will pay for later during finals week), and all you want to do is to check all of your social media accounts (such as tweeting every twenty minutes what a horrible day it is to be stuck inside of a classroom) and text your friends about how monotone your teacher sounds. How about if your phone died at a party? You’re feeling a little tipsy in this massively crowded house, it’s almost 4:00 am, and you want to go home to your comfortable bed. As you take out your phone to check with your ride if they’re ready to leave, your phone notifies you that you are on your last 1% of the battery, flickers, and then dies. How are you going to find your ride? What if they left already and forgot you there? Personally, I think having a dead cell phone tops my list as one of being the most uneasy and unpleasant experiences that you can go through in life (yes, I do need my phone that bad and I am not exaggerating).

Let Me Help You

In my years of owning an iPhone, I have learned that the longer you own the phone, the shorter your battery life becomes (I believe this applies to several other cellular devices as well). So to help you all out, here are 10 tips to help prolong your cell phone life throughout the day!

    1. Turn down your brightness. If you have seen the difference between the ranges of brightness on your phone, you should know that you definitely do not need the top brightness level to be able to see your screen. In fact, I set my brightness level to just a notch below the 50% line, and I can use my phone just fine (but then again, everyone is different, so just play around with your phone and see how your eyes adjust to the screen to find your perfect level of brightness). What I like to do is to turn it on halfway or more (if needed) during the daytime, but once the sun sets, or if I’m in a dark setting where not much light is needed, I turn it even down to the very minimum setting of brightness, and it works just fine!

    1. Turn off your phone when not needed. If you know that there will be a period of time that your phone isn’t needed, shutting the phone off will not only conserve a lot of energy that can be utilized later on when you actually need it, but also actually charge your phone as well! Examples of these times might be when you’re in an important business meeting and do not want any interferences that could harm your product presentation that you are giving to an important client, or when you’re in class and should actually be paying attention to the lecture, or when you are riding an underground subway where there is absolutely no service (because constantly searching for service depletes battery life fairly quickly). If you do not wish to turn off your phone in any case, but don’t need to make or receive any calls, simply turn your settings to airplane/flight mode and that should also do the trick.

    1. Don’t let your phone’s battery life run extremely low to wait for it to (almost) die and then charge it again. Phones these days, which are most prominently smartphones, are mostly run on lithium batteries, which are designed for the phone to constantly be charged. Letting the battery life run almost down to zero can cause long-term harm to your phone. So if you have a lithium-run phone, prolong your battery life by frequently charging your phone and never let it lose too much energy before charging.

    1. The vibrate setting on the phone actually takes up more power than you would think. If you’re in a setting where you “should” have your phone on silent, such as a classroom or the movies, save some battery life by turning the volume down to the bare minimum instead of the vibrate button. To be honest, the vibrating in a quiet setting is sometimes just as loud (and annoying) as an alert with sound and music would be at times, so just save yourself some battery life and keep the volume low- and then hopefully catch the alert quickly so you can silence it.

    1. Close the applications that are open on your phone that you do not need, such as camera, games, and the Internet browser. You can do this on the iPhone simply by holding down the buttons and then clicking the “x” on them to quit the application. Having open applications takes up battery life, even if you’re not actually using them, so just remember to quit them right after done with use.

    1. If you can connect to a Wi-Fi network, do it. It might be efficient to run on a 3G/4G network, as it follows you wherever you go, but it takes up tons of battery on your phone. But if you don’t need to connect to the Internet, just turn both settings off. The same goes for things such as Bluetooth and the GPS applications.

    1. Avoid using animated/moving pictures or videos as your lock or home screen on your phone. It might look extremely cool, but it can also drain your battery extremely fast. The same goes for what color the background is. Using a black background drains less battery than does a white background on your phone.

    1. Keep your phone in a cool setting. The hotter the weather and surroundings you’re in, the faster your battery will drain as well. For phones that its lithium batteries can be taken out, it is smart to leave these battery packs in the refrigerator. For other phones (or just in general), try to avoid keeping your phone in settings such as inside a car, direct sunlight (such as out in the sun on the beach), and even in your pocket near your body (because body heat affects your device as well).

    1. Use proper chargers. Many people might resort to buying cheap chargers because of the extremely ridiculous price- but beware: using cheap brands that are unknown or unheard can actually be internally harmful to your phone and cause your battery to lose its long-term life span. Always check if your phone is charging correctly. If it heats up to an alarming level, it might indicate that your charger is malfunctioning. For the sake of your cellular device, you might always want to pay a little bit more cash for the more credible brand to keep your phone alive and healthy for a long time.

    1. If there is a “power save” option on your phone, turn it on and charge the phone at the same time- but also sure to not charge the phone too much and can reduce the life of the actual battery pack (which may require you to replace the battery or even phone if misused).


Thankfully, we are in the 21st century, where humans have technologically bloomed and advanced into a stage where these problems could be easily fixed with chargers, external battery packs, charging stations, and so on. Be sure to check them out as they continue to be marketed, as they could easily be the one-step fixing solution to help save our days.


Stay charged, stay happy!