Obvious battery tip of the day

Does screen brightness have a significant effect on cellphone battery life? You betcha. [Wired]


    1. It’s easily fixable, guy forgot to put the http in. The link is as follows: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/04/does-decreased-brightness-increase-your-phones-battery-life?cid=co6980714

  1. It certainly isn’t news to anybody who has ever owned a device with an adjustable backlight; but it’s a testament to the expertise of the silicon crew that a few piddly LEDs are even noticeable on top of a zillion-MIPS CPU, giant stack of RAM, and bewildering array of RF transceivers…

    1. To be fair, the LEDs probably aren’t that piddly if they’re making an LCD screen legible in daylight.

      Quantum dots might be a help in this regard.

  2. Correct me if I am wrong, but the linked article seems to talk about how long a charge will last. to me that is different than the life of the battery. although, I suppose if the life of the battery is based on how many times it is charged (?) then it may actually lead to a shorter battery life..?

    1. You’re being pedantic, but you’re right. They meant discharge time.

      Li-ion batteries last a certain amount of time depending on their temperature and charge/discharge voltage extremes, and to a lesser extent on the number of cycles. But the more they are used, the faster they are used up.

      1. Well, of course I am, but it was a good segue into the question I was asking, which is much less of a “well, duh!” type of question :) 

  3. My Android Samsung Galaxy Nexus tells me that my screen is currently eating up 45% of my battery usage. It’s no surprise to me that screens are charge-suckers!

  4. there are a few android apps to edit the auto-brightness levels. none of them are perfect, and they’re all a bit fiddly. e.g. the one i use doesn’t update the levels as you adjust them; you have to quit the app and lock/unlock the phone. it takes some fiddling, and there are a lot of advanced options: sensitivity; hysteresis; smoothing; etc.

    of course if you’re like me, you’ll have a tendency to go too far and make your phone really uncomfortable for an extra 30 minutes of battery. it’s not worth it. :)

    also, obviously, the more apps you have running the less of an effect tweaking the screen brightness will have.

    1. Every android device I’ve ever seen has this “power control” widget.


      I keep it set on auto pretty much the whole time and it works fairly well (uses the light sensor to adjust relative screen brightness). It’s also a good way of quickly knowing if your wifi/bluetooth/GPS/syncing is accidentally on and also chewing juice.

      1. yes… what i was talking about is an app that lets you change the response curve of the auto-brightness to ambient light. i set it to be dimmer than usual at low ambient light (i.e. indoors, to save battery, since that’s where i usually am) and extra-bright at high levels (for ease of use outdoors).

        i bought an improved version of power control for $1 when i was trying to get a black-and-white home screen on my gingerbread device (the stock one had green or blue accents). fortunately, it turns out to have been functionally worth it as well; it adds several buttons like disable/enable auto-rotate, 3g, tethering, etc. the disable auto-rotate is a nice niche feature. it also has an option to let you to run wifi and bluetooth under airplane mode; it just turns off the cellular radio.

  5. What bugs me when I see them introduce new versions of the same devices that take advantage of improvements in technology to make them a imperceptibly smaller rather than noticeably longer lasting.

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