The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been available for three weeks. And, while the smartphone has proved immensely popular, having already sold more than 6 million handsets worldwide, many new Galaxy S4 owners have faced various issues with their handsets, mainly experiencing significant battery drain.
Initial reports of Samsung Galaxy S4 problems included complaints of the smartphone’s massive 2,600 mAh Li-Ion battery quickly exhausting power overnight and leaving less than 50 percent charge by morning.
These cases may be isolated but can also be easily prevented if Galaxy S4 owners take the proper steps. As an owner of a Galaxy S4 handset, I have yet to have any issues with my battery power by adhering to a few simple rules. I have also discovered a host of other battery saving techniques through research and inquiry from owners of other Samsung Galaxy S series devices.
1. Only Use Wi-Fi And Data When Needed
Accessing the Internet is one of the heaviest battery draining operations a smartphone can execute. While some may feel they need to be constantly connected to the Internet or may find turning their Wi-Fi and data on and off a hassle, turning these mechanisms off may help many realized they don’t use them quite as often as they think they do. Not only that, but getting into the habit of regulating usage can also help cut own charges incurred from heavy data usage.
Both Wi-Fi and data are easily accessible from the Galaxy S4’s drop screen at the top of the phone. Wi-Fi is one of the first options on the drop screen, while data can be accessed from the setting cog icon at the top right of the screen. It takes just seconds to turn either option on or off.
Having data off does impede some of the Galaxy S4’s functionalities, however. The smartphone won’t properly receive certain multimedia texts such as images or conference texts, which will show up in an undownloadable mms format until data is turned back on. Email accounts will also not sync while data is off.
Other connectivity features that can be turned off to conserve battery power include Bluetooth, S Beam and NFC. Turing these features off will also hinder certain functionalities; however, the point is to only turn on these feature when they are needed. A perfect time to turn off Wi-Fi, data and other connectivity features is at night while sleeping. Unless you sleep-browse without knowing, you likely won’t need those features on at night.
2. Don’t Sync Gmail Or Other Email Accounts To Your Phone
In addition to forcing you to disconnect from your smartphone, leaving your email accounts unsynced from your Galaxy S4 is a great battery saver. Not only does the sync itself easily drain battery power, constantly checking email notifications that sound like texts also contributes to battery drain.
The continuous turning on of the screen takes a significant amount of battery power; for most devices, screen usage is the largest and most frequent battery-powered operation. Additionally, email has a high refresh rate and also requires data, both of which use a significant amount of battery power. Leaving your account unsynced means you won’t be checking your email only to discover that it is spam, while wasting your battery by turning your screen on when it isn’t required.
Email accounts can also be accessed only when needed, especially with an Android based phone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, for which Gmail is standard and there are also options for other email clients. You can easily turn on your data and sign into your account when necessary. Or you can sync your account when you know you will be receiving a large amount of emails and unsync it once you’re finished.
3. Turn Off the Extra Features
The Galaxy S4 has a host of special features that have contributed to its immense popularity; however, these features also contribute to battery drain, especially if they are all on at the same time. Many users have found that many features on the Galaxy S4 are novelty at best and are not absolutely necessary for seamless usage of the phone. These features include Air View, Multi Window, Air Gesture, Smart Stay and Smart Scroll.
Users who find they do not use these features on a regular basis can easily turn them off. Users can also leave on just a few features at a time, and they should still find a significant increase in battery conservation. Which remain on and off may change over time, but it is important to turn features off if you notice you haven’t used them in a while. Thus far, I leave Air Gesture and Multi Window on. I like Air Gesture for flipping through photos easily and like Multi Window for easy access to apps such as Gmail, Maps and the Internet browser. I have not experienced significant battery brain despite these special features being on constantly, while all others remain off.
Users can access special features on the Samsung Galaxy S4 through its drop-down screen. The box icon at the top right of the screen next to the settings cog icon will take you a quick access page for all the icons. These features can also be regulated through settings.
4. Regulate Screen Brightness
One of the most coveted features is its 5-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD Super AMOLED display. While it is impressively clear and bright, it is a major source of battery drain. My display alone can account for nearly 40 percent of my overall battery usage.
Users have two options for regulating screen brightness: Use the auto-brightness option, which will adjust the Galaxy S4’s screen brightness according to your location, or turn the screen’s brightness down manually to the lowest point at which you can comfortably see. The latter is the option I use; however, seeing my screen in bright daylight does prove problematic. The screen brightness toggle can be accessed through your devices drop-down screen. Users can also opt to use darker wallpapers as opposed to lighter and brighter one, which use up more battery power.
5. Utilize Power-Saving Mode
Power-saving mode can drastically improve battery conservation. By ensuring your device never exerts itself at maximum power while still maintaining its equality of performance, power-saving mode is a must for those who wish to save battery power. Users can easily access the mechanism through the special features shortcut in the drop-down menu. Holding down the power-saving option will take you its menu. Enable all of the power-saving options for optimal conservation. Also note that there is a Screen Power Saving option. This conjunction with regulating screen brightness will further conserve your battery.
Additionally, steer clear of third-party power saving apps or task managers. While many of these apps claim to force close other apps to clear up RAM, many don’t actually perform these functions and can damage your system in the long run.
Stay tuned until Saturday, when we reveal more tips for maximizing your Samsung Galaxy S4 battery power.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.