While smartphones have completely transformed our lives in the last few years, all of the amazing features like high-definition screens and GPS tracking come with a price – and we're not talking about your wallet. One of the biggest issues that many people have with their flash new gadgets is a battery life that's measured in hours rather than days.
We've all been there at some point when we've been travelling or at an event somewhere and all we can do is watch while that little battery icon turns from green to red, before the phone shuts down. At best, it's a huge inconvenience, but if you're relying on something like satellite navigation or want to use the camera to capture once-in-a-lifetime memories, it can be downright annoying.
But fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're not catch short in the power stakes when you're out and about. So we've put together a few top tips for how to make sure you've always got enough juice.
If you've got the right model of phone, one of the best ways to boost your battery life is by adding a charging case. Our Xtorm iPhone 5/5S Power Pack Charging Case, for instance, can double the life of your iPhone 5 or 5S and its slim design means you'll barely even notice it. And even if you don't have a compatible phone for these gadgets, you can still be prepared with tools like the TurboCharger 7000. This emergency charger can give any device a boost and refill them with power several times – even being able to recharge two items at once.
Turn down your connectivity
Today's phones come with a staggering array of tools to help you stay connected. A modern device is likely to have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, GPS and more. But while all of these have their uses, do you really need to keep them all turned on all the time? GPS, for instance, is probably the most power-thirsty piece of tech, so only switching this on when you actually need it could greatly improve your battery life.
Don't leave your apps lying around
Leaving a lot of apps running in the background is a sure-fire way to drain your battery life faster than you can blink – but many people may not even realise they're doing this. Both iOS and Android will leave apps running unless you specifically tell them otherwise – which is great for picking up right where you left off, but less so if you're trying to stretch your battery life. To fix this on iOS, double-tap the Home screen and swipe up to kill apps, while Android users should press and hold the Home button, then swipe right.
It's a screen, not a flashlight
Yes, that super-bright, full HD screen is stunningly pretty and great for watching movies on the go, but turn it up too much and you might not even make the end credits before you're in power trouble. And even if you're just switching it on every couple of minutes to check your messages, it all adds up. Therefore, turning down the brightness by a couple of notches or using the auto-brightness option will also greatly help your battery.
While it might not be easy in the coming months if you're looking to hit the beaches, keeping your phone away from direct sunlight can also have a significant effect on your phone's life. Electronics work best at room temperature, so leaving your phone on your car dashboard in the heat of summer isn't the best idea. That's assuming we get any heat this summer, of course.
Get a virtual assistant
For many people, remembering to keep track of what apps are open and what connectivity options are enabled can be a hassle, which is why getting an app to do all this for you could be a great idea. There are a few to choose from, with programs like JuiceDefender able to automatically switch off some functions when they're not needed. If you're looking at one of these, be careful to only download approved, well-reviewed apps from Google or Apple's official stores, as there are a lot of imposters floating around that could add nasty malware to your phone. If you've seen in in a flashy banner ad in the middle of another app, be very wary.