Get the most out of your smartphone battery
Want to improve your BlackBerry's battery life? Then first you'll need to understand which features and functions drain the power. Here's our seven tips to making your smartphone last longer.
2. Avoid excessive game play or media consumption
The latest generation of BlackBerry smartphones has impressive multimedia features that let you download, store and listen to and/or view a wide-variety of media types.
You can listen to music on your microSD card; listen to your favourite artists via a number of different internet radio offerings; or play handfuls of games you downloaded from RIM's BlackBerry App World.
But each and every one of those activities drains significant BlackBerry battery-life, and you'd be wise to minimise use of most of them if you're trying to save power.
That's not to say you can't brush up on your blackjack skills by playing a card-game app on the flight to Vegas.
But you should be aware that such applications, especially apps that constantly stream data over wireless connections, are very likely eating up battery life.
Many of these apps also require that you keep your display turned on while you use them, so the screen backlight is also draining battery every time you hit or stand in blackjack.
You should use data- or battery- intensive applications wisely, especially if you're not carrying spare batteries or don't plan to have access to a charger in the near future.
3. Understand and maximise your use of wireless connections
I touched on this point in my initial BlackBerry battery life tips story, so I won't spend too much time here. But there are two more advanced suggestions I want to add.
You can easily activate or deactivate your BlackBerry wireless connections by clicking your 'Manage Connections' icon and then choosing which options you desire - Mobile network 'on'; Wi-Fi 'off'; and Bluetooth 'on', for example.
But you can also turn off all data connections while still leaving the voice-capabilities active.
To do so, open the 'Manage Connections' options, click the 'Services Status' item and then click your BlackBerry Menu key, which is located directly to the left of your trackball/trackpad.
Next, choose Mobile Network Options from the menu, and on the following screen, deactivate Data Services.
Note: Turning off your data services will save battery-life, but it will disable most of your device's core functionality - anything that requires an internet connection - so beware.
The only core features that will work with data services disabled will be voice calls and SMS messaging. (I also find this trick helpful during vacations or off-time when I still want to be able to make calls, but don't want to check my email.)
When you want to turn your data back on, just reverse the above-described process and turn the Data Services option back to 'on'.
If you're using a 3G GSM device, like either BlackBerry Bold, you can also turn off your faster 3G connection for a less battery-intensive 2.5G or EDGE connection.
Just click your Manage Connections icon again, hit Mobile Network Options and scroll down to Network Mode. In the Network Mode menu, choose '2G'.
But remember, you won't be able to access your 3G network until you reactivate that network mode.
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