Smartphones have otherworldly specs these days, so it's relatively uncommon that you hear someone complaining about display resolution, build quality, or general speed and performance. At best, these are secondary concerns, with the number 1 issue almost unilaterally being battery life.
Over the past year here at Gadget Hacks, we've covered lots of awesome ways to squeeze a bit more juice out of your Android device, but these tutorials only focused on one particular mod or another. Truth be told, keeping battery life in check often requires a multi-pronged attack, so today, we'll highlight some of the best battery-saving mods that can be used in conjunction with one another—whether you're rooted or not.
No-Root Solution #1: Turn Off AMOLED Pixels
Quite a few Android smartphones use AMOLED displays these days, which are different than a traditional LCD screen in the sense that each pixel emits its own light, so no backlight is needed. By itself, an AMOLED display is more power-friendly than an LCD screen, since any black portion of your screen is really just a set of pixels that aren't receiving any juice at that moment.
But you can actually take this concept a step further and intentionally black out extra pixels on your screen to save more power. There's a very useful app that will do this for you by overlaying a black "mesh" on your screen so that every fifth pixel or so is not lighting up and wasting battery.
If that concept sounds interesting to you (it totally should, by the way), make sure to check out our full guide on turning off pixels to squeeze out a bit of extra battery life.
No-Root Solution #2: Disable Data While Your Screen Is Off
Aside from your screen, one of the biggest data-sucking functions on your smartphone is its data connectivity radios. Think about it—these have to constantly scan for the nearest cell tower or Wi-Fi hotspot, and when they're connected, there's always at least a little trickle of internet traffic going that adds a bit of burden to your processor.
These same issues are still present even when you turn your screen off. Your phone's just sitting there in your pocket chewing through battery to make sure that you'll be fully connected to the internet the instant you decide to take it back out. So instead of losing battery life while you're not actively using your device, wouldn't it be cool if these radios would turn themselves off when you turned off your phone's display?
That's exactly the concept behind an app called LeanDroid, which lets you choose exactly how and when you want your data radios to be active. So if you're in the market for some big battery savings, be sure to check our complete data automation guide.
No-Root Solution #3: Adjust System Settings & Disable Apps
Keeping your hardware in check is definitely a great way to save battery life, but making sure your software is set up properly is equally important. By default, Android is set up to where even grandma can use it, but many of these one-size-fits-all options are not needed by all users, so they only serve to deplete your battery.
If you have a few minutes and the gumption to delve into your device's settings menu, you stand to save a significant chunk of battery life with these 7 Android settings that will boost battery life.
Root Solution #1: Get Sony's 'Stamina Mode' Features
To take advantage of these next three battery saving options, your device will need to be rooted. First up is an Xposed module that will basically give you Sony's exclusive "Stamina Mode" feature on any Android device.
Like Stamina Mode, this module very aggressively cuts back on battery-draining functions while you're not using your device, which means you get the benefit of extra battery life while missing out on practically nothing. Initial setup might seem a bit complicated, but it certainly won't be if you follow our guide for mimicking Sony's "Stamina Mode" feature.
Root Solution #2: Use L-Speed Mod
Some potential battery-saving Android settings are buried deep inside of your kernel and other system files, so these aren't as simple to adjust as poking around in a menu. If you have a custom recovery installed, though, L-Speed Mod gives you a nice interface for adjusting some of these options, while automatically optimizing a few others.
L-Speed Mod is a flashable ZIP that automatically optimizes several kernel settings on most Android devices, then provides you with a terminal interface for making further tweaks. To get the full rundown, be sure to check out our guide on boosting performance & battery life with L-Speed.
Root Solution #3: Lower Display Resolution
Last but not least, if your device has a QHD (1440p) display, chances are your graphics processor is wasting battery life by refreshing pixels that you can't even see with the naked eye. We're at a point in the smartphone specs race that several manufacturers are pushing the limits just for the sake of it, and in the case of maximizing pixel density, your device's battery life may be significantly worse off as a result.
Rather than wasting juice powering pixels that you can't see, consider lowering your software display resolution. Chances are, you won't be able to tell the difference other than the additional battery life you'll be getting.
Which of these battery-saving ideas has made the most impact on your device? Let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.
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