The Samsung Galaxy S3 suffers from the same problem most Android smart phones face: poor battery life. In our reviews, we’ve seen shorter than “all day” battery life. The most likely culprits include the large 5.3″ display, a LTE data connection and other wireless features like NFC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Users can extend the Samsung Galaxy S3 battery life with some settings tweaks, helpful apps and the right extended battery which some consider an essential Galaxy S3 accessory.
Before we get into the tweaks, check out the phone’s battery life screen in Settings. Tap on Battery and the screen shows how long the phone’s been running. It also shows the percentage of the battery left. Finally, it gives each app’s battery consumption percentage.
Using this information can help in seeing how well the tweaks and apps help.
Turn Off LTE Until It’s Needed
American carriers disabled the option for turning off the LTE radio in the Settings app. A work around means doing some simple hacks which the user can find online. Here’s one for the AT&T version of the Galaxy S3 at XDA Developer’s Forum. The Verizon version hack from Droid Life seems to work as well.
Turn Off Features Until Needed
Fortunately, the wireless carriers didn’t handcuff users by limiting access to the ON/OFF settings of other radios. Access these setting buttons by swiping down from the top of the screen (see above). Turn off Wi-fi, Bluetooth, GPS and more. Tap the Power Saving button, which limits the CPU power consumption, Screen power consumption, screen background and haptic feedback. The screen background uses power for motion screen and haptic feedback makes the phone vibrate when the user taps buttons. Turn the features on the same way.
A couple of features that might suck battery life include NFC and S-Beam, and they can be turned off from Settings. Open the Settings app and tap More settings. Be sure to turn off NFC and S Beam from the File/data transfer section.
Tweak Screen Display Settings
Go to Settings and Display. PIck a Home screen image that doesn’t use a lot of color. All black will save the most. Definitely don’t use a motion background: that steals the most battery power.
Second, turn off the LED indicator lights. They can be helpful, but when desperate turn them off.
Under Brightness, set the automatic brightness to let the phone change to a brighter display when needed. Or turn it off and slide it all the way down to save battery life.
Pick the Screen timeout and use the lowest time possible. We recommend 1 minute, or 30 seconds, to save the most power. 15 seconds gets annoying, though, since the screen turns off too fast.
Limit Location Services
Only allow apps that need location services to use the phone’s GPS. This usually gets set in the apps themselves.
Widgets and Apps
First, limit the number of widgets on the Android home screen. This helps keep the battery consumption down. However, a few useful widgets can also add to battery conservation.
The Go Power Master app and widget helps the user manage power. The free app offers a number of modes that users can quickly access. Set up a personalized mode to include in the group. Put the widget on the Home screen to change quickly between the modes depending on needs. It also includes a setting to put a battery left percentage in the phone’s status area at the top. See the indicator in the upper left of the screen shot above.
Another app called GreenPower Premium ($2.90) will work with all the Samsung Galaxy S3 user settings related to power and turn them on and off depending on various situations or times. It changes settings based on the time of day, locations, and whether the person using the phone made a call and when the call ends. The premium version adds more features that let users save more battery life. It can add about 20% or more to a user’s battery in a day’s usage.
To keep the Samsung Galaxy S3 thin the company put an underpowered battery in it. Samsung will soon offer an extended battery. Other companies do offer them now. In our tests most of them as much as doubled the phone’s battery life.
We tested a few batteries and recommend the Mugen Extended Battery for those who want long battery life and still need NFC. The Hyperion battery works best when the user doesn’t need NFC and wants to save some money; it only costs $20 while the Mugen battery costs almost $90.