With a bigger battery and more efficient processor along with Quick Charge 2.0 technology, battery life on the HTC One M9 isn’t much of a concern. When it comes to using a powerful smartphone like the HTC One M9 though, users will still want to look for ways to improve and extend battery life, and below are a few useful tips for beginners.
HTC’s new flagship One M9 was announced on March 1st after months of rumors, and finally hit carrier shelves in the US on April 10th. It’s a popular device, even if the design nearly mirrors last years model, but it has a lot to offer. Some of the new features could cause that battery to drain quicker than ever before too, so read on for more details.
Closing apps that aren’t in use is one idea, which we explain in the link above, but below is a guide with a few more helpful tips when it comes to battery life. The One M9 comes with a bigger 2,840 mAh battery, enough to last an entire day, but you can always squeeze out a little more. This guide will show One M9 users how to make the built-in battery last longer, and even a few possible battery cases worth considering.
For starters, Google’s made huge strides and has been working hard on making Android faster and smoother, yet more efficient at the same time. KitKat offered some of the best performance compared to previous releases, and the Android 5.0 Lollipop software on the new One M9 aims to be the best yet. It does have a few bugs which could be affecting battery life, but we’re hearing Android 5.1.1 is coming soon to fix some of those.
Read: HTC One M9 Review
Below are a few steps and simple tweaks that all One M9 owners can do in a matter of minutes that could be just what you need to get a few more hours each day from your smartphone. Enough to make it through a night out, and get everything you need to do done without having to worry about finding a charger. The phone already has good battery life and charges super quick, but lets make it even better.
Screen Brightness and Sleep Time
Having that 5-inch HD display turned on and displaying Facebook messages, tweets, or while browsing the web will be the biggest drain on the battery. Screen On time under the battery stats page in settings is important, as the display will use more battery than anything else. You’ll want to head into Settings > Display & gestures > Brightness and choose something that works for you. Auto isn’t ideal for conserving battery, and I use somewhere around 30% brightness. Auto will turn it up when lighting isn’t idea, like outside, but the constant up and downs can eventually lower battery life throughout the day.
At the same time, you’ll also want to set the display sleep time. This sets how long the display will stay powered on and lit up while not in use. Many users just drop a device on the table after use, and if this is set to two or five minutes, your battery will drain for 2-5 minutes for no reason. I use 30 seconds personally, and always manually hit power to sleep my display after use, instead of just just setting the device down. Meaning tap the power/wake button to turn it off before setting it down. When you do this 100 times in any given day, that’s 100 times the screen will be on for 30 seconds (or longer) that it doesn’t need to be. Others might suggest heading into Developer Options and disabling all of the animation effects, which can also increase battery life at the cost of the user interface and experience not being as smooth or pretty.
WiFi, 4G LTE & Bluetooth
As the obvious, if you aren’t using WiFi or Bluetooth, you might as well turn them off. Even though they’re minimal when it comes to battery drain this is one more quick and easy step. If you’re in a WiFi location (coffee shop) yet not using WiFi, certainly turn it off as the device will continuously search for a network. Bluetooth being enabled isn’t much of an issue, but while we’re here, disable it if you haven’t a need for it. Head into Settings and just slide to off both WiFi and Bluetooth. It’s the first two options, you can’t miss it. Airplane mode turns off all radios, if you’re outside of a service area or don’t need your phone for calls or messages, and often-times a phone will last for days with airplane mode enabled.
Then of course, using things like Tethering or sharing the connection to a tablet or laptop will absolutely cause your battery to drain at a quick rate. Anything using 4G LTE continuously will hurt your battery. Use WiFi as often as you can, but turn it off when not in use.
Control Location Services and GPS
When your device turns on the GPS chip for Google Maps and Navigation, or Facebook wants your location to share with the world, GPS will need to power on and is quite the battery hog. In Android 4.4 KitKat Google’s finally changed this system, and gave users more control over how all aspects of location services uses GPS, and thus, the battery. Settings > Location > Mode and select Battery Saving.
If you want to be really extreme, flipping location services completely off will be a big saver when it comes to battery. Just don’t expect Google Now to be as useful, give you directions, or find nearby restaurants and businesses. Facebook and Messenger apps won’t share location, and Instagram or photo uploads won’t have location data. In general leaving Location services enabled and on Battery Saving is ideal. As this uses mobile networks, towers, and WiFi access points to determine location, instead of the power hungry GPS chip inside your smartphone. With this set to power saving navigation won’t be as accurate, so flip it on when you need it, and go back to battery saver mode when you’re done. That’s what I do.
Data, Gmail, and Google Sync
Controlling what is automatically backed up, synced with Google, and otherwise transferring data is a big one. For obvious reasons you’ll want to keep most of Google’s sync settings enabled for Calendar, Contacts, Gmail, and other things, but if you don’t need Gmail syncing and checking for emails every minute, change it. Gmail can be set to check whenever you’d like. From push, to 30 minutes, to never. Settings > Accounts > Google > and selecting account will show the sync options. Go through HTC’s own options too.
This is another area that makes Android powerful. Having Google sync everything from Music, Chrome browsing history, and even saving app data and settings. I’d keep this all enabled, but if you’d like to preserve battery here’s another way to do so. Auto Backup of photos by Google +, DropBox, Google Drive, or any other service falls under the same category here. Either disable it, or have it set to only backup over WiFi, instead of mobile data. Google Photo Sync is a biggie, so use that with caution if you’re snapping multiple photos per day of the family, kids, or taking selfies.
Most of these backup and sync features are useful, but if you don’t use Google+ Photos, Google Play Music, Movies, and many other things in this area, disable them to save a little bit of battery wherever you can. It all adds up in the long run.
Install Battery Guru
The HTC One M9 comes with a collection of battery saving software, but if you install the free SnapDragon Battery Guru software you’ll see better M9 battery life with changes you rarely notice. This app is made by Qualcomm, who made the Snapdragon 810 inside your phone, and it learns your usage habits and where you connect to WiFi and more to customize when settings turn on and off. Then does it automatically. Which results in nothing for you to do, but enjoy better battery life. This goes against some of the things mentioned above, but give it a try and see if it works for you.
This is an app that works on any Snapdragon powered device, and delivered great results on the Galaxy S4, and early tests show it is helpful on our M9 as well.
Battery Saver Modes
Last but not least is the built-in battery saver mode. HTC has a few options here for your convenience. This is a feature under Settings > Power > Battery Saver and Extreme Power saving mode. The regular battery saver just slows down the 8-core processor, reduces screen brightness, turns off the haptic feedback vibration on keyboard or incoming messages, and a few other things. It also kills data when the screen is off, so you won’t get Facebook messages, emails, or alerts that use data unless the screen is on.
Extreme power saving mode is customizable and will let you set when your phone goes into this mode. I have it set at 20% for when it’s truly needed. It will turn down screen brightness, kill WiFi or data when not in use (so you may not get Facebook notifications, Twitter alerts, or Gmail notifications) and even turns off the notification LED from flashing and taking little bits of battery. It is more aggressive, and turns off most of those “smart” features of a smartphone off, making it more of a regular phone that can last for hours if you need a little more juice to end the evening.
Going in and setting this up as you see fit is a good idea. Once your phone gets to 20% (or whatever point you choose) battery saver mode will kick in and start sipping juice to get you through those last few hours of the day. It isn’t ideal, but will work great in case of emergencies.
Power Saver mode is increasingly becoming more popular, and it’s a great way to still have a phone for calls and texts when you need it, rather than wasting all your battery looking at Facebook status updates.
Battery & Charger
Another good idea would be to buy an extra Quick Charger or two. The HTC One M9 uses a Qualcomm processor and features Quick Charge 2.0 technology. It charges 65% faster than the original One, and much faster than even devices from last year. They promise while using a turbo charger just 30 minutes on the wall gets you 6 hours of battery life, and will get your phone to at least 50%.
Turbo Charging is a neat new feature in many smartphones released over the past year, so you’ll want to head to Amazon and get a few extra quick chargers, or buy one from the HTC.com store. Then of course you can always carry around a portable charger battery pack. There are a lot of great options on Amazon.
At the end of the day these are all small changes that many probably know about, but if you’re new to Android or smartphones this guide will help you get the most from your new phone. Between the Turbo Charging and my 10,000 power pack I’m always good, and never worry about my phone running out of battery. Give the options above a try, and drop us a comment below if you see positive results.