If your Samsung Galaxy S20 battery isn’t lasting as long as you expected these tips will help you fix bad Galaxy S20 battery life and other problems. With a huge 120Hz display and 5G speeds you might notice your phone dying a little too fast, but you can slow it down.
Thanks to big 4,000 mAh, 4,500 mAh and a huge 5,000 mAh battery in the Galaxy S20 family, Samsung promises all-day battery life. Plus they recharge faster than ever before, too. That said, you can easily change a few settings to make it better, and improve your Galaxy S20 battery life with these tips and tricks.
How to Fix Bad Galaxy S20 Battery Life
- Check for Apps Using Too Much Battery
- Disable the Always-on Display (and Lift to Wake)
- Reboot Your Galaxy S20 Weekly
- Turn Off Features You Don’t Need or Use
- Use a Black Wallpaper & Night Modes
- Watch Your Screen Brightness & Sleep Timer
- Adjust WiFi, GPS & Bluetooth Settings
- Use Battery & Power Saving Modes
Keep in mind that your battery life results will vary day by day, they won’t be the same as other people, and your phone will learn from your usage habits and improve over time. These tips will prepare you for the best experience, prevent potential problems, and fix any issues you’re dealing with already.
Update: Samsung issued the first big Galaxy S20 update on March 18th (for international models) aimed at fixing slow camera performance, auto-focus issues, battery life and GPS problems. This is available to all Galaxy S20 models, a few more regions got it on March 21st, and it should come to US versions soon. We’ll update once it does.
Check for Apps Using Too Much Battery
If you notice the phone is dying way faster than it should the first thing you should do is check for and find the problem. Usually, there’s a big app like Google Maps navigation still open, or an app is misbehaving. This happens more than you think and can be a software incompatibility, a glitch, or just a random occurrence.
You should keep an eye on running apps and your settings menu because if you’re getting Galaxy S20 battery drain your phone will notify you. Yes, you’ll see a small orange circle in the notification pulldown bar, on the settings icon, which signals that something might be wrong.
So far, we’re getting pretty impressive results from the Galaxy S20+ and that 4,500 mAh battery. And while you shouldn’t expect to get 8 hours of “screen-on” time, it’s certainly a phone that lasts all day long without needing a recharge. If you’re not averaging at least 4-6 hours of “screen-on time” or even more early on, something isn’t right. Go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Battery Usage to see what’s going on.
You should see the screen or display at the top, like our image to the left, along with the Android OS or Android System. If something else is at the top, that’s bad. Uninstall the app, reboot your phone, or check the app to see what’s going on. Check for app updates on the Google Store and Samsung Galaxy app store both.
Read More: Best Rugged Galaxy S20 Ultra Cases
Apps you use all day will drain the most battery, and the same goes for a widget that’s constantly checking the weather or Twitter. At the same time, some situations occur where an app uses an abnormal amount, and that’s a problem. These can be Samsung’s apps or one you download from the Play Store. We see this often with Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp.
Disable the Always-On Display
With a big 6.9-inch screen on your Galaxy S20 Ultra, videos and content can quickly drain your battery. The screen will constantly be the biggest cause of poor battery life.
And while most people love the Always-On display feature, turning it off may improve things. The small clock, date, notifications and battery level on the screen at all times, even when the screen is off, is the always-on display.
Samsung claims the AOD only uses roughly 5% battery during an entire 8-hour workday. So while it’s a small difference, if you’re looking for every advantage possible turn it off. Head to Settings > Lock screen > and disable the Always-On display.
Additionally, you can change some of these settings to prevent the screen from turning on in a pocket or purse, and just be better prepared for your day.
Go to Settings > Display > and scroll down and flip the accidental touches switch to on. Then, go to Settings > Advanced Features > Motions & gestures > and disable Lift to Wake along with turning off the Double-tap to Wake feature. Again, only do this if you’re having problems with the screen turning on when it shouldn’t, like in your pocket.
We also recommend going into settings > display > motion smoothness and making sure your phone is at 60Hz. Yes, the new 120 Hz refresh rate is fancy, but if you need better battery life go ahead and stick to 60Hz.
Reboot Your Galaxy S20 To Improve Battery Life
Honestly, our biggest tip that will help you the most about 90% of the time you’re having a problem — is to reboot your phone. Most people don’t think to reboot the phone if the battery is draining too quickly, but you should. It gives everything a fresh start, including killing any apps that might be causing mayhem.
Additionally, Samsung has a setting that will automatically reboot your phone once a week for you. This is an amazing feature everyone should take advantage of. Go to Settings > Device Care > Tap the 3-dot at the top > and select Auto restart. You can choose the day of the week, the time (like at 3:00 AM Saturday night) and other things.
Doing this will optimize performance by restarting the device and giving it a fresh start every week. If you’re someone that hasn’t rebooted your phone in 2-3 months, use this feature. You’ll thank me later.
Turn Off Features You Don’t Need/Use
This next category causes complaints because no one wants to buy a phone and then disable all the fancy features they paid for. That being said, if you don’t use them, turn them off.
As we all know, Samsung phones have a ton of software features, almost too many. And while yes, some are pretty neat or helpful, most of them are niche things you’ll absolutely never use. We’re talking about the Edge Panel, Edge Lighting, or all those gestures and palm swipe control “features”.
Head to Settings > Advanced Features > and start turning things off. We recommend disabling Smart Capture, Palm Swipe Capture, Direct Call, Easy Mute, Smart Stay, and others. These all need power and sensors inside the phone for things we rarely use.
Use a Black Wallpaper and/or Night Mode
Samsung’s latest “One UI” software experience has an excellent Dark Mode or Dark Theme. And for those unaware, dark mode saves a significant amount of battery life. If you can get used to the changes, we suggest using it 24/7. Go to Settings > Display > and turn on Night Mode.
While we’re on the topic of the display and dark colors, did you know using black wallpaper makes a big difference too? Samsung’s AMOLED screen technology is different from a typical LCD display. It’s easier and more efficient at showing black, instead of colors. Plus, the pixels don’t need to turn on individually — or as high — to display a black image. This is why every app from Samsung (and Google) now have a dark mode, and it’s why dark themes are so popular later.
With a huge screen on all three S20 models, the display will take up the most battery, so using darker colors and wallpapers will make a big impact on improving battery life. Try some dark wallpapers from Zedge.
Watch Your Screen Brightness & Sleep Timer
Aside from rebooting your phone perhaps the single biggest improvement you can make to get better Galaxy S20 battery life is to simply learn to use your phone at a lower screen brightness. It amazes me how often a family member complains their phone dies too quickly, but they’re at 100% screen brightness. Seriously, you don’t need it that high, and it’s probably burning a hole in your retina.
My phone NEVER goes above 40% brightness. Never.
Plus, did you know most people turn on their phones at least 140 times a day? And that’s usually just to check the time, date, or glance at a notification. Then, once you’re done checking that notification you probably just set the phone down, and the screen stays on for 1, 2, or even 5 minutes until it times out and goes black. This is known as the Sleep Timer and changing it to 30 seconds can save you a TON of battery.
Samsung calls this the “screen timeout” which is how long the phone stays on after each use before the screen dims and turns off by itself. We recommend 30 seconds or 1-minute at the most. And while the Always-On display makes us turn on the screen less, you’ll still want to adjust the sleep timer and your screen brightness.
You can gain an extra hour or two each day by using a lower screen brightness and having your phone screen timeout after 30 seconds of inactivity.
Adjust WiFi, GPS, & Bluetooth Settings (and any carrier junk)
Most savvy tech users know that WiFi is more efficient than the internet connection from Verizon or T-Mobile. When you’re at home, always be connected to your home WiFi instead of a carrier network. This makes a significant difference in how long your phone lasts, especially at night. Plus, it saves your data plan.
However, if you’re not going to use things like WiFi or Bluetooth at all, turn them off. It’s rare that we don’t use WiFi these days, but it does happen. You don’t want it scanning for a connection all day long, right?
Next, anything that uses GPS like Google Maps or Facebook Messenger can and will destroy battery life. Keep in mind that some apps or games need GPS, and maps are more accurate with it, but you can still disable the GPS chip in many circumstances. Head to Settings > Privacy & safety > Location > and select Location Method, then choose “Battery Saver” or the middle WiFi and Mobile networks option.
More importantly, turn off any and all network carrier enhancement or diagnostic tools. At the end of 2019 we saw the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, Note 9, Note 10 and more get something called “AT&T mobile network diagnostics” or Verizon diagnostics, and these are turned it ON by default. This little change made battery life take a huge hit, and it’s already enabled on your S20. Turn it off!
It’s a tool that collects network info and performance from your device and shares it with AT&T, or Verizon. That constant communication drains the battery. Head to Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks > and flip the switch off at the bottom of the page as we’ve shown above. You’re welcome. Plus, I don’t want AT&T tracking me and my phones every move.
Use Battery Saver or Power Saving Mode
Most people never take advantage of battery saver modes or even the “Power Saver” option in settings, but you should. The two work together to keep our devices lasting longer than ever before. I don’t change power modes often as it changes the resolution and might move your icons around, but battery saver is an amazing tool I use all the time.
Under Settings > Device Care > Battery you’ll find a few Power modes. These will change the screen brightness and resolution or even slow down the processor to extend battery life throughout the day. Click here for more information.
At the bottom of the battery settings page is Google’s Adaptive power saving which will automatically adjust things like battery and performance based on your usage patterns. It’s actually pretty helpful, and that’s on top of Samsung’s own optimizations. Try one or both if you’re not happy with battery life. We use both with great results, and the update to One UI 2.0 made it even better.
Other Battery Tips & Tricks
Before we wrap things up we want to go over a few more little things to help you out. Remember that everyone uses phones a little different so your mileage will vary with our tips. This info will simply help you fix problems or extend battery life. Additionally, we recommend users try the app BetteryBatteryStats to learn more about your battery usage habits and how to improve them.
Another thing to consider is Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant. Don’t use the always-listening wake commands, as that’s one more thing always-on and listening. In fact, we recommend you completely disable Bixby.
If you’re more tech-savvy you can try going into the settings menu and disabling 5G, making your phone only use 4G LTE, disable the 120Hz display, or go into developer options and tweak some things. That said, just be careful messing around with settings.
In closing, don’t forget to use Airplane mode when you have no reason to use your phone. This setting turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days with it enabled. You can turn on airplane mode while you recharge your phone too, to top it off even faster.
Best Galaxy S20 Portable Battery Pack Chargers
Whether you’re dealing with Galaxy S20 battery life problems or you just want a little insurance while you’re out running errands, taking a vacation, or stuck at the office, you’ll want a portable battery charger. I’ve used battery power banks for several years, and they’re a great way to recharge your phone when you don’t have a wall outlet or time to charge it.
Here are a few of our favorite chargers and portable chargers, aka compact batteries you can keep in a bag, and top off your device battery while gaming. Whether that’s on the go or in your car.
- Anker PowerCore 10000 (USB-C) – $39.99 at Amazon
- Nimble Eco Friendly 8-day Charger – $99.95 at Amazon
- Anker 24W Dual USB Charger – $9.49 at Amazon
- RavPower USB PD Car Charger – $11.99 at Amazon
Other Details & What’s Next for your Galaxy S20
Another thing we tell people with a brand new phone is that your battery life will get better after the first week. It’s still new and you’re using it more than usual, plus the software is still learning your habits. Over time it’ll start to last longer.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 is literally brand new which means we can expect to learn a lot more in the coming weeks and months. As more people get one problems and issues will emerge, Samsung will issue updates, and things will change. Expect a big update before the end of March and at least one Galaxy S20 update every month for the next 4-6 months as they improve the experience and fix bugs.
Furthermore, what’s actually next will be Android 11 sometime in 2020 or early next year. Google just started the Android 11 Developer Preview, they’ll release betas this summer, and the official update will hit sometime in July or August. Then Samsung will get busy working on it.
That’s about it for now, but we’ll keep an eye out for more info on Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 family. Don’t forget to get a case for your new phone, and here’s a list of our favorite wireless charging pads too.
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