The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are two great phones, but they’re not perfect. Even with fast and wireless charging, there are several ways to make them last longer. If your new phone isn’t lasting as long as expected here are over 10 tips to fix bad Galaxy S9 battery life problems.
Just like last year, the Galaxy S9 has a decently sized 3,000 mAh battery that should keep that 5.8-inch screen on almost all day. Then, the bigger Galaxy S9+ comes in at 3,500 mAh.
Read: 15 Best Galaxy S9+ Cases
And while those are pretty big batteries inside Samsung’s new phones, battery life could always be a little better. Which is why we’ll go over settings to change, options to consider and different tips to get you the best battery life possible. Including those with an Exynos version of the Galaxy S9.
How to Fix Bad Galaxy S9 Battery Life
Samsung phones have a ton of different options, controls, and settings that you can change for an improved experience. And while some of them are cool features, the rest of them will have a negative effect on battery life. We’ll cover that and plenty of tips below. Additionally, you can take advantage of Samsung’s battery saver mode so your phone lasts longer. These tips will help you squeeze more battery life out of your phone or find what’s draining it too fast.
General Galaxy S9 Battery Problems
Before we begin, we want to mention some recent reports about the Galaxy S9 outside the United States having battery life issues. Samsung uses their own Exynos processor for most regions, but employ Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor in the US version of the Galaxy S9. And while that doesn’t matter most of the time, this year its causing problems.
Samsung’s Exynos processor powered Galaxy S9 units are getting significantly worse battery life than models being sold in the United States. Basically, its a blazing fast and powerful phone, but when it’s doing average tasks it’s ramping up one of several processing cores way too high. This causes overheating, and battery drain. We’re just learning more about this, and hopefully, Samsung can fix these problems with a software update.
If you got the Galaxy S9 from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or other US carriers, your model won’t have this problem. We’ll update once we learn more.
Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery
One of your first steps is to find what’s causing the battery to run out so fast. Our first recommendation is to always check for misbehaving apps. If you want to fix your bad Galaxy S9 battery life, keep an eye on running apps in the settings menu. If an app starts to malfunction or isn’t compatible with Samsung’s version of Oreo, you’ll experience all sorts of trouble. One of the biggest being a continuous battery drain.
You can deal with problems from any type of application. Whether these are pre-installed apps, games, or something you downloaded from the Google Play Store.
If you use an application a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. At the same time, some situations occur where an app uses an abnormal amount, more than it ever should, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid. We’ve seen this with the Oculus app Samsung pre-installs on the phones, Google Maps, and even Facebook.
Go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Battery Usage to see what’s going on.
Our screenshot above is a pretty typical day on the Galaxy S9+. I’m a pretty heavy user, but I still get around 24 hours of battery life with at least 4-5 hours of “screen on” time. You’ll also notice there’s a decent amount of battery left, which is impressive. This is what you can expect from your phone.
Android System or the screen are the two things that changed battery life the most. If you see something else at the top of this list, like an app, that’s a problem. We recommend shutting it down, reinstalling the app, or completely removing it from your phone if you can.
Reboot Your Galaxy S9 to Fix Battery Life
There are multiple different things or reasons your Galaxy S9 battery is running out too fast. However, one of the easiest ways to stop those problems is to reboot your phone. This sounds like a silly recommendation, but you’d be amazed how many minor problems get fixed by a simple reboot.
Press and hold the power button on the right side of the Galaxy S9, then select Restart. Once it reboots, your problem will likely go away.
Disable the Always-On Display
One of my favorite Galaxy S9 features is the always-on display. The small clock, date, notifications and battery meter that’s on the screen 24/7, even when it’s not actually on and in use. This is the always-on display, and it’s completely customizable.
Samsung claims the AOD feature will drain less than 4-5% throughout an entire 8 hour work day. So while it’s a small difference, if you’re looking for every advantage possible turn this feature off. Head to Settings > Lockscreen & security > scroll down and disable the Always-On display. Or, check out this how-to guide.
Use a Black Wallpaper
This isn’t for everyone, but using a Black wallpaper will improve battery life too. That’s because Samsung’s AMOLED display technology works differently than most phones. It’s easier and more efficient when displaying black, instead of color. Pixels don’t need to turn on individually — or as high — to display a black image.
After you’ve downloaded a nice wallpaper long-press a blank area of the screen and go into Wallpapers to apply it. This only helps a little bit, but combine it with all of our tips and you’ll see good results and improved battery life.
Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
One of the biggest drains on your battery is the screen, obviously, and a few setting changes will quickly improve your situation. While we said to disable the Always-On display a moment ago, you might actually be better off leaving it on. That’s because most users check their phone over 140 times a day. Turning it on just to check the time or a notification, and that’s all. With the always-on display, you don’t have to do that. It’s already showing this information in an easy to see low-power state.
However, changing the brightness or how long the screen stays on when you’re done using it will make a noticeable difference though. Head to Settings > Display > Brightness and lower the brightness to something around 50% or less. Leaving the S9 on auto-brightness we saw worse battery life. The screen is plenty bright already, so turn it down unless you are outdoors.
While we’re in display settings we also recommend turning down the “screen timeout” option. This is how long the phone stays on after each use before the screen dims and turns off by itself. Samsung uses 1-minute, but we suggest trying 30 seconds. Now, every time you use your phone it doesn’t sit on a desk or table turned on for one minute at a time. When you consider the screen is on for one minute at a time for the nearly 140 times the average user checks their phone in a day, and you’ll understand why your battery runs out so fast. Having it turn off after just 30 seconds cuts this battery drain down by 50%.
Turn off Galaxy S9 Features You Don’t Need (like the Edge)
Samsung phones have tons of software features. Some of them are extremely helpful, while others will use up battery for no reason.
Any previous Galaxy owner knows all about the many gestures or motion controls. If you don’t use them, turn them off to help save juice. Like swiping a hand over the screen to take a screenshot, keeping the screen on if the sensors see a face looking down and more. They even have a feature where putting a phone to your ear while reading a text message instantly calls that person. These are helpful features, but if you don’t use them turn them off. That way all those sensors aren’t using the battery for no reason.
Go to Settings > Advanced Features > and look through the list of fancy features. Then, turn off things like Smart Capture, Palm Swipe, Direct Call, Easy Mute, and disable “Smart Stay” in the display settings. These all need power and sensors inside the phone for things we rarely use.
WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS
Considering we use our phones for 8-10 hours a day, adding up all these small changes will make a big difference. Which is why if you aren’t using WiFi or Bluetooth, turn them off. Connecting to WiFi when possible saves battery life. That said, if you’re not using WiFi but the Galaxy S9 is constantly trying to find and connect to a network, it’ll hurt battery life.
Another huge drain on the battery is GPS, actually. Things like Google Maps or Facebook messenger accessing the GPS chip inside your phone.
Head to Settings > Connections > Location > and select Locating Method, then choose “Battery Saver” mode. This means some apps like GPS won’t be as accurate with location information, but you’ll get better battery life.
Battery Saver & Performance Modes
Next, try Samsung’s built-in battery controls, savers, or performance modes. Under Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery you’ll find new power saving modes. These limit certain features or turn down the brightness, but extend battery life. The max mode can make your phone last 2-3 days on a single charge, if not longer.
Then, you can try different “performance modes” too. These modes change almost everything, disables features, or even slows down the processor to extend battery life throughout the day. Click here for more information.
Keep in mind that these settings will mess up your home screen and icons. That’s because they adjust the screen resolution so your icons will move. The battery improvements are small, but average users will benefit from what Samsung has to offer here.
Use a Fast Charger with the Galaxy S9
This next tip won’t fix any real problems you may experience, but it will keep your phone lasting longer. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 supports Adaptive Fast Charging. This allows it to go from 0-50% in just 20-25 minutes. The only thing though, is you have to use the charger that came in the box with your phone.
If you don’t have extra “fast chargers” your phone will take 2-3 hours to recharge, and you’ll always have a low battery. So, buy one of our five recommended fast chargers for the Galaxy S9. That way you have as much battery as possible, as often as possible.
Before we close with a few last-minute tips, we want to talk about what’s next. That, of course, is the Galaxy S9 Android 8.1 Oreo update. The Galaxy S9 already runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, but we’re expecting an update to 8.1 sometime soon. That or Samsung will jump straight to Android P later this year. Either of those updates will have a significant impact on battery life.
With Android P we can expect slightly better performance, longer battery life, and a slew of new and helpful features on your phone. Sadly Android P won’t arrive until August or September, then Samsung will have to deliver it to S9 owners.
More Battery Tips & Tricks
In closing, battery life always comes down to how you use your phone because everyone is different. Some are heavy users, while some people barely use their phone so it lasts a lot longer.
Another thing to consider is Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant. Don’t use the always listening wake commands, or customize how much Bixby does. This will help battery life too. We also recommend turning off the video enhancer feature. It’s neat and makes colors extremely vibrant in videos or games, but it absolutely drains the battery.
Last but not least is Airplane mode. When you don’t need your phone for calls, texts or internet turn on Airplane mode. This setting turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days in this mode. If you’re traveling, give it a try. We also recommend rebooting the phone every few weeks, so it can start fresh. Especially after a lot of app updates, or a recent software update.
These tricks and options are only the tip of the iceberg though. Try a new launcher, download third-party text apps, or even better, uninstall Facebook. If you’re still not satisfied with battery life or need additional juice while out and about, take advantage of the fast charging technology in the Galaxy S9 and buy a fast portable battery charger.
As more users get the Galaxy S9 we’re expecting this list of potential battery life problems to grow. Additionally, we have a helpful guide for fixing some common Galaxy S9 problems that you might want to read over. Then, check back often as we’ll continuously update this post with helpful information so you can get the most out of your phone. Before you go, take a peek at our list of the best wireless charging pads in the slideshow below.