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How to make your smartphone or tablet battery last longer

Does it feel like you’re forever running out of battery on your smartphone? If so we’ve got some tips that could help.

We’ve all been there – needing to call a cab, or send a text to your other half – only to find out that your phone has run out of battery. If this sounds familiar, the following tips to eke out a few more hours from your phone (or tablet’s) battery are for you.

Please note that our first video is for iPhone and iPad users. If you’ve got an Android phone or tablet, just scroll down for our second video on Android battery-saving tips.

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How to increase battery life on your iPhone – video guide

1) Control the screen brightness – the number one cause of battery drain is your phone’s screen. To stop it from wasting battery, make sure it’s not turned up to full brightness. You need to find the balance between it being readable yet not so dazzling that it quickly runs the battery down – we think that somewhere between 65-70% is a happy medium.

To adjust the screen, swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen to pull up the Control Centre, then drag the slider to the left to decrease the brightness.

2) Speed up auto-lock – your iPhone will automatically lock after a certain period of inactivity. The quicker it does this the more battery life you’ll save. To take control of your auto-lock tap on Settings, General, Auto-lock. Tap the one minute option to set your iPhone to automatically go to sleep after one minute of inactivity, saving valuable battery life.

3) Turn off power hungry features – there are certain features, such as wi-fi and bluetooth, which guzzle battery life. Turning them off when you don’t need them will help your battery last longer.

When you’re on the home screen, swipe up from the bottom to bring up the Control Centre. Tap the wi-fi and Bluetooth symbols to turn them off. It’s worth noting that iOS updates will often switch Bluetooth back on again, so it’s worth checking your Bluetooth setting after every system update.

It’s also useful to turn off location services. Do this by heading to Settings, Privacy, Location services. Once you’re in Location services, use the slider to control whether the feature is on or off.

4) Stop apps from automatically updating – your apps will often be busily updating and refreshing themselves in the background. To turn this function off, hit Settings, General and Background app refresh. You can turn them all off at once by using the slider at the top, or control each app individually by using the buttons next to each icon in the list.

How to make my Android battery last longer – video guide

All Android phones look a little bit different as manufacturers tend to apply a ‘skin’ on top of the usual Android operating system. The instructions below will work for most Android phones, but some functions might be named slightly differently. For example, the ‘power’ option might be called ‘battery’ on some Android phones.

1) Control the screen brightness – just like any iPhone, Androids waste battery through their screens. To ensure you’re not running your battery down unnecessarily adjust the screen brightness. To do this swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up the Control Centre, then drag the brightness slider to the left to reduce the screen brightness. You can also do this by tapping Settings, Display and Brightness level.

2) Use the power saving mode – most Android phones have a power saving mode. This will turn off unnecessary features to help your battery last longer. To find it, tap Settings, Power (sometimes called Battery) and Power/Battery saver (sometimes this is accessed by tapping the three dots in the top-right). Within this you can either turn on all power saving features by tapping the button at the top or, if you’d rather control exactly what is turned off, you can use the buttons next to each item in the list.

When you’re really in need of extra power, it’s also worth turning off wi-fi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them. To do this, pull down the Control Centre from the top of the screen and tap the wi-fi and Bluetooth icons to toggle them on and off.

3) Close apps you’re not using – sometimes apps that remain running in the background can drain your battery. So if you’re not using a particular app, it’s best to close it. To do this tap the Task Manager button on the bottom-right of your handset. To close any that you don’t need, press on the app and swipe up to the top of the screen to close it (or left on some mobiles). Don’t worry – you can easily open them again by tapping the app’s icon as you would normally.

To find out which models offer the most battery for your buck, browse our guide to Mobile phones with the best battery life.

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