Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Improve HTC EVO 4G Battery Life - 21 Tips & Tricks

A how-to guide on improving the battery life of your HTC EVO 4G.  

This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series on HTC EVO Batteries.  This post will provide 21 tips & tricks to improve your HTC EVO 4G battery life.  The second post will deal with how to calibrate your battery to get maximum capacity (performance).

1. Lower screen brightness. Go to Settings - Sound and Display - Brightness. Reduce the brightness using the slide or select "Automatic brightness" box to let the EVO use its sensors to adjust the screen according to the ambient light. There are also widgets for screen brightness in the Android Marketplace.  I prefer just setting to Automatic.

2. Add the widgets for 4G, WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth to a home screen. Use the + button on your home screen.  There are stock widgets that let you turn these radios on/off.  Also, there is a Power Widget that has a nice UI as well with the radios stacked across.  Take your pick.  This makes it really easy to quickly turn radios on/off, plus the widgets actually look pretty good.   

3. Disable WiFi and 4G network notifications. Go to Settings - Wireless and Networks - Wi-Fi settings and for 4G, go to Settings - Wireless and Networks - 4G settings.  Note, you need to turn on 4G to disable the notifications.  Otherwise the option is greyed out.  The logic is undeniable!

4. Disable "always on" mobile data. Go to Settings - Wireless and Networks- Mobile networks. Uncheck the box for "Enable always-on mobile data". So far I have no problems to report here, but please let me know if you run into anything in the comments!  Note, a warning will be provided indicating applications will need manual refresh...mine did not. Mail is still received, SMS, etc etc.   

5. Turn off background data. If you are really hard up for juice, go to Settings - Accounts and Sync and uncheck the Background data box so that applications cannot sync, send, and receive data automatically.  Beware, this will impact HTC mail.

6. Reduce your screen timeout interval. The EVO's screen can be set to automatically turn off when you don't interact with it for a predetermined amount of time: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or never. 1 or 2 minutes is pretty effective.  It gives quick reads on the phone without becoming too annoying like 15 or 30 seconds.  

7. Manually turn off the screen when not in use. The power button at the top of the EVO turns the screen off.  Push it when not using the phone.  Come on, I know you can do it...

8. Turn off auto-sync. Go to Settings - Accounts and Sync - Auto-sync.  This is also not really recommend as a "useful" tip.  Keep reading for a better option. 

9. Change auto-sync frequency (Weather, News, Stocks, Twitter, Facebook,etc).Turning off auto-sync is kind of ridiculous, so take a look at adjusting how frequently data is retrieved/updated. The settings vary depending on the app (and some don't offer the setting at all), but it's generally found in the same place: Settings - Accounts and Sync. Select an account from the list and then tap "Account settings" to change the sync frequency.
  • Stocks will have the setting greyed out, if you're stock
  • Facebook's lowest level of sync activity is "Once a Day"  (fcuking facebook)
  • News can go to "Manual"
  • Weather's lowest setting is also "Once a Day" (I like every 6, or 12 hours)
  • Exchange ActiveSync will have the ability to set Peak and Off-Peak activity

10. Disable wireless network location services when not needed. Go to Settings - Location - Use Wireless Networks. Note that this (or one of the other options) needs to be enabled if you want to see and/or use your location in apps like Maps.  So again, not really recommended. 

11. Turn off window animations. I know it's nice to look at and fun to show off, but eye candy uses extra power (albeit not very much). To turn it off, go to Settings - Sound and Display - Animation - No Animations.

12. Don't use a live wallpaper. Live wallpapers do use more juice than static wallpapers.  Personally, I like the Live Wallpapers.

13. Use a dark wallpaper. The theory goes something like this:  bright white wallpapers are more bright on the screen, and are therefore using more juice.  Dark wallpapers just that, darker and the screen is dimmer.  Less juice. 

14. Change WiFi sleep policy. So the idea is this:  when WiFi sleeps, 3G/4G wakes up to sync, get email, and retrieve other data. Since 3G will eat up more battery than WiFi, we change the sleep policy, so that Wifi does not sleep.  Go to Settings - Wireless and Networks - Wi-Fi Settings. Press the Menu button, then Advanced, then Wi-Fi sleep policy. Choose "Never".

15. Monitor your running services (or consider using a task killer). Android 2.2 Froyo has taken more steps toward allowing you what services to kill, but beware, some services just start right back up after being stopped.  You can add the Running Services widget to a home screen and view what's running in the background.  You can also download a third-party task killer from Android Market and kill selected apps to free up some resources and potentially save some power. ESTaskManager isn't bad, and it has it's own additional widget will allow you to kill services/tasks from a home screen.  


16. Choose your home screen widgets carefully. Widgets that need access to the internet to update information (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Engadget, Slacker Radio, Weather, Stocks, News, Mail) can suck up a lot of juice if not managed well, so choose them carefully and set their sync/update frequencies to a reasonable interval.

17. Disable notification lights. This may not be practical if you're someone who really needs/wants to know when something happens on your phone when you're not looking, but for everyone else, feel free to turn off those notifications. Go to Settings - Sound and Display - Notification, and uncheck all the boxes if you can handle notifications being turned off (no more blinking LEDs for SMS, Mail, Missed Call, etc.)

18. Turn off phone vibration. Go to Settings - Sound and Display - Phone, select vibrate and turn it off.

19. Turn off audible touch tones. In Settings - Sound and Display, uncheck Audible selection and turn off Audible touch tones.

20. Turn off haptic feedback. Haptic feedback is on by default.  It vibrates the phone slightly when using the keyboard.  You can turn this off, go to Settings - Language and Keyboard - Touch Input - Text Input; Vibrate when typing.
  • You can disable haptics in other areas of the system by going to Settings - Sound and Display - Haptic Feedback.


21. Turn off GTalk Automatic Sign-in.  Turn off Google Talk feature because it stays running constantly in the background.  Heres how: Go to your Apps: > Open "Talk" > Press the Menu Button: > Press "More" > Press "Settings" > Un-check the "Automatic Login".  All this is going to do is when you turn on your phone Google Talk will not Auto turn on and start draining your battery. If you use Google Talk then just open it when you want to use it.  Be sure though when you are finished using it you go to"Menu" > "More" > "Sign-out"

So that's it, 21 tips and tricks for improving your HTC EVO 4G battery life.  If you have any additional tips or tricks to submit let me know in the comments and I'll update this list!

Look for another post on how to calibrate the battery to get the best performance from your HTC EVO 4G very soon!

38 comments:

  1. I use a lot of these same tips on my iPhone, helps a lot.

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  2. That's enough tips to make a waitress wet her panties.

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  3. thanks for the tips. battery life on mine has gone to poop I will try these

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  4. my friend right here with me just saved alot of battery life by following your post. your great thank you.

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  5. I was also wondering if these work on iPhone. And my contract is almost up, do you have knowledge on iPhone vs Android?

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  6. @unablogger - hell yeah i do...but if i post something like that, flamewars erupt. i'll draft something and post it...it'll be android vs iphone / froyo vs ios 4.2

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  7. I would like to know something like that for my iPhone...

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  8. Whats the point of having all the cool features if you can't use them.

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  9. Pretty cool tricks. I didn't know you could do that, thanks!

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  10. omg tytytytytyty my HTC goes dead so fast.

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  11. great tips and explained beautifully.
    thank you for sharing.

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  12. I had completely forgotten that the question of what way back when I had Sprint Hero. Something is definitely killing the battery, and I'm running the computer on the aggressive 30-minute intervals. Perhaps the messaging application is still to blame? I understand 4G radio, because my problems seem to happen when I leave. It almost seems that do not hibernate in the same manner as the 3G radio will not, almost as if it remains at all times, even when using Wi-Fi.

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  13. Sometimes battery life is greatly influenced by the quality of the batteries itself - or the charger. That goes for all mobile devices.

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  14. what is the widget in #2 between running services and airplane mode??

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  15. @anon - good eyes. that is a widget i discuss in another post about android apps. hit the android tag in the tag cloud (left column of my site). it's battery temp.

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