Nowadays smartphones have a really big issue. In the 90’s and early 2000’s manufacturers tried their best to squeeze as much battery life as possible from phones. Back then if your phone got through a week of usage it wasn’t a big deal. Today, we’re lucky in our smartphones get us through the day. The Nokia N8 fortunately is a champion at battery life, being able to carry on for two full days, if used properly. So here is what you need to do to get longer battery life out of your Nokia N8.
Disable the connectivity features you don’t need
People need different connectivity features in different circumstances. For example, I rarely use Bluetooth, so I keep it turned off all the time. Bluetooth is a big battery hog because the phone scans for other close by Bluetooth devices periodically and that drains your battery faster. Turn Bluetooth off until you need it.
If you’re an active person that drives around a lot and is rarely within WiFi range, turn off your WiFi until you get home. If your WiFi is turned on the phone will scan for WiFi networks all the time and drain your battery.
If you’re in the opposite situation, sitting at your desk most of the day then you do need WiFi. But if you have WiFi you won’t need 3G anymore right? Switch to 2G whenever you are in WiFi range for a few hours. You can also completely disable your mobile data connection which would be even more helpful in the situation.
You can access all you connectivity options from Menu->Settings->Connectivity.
The AMOLED display of the Nokia N8 is very bright and legible in sunlight and the maximum brightness is set to half the possible brightness. What that means is that when the light sensor of the N8 detects bright light hitting the screen it turns the brightness up to the selected maximum. So the phone itself protects the battery by turning down the brightness when not needed, but still even two steps down from the middle brightness setting is pretty bright for indoors and decent for the outdoors. Take you maximum brightness even one step down and you’ll notice a considerable longer battery life.
You can change the display brightness from Menu->Settings->Phone->Display.
Use dark themes
The display on the Nokia N8 is an AMOLED display. The good thing about AMOLED displays is deep blacks and the fact that these deep blacks consume less power than any other color. A white pixel consumes way more power than a black pixel on AMOLED screens. That makes using dark themes friendly to the AMOLED display and it’s power consumption. Also, if you are using applications that have custom user intefaces, try to use darker themes on those too. I’m talking Gravity, fMobi, Facinate. They all have dark themes as well as white themes.
You can change the theme from Menu->Settings->Themes->General.
Use battery saving mode at night
Battery saving more is a very useful feature when you’re running low on battery. But why not use it as a battery save during the night? You don’t need 3G or short WiFi scanning interval during the night do you?
You can turn on and off Battery saving mode by pressing the Power button with the phone unlocked.
If you’re wondering “how can I remember all theses tips and use them?” worry no more. You can have Nokia Situations take care of these settings for you. A while back I wrote a post about Nokia Situations and how it can help you automate your life.
Increase automatic retrieval intervals
Applications such as Mail, Gravity, fMobi, Facial and many others, use automatic retrieval at programmable time intervals to retrieve emails, feeds or tweets. This interval is usually 15 minutes, or even instant in the case of a GMail account. Increasing that interval will instruct the apps to make lesser internet requests in the same time interval. For example, the Mail app has the default interval set to “Soonest” on email retrieval for a GMail account. What that means is the app stays connected to the mail server at all times, waiting for a push notification from the server. If you set it to 15 minutes, it will check if there is any new mail every 15 minutes and notify you if it does find something, but it won’t stay connected to the mail server at all times. That will save you battery life. I’ve set my interval to 1 hour because I don’t get hundreds of emails per hour, so in my case this works. I’ve also set the interval to 1 hour to both Gravity and fMobil, my social clients. Less internet requests, less power consumption.
Disable or lower haptic vibration
Haptic feedback on Nokia phones is great and it does help you a lot while typing or browsing. But in case you can live without it, you should consider that with each vibration your battery takes a hit. If you must have haptic feedback, set it to Level 1. At Level 1, you have a good balance between battery life and haptic response.
You can change your haptic settings from Menu->Settings->Profiles->[Profile]->Personalise->Touch screen vibration.
Disable the screensaver
The screensaver is another thingie that comes pre-enabled on the Nokia N8 and eats up some battery life. The screensaver practically keeps the display turned on at all times, even though it doesn’t look like it at a first glance. If you try to look at your screen in the dark, at night you’ll notice the display being lit up a little. The idea behind the screensaver was to to show you some info so that you won’t have to power up your display to see it. It eats less power than a full-on display, but more than a turned off one. If you are a busy person and check your clock or missed alerts often it may be better to keep your screensaver on.
You can disable or enable the screensaver from Menu->Settings->Themes->Screen saver.
You won’t be able to use all these tips at one, that I know. But even if you use a few of them you’ll soon realize that your phone’s battery will last longer while doing the same volume of work.
If you have any other tips that can improve battery life, let us know in the comments.