Whether used strictly for calls, web browsing, e-mail or texting, cell phones have become important personal and business communication tools. Because the usage of a cell phone is reliant on its battery, it is important to take steps that will maximize the battery’s potential. This will extend the length of each charge and overall life of the battery.

• Charge the phone only when necessary. This is particularly important for cell phones that run on Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hybrid batteries. These batteries have memory effect i.e. they require to be discharged fully before another recharge. Charging the batteries when they are not fully discharged will make them only hold a certain amount of charge every time they are recharged. For instance, if a Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hybrid is charged when its only 50% discharged, it will eventually hold a 50% charge.

• Turn off all applications that are not in immediate use. Some phones run processes in the background. If the phone has this feature, it will help to periodically look at processes that are not in immediate use and end them.

• Turn off push notifications. This service obtains information directly from a server. Though it may be beneficial to receive alerts on new e-mail messages, this feature consumes a lot of power. The battery life can be prolonged if other services such as Bluetooth and WI-FI are also turned off.

• Check e-mails manually instead of using automatic downloads. Deactivate the phone’s GPS system when it is not being used. Vibrate and speakerphone functions in a phone consume extra power and users should refrain from using these features.

• Keep the phone out of extreme heat or cold. Avoid exposing the phone to direct sunlight or keeping it in a hot car during summer. Keep the phone close to the body when it is extremely cold to keep it warm. The temperature extremes can damage the battery making it less effective.

• Turn off the cell phone for at least five minutes everyday so that it gets the opportunity to “cool off”. Like any other electronic devices, cell phones should not be left on 24 hours. Leaving the cell phone on throughout the day is not good for the inside mechanisms of the phone and the battery.

• Phones consume more energy when used in areas with weak signals. Unless necessary, limit the use of the phone in steel and brick structures like large offices and stores. Move to an open area or near a window to use the phone. These areas will most likely have strong signals. When not in use, keep the phone in an open space such as on top of a desk rather than in a purse, drawer, backpack or any other place with lower signal levels.

• Follow the instructions on the phone manual on recharging the batteries. Do not rely on the computer to recharge a phone. Although most phones can be connected to a computer through a USB data cable, the charging does not normally last.

• Check batteries date of manufacture before purchase. Do not buy used or old batteries for use on a cell phone. Charge the battery fully before using the phone for the first time. Use energy saving settings on the phone such as reducing the backlight timeout and screen brightness.

This article was composed by Travis Leary, a freelancer with a strong interest in tech subjects such as cell phones, computers and other gadgetry; lately he has taken particular interest in highly complex audio-visual technology. For those interested in audio visual hire TLSWA.