aNewDomain — On my recent trip to OSCON 2014, I spent about nine hours traveling out there and about 12 hours back to my home in Florida. Now, even though my new Galaxy S5 has a generous 2800 Ah battery, I always keep an eye on my battery usage. It’s not always possible to re-charge when you run out of juice. So I plan accordingly, keeping an eye out for available power outlets and using various techniques to conserve power, all while still using my super phone for work and entertaining myself with MP3s. Here are my Samsung Galaxy S5 battery life extension tips.
The first thing I do is to pull down that top task-bar menu and adjust that bright, bold Super AMOLED display down to the lowest possible, usable setting. Be sure to click the power button on the right side to blank the display after each use, too. And follow my other Galaxy S5 battery extension tips.
Who Needs Radios?
Turn off all radios you don’t need. The S5 is chocked full of them. You can do this in one operation by using the task-bar pull-down and then selecting the gear icon. There you’ll find an Airplane mode icon. Click that and you’ll be offline. And all the S5’s radios will be disabled.
Maybe you want to save power but still need one of the radios. Just turn them off as needed.
For example, you might want to have cell/data service, while riding down the interstate. Having the WiFi radio on in that case, might not make any sense. Pull down the main task bar, unclick the WiFi icon and turn it off.
Another trick is to use earbuds instead of a Bluetooth headset. Granted, you don’t look as important without that little rectangle hanging off your ear. This way, you can dispense with running the Bluetooth radio. Unlight that icon on the task bar pull-down.
Connecting to a cell tower from 37,000 feet is generally iffy, at best. Airlines usually also like you to turn off cell service to prevent interference with their navigation equipment. I’m not convinced about the last one although I do know that when you’re cell radio isn’t regularly sending that little power-spiking ping, to poll for towers, you save a few milliwatts. Go to Settings, Network Connections and More networks. Select Mobile Networks and uncheck Mobile data and data roaming, to turn off the cell radio and you’ll save some battery power. Light up the WiFi icon on the task-bar pull-down if you score free in-flight WiFi and want to cruise the Web.
Use Power Saver Modes
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a couple of different levels of power saving you can use.
Again, pull down the task-bar menu and click the gear icon. Under Quick Settings you’ll see Power saving. There’s a choice of standard or ultra power saving. Standard generally limits the clock speed of the processor and restricts the amount of data transferred between your phone and a network, in the background.
Ultra power saver goes a leap further by turning the display to gray-scale and limiting your choice of applications to just a handful. You can call, cruise the Web, message and a few other functions. This mode measures battery life in days. You might even flip over to this mode, if you’re at a hackathon and plan on being up a couple of days straight.
So there you have it. A handful of tips for maximizing battery usage with the new Galaxy S5 super phone. It’s a great phone and I’m very happy with it’s features and capabilities. Effective power management capabilities are certainly icing on the cake.
Based in Orlando, Rob Reilly is an independent consultant, writer, and speaker specializing in Linux/OSS, Open Hardware, technology media, and the mobile lifestyle. Follow him on Twitter @RobReilly and find his posts on Google + here.