Improving the Samsung Galaxy S4 Battery Life
What follows is a short intro to 3 apps that in my experience have improved my SGS4 battery life — your mileage may vary and I can’t be to blame for any damage caused! That said, I don’t think any of these should render your phone unusable 🙂
This is the daddy of all battery saving apps, and works best when your phone is rooted. There are plenty like this on the Google Play Store, but this in my opinion is the best. Instead of filling your phone with various hooks into their other software as many of the battery doctor/battery saver type things do, or offering to clear your cache or uninstall some apps, this one just looks at the amount of power going to your CPU and offers some advanced ways to adjust it such as altering the number of cores running, the minimum and maximum frequencies for the processor(s) to run at. Finally it also will automatically alter the states of things like WiFi, 2G/3G/4G. All this can be done automatically based on how much battery is remaining.
I have used this on the S2 and S4 and have managed to get (in a rather extreme configuration) a whole day of screen on usage out of the S2, and multiple days of regular usage out of the S4. One note, be a bit careful if you are setting things to come on at boot time and not using the built-in presets — it’s possible to tell your phone to start up very slow indeed and it might be a bit frustrating to get into CPU Tuner to reset it 🙂
BONUS TIP: if you don’t feel the need to get messages as soon as they are sent, configure CPU Tuner to turn off all connectivity except phone functions when the screen goes off, and for the CPU to drop to absolute minimum. It will take a few seconds to respond when you turn the screen on but the improvement in battery life should be EPIC).
This clever little app just puts your automatic brightness settings into overdrive, and gives you a handy way to reduce the brightness of the screen which is one of the main culprits for excessive battery usage. Whilst Lollipop (and admittedly earlier versions of Android if configured correctly) may already have easy access to brightness settings, Lux offers a few extra features here, such as the ability to adjust brightness based on set times of day. It also includes a ‘night mode’ that reddens your screen for lower light conditions, making the light less harsh on you or the person sleeping (or trying to sleep) next to you. NB: used incorrectly this app could make your screen more readable but battery wear out faster — just make sure you are comfortable with the options!
Pixel Battery Saver
This is a recent discovery, and so far I have seen some very positive effects on my S4’s battery life, which seem to be down to Pixel Battery Saver. What this app does is to create an overlay ‘mesh’ of black pixels, which in theory makes the S4’s OLED screen turn those pixels off all together. This naturally results in an artificially lower resolution screen, but the density of the mesh can be altered so that you can find a fit that you are comfortable with. This does also lower the brightness somewhat, so if you are also using Lux (above) or a similar app to increase battery life, then you might need to tweak it a little in order to get the right levels. I will keep an eye on this one but over the past few days of having it installed I believe there has been a strong boost to the S4 battery life.
Let us know in the comments how you get on with any of the above or if you have any of your own suggestions for how to improve the S4’s battery life (not that it’s bad, but better is better!). Do you know of apps that don’t require root? Or perhaps your experience with one of these apps differs to mine…