With default factory setting, everyone is pleased. But the HTC ThunderBolt is a powerful 1GHz smartphone made by HTC with a fairly small stock battery, large 4.3″ screen, LTE capability, and Sense UI, so battery life may be a concern to you. There is no magic app or tips and tricks that will make your battery last all day with heavy use, but if you utilize some of the following tips you WILL notice a significant increase in your battery life.
Everyone phone use is different, so 5-9 hours on one charge may be enough for some while others need 11-15 hours. Some of these may not be necessary, appropriate, or desirable for all users, so just pick which ones work for your purposes and preferences. You might prefer to keep using some of the particular features mentioned, as the benefit for you might outweigh the minimal savings in battery life. The point of this is to show people how to disable or limit features they don’t need, not force them to shut down everything. Feel free to add your own suggestions as well or ask any questions about the techniques.
1. Settings: (use an app or widget that helps you quickly toggle them, eg. built-in widgets, or from market such as Elixir, Quick Settings, or MySettings)
a. Screen –go to settings/display, turn down Brightness (20-30%), set Timeout to 30 secs, manually turn off by quickly pushing top button when not using anymore (instead of waiting). I have personally found that I like setting timeout at 1 min better, and manually turning off the screen with the top button every time I am done using it before I put it down or away in my pocket, that way it doesn’t waste itself timing out or shut off on me when I don’t want it to yet.
b. GPS – always turn off when not using, and plug into car charger (or car dock if you have one) during extended use
c. Bluetooth – always turn off when not using
d. 4G – always turn off when not using, only use when you need the speed, (the TB will either have a built-in LTE toggle or one will be provided in app form)
e. Mobile hotspot – always turn off when not using
f. WiFi – turn off when not near a WiFi signal for an extended period of time, but always use when available (faster than 3G, uses less battery), go to settings/wireless & networks/WiFi settings, press menu button and tap Advanced then WiFi Sleep policy and select“Never”, this sounds counter-intuitive, but it actually uses less power because when WiFi sleeps 3G or 4G wakes up to sync, get email, and retrieve other data (WiFi connection disables 3G/4G)
2. Background/wallpaper – use a static image instead of a live wallpaper (but these are cool and use minimal battery life, so use one if you really want to, they only drain for the short amount of time you are looking at the launcher screens)
3. Window animations – go to settings/sound & display/animation and select“no animations”
4. Keyboard vibration – turn off vibration function (haptic feedback) for when you hit a key (helps with speed too), go to settings/language & keyboard/touch input/text input and uncheck vibrate when typing, you can disable haptic feedback in other areas of the system by going to settings/sound & display
5. Notification lights – unless you really want/need to know when something happens on your phone when you are not looking, go to settings/sound & display/notification flash and uncheck all the boxes
6. Vibration – unless you really want this function, go to settings/sound & display/phone vibrate and turn it off
7. Monitor battery use – go to menu/settings/about phone/battery use, this will show you what is eating the most battery, uninstall troublesome unneeded app, or make sure app stays closed when not in use if you want to keep it and use it a lot, use Running services widget – go to shortcut/settings, helps identify processes you are no longer using (and no longer need) that could be ended (you must know the correct way to exit/close an app so it does not continue running in the background), if you want more detail check out SystemPanel in the app market, if you want to be alerted to “rogue” apps check out Watchdog Task Manager in the app market
8. Disable“always-on mobile data”– go to settings/wireless & networks/mobile networks, uncheck “Enable always-on mobile data,”you will still receive emails, texts, and phone calls, as well as internet usage, but it may cause connectivity problems in some third party apps (use manual refresh feature when opening apps to update online data)
9. WiFi and 4G network notifications – go to settings/wireless & networks and uncheck Network notification box (so phone will not constantly scan to look for open networks to tell you about)
10. Background data – if you are not using Google life-management services, go to settings/accounts & sync and uncheck Background data box (so that apps cannot sync, send, and receive data whenever it wants to). Add a homescreen shortcut to quickly toggle this (allows you to update/sync only when you want/need to).
11. Auto-sync – uncheck Auto-sync in settings/accounts & sync, or at least limit what apps are set to sync, it is better to manually sync/update/refresh in the app when you open it (set to update at launch), set update/notification frequency (polling schedule), if you do not want to turn off auto sync, just change widget or app update/notification frequency (refresh interval) in settings/accounts & sync to 30 mins or 1-2 hours, or better yet set it to update at launch, useful for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, news, weather, Google apps, and stocks, be sure to manually sync/back up your contacts every once in a while in case you lose your phone or break it
12. Email – change sync option in settings, set email check frequency to 30 mins or 1 hour, or as items arrive, or better yet set it to never and manually refresh when you want to check/read your email
13. Camera app(s) – make sure they are not running in the background when not in use, exit/close when done
14. Video chat app(s) – make sure they are not running in the background when not in use, exit/close when done
15. Streaming app(s) – make sure they are not running in the background when not in use, exit/close when done, try to limit use or plug into a charger during use if you can
16. Google Talk – press Menu then tap All apps/talk/menu/settings and uncheck automatically sign in, make sure you exit the application by going to menu/more and selecting sign out when you are done (exiting the app by pressing home or back keys will not sign you out), if you want to receive IMs just open the application again
17. Adobe Flash Player – open browser, hit menu key, go to settings/enable plug-ins and set it to“On demand”(this way the browser only loads flash content when instructed to do so)
18. Update apps – hit menu key and to go My Apps to check for updates, even if you have selected“update automatically”because some apps require you to manually install updates (apps often get updated to use less power)
19. Location settings – disable when not needed, go to settings/location & security, uncheck “Use wireless network” and“Use GPS satellites”(box must be checked while you are using Google Maps Navigation), uncheck Geolocation option in apps where it is not really needed
20. Task killer – do not use them, uninstall if you currently have one, can harm phone and consume battery, just use back arrow key to exit apps instead of home key, simply monitor rogue apps instead and uninstall/replace
21. Anti-virus – do not use them, uninstall if you currently have one, only download and use periodically or when you suspect a problem, do not download suspicious apps (check reviews and rating in market first)
22. Ad blocker – do not use them, uninstall if you currently have one
23. Battery meter accuracy – go to data/system and delete“batterystats.bin”after you have charged your phone to 100%
24. Tasker – can be used to automate settings (eg. based on time of day or app launched)
25. Juice Defender + Ultimate Juice – can be used to automate settings (eg. based on time of day or location)
26. Screebl – keeps backlight on while holding phone in “use” (vertical) position and turns it off when laying flat
27. Rebooting – reboot phone every few days
28. Delete unnecessary apps – determine which apps you do not need or use anymore and uninstall them, determine which apps you keep are causing the most battery drain and see if a comparable replacement from the market will do better
29. Home Screen widgets – turn off animations, do not use too many of them (choose them wisely), and delete unnecessary ones, they pull data in the background. At least make the interval/frequency of sync/updates longer for the ones you have. It may be better just to open some apps themselves instead of using the widget. Disable auto-updates on HTC Weather widget or at least set it to every few hours, manually update by tapping update icon on bottom of widget
30. No service – turn off phone or go into Airplane mode when you are in an area that does not have cell service
31. Chargers – have them handy at home, at work, and in car, and plug in when available
32. Rooting – (there are a lot more techniques that can be used with a rooted phone, but I will save that for a later thread)
33. If all else fails, buy an extended battery or have a spare handy just in case
Update – I came across another technique, it sounds a little strange but it apparently came from HTC regarding the EVO…some users appeared to have experienced gains from it:
34. “Calibrate” battery – (1) Turn device ON, charge it for 8 hours (or until LED turns green), (2) unplug and turn it OFF, plug it back in and charge for 1 hour (or until LED turns green), (3) unplug and turn it ON, wait 2 minutes, turn it OFF, plug it back in, and charge for 1 hour (or until LED turns green), (4) unplug it, turn it ON, and use normally.
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