22 May How to Save Battery Life on the HTC EVO
Like thousands, I ran out opening weekend and grabbed up a Sprint HTC EVO. The EVO is without a doubt the coolest smartphone I have ever owned. Yet the largest complaint facing the EVO is battery life. Well the good news is that I have discovered several tricks and tips to extend the battery life over 50% and I am here to share them with you.
The number one complaint I always read about elite gadget phones or smartphones is their battery life. The battery issue isn not only relegated to the HTC EVO. I avoided the iPhone and iPods for a few years because of their issues when it came to battery life. Fortunately for you EVO owners, it does not always have to be that way.
Now if you left your HTC EVO set up the way it is when you open up the box, you will be disappointed with the phone's battery life. If you left your phone on with the 4G network enabled, the battery life of your EVO would not make it through the day. I learned that the hard way. So that said, here are a few simple steps you can take to extend your EVO's battery life over 50%.
Tip # 1 – Download the Advanced Task Killer app from the app store. If I was going to rank the must-have apps for the EVO, this would be number one. Go to the market icon on your phone, type in "Advanced Task Killer" and download it. It is free. Once you have downloaded it, put it on your home screen. Click it and you will see a list of every app and task that is running on your EVO. The first time I did it, I was stunned and you will be too. Some of these apps on your EVO will turn on automatically with no rhyme or reason. Unless you see the apps running, you would have no idea. These apps are boring the battery life of your phone dry! Simply check every app you want to kill and then tap "Kill selected apps." I check them all. I will turn them on if and when I need them. This baby will save you big time on your battery life and it is free.
Tip # 2 – Download the Battery Status Pro app from the app store. If I was going to rank the must-have EVO apps, this would be number two. This is a phenomenal app and it is 100% free. Once again, go to the market place icon on your phone, type in "Battery Status Pro" and download it. There is a paid and free version. You only need the free version. Put this on your home screen once you download it. Tap it and you will see a complete breakdown of the battery life left on your phone. You get down to the second time left on your battery in various modes from Standby Time, Talktime, Internet Use (with or without Wi-Fi), etc. This app will let you know exactly how much time you have for whatever you want to do. This is a great way to budget your battery life so you do not waste it on something you do not need.
Tip # 3 – Change the brightness of your home screen. Out of the box, your HTC EVO is bright as a summer day's sun. It looks great but you really do not need all of that brightness, unless you are in a dark place. Tap your Menu button on the bottom of the EVO and go to Settings – Sounds & Display – Brightness. There you can slide your bar all the way to the left which will darken your phone and save you a lot of battery life. You'd be surprised at the difference in your EVO's battery life once you make this simple adjustment.
Tip # 4 – Turn off that 4G! Look, I am still not convinced that 4G is the be-all and end-all that Sprint is making it out to be. 4G is nice and you pay for it, but it will suck your battery dry. You do not need it. 3G is just as fast and it will not nearly do the damage to your battery life that 4G will do. I only use the 4G if I have my EVO plugged in somewhere. To turn it off simply tap your Menu button on the bottom of the phone, go to Settings – Wireless & Networks – 4G. Simply tap the 4G button and watch it disconnect. Your phone will now be connected to the network via 3G. While you are in Wireless & Networks, tap the button next to Wi-Fi. This will disconnect your EVO from constantly searching for Wi-Fi networks which will also drain your battery. If you want to connect to a Wi-Fi network, just tap it again to turn it back on.
Tip # 5 – Adjust your email settings. Users can adjust the frequency to which the network searches for your emails. If you have your EVO searching for your emails every 5 minutes, those searches every few minutes will help drain your battery. Go to Messages, tap the Menu button at the bottom-More- Settings-Send & Receive-Set download frequency. Here you can adjust the network to check for new mail every 5-60 minutes. Depending upon the account and how frequently you need to see new email, I would recommend every 30 minutes. Now you can always open your messages in the meantime which will automatically refresh and bring up any new mail. However, this tiny adjustment will help save quite a bit of battery life through the day.
Tip # 6 – Turn off your social networks. The EVO offers a ton of great apps for social networking. Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter all have their own apps. This makes life a lot easier if you are as involved with the social networks as I am. However, a default setting on most of these apps will keep them on indefinitely which will give you immediate notifications across your network. This is all well and good but that tiny luxury will kill your battery life. Make sure you have these apps all set not to automatically update. To make sure, tap your Advanced Task Killer and kill them if they are running.
Tip # 7 – Make sure to turn off your home screen. If you are like me, you like to leave your phone open constantly for new emails, notifications, etc. However, this will kill your battery and is not always necessary. If you are busy or will not need the phone immediately, just simply tap the button on the very top of your phone. This puts your phone into sleep mode. Your phone is still on and you will hear notifications, but you will save hours on your battery life by leaving the EVO in standby mode. Also, make sure your home screen times out at some point in case you forget to do this manually. Go to the Menu button on bottom and then Settings – Sound & Display – Screen timeout. Here you have the option to have your home shut down anywhere from 15 seconds to never. For me, 15 seconds is a little too quick. I like to keep mine set to 2 minutes. I would probably save a little more life on the battery by taking it down to a minute, but that is just too quick for me and the way I use my EVO. Either way you have plenty of options here, make sure you use them.
So there you go. I have passed this advice on to several friends who are now eternally grateful for the extra battery life they have on their EVO. Make these simple adjustments and the difference will be like having two extra batteries connected to your EVO.
Enjoy your new EVO and remember … turn off that 4G!
By Eric Gargiulo