Interview: Samuel Cris Ayo discusses how to conserve smartphone battery

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Battery life is one of the most important things to consider when buying a new smartphone. Samuel Cris Ayo, Devices Service Manager, Huawei Uganda insists that how you use your smartphone greatly determines its battery life. Big, bright screens, 3G/4G,GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth modes enabled makes your battery run out fast and further added that you should look out for the battery material type and the power capacity usually rated in mAh. The higher the mAh, the higher the power capacity.

He had a chat with our reporter noting some of the key tips on how to conserve smartphone battery life, how to select a phone with a good battery among others as below;

Battery life is one of the most important things to consider when buying a new smartphone. Why do smartphone batteries generally run out fast?

The battery duration on most smartphones has yet to catch up with the high battery consumption that has become a hallmark of most apps and features in the modern world. We play 3D games, snap photos of our food, video chat with friends and navigate around the world without ever stopping to ask for directions; all of these relate to the amount of battery resource utilization of our phones. How you use your smartphone greatly determines its battery life.

What are some of the reasons associated with high phone battery power consumption?

Big, bright screens consume more battery power to generate the millions of colors required for the mesmerizing color displays and to light up the display panels. With 3G/4G modes enabled, the phone constantly draws power from your battery to generate signals that are constantly broadcast to the nearby cell towers for 3G/4G or satellite connectivity. Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth on the other hand draws great amount of power from your phone battery to broadcast and maintain connectivity with nearby devices during data exchange.

Samuel Cris Ayo, Devices Service Manager, Huawei Uganda
Samuel Cris Ayo, Devices Service Manager, Huawei Uganda

How can a customer tell at the time of purchase, which smartphone has a battery that lasts longer?

Look out for the battery material type and the power capacity usually rated in mAh. The Higher the rating in mAh, the more the power capacity. For instance, the Huawei Y6 Pro uses a 4000mAh battery that ensures long-lasting performance. With the Smart Power Saving technology using eight separate power-optimization approaches, the device can work in idle mode for 24 hours, with only 10% battery charge. It is actually able to act as a charger for other electronics, providing 15 hours of data use, 39 hours of talk time, 48 hours of heavy use time, and 90 hours of light use time, this device is there for you for the long haul.

There are generally two kinds of rechargeable batteries commonly used for smartphones: Lithium-ion (Li-Ion)/Lithium Polymer, and Nickel-based batteries: namely Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd). The battery capacity in NiCd batteries are reduced every time you recharge them. Nonetheless, NiCd batteries have longer life cycles i.e. they can be recharged more often than NiMH batteries before stop working. Nickel-based batteries should be charged (to the full amount) when they’re more or less out of power, and not when there’s still a good amount of energy left.

Li-Ion batteries have the longest life cycle among the three types of batteries but they also need to be charged more frequently (even when the battery is not fully used up) to maintain its original capacity. “lithium-polymer” batteries are almost exactly the same as lithium-ion batteries, but they are instead contained in a flexible polymer casing. It’s basically just a repackaged lithium-ion battery.Li-polymer offers slightly higher specific energy and can be made thinner than conventional Li-ion, but the manufacturing cost is higher by 10–30 percent. This type of battery can result in credit card thin designs while still holding relatively good battery life. In addition, lithium-polymer batteries are very lightweight and have improved safety.

What tips can you give to a smartphone user out there to conserve smartphone battery life?

There are very many reasons as to why smartphone batteries always lose power very fast such as big bright screens, constant use on the internet, Bluetooth, notifications, among others. However, to overcome this challenge you should do the following; turn off vibrations as they use up more power than ringtones, dim your Screen, shorten screen timeout, switching off when inactive, charge your battery correctly, close unnecessary apps, disable GPS, turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G when not in use, minimize notifications, maintain cool temperature for phone storage, and lastly but most importantly, mind the charger you use.

Is there any added advantage to a phone having an in-built (embedded) battery as compared to the removable battery?

Both the embedded and the removal phone batteries have their pros and cons though with the advancement in technology, people these days tend to prefer phones with inbuilt battery as they tend to be sleeker due to the unibody design, fashionable, less parts that can break since it is very difficult to get inside the phone and tamper with delicate parts that could cause damage, slimmer battery making the phone slim as well and finally less gaps thus little room for dust or dirt to penetrate the phone. The Huawei P Series, M series and the G series have this design.

However, they also have their short comings such as battery issues being terminal since they are sealed off, impossible to swap it out for a spare or even upgrade to something more powerful, and if the phone freezes as you can’t whip the battery out, you’ll just have to wait for the battery to die or hope the manual restart works.

On the other hand, removable batteries found in the Huawei Y series are batteries that are designed to be taken out of the host device and pose the advantages such as being easy to dry when the phone gets in contact with a little too much water, can be replaced or upgraded to something more powerful if the current one dies and most importantly solves the problem of hard restart as you can just remove the battery an put it back in then restart the phone though it can at times be damaging to the phone. Removable battery short comings include its bulkiness, constant removing it from the phone can damage the battery as well can easily be misplaced.

Should smartphone batteries be charged when they have completely run out or better when they still have a bit of power? Dies talking on a smartphone while charging it spoil its battery?

The battery capacity in NiCd batteries are reduced every time you recharge them. Nonetheless, NiCd batteries have longer life cycles i.e. they can be recharged more often than NiMH batteries before stop working. Nickel-based batteries should be charged (to the full amount) when they’re more or less out of power, and not when there’s still a good amount of energy left.

Li-Ion batteries have the longest life cycle among the three types of batteries but they also need to be charged more frequently (even when the battery is not fully used up) to maintain its original capacity. To keep your battery lasting longer, find out more about the type of battery that your smartphone uses and maintain the appropriate charging strategy for optimum usage.

Is it okay to use any charger while charging a smartphone or it is best to use the actual smartphone brand charger?

As long as the charging specifications are the same as recommended by the smartphone manufacturer, it doesn’t really matter the charger type used. However, not all chargers are made to the exact standards and might have slight variations in quality and current/voltage levels allowed to pass through. It is because of this uncertainty that it is strongly advised to use original chargers from the smartphone manufactures. For example, the Huawei phones tend to charge faster with the original chargers.

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