Just Go Smart

Modern phones such as the iPhone 5s can be found lacking when it comes to battery life.
Our smartphones are getting more and more powerful, but the batteries packed into them are struggling to keep up. With the technology of today you can consider yourself lucky if you make it through a whole day without needing to reach for your phone charger. There are ways to extend your mobile's battery life, however: here's our pick of the best 10 tips, which will work across all handsets and manufacturers.

1. Keep it cool.

Standard room temperature is best for phones and their batteries — excessive heat can cause your mobile's battery to drain faster than it otherwise would. Make sure your phone is kept in the cool wherever possible.

2. Reduce the brightness.

The high-definition screens sported by many of the latest mobiles place a big strain on a device's battery. You can limit the effects by reducing the brightness level of the screen, or by activating the auto-brightness feature on your handset (if it's available), which adjusts the screen brightness based on the surrounding light.

3. Turn on Wi-Fi.

If your phone is struggling to download data over a weak cellular connection, this can start eating away at the battery level very quickly. If you turn on Wi-Fi and connect to a wireless network, the device doesn't have to work quite so hard to get the connection and data it needs.

4. Turn off Wi-Fi.

When downloading data, Wi-Fi uses less battery power than a weak 3G or 4G connection, but if you're not downloading anything and aren't going to be near a wireless network for a while you can save some juice by turning Wi-Fi off.

5. Turn off sync.

All kinds of apps, from Twitter to Gmail, are constantly synchronizing data in the background while you use your phone. You can save some of your battery life by disabling sync in some or all of these applications.

6. Disable notifications.

As well as background syncing, many apps display push notifications on your phone when you get a new email, instant message, comment or like. Disable the notifications for as many apps as you can to improve battery life, or change the frequency at which your phone checks for new updates.

7. Turn off location services.

GPS and other location services require plenty of battery power, as you'll know if you've ever tried to use your phone as a satnav. Save some juice by avoiding using your maps apps and disabling location services within individual apps as well as at a system-wide level.

8. Set the auto-lock.

Your phone will have an auto-lock feature that dims and locks the screen after a certain period of inactivity — by setting this to a few seconds rather than half a minute or more you can quickly get your handset into standby mode, saving battery life that would otherwise be spent on lighting the screen and keeping your apps active.

9. Avoid excessive media use.

Video playback, audio playback and mobile games are three of the biggest causes of your phone's battery level disappearing. Where possible save these activities for times when your handset is charging or when there's a power socket within easy reach.

10. Use airplane mode.

Airplane mode isn't just for airplanes: by switching off your phone's communications systems (while you're asleep or in a meeting for example) you can extend the life of its battery. And a bonus tip: use airplane mode while charging your phone and it'll charge more quickly.