Ask LH: What Are The Most Battery-Efficient Ways To Contact People With My Phone?

Dear Lifehacker, After a full day of use on my Android smartphone, I am often left with very little battery but still have important messages to relay to family and friends. What is the most battery-efficient way to get them across before my phone goes dead? Calling, texting or WhatsApp? Thanks, Battery Burner

Picture: Joris Louwes

Dear BB,

Once your battery is going, it's going, and the bad news is that none of the cases you've outlined are massive power hogs in any real way. Of the three, WhatsApp has been noted as being a data heavy app in research undertaken by Alcatel-Lucent, and anything that's chewing serious data is also likely to be chewing battery along the way.

If you look at how Android manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung implement their severe battery saving measures, they almost always boil down to calls and texts only. If you've got one of those models — Sony refers to it as Stamina mode, while on Samsung phones it's Ultra Power Saving mode — then by all means use it.

Of those two modes, short texts that involve small bursts of data are likely to be less power intensive, although depending on how low your phone is getting in real power terms the differences might not be perceptible.

What could make more sense is to carry a backup battery or external battery pack, or charger if you can manage it. Failing all else, our guide to maximising your Android battery life should give you a few tips to extend the overall battery life of your Android smartphone.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    Strap a piece of paper around your phone and throw it through their window. To save more battery, make sure your phone is switched off.

    One option for iPhone that may translate to android, if you're really desperate and have a wi-fi connection:
    1 - turn flight mode on (kills a lot of power-intensive services, including phone/sms)
    2 - turn WI-FI back on (flight mode turns this off, but it can be re-enabled)
    3 - use your whatsapp to send a message over WIFI.

    the other option is:
    1 - use the last 2% of your phone life to locate your contact details, and write them down on a piece of paper
    2 - call them from another phone
    ...if you can remember phone numbers, you can even skip step 1.

    I believe calling someone is the most battery effective. a) given screen brightness accounts for the greatest amount of batter usage, and b) you avoid the 20 back and forth texts required to get a decent message across and understood.

    Wifi/bluetooth/etc. off. Switch to 2G. Screen brightness lowest possible setting.

    Or don't smash the crap out of your battery earlier in the day knowing you'll need some battery for later?

    Or charge your battery during the day?

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