Keeping Your Phone Charged Away from Home

Date Posted:15 November 2012 

The battery life of a smartphone varies according to the brand you buy, so if you’re going to be away from home for any length of time, it’s important to have an effective means of recharging.

Types of chargers

  • AC charger -- These use 240-volt mains electricity and are usually a standard inclusion when you purchase your phone. If you will be near a power outlet while you are away, then an AC charger should be more than adequate.
  • Portable charger -- These can be built into a phone’s protective cover or can plug into the phone itself to charge it. There are portable chargers specifically for iPhones or smartphones, as well as universal chargers that will charge any kind of phone.
  • Car charger -- These use your car’s 12-volt battery to recharge your phone. They can utilise the cigarette lighter port in your car if you have one, or their own dedicated port, which you plug your phone into. If you’re taking your car with you, this is a handy recharging option.
  • Solar charger -- This creates portable power, using the sun. Solar chargers usually have a fold-out solar panel for soaking up the sun’s rays, so if you plan to be outdoors and away from civilisation, then a solar charger may be just what you need.

Conserving battery life

If you will have limited or no access to charging devices while you are away, there are some measures you can take to extend the battery life of your phone.

  • Turn it off when not in use -- If you aren’t expecting a phone call, turn your phone off to conserve battery power. Also, turn it off if you are out of range, because your phone will go on searching for a signal, which also drains your battery.
  • Don’t use features -- Data-hungry apps should be de-activated, as they may be trying to connect to the Internet without your knowledge. Also turn off your email checking function. If you use your phone strictly for making necessary phone calls and don’t use power-hungry features such as the camera, your battery will last considerably longer.
  • Use a simple ring tone -- If you have a fancy ringtone with all the bells and whistles, this will drain battery power every time your phone rings. Change to a basic ring and turn off the vibrate function, which also draws power.
  • Turn off Bluetooth -- It’s a great feature, but it can draw lots of power too, so unless it’s essential (i.e., in a Bluetooth helmet for motorcyclists), turn it off altogether.
  • Reduce call length -- It might sound obvious, but the longer you’re on your phone, the more power you’re draining from your battery. If you need to conserve your phone’s charge, keep call durations to a minimum.

Another option is to buy an extended life battery. They cost a little more, but a good one can give you up to twice the battery life, which is another good way to keep your phone charged when away from home.