A smartphone battery symbol showing that the phone is dead.

Q. My smartphone battery dies quickly. What can I do to make it last longer?

A. There are a few strategies you can use to conserve a smartphone's battery power, says Rich Fisco, CR's head of smartphone testing. To start, go to your phone's Settings > Battery menu to see whether you have a "low power mode" or "battery saver" that can be activated. What these do—and you can do à la carte if your phone doesn't have that catchall setting—is lower the screen's brightness. Also disable notifications from apps, such as Facebook and Spotify, and, if you use an animated wallpaper on your home screen, switch to a static one, such as a photo.

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For Android phone owners, Fisco also recommends checking your widgets, which are Android phone features that give you real-time looks at what your various apps are doing. "If they're live and constantly updating," he says, "disable or delete them."

If none of this helps appreciably, check your smartphone battery's capacity. Recent updates to iOS let you monitor your iPhone's "battery health" in Settings. You can do the same thing with Android phones by downloading an app; Fisco uses one called AccuBattery that shows what percentage of original capacity your smartphone battery is currently operating at. If it's less than 80 percent, you may want to replace the battery.

Keep in mind that Apple is offering $29 smartphone battery replacements through the end of 2018 for models dating back to the iPhone 6. If you own an iPhone 6s, you may be eligible for a free replacement, stemming from problems with some models manufactured in 2015. 

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the August 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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