Conserving smartphone battery is key when you are unable to charge it regularly or will be using it a lot during a day out. I have been in the situation where I am happily using my phone and then suddenly the power is gone. How am I going to get one last photo of the gorgeous sunset?

Mindat Myanmar iPhone video viewing

When I showed these women a video on my phone of the waterfall near Matupi, a 7-hour drive away, they held onto my phone and watched all my videos. They were laughing and having a great afternoon drinking and smoking.

How To Conserve Phone Battery Power

What do I do, since I take a lot of photos and video? I follow the tips below, and carry a power bank. Power banks, or rechargers, come in all different sizes and weights. There are also solar-powered ones, if you will be outdoors or in a place with limited electricity and access to a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. However, if you will be completely offline for days and not taking much photo or video, eliminate the power bank from your packing list.

For multi-day road trips I have a 5x recharger, so I do not have to turn the car on if I am camping a day or two in a place. Despite the weight, I will also carry this on multi-day trekking trips where I’ll be flying my drone or using my gimbal. (Flying a drone is absolutely not on the list of battery power saving tips.)

If I will be out more than a half-day, I carry a small re-charger. I love shooting photos and video, which is a power suck, to say the least.

For airplane flights I always check SeatGuru, where I enter my airline and flight information. It returns a map of the plane with the features of each seat, such as whether my seat will have AC power or a USB port. The map is also super helpful, so I don’t accidentally select a seat next to the toilets.


5 Simple Tips for Saving Smartphone Battery Power

Top Tip. Airplane Mode + Cellular Data

Airplane Mode. It could practically be called Battery Saving Mode. Set your phone to airplane mode when you want to save power, even if in the middle of a city. This conserves battery power at any time. However, it is especially important if outside of cell or Wi-Fi range. If you leave it cellular data or Wi-Fi on, your phone will waste energy looking for signal.

While packing for any trip, turn off cellular data for certain apps. This is most important when airplane mode is not turned on. If you don’t need to immediately sync photographs, calendar, and other items, prevent your phone from using cellular data for syncing. The apps will still sync when you have Wi-Fi. In your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’, and click on ‘Cellular’. Scroll down and turn off cellular data for any apps you do not need use. This way, you don’t need airplane mode turned on. Actually, this should already be done for apps you don’t often use, even when you’re at home, unless you have an unlimited data plan.

Finally, look for your phone’s Low Power Mode option. Some features may operate more slowly, but overall your power usage is reduced when this is turned on.

Mongolia ger with satellite dish. Limited electricity.

Access to electricity is limited in the middle of Mongolia.

Tip #2 – Unused Apps

Shut Down or Quit apps you are not using. If your settings allow apps to track your location, they will be using energy to do this.

No. 3 – App Settings

Conserve battery power by not allowing apps to track location when not in use. In an iPhone, go to Settings and scroll down to see all your apps listed. Click on each app and look for ‘Location’. If location tracking is ‘always’, then change it to ‘while using the app’ or ‘never’.

Mapping applications, like MapsMe and Google Maps have offline capability. You just download them in advance.

Looking for useful travel apps? Here are some goodies: Phone Apps for Travel

Number 4 – Screen Settings

Screen Brightness. The brighter your screen, the more energy it uses. Depending on your phone, it is possible that a dimmer screen is bright enough for most anything. Just remember to turn it back up when editing photographs, so you do not oversaturate colors.

Tip No. 5 – Warmth

Temperature extremes kill a smartphone battery fast. Whether roaming Paris in winter, or camping in a chilly locale, keep your phone toasty warm. Put your phone in your inside jacket pocket while walking, not in your backpack or purse. As for sleeping with your phone, share your body heat and put it in a soft cloth and keep it under the blanket or in your sleeping bag.

What are your best battery power saving tips? Please comment below. :)


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