We have shared general techniques and tips to better manage your battery life in the past, however this this time we will be focusing on the Galaxy S4 in particular. These tips should work across all versions of the Galaxy S4, and are very easy to implement. Along with general settings, we also suggest some apps that will help diagnose what the issue is and how to easily fix it. Some of these tips may break stuff in exchange for better battery life, so please be advised and pay attention to what you’re doing! I will try to warn you whenever that may happen. Also, some of the apps linked require root, which I will point out whenever is the case. That being said, let’s go!
You can tweak some of the built-in Android settings to stretch your battery a bit without any major loss of functionality and the option to easily revert them if you’re not satisfied. Here are some of the settings you can try:
– Enable Auto Brightness: Instead of having you screen’s brightness set at a preset level, allow the device to decide what brightness level it should be at, based on your light sensor. This will make the screen automatically increase the brightness whenever needed (like outside, or in bright areas) and reduce the brightness on dark areas, where not as much light is needed to properly read the screen
– Disable location and GPS: Having your GPS always on drains some battery, and if the GPS is constantly in use by apps that you don’t need, even more so. Disable the GPS and location services in the Settings app so you can prevent this from happening, and enable them only when needed to ensure you’re not wasting energy
– Disable WiFi and Mobile data: If you’re not using them, you should disable WiFi and Mobile Data, as these radios in particular do contribute to significant battery drain. The new Android 4.3 should resolve the WiFi issue by always keeping it in a low power state, but Mobile Data is still a major factor and should be disabled if not in use
– Turn off Bluetooth and NFC: Disabling these connectivity options when not needed should go a long way to increasing battery life. Bluetooth is the bigger drain, as NFC is fairly low-power, but both contribute in one way or another to reducing your battery life
– Set Sleep Time to a lower value: If you tend to leave your phone unlocked a lot, setting a lower Sleep Time can be a good way to gain a few additional minutes of battery. Just change the existing value under Settings>Display>Sleep to something lower that still makes sense to your usage preferences
You can use a few external apps to see what exactly is draining your battery (with more in-depth information than the built in battery info) and disable them so you can claim your battery back.
You can use this great app to check what exactly is draining your battery so fast. The app will provide you with a few instructions when it starts and will run in the background keeping tabs on every process in your phone and how much battery they are spending. So this is a great way to find misbehaving apps and isolate the problem. Keep in mind, this app should be left running for a normal usage period (preferably 24 hours) before you attempt to narrow down the cause of your problem. Just use your device as you normally would so the app can get an accurate portrait of your usage patterns, and then see what sticks out.
You can use this app to kill processes on demand after you have been able to isolate the problem with the app above. Then, all you have to do is install this app, go to “Start Ups” (if the process starts automatically when you boot the device) or “Task Manager”, find the process you want and freeze it. Keep in mind that depending on the importance of the process, this may have unforeseen consequences, like breaking push notifications for a certain app or reducing its functionality. Always pay attention to the names and what app they belong to, based on its icon or title. I also wouldn’t advise freezing apps related to the Android OS or Google, as they may break functionality at an OS level that you may not expect. For example, freezing items in the “Google Services Framework” will disable push notifications, Google Now, Google Talk and even the Play Store if you’re not careful! If you’re not comfortable enough to mess around with this app, maybe the next app will be a better option for you.
We’ve covered Greenify in the past, along with how to properly use it. So, it’s a no-brainer that you should be able to use it to easily handle misbehaving apps as well. While not as in-depth as some other apps, it tends to get the job done with minimal hassle and problems, so it’s a good choice if you don’t want to worry yourself too much about it. Just identify the misbehaving app or apps (or go through all of them until you find the ones that are draining your battery) and greenify them. The app should handle the rest and not break major functionality along the way. It’s easy to use and easy to revert, so I wouldn’t worry too much about breaking things. If you need help, the linked post has all the instructions you need.
A new kernel for your device can radically change the battery life. There are a few differences between custom kernels, each with their own set of features and customizations, but overall a custom kernel should automatically offer a much better experience than the stock kernel. Additionally, custom kernels expose in-depth power management settings for your device, like allowing you to overclock and underclock the device, set a custom voltage or change the way the CPU ramps up in response to usage. All of these are customizable by you and you can fiddle with the settings until you hit the sweet spot you’re looking for. Of course, it’s not something to try unless you’re comfortable with rooting and custom ROMs, but thankfully we already have a post detailing how you can go about doing that, if you’re interested in learning. After your device is set up, all you have to do is search for a kernel compatible with your device model (make sure it’s the right model, it’s not enough to be a Galaxy S4, models change between regions and networks!), flash it in Recovery, and you’re ready to go!
By using these easy tips with the help of the linked apps, I have no doubts you will manage to fix your existing battery issues and enhance your battery life in a substantial manner. Of course, Android is not famous for being easy on battery to begin with, so don’t expect miracles, but these should make a difference anyway and vastly improve your idle battery consumption. There’s not much that can be done to reduce the battery usage while the device is in use, but in any case you should be able to comfortably squeeze 24 hours out of your phone with normal usage. Did these tips help you out, or do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below!