Maximizing battery life on the Optimus T

Yes, talking about my phone again. As was to be expected, I spent a lot of time with the phone on day one, and drained the battery in record time. Something needed to be done about that, and here’s what I’ve arrived at:

  1. I don’t need 3G, so I turned on the “2G only” option. I do not have a contract, because I like the $0 monthly fee of a prepaid SIM, and with T-Mobile that means I don’t get a mobile data plan. 2G is all I need, and it’s a lot less of a power-hog than 3G or 4G are.
  2. Turn Wi-Fi off. This sounds counter-intuitive, especially since I don’t have a data plan, but a lot of the time there’s no Wi-Fi network in range I can connect to, and even when there is, I don’t need to be permanently connected. Instead, I switch it on every few hours, which causes the phone’s various accounts to sync, then turn it off again and read the new emails/tweets/etc that came in.
  3. Display brightness all the way down. I’m indoors most of the time, and reading the screen is not a problem.
  4. Optimize for signal. T-Mobile has a terrible network, and my apartment is almost a dead zone for reception. Leaving my phone near the window instead of on the couch table means it won’t constantly be scanning for a network.

With all of this, I’ve gotten nearly 2 days out of the battery so far, though I didn’t make any calls in that time. It’s not the 5 days I used to get out of my Nokia 6300, but I think it will do.

Speaking of the lousy network coverage, T-Mobile has installed a funny app on the phone for “Wi-Fi calling”. It uses the Wi-Fi network for making calls, but still charges minutes to my prepaid contract. This seems ass-backwards at first, until you realize it’s a trick of theirs to hide how awful their 3G network really is. It’s enabled by default, and assuming you’re mostly calling from home and within reach of your wireless router, you get crisp quality phone calls, and aren’t immediately tempted to research Skype or Google Voice.


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