Guide: How to improve your battery life in MPXE


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Jun 16, 2013
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While smartphones improved a lot these past years in terms of speed, performance, camera etc., battery life is still a problem. Although in 2014 many phones showed excellent battery life, most 2015 flagships show mediocre battery life (Lollipop plays a role in this). Moto X Pure/Style is neither the worst, nor the best phone in battery life (for me it is more than adequate). However, there are many things a user can do to improve battery life. Most of these things are simple, however I'll try to gather all of them in this post. Feel free to add other tips and I will edit this post. The tips are divided in two sections: General battery tips and specific Moto X tips.

General Tips

1. Screen Brightness. One of the biggest drains in phones comes from the screen. Most screens are bright enough when indoors so you can lower brightness almost to the lowest settings without any problems and save a lot of juice. If you are bored to have to do this manually, there are apps like Tasker that can make your life easier by decreasing brightness in specific conditions or you can use apps that have specific percentages (0%-20% etc) so you won't have to tinker a lot with the slidebar. Also, you can decrease your display sleep time, so it turns off faster.

2. Phone Radio. Another important parameter. Both 3G/LTE and Wi-Fi usage increases power consumption and so does bad signal. Of course you bought a smartphone so you can use it to access the web. However, you could disable either of them or both when you don't need them. Moreover, in Android there are a couple of wifi options that will help you. In Wi-Fi Advanced Settings you can for example turn off: "Scanning always available" which can really drain battery and you should choose On for "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep". You can also disable the "open network" notifications.
Moreover, check your signal. I can't count the times I've seen people complaining about battery drain "while doing nothing" and in their stats Phone Radio being the biggest drain. Especially in LTE mode, low signal will deplete your battery. If you live or work in a bad-signal area think about turning off data or if you need them, turning off LTE and keeping 2G or 3G. The same goes for when driving as the constant signal variations can drain it.

3. Location. If you don't need location or if you have privacy issues you can always turn off Location and it will make a big difference. However, most people will need location at one time or another. Maps, Check-ins, Weather widgets etc. will need to know where you are in order to operate. You can toggle Location on-off manually each time and save some battery. Personally I don't do it. What I do though is go to "Settings-Location" and from the available modes choose Battery Saver. This uses only Wifi/Data and not GPS. If you need more detailed location you can toggle it to High Accuracy (for example when driving and using navigation), but for most uses Battery Saver is enough and it really makes a difference in battery. Also, there are settings for Location Reporting and Location History which you can disable in Location Settings.

4. Syncing. You can always turn off Auto-Sync but for me this is an overkill. However you could turn off sync for specific apps that you don't need and you can always change your e-mail sync intervals. Also many apps have options to give you notifications for things you won't ever need. You can go to each app settings and disable notifications. If you don't need it you can disable auto-uploading your photos. Dropbox and Google Photos have this setting (which can be very helpful), however you can always disable it.

5. Disable apps. There are some built-in apps that you cannot uninstall however you can disable them. Although the best way for things like this is by rooting, you can still do some basic stuff. Apps -> All, choose the app you want and then choose stop notifications and/or disable. I do it all the time for some Google Apps I don't use, however be always sure about what you are doing. You can disable Google Now for example if you don't use it or Google Music/Movies etc or some Moto Apps that you won't ever use. It won't make all the difference in the world, but it will help.

6. Keyboard sounds, keyboard vibration on typing or other vibrations all drain some battery. It's not that big of a deal, however if you want to save some juice you can turn some of these things off.

6. Bluetooth, NFC etc. Again, if you don't need them you should disable them. Although for example Bluetooth drain is minimal when not in use, it's not a bad thing to turn them off when not needed.

Moto X Pure/Style Specific

1. Moto Display
. Although I find it to be one of the best selling points of Moto X, some people may prefer the battery over it or may even not like it. You can always turn off Moto Display [Settings-> Display -> Screen notifications] and have the regular Android notifications or even nothing. Have in mind though that regular notifications (Ambient Display) turn on the screen and power up the phone so in long term (if you accept many messages etc) it may not make any difference. Also, without any LED, no notifications may not be the best way.
However you can still keep Moto Display but turn off from Moto -> Actions the approach system where you move your hand over the phone and the clock and notifications brighten up. You will still have Moto Display when you pick up the phone etc and you will save battery life by turning off the sensors.

2. Adaptive Brightness. Adaptive Brightness is like Auto Brightness but supposedly more sophisticated. This can help outdoors, but many times it will choose a high brightness indoors, thus draining more battery. If you don't mind changing manually your brightness you can always disable it. Again, there are options like Tasket etc, where you won't need it.

3. Attentive Display What kind of sorcery is this? The phone stays on while you look at it. Unfortunately it's not magic and it uses the phone IR sensors. Also sometimes if you don't hold the phone at the right angle, it won't work. It surely drains some battery though. So if you don't need it you can turn it off. But even if you use it, there is a little setting [Settings -> Display -> Attentive Display] called battery saver mode which turns off the phone faster when you don't look at it.

4. Moto Voice. Another excellent Motorola implementation but many people won't use it. You can always disable it if you don't need it as it always listens for your voice and of course increases battery drain. Also, you can always check your OK Google settings. If you are using Moto Voice there is no reason to have OK Google voice recognition activated too. Moto Voice will search by using Google when needed.

With Android M on the way we are looking forward to better battery life. Most of these tips will improve your battery life from little to much, but have in mind that some of them will also make you lose some of the phone's functionality. Each person has different preferences and may choose what he likes.

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