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How to save energy with your mobile

By Luke Thompson
Tuesday, August 12th 2014

Learning how to save energy with your smartphone has several benefits. It helps to save money by cutting down on energy bills, reduces the amount of natural resources consumed and prolongs the life of your mobile battery.

The best way to save energy with a mobile phone revolves around charging your phone less often. To make this possible you need to prolong the battery's lifespan.

Unplug your mobile once charged

Most mobile phones run on rechargeable lithium ion batteries. This includes modern smartphones, such as the iPhone, and older models, such as the classic Nokia 3310. These batteries need to be charged on a regular basis. The usual way to do this is by plugging your mobile into a socket at home. Once the battery is fully charged it won’t stop drawing power; it will keep taking electricity to remain at 100% capacity. Not only is this a waste of energy, it’s also bad for the lithium battery, as it will reduce its lifespan and the amount of charge it can carry.

Choose an alternative power source

Mobile phones can be charged in various ways, not just through a standard socket. A solar charger is a common alternative. This draws energy from sunlight to charge your smartphone. Other than the price of the kit itself, energy gained through a solar charger is totally free and environmentally friendly.

Wind-up chargers

Another alternative is a wind-up charger. This uses kinetic energy, generated by the repeated rotation of a crank. It’s more physically demanding than other types of energy generation. But if you don’t mind the exercise, it’s another free and environmentally-friendly method of keeping your phone charged.

Watch your signal strength

Your mobile constantly expends energy to maintain a signal. It uses less energy when a strong signal is present, and far more when signal strength is weak. It isn’t always possible to remain in an area with strong signal, but there is a solution. Choose a mobile provider with a strong signal in the area you live and your place of work. You spend more time in these places than any other, and you can prolong your battery life by ensuring that you have a consistently strong signal when in these locations.

Check your signal strength

To discover the strength of your current provider’s signal, visit their website, and locate their coverage checker. If their coverage is too weak you might want to consider changing provider. We provide a full list of mobile providers in the UK on our SIM-only comparison site. Follow the link below.

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Disable location services

Modern smartphones use GPS location tracking to pinpoint your position. This is convenient for mapping applications, and for determining which shops and businesses are nearby and most relevant. However, this technology creates a considerable drain on your battery. When you aren’t using these services, simply deactivate your location-tracking application. You can do this in your phone’s settings.

Disable unnecessary functions

Smartphones have multiple functions running in the background that you may not need to be active all the time. Disabling these functions can preserve energy. Bluetooth is an ideal background function to deactivate, as is Wi-Fi when you’re not using a wireless connection. If you have apps running in the background it’s worth turning these off too.

Reduce brightness to save your battery

Another way to save power is by lowering your screen brightness. Your screen’s brightness is one of the main contributing factors to your battery's lifespan. Dimming the screen can make your battery last much longer. You can also set your screen to turn off after a certain amount of inactivity.


Lithium ion batteries can be expensive to replace. By saving energy with your mobile, you’ll help the environment and prolong the length of your smartphone’s battery. This will save you from having to replace the battery or purchase a new handset sooner than necessary.

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