More BlackBerry Battery Tips: Seven Ways to Make Your Smartphone Last Longer

BlackBerry devices used to be renowned for their impressively long battery lives. But with all the features and functionalities packed into modern RIM smartphones during the past couple of years, some of that battery longevity has vanished. CIO.com's Al Sacco offers up seven advanced tips that he regularly employs to ensure his BlackBerry keeps on ticking...and ticking and ticking.

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Tue, January 26, 2010

CIO — Ever wondered why your BlackBerry seems to get different battery life than your fellow smartphone users' devices? How long your BlackBerry smartphone lasts on a single charge depends on a variety of factors. Your specific device model, size of the battery pack, whether or not your handheld uses 3G networks, if it employs Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, and whether or not you're using it in a strong coverage area are just a few parts of the equation.

BlackBerry Bold Batteries
BlackBerry Bold Batteries

So how do you ensure that you're using your BlackBerry battery as effectively as possible?

The true key to maximizing your BlackBerry battery-life is gaining an understanding of what features and functionality drain battery power when, and why. Then you need to reduce unnecessary drain.

I published the precursor to this post almost two years ago, and in that piece I offered five basic battery-life tips for BlackBerry users. I suggest you check out this initial story before moving on to the following tips, as a number of the new, advanced suggestions you'll find below are based on advice I provided in that older article. Go ahead, I'm not going anywhere.

Ready? Cooool.

After digesting those earlier tips, you'll be well-suited to move on to this next, more advanced set of recommendations. Your BlackBerry battery's not gaining any juice just sitting there; let's go.

1) Be Prepared

The Boy Scouts were really onto something with the whole "Be Prepared" thing.

This sentiment sums up the whole practice of maximizing your BlackBerry battery life, because if you're always prepared from what's coming next, you're a hell of a lot more likely to have a charged up BlackBerry battery to accompany you to whatever that task may be.

First on the list of preparations: A BlackBerry travel charger. I'd rather leave my home without my AmEx card than my spare BlackBerry charger. In fact, I have one spare charger in my car, two more at my home and work desks, another in my laptop bag and one more beside my bedside, so my device is always "fresh" when I wake every morning.

Next up: Spare batteries. I currently own four compatible batteries for my BlackBerry 9700--it certainly didn't hurt that the BlackBerry 9700 employs the same battery as the Bold 9000, my last device. I carry two fully-charged batteries in my laptop bag, one in my vehicle and another spare is sitting in a home-office desk drawer as I write this. And two of those batteries are extended power-packs from smartphone-accessory-maker, Seidio.


image of BlackBerry Bold 9700 in RIM Charge Pod
BlackBerry Bold 9700 in RIM Charge Pod

I also have BlackBerry charge pods on both my desks, which are meant for convenience, but they've quickly become one of my favorite BlackBerry add-ons. The charge pods are simple cradles you plug into a wall outlet or USB port on your computer and then just drop in your device whenever it needs power.

The point of all this: I keep a spare battery and a charger in all of the places where I'm most likely to need them if my current battery runs out. And you should too. BlackBerry batteries really aren't expensive, especially if you're using an older handheld--neither are chargers. And the $20 or so you'll need to drop to pick one up will seem well worth it when you actually need a replacement battery. I usually go to Amazon.com (AMZN) for my BlackBerry battery needs.

It's also a very good habit to charge your device whenever possible, even if you still have 50 percent or more battery-life left. I'm more likely to charge my device while working using one of the above-mentioned pods, because I've become used to seeing the digital clock that displays once my device is placed in the cradle. This helps me to remember to charge frequently.


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