The Samsung Galaxy S7 looks pretty sweet, but does anyone actually believe they did a damn thing to improve battery life? Yeah, me neither.
Smartphones can do just about anything but cook breakfast… for about 3 hours, then the battery runs dry, that pretty little screen goes dark, and you're stuck clutching a “wireless” phone while tethered to a wall charger.
Sound familiar? Of course it does, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
So what’s the dillio with rooting?
An excellent question. True believers swear that rooting improves battery life, but that might not be saying much. Rooting may well eke out a few precious drops of juice, but were talking a modest uptick of extra activity at best.
There’s no root in existence that will magically make your battery last all day, and if there were, don’t you think Samsung would have implemented it by now? Of course they would.
But the overlords of ROMs and Roots don’t want you to hear that hard truth. The only thing rooting is guaranteed to do, is void your warranty.
Do you love glitches and security vulnerabilities?
Sure, rooting might allow you to uninstall some bloatware, maybe tweak your interface a little, and perhaps unlock a scant feature or two, but by and large, the number one reason for rooting appears to be the pursuit of better battery life, which is an upside that arguably remains undelivered by rooting.
Au contraire, rooting can cause glitches, hangs, spontaneous reboots, migraines, hair loss – check your fist, you may still be clutching a swath. Rooting, by definition, is hacking, and can cause a host of unwanted side effects, including bricking your phone outright.
Anything roots can do apps can do better
If you weigh the advantages of rooting objectively, you can eliminate almost all of the perks gained and accomplish the same result without rooting.
Custom user interface? Check; there’s plenty of apps that do that already. Killing background apps and processes? Yup, there’s dozens of apps for that too. Overclocking or underclocking your CPU? Who cares? Why spend a small fortune on a phone with a killer chipset if you’re just going to keep it on a tight leash and never use its full potential?
And on and on the arguably useless list of “enhanced” rooting features goes. If you’re going to micromanage your phone to that degree, then you just might be a control freak with too much time on your hands.
Realistic and pragmatic ways you can improve your battery life
If you’ve got too much on your plate to give a damn about rooting, fret not, because we’re about to rock your world with some tried and true battery saving tips and products that will indeed make your battery last longer.
1) Nab yourself a battery case and let the marathon begin
If you really want to improve your battery life, there’s no better way to do it than with a battery case
Yup, it’s literally what it sounds like: a case for your phone with a battery imbedded within it, so it’s always charged and at the ready. You never have to remember to take it with you, and there’s no extra cords to futz with.
Your average battery case will fully charge your precious Samsung Galaxy S7 two and a half times. Yup, you can run your phone dry twice, charge it back up again both times, and still have some juice leftover.
So if you average 3 hours with that precious Samsung’s stock battery, you can now expect over 9 hours of juice. !?!?!? Yup, you read that right. No hocus pocus, no voided warranty, no questionable hacks, no wasted time, and no missing follicles.
Sure, you love how svelte and trim your phone is, and a battery case does add some thickness; but what’s more important, an anorexic looking phone, or a phone that actually lasts all day? You decide.
A simple search at your favorite online retailer should yield plenty of results for just about any popular make or model phone, so fret not if you don’t have an S7.
How does a battery case work?
Battery cases plug into your phone’s existing charging port to feed power to your phone, and the case itself has a charging port of its own. To charge your phone, just plug a micro USB cable into the battery case, and it will charge both your phone and your battery case simultaneously.
Battery cases will charge your phone’s battery first, and the battery case second. They also feature data pass-through, which means you can connect your phone to a computer and transfer files back and forth at will, seamlessly passing data through the case.
Can you push a button?
Battery cases have a power button on the backside, so when your phone’s battery runs down, just turn on the battery case and it’ll charge your phone back up again. Charging times will vary depending on your phone, but you can keep using it as normal while the case brings your phone back to life.
As a bonus, most battery cases turn themselves off once your phone is charged in order to conserve power for next time. That’s a lot of pragmatic functionality, all without rooting or voiding your warranty.
2) Spring for a solar charger
We all know the benefits of solar energy. It’s free, abundant, and powers an entire planet, au naturale; if only there were a way to harness its power for cell phones?
Abracadabra, enter the solar powered battery charger
. Now, before you get all excited, it could take several hours to charge a phone using the power of the sun, however, the biggest advantage of a solar battery charger, is for emergency preparedness.
Let’s say anarchy hits, for one reason or another, and that precious cell phone of yours is going to last you a whopping 3 hours before it’s dead to the world and leaves you in a lurch.
Well, that’s when a solar battery charger would come in handy. They’re also great for camping trips, long hikes and assuring you have a method to call for help should you get lost in the woods and find yourself seeking refuge in a gingerbread house.
How do solar chargers work?
Solar battery chargers have an internal batter of their own, so they can power your phone and recharge it up to 3 times, based on their internal 5000mAh capacity.
If you’re looking to charge a laptop, then consider getting a solar charger with a battery upwards of 20,000mAh. Solar battery chargers are made for an active lifestyle, with carabiner clips to latch them onto a backpack or bike, and shock resistant construction that can withstand the most rugged lifestyle.
Get one with a flashlight built in for that full, Swiss Army Knife sorta experience.
3) Ride your bike and charge your phone
This cool gizmo mounts on your front bicycle wheel and gathers energy whenever you’re riding and the wheels are turning.
uses an old school dynamo that connects to a cradle and charging port mounted to your handlebars. The more you petal, the more you can talk and play. Just be sure not to text while riding, lest you get up close and personal with some asphalt.
This cool battery saving tip is perfect for the outdoorsy type, so burn some calories while crushing that data plan, and convert those kilobits into miles per hour.
4) Workout while you gab with a hand crank charger
Put a little elbow grease into your cell phone charging and get some exercise out of the deal too. Hand crank chargers
are exactly what they sound like; you turn a little crank to create enough energy to charge your phone.
Sure, your limbs may go numb before you reach a full charge, but in a pinch, these nifty little gadgets could literally save your precious behind.
5) Blow away your battery woes
The K3 Wind and Solar Charger
actually harnesses the power of the wind and sun to deliver that one-two charging punch.
There’s smaller versions of this wind charger too, but the smaller the fan blades, the less wind power this one will generate.
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly practical for most people, but hey, even apartments come with balconies, so you may as well make the most of it.
4 Frugal tips to make your battery last longer without spending a dime
And now for a few buzz-kill battery saving tips you may or may not know about:
1) Dim Some, not Dim Sum
Nope this isn’t a yummy lunch tip. Turning down the brightness on your cell phone’s screen can help battery life a great deal. And so too, can picking a desktop image that displays a lot of black as opposed to vibrant hues.
Bright colored pictures light up more screen pixels, which in turn, kills battery life. Using a photo with dramatic lighting, or the depths of space, will activate fewer screen pixels, and hence, use less power.
2) Disable live wallpapers
Too bad, so sad. Yup, that hyperspace live wallpaper, or those cool aquatic effects, or anything visually stunning for that matter, all use a lot of computing power, ignite copious pixels, and drain your battery pronto; turn it all off in favor of a still image you love.
3) Turn off Bluetooth
Perhaps the shoddiest piece of modern tech to come down the pike in a good while, Bluetooth clocks more battery kills than a sniper taking potshots. Unless it’s absolutely needed in your world, turn Bluetooth off and leave it off.
4) Turn Off Location Services
Yes, it has many wonderful benefits, and one dire downside that nullifies them all: it kills batteries, dead. Not only is accessing your precise GPS location constantly throughout the day arguably useless, it also opens you up to Big Brother spying, crazy Ex stalking and targeted advertising that monitors your every move; all that just so you can check-in at your favorite coffee shop.
Turn your body into a battery charger
And now for the bonus round. This wild card pick doesn’t actually exist yet, but I had to include it because it’s sort of cool:
Bonus Round: Piezoelectricity
The human body emits roughly 330 BTUs of energy per hour, and it’s been said that one day, that power could be harnessed to charge your cell phone with your body energy.
Technically, that might literally turn our cell phones into energy sucking leeches, but hey, if that’s the price one has to pay to update one’s status, text all day, and play games, so be it.
Almost everything cool your phone can do kills your battery
Have you noticed the pattern here? Virtually every kick ass feature your phone possesses kills your battery, and if you strip all that away, what we’re left with, is a glorified flip phone that can do a bunch of stuff that you’re never supposed to use.
Some might feel rooting is their answer, while others may prefer to explore some of the other battery saving products and tips outlined here. Either way, you definitely don’t need to be victim of the dreaded battery drain. You have options, so pick your favorite method and free yourself from that charger.
Place your bets people!
I have an S3 and an S6, and the battery life sucks equally on both. So based on that experience , my prediction is the Samsung Galaxy S7’s battery will last no more than 3 hours on a single charge with normal use.
Let’s say that includes a couple phone calls, moderate web surfing, a few text messages, and maybe clocking a little time with one or two favorite apps. All of that = kaput in 3 hours tops. And kaput doesn’t necessarily mean completely dead, just dead enough to desperately need a charge.
Place your friendly under/over bets below, or your actual battery time clocked if you dare. Don’t do it for the cash or prizes, nor guts or glory, cuz there ain’t any of either. Do it for the most tantalizingly delicious prize of all – being right.
Three hours people; that’s the benchmark prediction. Post your wagers below and let’s see who comes closest to the actual target.