Stop Poor Cell Reception From Draining Your Phone Battery

reprinted with permission from the weBoost blog.

Cell phones are a must-have in our daily lives. We use them to reach out to family, friends, and co-workers, shop for groceries, order takeout, pay our bills, and so much more. If your cell signal is weak, your phone has to work harder to keep you connected. At the same time, if your battery gets low quickly, it can affect your ability to get and maintain a solid cell phone signal.

As powerful and indispensable as our cell phones seem, they are not invincible. All cell phone batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a full charge, and poor reception accelerates this loss of capacity. If you’re always looking for an outlet to recharge your phone, then it’s time to track down and eliminate the culprits responsible for draining your battery. Here are a few tips to help your phone retain its energy.

Hand holding white phone with low charged battery screen

What Causes Poor Cellular Reception?

Dropped calls and low bars are signs of a weak cellular signal. About three out of four Americans deal with these frustrations at least occasionally. It’s probably not your carrier’s fault if these issues plague you, though.  Let’s look at some of the common causes of poor cell reception.

Dead Zones

Cellular service providers haven’t covered every inch of the country yet. Some areas are dead spots with no cell towers near enough for your phone to communicate with them. Dead zones can result from obstructions between the user and the closest cell phone tower as well. Your carrier has a cell tower map that can show you if you are in one of these unfortunate spots.

Urban Congestion

Cell towers are built to handle massive traffic, but sometimes, the demands on them are too great. Even in urban areas, every mobile device is reaching for a spot. If your cell phone tries to connect to a tower that’s low on bandwidth, then you’ll likely get a weak signal or dropped call.

Inclement Weather

Mobile devices transmit and receive radio waves. Unfavorable conditions such as high humidity, wind, rain, thunder, lightning, heavy cloud cover, and snow can scatter these waves. Consequently, the signal between the tower and your phone may get blocked.

Trees and Mountains

In areas surrounded by large trees, the dense foliage is likely to block some cell signals. Mountainous or hilly regions are prone to poor reception because the cell signal from the nearest tower may weaken as it travels through rocky terrain. If you’re on one side of a mountain and the closest tower is on the other, your signal will likely be weak.

Solar Flares

Eruptions on the sun’s surface send shock waves through space, sometimes disrupt cellular phone service. These solar flares affect the Earth’s magnetic field and scramble satellite signals. Consequently, mobile devices around the world seem out of order for a bit.

smartphone charging on a wireless charger-min

Ways to Help Your Phone

While you can’t control solar flares, mountains, or the weather, you can take action to preserve your phone’s battery. Here are several tweaks that give your phone an instant extension of energy.

Adjust Your Screen Brightness

Vision experts say that keeping your screen’s brightness at its highest setting doesn’t confer any extra benefits for your vision, and it certainly doesn’t help your battery. Turn the brightness and OLED settings to their lowest levels your eyes can manage. Try inverting the colors, turning on dark themes, or increasing the text size to make reading easier and decrease battery use.

Time Out Sooner

Check on your screen time out setting. This determines how soon your screen shuts off after not getting any input, ranging from one minute to never. You’ll extend your battery life by using the shortest timeframe possible.

Enable Battery Saver Mode

The battery saver or low power mode on your smartphone shuts off or reduces non-essential features. Many phones automatically switch to this function when your battery level reaches a certain percentage, but you can turn it on yourself at any point to save some juice. The battery saver mode typically stops apps from syncing (including email) and dims your display brightness, as well.

Unplug When Fully Charged

Once your phone is at 100%, keeping it plugged in won’t help the charge last longer. In fact, this makes the battery weaker over time. Research suggests that when reaching full charge while still plugged in, some lithium-ion batteries in cell phones heat up an extra 9 degrees, potentially affecting their ability to carry a charge.

Avoid Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can damage your phone’s internal components. It can cause data loss and could slow down your device over time. Heat can also lead to battery leakage or a forced shutdown. Avoid leaving your phone in places where it could overheat, such as in direct sunlight.

Turn on the Airplane Mode

Your phone is constantly on the lookout for a signal, working nonstop to secure a stronger one. This is heavy work that depletes your battery. If you don’t need cellular service for a few hours, then turn on the airplane mode to disable your cell service. Some devices leave Wi-Fi access on in airplane mode, allowing you to still get some reception while saving your battery.

Tap Into Wi-Fi When You Can

While connecting with Wi-Fi is more efficient than with cellular data, leaving your Wi-Fi enabled when you aren’t using it can also be a drain. When your Wi-Fi capability is turned on, your battery’s power suffers the same way it does when searching for a cell signal. If you aren’t near a Wi-Fi network, turn Wi-Fi off to help your battery last longer.

Customize Auto Updates and Notifications

When you connect to a Wi-Fi network, all your apps automatically refresh simultaneously, taxing your battery. App notifications that wake up your display screen are tiny but hungry energy leeches, too. Preempt these drainers by setting your auto-update and notification settings to manual for all but your most important apps. You’ll need to check each app for updates, but your battery will benefit from the relief.

Keep Apps You Need Up to Speed

Many app updates come with bug fixes that improve your phone’s efficiency so they don’t use as much energy. You might want to scour through your app list, too. Purge your system of programs you don’t use that are inflating your energy consumption, such as those ringtones you downloaded and forgot about.

Use Paid Apps

Free apps tend to zap your phone’s power, since most of their energy consumption goes to power ads. Apps also sap your phone’s battery power when they are idle. It might be worth it for you to invest a few dollars for paid versions that save your battery. Check your battery settings to see which apps are draining your battery unusually fast.

Download Tunes and Shows

Streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Netflix require your phone to keep an active wireless connection, which takes up a lot of power. These providers let you download playlists, TV shows, and movies so you can listen and watch offline without a battery-draining internet connection. Be sure to download while on Wi-Fi and plugged into a power source to save even more energy.

Get a Boost

Sometimes, your best efforts to save your battery just aren’t enough because of spotty reception in your home or on the go. In areas with poor reception, your cell phone uses more power to search for a signal. A cell phone booster can pick up and strengthen the weak, out-of-range signal so that your phone doesn’t have to exhaust its battery in constant searching.

weBoost cell phone signal boosters boost weak signal to bring you faster data and internet capability along with clear calls that hold until you hang up. Our products perform with any cell phone or mobile device. They will also work for all carriers and networks across the United States and Canada. Our boosters for homes, offices, and vehicles are built to stop poor reception wherever you are.

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