Maximizing your smartphone’s battery life when you are off-grid

We just spent the last week in some beautiful national parks – Yellowstone and Grand Tetons – there was very little cell service in those parks! We could live with that, we wanted to spend most of our time out doors taking pictures. The distressing thing was how fast my phone’s battery ran down. Guess what?!

Those 2 things are related:

  1. Limited cell service
  2. Short battery life

When there is not a cell tower nearby, your phone will keep searching for one. Searching takes up a lot of battery power.

Airplane Mode

The tip is to turn on Airplane mode. You don’t need to be in an airplane to use Airplane mode! What it does is turn off all communication, turn off all radios. You won’t be able to make or receive phone calls, no texting, no Internet or data usage of any kind. In remote areas, you’re not going to be able to do that anyway! I was astonished at the difference in battery usage. Leaving airplane mode off, my phone was working hard, looking for non-existent signal. The battery would be dead in a couple of hours. With airplane mode on, my phone was just a camera and the battery lasted almost all day. I still keep a battery backup charger with me!

Using Airplane mode more than doubled my battery life

To turn on/off Airplane mode on an Android device:

  • Swipe down from the top
  • You should see an airplane icon to tap – this is a shortcut. Note: you may need to swipe left to see it.
  • If you don’t have the shortcut, tap the gear for settings, find Airplane mode in the wireless and networks settings.

To turn on/off Airplane mode on iPhones

  • Swipe up from the very bottom to reveal your control panel (on iPhone X swipe down from upper right corner)
  • You should see an airplane icon to tap
  • OR tap Settings and then airplane mode there.

Remember to turn Airplane mode back off when you want your phone to be connected!