We love, love, love our phones. Until we forget to charge them overnight and spend a day breaking out in cold sweats about all of the WhatsApp convos we aren't able to contribute to. Which is why charging hacks - to get our phone battery stronger, faster - are pretty much our obsession.
We all know there’s no worse feeling in the world than the sheer panic of realising our beloved smartphones are about to run out of battery.
We immediately message the friend we’re about to meet, informing them our favourite gadget is nearly out of juice and we might have to rely on smoke signals and carrier pigeons if we forget where we arranged to meet up.
Then we move onto a broader circle of friends, because who knows when you’re going to next get chance to charge up? In an hour, two hours, THREE WHOLE HOURS. What a scary thought. That’s when the shaking usually starts.
Then, in the last few seconds before your phone breathes its last, you consider emailing your colleagues, sending a text to your in-laws and maybe even Facebook messaging your first crush in your state of breathless hysteria to let them all know it could be hours or days before you’re back online. Y’know, in case your crush wants to get back together/declare their undying love/PROPOSE before you lose your phone capabilities for who knows how long.
Did your heart start beating a little faster just reading that? Don’t worry, us too.
Luckily there are all kinds of ways to ensure that all-too-familiar dead smartphone-induced fear never ever rears its ugly head again, whether you have an Android or another smartphone. And we’re here to share them with you.
Get yourself a phone with super-fast charging abilities
Nowadays most new smartphones have a really good battery life and charge faster than ever before. But that doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. A number of Android phones on the market at the moment boast special charging powers that might be the result of some magical witchcraft. For example, the HTC 10 and LG G6 both come with faster charging tech built-in, so when you charge up every second really counts.
And the new Samsung Galaxy S9 is kitted out with fast-charging capabilities, too (like its predecessor, the S8). Just enable it by going to Settings > Device maintenance > Battery > Advanced settings before toggling on Fast cable charging. Top tip? If you really need it to charge in a hurry, don’t use your phone while you’re charging. It works best when the display is switched off.
If you have an iPhone, use your iPad’s power adapter
If you have both an iPhone and an iPad, use your iPad’s power adapter to charge up your iPhone instead. Although you might have thought they were the same, the iPad’s adapter actually comes with a much better power output, which leads to quicker charging abilities.
Take battery-saving steps before it’s too late
Learn the ways your phone likes to save battery, like turning on Airplane Mode, reducing screen brightness, de-activating Bluetooth and location services or activating Low Power Mode if you have an iPhone. Go through the process with each of these steps, so next time you’re panicked about low battery you can really simply and easily put all of your best battery-saving secrets into practice.
Another hack for quick-charging your phone is to charge it while it’s in Airplane Mode – that’s the only time your phone can relax and stop trying to find your exact location coordinates, which uses up battery power. Sure, it might only take a few minutes off your charging game, but when you’re at 0% and trying to get back up into the functional zone, every second counts.
Carry a portable charger for on-the-go emergencies
There are plenty of portable chargers available to buy for when you’re out-and-about and start to run out of juice. You can pick up a really cheap portable charger, but look for ones that are going to give your phone at least a full charge. To do that you need to know the capacity of your phone’s battery.
For example, the iPhone X has a battery capacity of 2,716mAh and the Samsung Galaxy Note9 has one that’s 4,000mAh. So all you need to do is look at a portable charger’s mAh rating, then divide that by your phone’s battery capacity.
That means a 20000mAh battery pack from Anker may be able to charge your iPhone about 10 times.
Or attach a battery pack directly to your phone
If you’d rather not carry an extra accessory around with you all the time, try a battery-charging case instead. Mophie makes some great cases that actually look good, too. You don’t have to opt for something bulky to stay juiced up.
Look into wireless charging tech
You’re more likely to remember to charge your phone if it’s easy. That’s why wireless charging tech is so exciting – you don’t even have to remember to plug your phone in, or pick up the cable. Bliss!
Some phones, like the S8, have wireless charging tech built into them and let you charge your phone without pesky wires or attachments and those that can’t can still take advantage of fuss-free charging with the help of a special case or cover.
Charge your phone at the wall – not at your laptop
Sure, it’s often way more convenient to charge your phone at your laptop via USB, but charging it at the wall with your adapter will actually fill your phone with power faster. That’s because wall chargers tend to have a stronger power output than USB.
If charging up at a wall is really not easy for you, then get a device that’ll make your computer’s USB ports work more efficiently. A gadget like ChargeDr claims to be able to boost your laptop or desktop’s USB output, which is definitely worth investing in if you’re on-the-move a lot.
Upgrade your charger
Just like fast-acting phones are increasing in popularity, so are fast-acting chargers. HTC has a Rapid Charger and Samsung has a Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad, but more and more brands are realising we’re an impatient bunch and are launching their own products to put us at ease quicker than ever.
Case in point? Israeli start-up StoreDot has created a 50-amp charger which can charge your phone from 0% to 100% in five minutes flat. Oppo and Qualcomm have also launched super-quick charge tech – Oppo’s VOOC flash-charge aims to get your phone to 75% power in just half an hour.
Now this is the stuff dreams are made of.
Main pic: Unsplash via RawPixel.com