Thursday, April 20, 2017

How to Fix Bad Samsung Galaxy S8 Battery Life

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Samsung’s fancy Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have a lot to offer besides a big screen. Including nearly all-day battery life. Coming in with a 3,000 mAh battery for the regular model, and a bigger 3,500 mAh for the Galaxy S8+. Even with fast and wireless charging, you may still encounter battery life problems. If so, here are some tips to fix it and enjoy the best experience possible.

Over the past few years Samsung has done an excellent job in terms of battery life. That being said, the Note 7 fiasco made the company be more reserved for the Galaxy S8. Now that it’s here and more users pick one up, battery life complaints will surely begin to surface.

Read: Top 10 Galaxy S8 Settings to Change

If you’re experiencing Galaxy S8 battery life problems or it’s just not lasting as long as you expected, we have a few tips and suggestions. Below are settings to change, options to consider and more to make your phone last as long as possible.

The reasons to buy the Galaxy S8 and the reasons to skip this new phone, at least for now.

In our limited time with the device since its release battery life has been better than expected. Considering the massive 6.2-inch Infinity Display and just a 3,500 mAh battery pack. While we’re on the subject, if this is an area of concern we’d recommend the 8+ over the regular Galaxy S8.

If you already bought one and are looking for improvements, we’re here to help. These are some tips and tricks to keep battery life in check as best as possible.

How to Fix Bad Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ Battery Life

Running the latest Android 7.0 Nougat these phones have a slew of power saving features. Not to mention the improved display and Snapdragon 835 platform processor. However, we can squeeze out even more as the wait for Android 7.1.2 or Android O continues on. Lets get started.

Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery

The first recommendation is always to check if apps are draining things faster than they should be. If you want to fix your bad Galaxy S8 battery life, keep an eye on the stats and running apps. They can drain a battery faster than anything else if something is acting up.

Read: How to Enable Full Screen Apps on the Galaxy S8

Whether these are pre-installed apps, or something you downloaded from Google Play, there is a chance a rogue app is causing an issue. This goes for all Android devices, not just the Galaxy S8.

If you use an application a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. But there are also times where bugs or issues might cause an app to go rogue and start abnormally draining juice. We’ve seen it before with the Oculus app for Samsung’s, and something trying to use that full Infinity display could be at fault.


Above is a screenshot showing a good day with the Galaxy S7 Edge. Getting nearly 23 hours of usage, with more than 4 hours remaining and over 4 hours of the important “screen on time”. This is how battery results have been on the S8+, just as an example.

Keep in mind Android System usually uses the most, which is fine. If an app is acting funny it will be above that, and using more juice than even the display. If so, uninstall it to prevent further drain. Even try reinstalling it if needed.

Reboot Your Galaxy S8 or S8+

If the battery is running down quick, there’s a reason for it. GPS, WiFi, or an app could be the problem. Something isn’t right, but we don’t know what yet. A quick reboot will often fix this, and save owners from dealing with a dead battery later in the day. In fact, almost any small problem or issue can be solved by holding down power and hitting restart.

This sounds like a silly recommendation, but you’d be amazed how many times I’ve fixed problems on a family members phone by a quick reboot. Do it often.

Screen Brightness & Sleep Time

Did you know most users check their phone over 140 times a day? Constantly turning it on and not putting it to sleep after, means it sits at full brightness not being used. Always hit the power/sleep button when you’re done. So the screen turns off. Otherwise it adds up throughout the day.

Screen on time under the battery stats page in settings is important, as the display will usually be at the top of the list. As a result you’ll want to head into Settings > Display > Brightness and choose something that works for you. Auto isn’t ideal for conserving battery, and I use somewhere around 25-35% brightness. Simply because the S8 screen is so bright. You can also change this on the fly in the pulldown bar, rather than using auto which will jump around a lot.

While we’re in display settings some owners will want to lower the “screen timeout” option. This is how long the phone stays on before the screen auto dims and turns off to save battery life. By default many are set to 1 minute, try 30 seconds. This way every time a user turns on their phone it isn’t staying on for 1,2, or even 5 minutes at a time. Remember, it all adds up after 8-10 hours.

Disable the Always-On Display

Hands down one of my favorite features on the Galaxy S8 and other phones is the always on display. Being able to glance over to see the time, date, battery and incoming notifications without turning on the screen. This cuts down on those 140 power ups a day we mentioned above.

Samsung even claims the AOD feature will drain less than 5% throughout an entire 8 hours at work. So while it’s a small difference, if you’re looking for every advantage turn it off. Head to Settings > Display > scroll down and disable the Always-On display feature.

WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS

This one is a toss-up, but every little bit helps. Right? If you aren’t using WiFi or Bluetooth, you might as well turn them off. Even though they’re minimal when it comes to battery drain. It’s one more quick and easy step. If you’re in a WiFi location (coffee shop) yet not using WiFi, certainly turn it off as the device will continuously search for a network. It’s a huge battery saver at home to use WiFi, but if it isn’t being used, disable it. These are right at the top of the notification pulldown bar.

However, the biggest drain on battery is location services and GPS. So using Google Maps, letting Facebook messenger use GPS to find your location, and other things of that nature. GPS has always been something I turn off and see dramatic improvements. Yes, Maps won’t be as accurate, but toggle it on as needed to fix that problem.

Head into Settings > Privacy & safety > Location > and select Location Method, then choose “Battery Saver” or the middle WiFi and Mobile networks. This kills GPS which really hurts batter throughout the day. Even if you’re not using it.

Use a Black Wallpaper

Pretty wallpapers are pretty. That said, using a black or dark wallpaper will in fact improve battery life. Samsung’s AMOLED display technology works different than most screens. Pixels won’t need to turn on individually — or as high — to display a black image.

After you’ve downloaded one long-press a blank area of the screen and go into Wallpapers to apply it. Again, it’s the little things combined that all work out in the end.

Use or Turn off Galaxy S8 Software Features

Samsung phones have software features that can hurt battery life, and others that improve things. As a result we’ll want to disable some if they are never used.

Any previous Galaxy owner knows all about the many gestures or motion controls. If you don’t use them, turn them off to help save juice. Like swiping a hand over the screen to take a screenshot, keeping the screen on if the sensors see a face looking down and more. They even have a feature where putting a phone to your ear while reading a message instantly starts a phone call. It’s helpful, but disable it and just do things the old fashion way.


Head into Settings > Advanced Features > and turn off things like Smart Capture, Palm Swipe Capture, Direct Call, Easy Mute, and disable “Smart Stay” in the display settings. These all require power and sensors inside the phone for things we rarely use.

Install Battery Guru

Regardless of what you’ve heard, don’t use a task manager. Just don’t. Our software handles all of that for us, especially Android 7.0 Nougat. Our phones have battery saver modes, but instead try installing the free SnapDragon Battery Guru software. It will make similar changes automatically as it learns your habits. Which results in nothing for you to do, but enjoy a longer lasting device. As long as you have a US model or one with the Snapdragon 835 and not Samsung’s processor, this is helpful.

It basically automates turning certain features on or off for you. More than just WiFi and a few other things. In the end keep an eye on what it does so you’re not using a data plan, but enjoy the small improvements it will deliver.

Battery Saver & Performance Modes

Like most phones Samsung built in some battery saver and even performance modes to choose from. Under Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery you’ll find new performance modes. Basically owners can choose what works best for them. This will change screen brightness and resolution, slow down performance if you need to extend the battery and other things. More information about this can be found here.

As you can see game mode will really get things going, including screen brightness getting a kick higher. These are a little silly in a sense, but will be extremely helpful for average users that want the phone to be smart and do things for them.

This replaced the old school “battery saver mode” or ultra saving options from past devices. That said, you can tap the three dots up top and head into advanced settings for more controls. Like toning down individual apps and things of that nature.

A Few More Tips

Of course battery life always comes down to personal usage and preferences. Some are heavy users, some aren’t. We’d also recommend trying apps like BetteryBatteryStats to see what apps are causing problems. It’s a pretty powerful app that will give you more insight into your daily battery life and how apps consume it.

Another thing to consider is these phones are brand new, just released, and still running Android 7.0 Nougat. Google made more changes in a few updates and now we’re waiting for an update to Android 7.1.2 Nougat. This should improve things further, not to mention Android O when it comes out in the fall.

Read: Best Galaxy S8 Battery Cases

Don’t forget about Airplane mode. It works wonders for preserving battery when a phone isn’t needed. Airplane mode turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days with it enabled. If you’re traveling, give it a try. Weekly device restarts can also help to flush out the system keep things running better. Again, we’re not expecting too many complaints about battery life so soon in the release cycle, but these should add a little more if you’re looking for it.

In closing, Samsung also extended the life of these batteries. Most phones after 1-year of daily use (lots of recharge cycles) only have about 80% capacity. They degrade over time. With the Galaxy S8 and S8+ Samsung claims after 1 year they’ll retain 95%. Something got better, so over the long haul these phones should hold up well.

These tips and options are only the tip of the iceberg though. Try a new launcher, download third party text apps, or even better, uninstall Facebook. If you’re still not satisfied with battery life or need additional juice while out and about, take advantage of the fast charging technology in the Galaxy S8 and buy a fast portable battery charger. And while you’re here take a look at the best cases below to keep your phone safe.

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