With more and more Kenyans adopting the smartphone, social media and the web, the reality of short battery life becomes a hulking bother – especially when the folks over at KPLC decide to ‘accidentally’ cause a blackout. Squeezing maximum time out of the little juice you have in your device’s battery could mean switching off your internet connection, disabling auto synch or perhaps just switching it off.
Or does it?
Majority of the smartphones use AMOLED, Retina or LCD displays. Projecting darker images onto these screens cuts down on the screen’s power needs. To get the basics in place, we will lay out the differences between these three screens before proceeding to explain the black wallpaper concept. If you are just into saving your phone battery life, you can jump to the black wallpaper now.
AMOLED & OLED Explained
AMOLED is Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode while OLED is the same thing without the Active-Matrix. The screens consist of organic matter that lights up when current flows through (elecroluminescence). By lighting up the screen pixel by pixel, AMOLED and OLED displays attain greater contrasts and clarity since they needn’t deal with back-lighting control problems. This also means that not every pixel will be active at any time. The result? Less power consumption.
The Galaxy S5, Note 4 and Nexus 6 use AMOLED screens while LG G Flex 2 uses the OLED display.
Understanding LCD screens
The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology is a commoner. You will find it in most monitors, phones and TV sets. The liquid crystals in this screen never emit light but create images by interacting with light from a source behind them. Since the back light must ever be on, the screen will consume more energy in comparison to the AMOLED or OLED screens.
The dark wallpaper theory and phone battery life
Since only AMOLED or OLED screens fully switch off their light to display darkness, they are the only ones to enjoy the dark wallpaper trick. According to a test done at XDA Developers, running a black wallpaper and 20% brightness could save you up to 6 percent battery life whilst full brightness saves up to 8%.
Since the test run on an ever-on screen, a scenario that would never happen to a normal smartphone user, these figures could extrapolate to something useful in a day.
Setting all your apps to run on the darkest possible themes will save you more juice. We rarely spend our time at the home screen. Extrapolating the concept to your apps will make things better.
Playing the LCD
Since the LCD backlight is ever on, the only way you could play battery power is by using the least possible brightness setting, and locking your phone as soon as you can.
Though you might save something with these tricks, other phone-use behaviours will determine how fast your chew through your phone’s charge. If you are really focused on saving your battery’s power, piecing up heftier tricks will help you attain your goal faster.