Samsung’s trio of flagship phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S20, is finally here and while they are absolute spec-beasts and some of the best Android phones around, the battery life can leave a lot to be desired.
Impressively though, Samsung gives you several ways to improve that endurance and below we’ve rounded up five easy tips to that vital extra bit of juice.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review
1. Keep the refresh rate at 60Hz
Even though each member of the Galaxy S20 series has a battery that’s larger than the respective models last year, the new screen tech added takes a serious battery hit.
The fast 120Hz display refreshes twice as fast as the 60Hz panel on the S10 (and most 2019 flagships, like the iPhone 11 Pro) and when you have this option enabled you’re going to notice the phone dies a lot quicker. With our S20 Ultra, we got roughly two hours less screen time with 120Hz mode on when compared to when it was turned off.
So, our advice is to keep the screen at 60Hz if you want to maximise your endurance.
2. Bring the resolution down to FHD+ or even HD+
Another big drain on battery life is what resolution the display is set too. Keeping the display on FHD+ or even dialling it down to HD+ are easy ways to get an extra boost of battery life.
By default, the S20 Ultra is set to QHD+ (the other two S20s are set to FHD+) but changing this is easy. You’ll want to navigate to the Display area of the settings menu. The lower the resolution equals longer battery life, especially when you’ve got the screen on.
3. Turn Dark mode on
All these Galaxy S20 devices have OLED panels, meaning individual pixels can be completely turned off and when the phone is set to dark mode there are loads more black and darker elements of the UI.
We’re not guaranteeing dark mode will give you noticeably better battery life, however every little helps and it’s certainly better than having everything bright and white.
You can turn on dark mode by swiping down on the notification panel, scrolling across to the second panel and tapping the Dark mode button.
4. Don’t use Wireless Powershare
It might sound obvious, but the S20’s clever reverse Wireless Powershare feature is one of the quickest ways to drain your battery.
Juicing up another phone, or your Galaxy Buds Plus, might be handy but it’ll deplete the cell in your S20 at an almost alarming rate – charging an iPhone 11 on the back of the S20 to gave the iPhone just 5% extra juice in 30 minutes, yet it ate through 15% on the S20.
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5. Play around with the different power modes
The easiest way to quickly and efficiently get more juice from the S20 is to use one of Samsung’s power saving modes. These are accessed via the Device Care setting and come in a range of shapes and sizes.
- High performance – everything on full (brightness, system speed). Use this is you want all the features and have a plug readily available
- Optimised – Samsung says this is a ‘recommended balance of performance and battery life’ – you’ll find this on by default
Now we get on to the modes designed to really stretch your battery out further.
- Medium power saving mode – This turns off 5G (if available), turns off the always on display (AoD), limits the CPU to 70%, dims the screen by 10% (you can change this if required) and lowers the resolution FHD+
- Maximum power saving mode – Turns off 5G and AoD, limits CPU to 70%, blocks apps from using data or location, applies dark mode and a simplified UI. The resolution is taken down to HD+.
These modes also come with a handy estimation of how long your phone will last for.