The Droid RAZR Maxx from Motorola is already the longest-lasting 4G smartphone currently on the market by a wide margin, enduring 8 hours and 25 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test (continous surfing over 4G at 40 percent brightness). However, by implementing our top 10 battery saving tips for Android phones, we were able to extend that time to a whopping 10 hours and 8 minutes of speedy 4G LTE goodness.
Follow these steps to Maxx out your Droid RAZR Maxx.
- Dim the Display - Our Android battery saving tips call for dimming the display to 30 percent, but we felt that the RAZR Maxx’s screen was still perfectly legible at 0-percent brightness. The lower your screen brightness, the better your battery life will be so try it at 0 percent and see if it looks acceptable to you.
- Turn off Wi-Fi - If you’re at home or the office, connecting your Maxx to the network via 802.11n will save juice. However, if you’re not near an available router, your Wi-Fi radio can significantly drain your phone’s battery so disabling it is a great way to extend your phone’s battery life. We always disable the Wi-Fi when running our own battery test, however, so this tip didn’t factor into the RAZR Maxx’s new score.
- Turn off Location Services - The Maxx’s GPS radio gulps battery, routinely pinging satellites to get your current location. Just as bad, location-based services like Foursquare that have auto check-in enabled will ping the Internet with your location, another use of your power-hungry 4G connection.
- Turn off Background Data - Any time your phone checks your email, syncs your calendar, or automatically grabs Facebook updates, it’s calling out to the Internet which means that it’s taxing the 4G radio. To really save power, turn off background data in the Android control panel.
- Switch from 4G to 3G - The RAZR Maxx’s 3G CDMA radio uses a lot less power than its 4G LTE counterpart so, if you’re willing to trade speed for battery life, you can disable 4G in the Wireless and Networks section of the control panel. We first ran the battery test with 4G enabled, to see how long the phone would last with all of the tips implemented but still using Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Afterwards we ran it again using only 3G — with over an hour of additional endurance.
- Disable Haptic Feedback - That little motor which causes the phone to vibrate when you touch its keyboard or buttons uses a fair amount of juice. Turn it off in the Sound section of the control panel.
- Set a Shorter Screen Timeout - Although we suggest shortening your screen timeout time to just 30 seconds, on the LAPTOP battery test we see how how long the phone will last if the screen never times out. We were impressed that the RAZR Maxx lasted more than 10 hours with the screen on the entire time.
- Use a Plain Black Background - Smartphones using AMOLED displays consume more power than LCD displays when displaying bright colors, particularly white. Switch the RAZR Maxx to an all-black wallpaper to save power.
- Shut Down Instant Messaging - Nothing sucks juice like Google Talk and other IM programs which have to maintain an active Internet connection all day long, even if you aren’t talking to anyone.
- Disable Automatic Updates for Widgets - To keep widgets like Weather and News Feed from constantly searching for the latest data, remove them entirely from the RAZR Maxx’s home screens.
After implementing all of the battery saving tips (save disabling 4G and setting the screen timeout to 30 seconds), the RAZR Maxx achieved that epic 10 hours and 8 minutes of battery life , which was 4 and a half hours longer than the category average (5:39), and more than 3 hours longer than the second longest-lasting 4G phone, the Samsung Droid Charge (6:42). When we ran the test again using only 3G connectivity, and the Maxx lasted a jaw-dropping 11 hours and 30 minutes — almost 6 hours longer than the average smartphone!