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Better battery life: what you could live without

Kris Carlon

We talk about extending battery life all the time because, let's face it, no one is putting big enough batteries in their smartphones, except perhaps for Lenovo. Despite the impressive battery life of the HTC One (M8) and the awesome Ultra Power Saving Mode of the Galaxy S5, most other devices struggle to get you through a day of solid usage. So we asked you: what could you live without to get better battery life?  

If battery was all that mattered, what could you live without? A lot, it seems! / © ANDROIDPIT

Now, there are all kinds of things that we tend to do to save battery life, from having GPS off pretty much all the time, to force closing or uninstalling apps running excessive background processes, to having our display brightness dropped so low that we can barely see it or using any manner of apps that allow us to turn our screen on as little as possible. But as many people have noted, this is basically crippling the functionality of our Androids. So, if manufacturers can't magically make our phone batteries last longer, what would we be willing to live without for that extra bit of juice? A lot, it seems.

We were a little surprised by some of the things you can live without. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. Apps

I'm the first to admit I was surprised by number one: having to manually install all apps. Sure, we all hate pre-loaded bloatware, but adding everything yourself seems like a pretty big step (let's assume everyone would be happy to have at least the Play Store and Google Play Services already on their phone). Still, the amount of savings it would bring in terms of partition space and background processes would be significant. Of course, since KitKat was introduced, only pre-installed apps are able to write to the microSD card with ease, so there are some sacrifices that would need to be made. But if any OEMs are listening: take note, nobody wants your pre-loaded apps!

google apps playstore
We know you could live without bloatware, but how many Google apps could you live without? / © ANDROIDPIT

2. User interfaces

Second place goes, naturally enough, to heavy manufacturer skins like TouchWiz, Xperia UI, Sense and Optimus UI. Although, with Android's pushing of as thin a skin as possible, and Motorola's impressive update speed since they dropped Motoblur and went for a near-stock user interface, it clearly shows that there are big benefits to dropping heavily made up Android skins. After all, users can theme and modify their phones as much as they want after the fact anyway. So having near-stock skins would be great for not only speed and storage space again, but also save you the power demands of running a skin you may not even like. If you want it, it is easy to grab a theme from the Play Store.

AndroidPIT LG G3 Sony Xperia Z2 homescreen
It seems our readers are not big fans of user interfaces either. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Software features and 4. Display brightness

In third and fourth spot, respectively, are software features and the sometimes over-the-top display brightness available on some Android devices. It's interesting to know that a whole third of respondents could do without motion gestures and other software features on their phones when it is quite often those features that sell us on a particular device. Screen brightness is also a little surprising, considering how often dim screens are criticized in tech reviews and user feedback.

AndroidPIT Galaxy S5 mini quick settings settings menu
Samsung is the king of added software features and display brightness, but our readers say they could live without these things. So why is Samsung so popular? / © ANDROIDPIT

What does this all mean?

To sum things up, it seems that what most of our readers want is a Nexus device or Google Play edition device, with a super thin (or non-existent skin), no pre-installed apps (including Google apps, by the sound of it) no added bells and whistles on the software front and a display that is bright enough without being able to signal outer space with it. If Google dropped a stock Android device, with better battery life, only the Play Store on it and a lower max brightness they may just win over every Android user that hates the battery life we're currently putting up with.

So I ask you: would you buy this magical device? Or do you think it's too plain and boring to be worth your money?

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  • Moni Mihailov 6 months ago Link

    TouchWiz is the best skin ever. Everyone can carry a spare or extended battery in their pocket, but not everyone likes stock Android! Otherwise manufacturers wouldn't bother placing their own UI if no one likes it.

    • Kris Carlon
      • Admin
      • Staff
      6 months ago Link

      The cool part about stock though is that you can have a super fast Android experience and then just put a TouchWiz theme on it with a launcher. Much lighter, faster and less processor hungry than a full OEM (any of them actually).

  • Steve 6 months ago Link

    I would definately buy such a device. An android lite version with no bloatware and just Google Play installed seems like a great idea. Internal memory would be then more accurate and everything saved to a memory card. Excellent. I currently have a Samsung S4 but I am going budget Smartphone next time as these are becoming just as good at a fraction of the price.

  • S4BB Limited 6 months ago Link

    It means you have forgot to mention the most important app you need to monitor your battery performance: Battery Watch :) Just in case you want to check it out :)