Google’s Pixel range of phones have not been known for exemplary battery life, and that is no surprise, seeing that they break the very first law of good battery life – include adequate battery capacity. Like Apple’s iPhone range, most Google Pixel phones that have been released have small batteries. As such, it is left to you, the user, to find ways to improve the battery life of these models.
Let’s have a quick look at some of these models. The Pixel 3 has a 1915 mAh battery. Horrors. What of the Pixel 4? It has an even smaller one with 2800 mAh capacity. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a have slightly beefier batteries – 3000 mAh and 3140 mAh respectively. None of these Pixel phones have good battery life. Users regularly run out of power during the day.
Not everyone wants to carry a power bank around. Not everyone wants to go dashing for a power socket every few hours. Here are some tips that you can use to improve the battery life of Pixel 3, 3a, 4, and 4a.
Disable Always-on Display
Nobody will die if they turned off Always-on Display, also called Ambient Display, and their Pixel smartphones. Anything that is always on in a mobile device is a battery drain. To improve the battery life of your Pixel smartphone, turn Ambient Display off right away. What are you going to miss? A few pesky notifications and no more.
Disable Active Edge
Active Edge is the feature that lets you squeeze the sides of your Pixel smartphone in order to carry out a task, e.g. mute the phone during an incoming call. This is a nifty feature, but the flip side is that it is a power drain too. But do you really need it? Is it that important on the scale of your needs, especially when compared to battery life? If not, go ahead and disable it too.
Disable Screen saver
Manually Reduce Screen brightness
You already probably know that Pixel phones have an Adaptive Brightness feature built in. It helps to adjust the screen brightness depending on current lighting conditions. However, many times, it does not do a good job of it and leaves the display brighter than you really need it to be. You can turn off Adaptive Brightness and manually set your screen brightness. Anything around 45% is good for most lighting conditions.
Reduce Screen Timeout
Screen Timeout is the length of time the display is idle before it goes off. Set this to anything from 15 seconds to 1 minute.
Leave GPS and Bluetooth Turned Off By Default
GPS and Bluetooth drain some power, the former more than the latter. Leaving both of them disabled by default is a good way to conserve some battery life of your Pixel smartphone. You can turn them on whenever you need to use them, but don’t forget to turn them off again when done.
If you have Wi-Fi, turn off 4G LTE
4G LTE is a huge battery drain on modern smartphones. If you have Wi-Fi at home and at work, you can leave turn off the LTE radio on your phone, so it stays connected to 3G, EDGE, or GPRS by default. This will result in great battery power conservation.
Enable Adaptive Battery
One other way to improve the battery life of your Pixel smartphone is to use Adaptive Battery. This is an automated feature that works to extend your phone’s battery life behind the scenes. Google says it may reduce performance and background activity to do this. I recommend that you keep this enabled.
Enable Battery Saver Mode by default
When enabled, Battery Saver limits or turns off some background activity, some visual effects, some features, and some network connections. Many people turn this on only when their battery power is low. How about you turn it on by default? There is a setting there to set a schedule based on percentage. For example, you can have Battery Saver automatically kick in when your battery level drops to 75%. That way, your Pixel’s battery lasts much longer, no? Give it a try.
Turn Off Google Notifications
The Google Pane on your phone’s home screen displays news items and notifications. These are a drain on the battery. Fortunately, they can be turned off too. Slide into the Google pane and fiddle with the settings to disable Google Notifications.
The above tips are helpful for the Pixel 3 and 4 series. Thankfully, for the first time, Google got serious about battery capacity with the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 series, but should you need to conserve battery power on those and any other future Pixel phones, feel free to apply any of these tips.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.