Use these tips to make the most of the battery inside your Note 7.
Even though the Galaxy Note 7's battery is 500 mAh bigger than last year, and with regular use the full 3500 mAh cell should make it through a day, for some people that's just not enough. Whether it's a daily or irregular occurrence, there are likely to be times when you need to get just a little more out of your Note 7's battery, and thankfully there are several ways to do that, with varying amounts of trade off in terms of experience.
Whether you just want to get a bit more from your Note 7's battery or make sure you can always go a full day no matter what, we have the tips and tricks you need to extend its battery life. Read on.
Be on the lookout for battery-hungry apps
It would be great if every app out there was written to have minimal impact on your phone and think of battery life as a high priority, but that just isn't the case. If you have a lot of apps installed and are finding your Note 7's battery draining a bit too fast for your liking, taking a look in the phone's application settings is a good place to start the diagnosis.
Head into the phone's Settings, tap Device maintenance, Battery and then Battery usage. You'll see a collection of the top apps and services that have used up battery over the course of the day (this is best done near the end of a full charge), so you can see if anything is out of line. Social media, chat and streaming apps may be using a lot of battery if you're actively on them, so keep that in mind before killing of things you see as being "high" usage. If you notice a lesser-used app draining battery, consider uninstalling or disabling it from the application settings.
Check out app sleep settings
Even if you identify and remove power-hungry apps from your phone, there are plenty of other apps you want to keep around but are still unnecessarily running in the background. The best way to handle this is in the Galaxy Note 7's "App power saving" settings, which can be found inside Device maintenance, then Battery area of your phone's settings.
By default, the Note 7 will "sleep" apps that you don't use for three days — after they're put to sleep, they won't actively run in the background until you explicitly open them again, which restarts the three-day counter. In the Battery section of the settings, tap the menu button and then Advanced settings to turn this feature on or off, and if left on to set the sleep counter from three to seven days.
Back to the main Battery settings view, you'll see a list of apps under "App power monitor" with the amount of power they use per hour. Now you shouldn't bother with the big "Save power" button, as you're likely causing more trouble than you're fixing by shutting down apps you're actually using. But below that button, at the bottom of the app list, you'll see a "Sleeping apps" button — tap it to reveal all of the apps you haven't used in three (or up to seven, if you set it) days.
If you'd prefer to never sleep a specific app, like for instance maybe a travel app you use occasionally but want to always access, tap the Unmonitored apps button at the very bottom of the screen and tap Edit at the top of the screen. You'll then be able to view all of your apps and select ones that you explicitly want to run as much as the app sees fit.
Uninstall or disable unused bloatware
If you bought your Note 7 from a carrier, chances are it's going to have a handful of extra apps — call 'em "bloatware" if you wish — that you don't really care to have. These apps will often run and use up battery, and even if each one isn't using much it could add up to a meaningful impact on performance and battery life.
Instead of ignoring these pre-installed apps or hiding them in the launcher, go through and uninstall the ones you don't want and disable the rest that can't be uninstalled. Head into Settings, Applications and then tap the apps you don't want — you'll see a big Disable or Uninstall button to tap.
Configure and use Power saving modes
Samsung has long offered a Power saving mode and Ultra Power saving mode on its phones, but with the Note 7 has opened up these modes to be configurable to offer you the trade off between usability and power savings that you desire. Head into your Settings, Device management and tap on Battery to get started. You'll see three options under Power saving mode: Off, Mid and Max, with estimations of how long your battery will last under the latter two.
The most-likely Power saving mode you'll use is Mid, and that's the one you can configure to your liking. Tap it, and you'll get an information screen showing what will happen to save battery — tap Customize to edit the parameters. Here, you'll see sliders to manage your maximum screen brightness and screen resolution, as well as two toggles to limit device performance and prevent background network usage. Tap Apply at the top to turn the Power saving mode on with those settings — they'll be saved for the next time you turn it on. To turn Power saving mode off, tap Turn off in the notification area, or tap the Power saving mode quick settings toggle in the notification shade.
Turn off Always On Display
Always On Display may or may not have been enabled by default on your Note 7 depending on where you bought it, but either way you can't deny how cool it looks to have information available on the screen even when it's "off." Depending on which Always On Display mode you choose and how often you receive notifications, you may notice that it has a notable impact on battery life — sometimes as much as 5-10% over the course of the day. That's a lot of battery, and for that reason you may consider turning it off.
If you want to keep Always On Display enabled but just limit its battery use, there are a couple tweaks you can make. The first is setting it to a tight schedule for when it can run. In the Always On Display settings you can choose when it turns on and off — you may limit it to only run during your hectic mornings, or in the midday when it's spending time on your desk and you aren't actively using the phone. The next battery-saving measure is turning off notifications — the Note 7's Always On Display actually lets you tap and interact with notifications, and that means having them available to be touched uses more battery. In the Layouts section of the settings, toggle off Show notifications.
Turn off unused radios like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
This isn't specific to the Note 7, but it's something to keep in mind for battery savings regardless. If you don't plan on using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for a longer period (like half a day), just turn them off. With the Note 7's notification shade quick settings, it's easy to just tap and turn them off, then flip 'em back on when you need. Now of course there's no reason to bother turning them off if you're just going to be toggling them back on throughout the day — convenience is clearly important — but if you're going to go a long stretch without, take a second to turn them off.
If you do want to keep Wi-Fi on, you can at least turn off a few advanced features that will take up a little extra juice. In your Wi-Fi settings, tap Advanced and turn off Network notification, as well as any other hotspot auto-join settings your carrier may have added.
Make a few changes to your Display settings
The Note 7 has a fantastic display, and while it's actually very efficient it will still take up a good portion of your battery throughout the day. If you dive into your phone's display settings you'll find a few different tweaks you can make that won't have a big impact on your experience but will save a few percentage points on your battery.
- Screen brightness: Consider lowering your screen brightness just a tad. You can still keep automatic brightness checked for proper visibility in a variety of conditions, but moving the slider down a bit will drop the brightness in many situations. You can also use the notification shade slider.
- Screen timeout: The lower the better. Your screen isn't using power when it's off!
- Smart stay: This feature keeps the screen on when you're actively looking at it, which may help you cope with turning down your overall screen timeout setting.
Turn off automatic updates from Google Play and Galaxy Apps
If there's one thing we've learned by now, it's that apps running when you're not expecting them to is annoying and uses battery. This also goes for the stores that download the apps, which in this case is the tandem of Google Play and Galaxy Apps.
When it comes to Google Play, head into the app's settings, tap Auto-update apps and set to Do not auto-update apps for the most battery savings. If you'd prefer to get those updates automatically but want to find a healthy middle ground, select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only, which will also save you on mobile data costs. You can also turn on app update notifications, so you'll at least be notified of new versions for you to download at your convenience (and charger).
In Galaxy Apps, tap the Menu button in the top-right corner, then Settings to reveal the auto-update settings. Here, Samsung makes a distinction between auto-updating its own apps and auto-updating other apps you've installed through the store. When it comes to Samsung's own apps, your best option is setting Via Wi-Fi only. For other apps, you have the option to select Turn off.
Take advantage of Fast Charge when you do have to power up
No matter what you're doing to extend your Note 7's battery, you'll always have to charge the phone at some point. When you do finally hit the charger, consider using the power brick that came with the phone. With this "Adaptive Fast Charging" charger, your Note 7 will charge at the fastest possible rate, meaning you can get the phone back off the cable in less time.
If you want to have a secondary charger, look for chargers that are certified for Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 to get a similar experience when you don't have the in-box charger available. If you prefer to go wireless, be sure to get a Qi charger that supports Samsung's Fast Wireless Charging — Samsung makes a few different models, and some third parties have released compatible versions.
Last resort: Consider a battery case
If the combination of these battery-saving tips just aren't quite enough some days, and being on a charger at home, work or in the car isn't a good choice for you, the last resort is a battery case. While we've come a long way in terms of battery case design, there's no way to get around the fact that it's going to add considerable bulk — thankfully Samsung has a good offering that tries its hardest to give you the smallest trade off.
Just like the version for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the Note 7 Wireless Charging Battery Pack charges up the phone wirelessly with a 3100 mAh capacity. That means it won't give you a complete charge and it charges a little slower than other cases, but the big difference is a smaller overall size and the complete lack of any "chin" on the top or bottom of the phone.
The battery case is always going to add some bulk, but if you need something that you can easily pop on your Note 7 and extend its battery while still using it to its fullest, this is the way to go.