Ultra Power Saver on the Galaxy S5

What Samsung's power saving mode can do and how it can help you out when you're short on battery

The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a couple of different solutions to helping you out when your battery power starts to run low. One of these, ultra power saving mode, is designed to help you keep using your phone when things get really close to the wire.

Samsung made a big deal of this at the launch event, so now we've had one in hand for a little while, let's take a look at what ultra power saving mode is, how it can help you and how to use it.

First up, how to enable it. Sadly it doesn't come on automatically, so the quickest method is to swipe down from the top of the display with 2 fingers to open the quick settings drawer and tap on the toggle. It'll take a few seconds to kick in, but then everything will go black and white.

Ultra Power Saver on the Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 will serve up a standard selection of six applications to use in ultra power saving mode. You're able to access the most basic functions of the phone — making calls and sending and receiving SMS messages — as well as the Calculator, stock web browser and Email app as well as Google+. So you're limited but not overly so. You rely on your smartphone to communicate and it doesn't stop you from doing that.

Ultra Power Saver on the Galaxy S5

But besides sticking with the stock apps, you're also able to switch them out for a few other choices more favorable to you. But you can't replace Phone, Messages or Internet. By tapping the menu bar you're able to remove one of the apps and replace it with ChatON, Memo or Voice Recorder. Your data connection is limited to 3G — LTE sucks battery after all — but you can turn LTE back on if you so wish by heading into the Mobile Networks settings menu.

Settings allows you to access the most basic phone functions – Wifi, Bluetooth, Flight Mode, Mobile Networks, Location, Sound and Brightness. Wifi and Bluetooth will be set to off by default and mobile data will be disabled when the screen is off. There's no way to turn this back on either, off means off. The lock screen also gets dumbed down severely so it's just a simple slide to unlock. No fancy animations.

Turning it off again is as easy as sliding down the notification tray and hitting the disable message. Another few seconds and you're back to normal.

A couple of other points worth considering:

  • We've already covered the issues with running ultra power saving mode alongside the sideloaded Google Now Launcher. The two really aren't good friends.
  • You can't take Galaxy S5 screenshots in ultra power saving mode. Neither the palm swipe or power + home button combination will allow you to do this. Not a deal-breaker, but still something to bear in mind if for some reason you just can't stop taking screenshots.

And that's about it. It looks cool as hell turning your Galaxy S5 all black and white, but more importantly it really can get you out of a jam. We've had no issues making it through most of the day using it as intended with around 15 percent battery remaining to begin with. And that's what it's all about.

For more, see our Galaxy S5 help page, and swing by our GS5 forums!

 

Reader comments

Using ultra power saving mode on the Samsung Galaxy S5

21 Comments

There should be an option to enable this when battery drops down after a certain percentage.

Like enable this when battery is below 40%.

ITTT, would that even work for something like this?
(If This, Then That - I've never used it, yet)

Posted via Android Central App

Without limiting usability it can't have the drastic effects.. Data and other apps are the big power users...

Posted via Android Central App

Samsung already has that, it's called "Power Saving Mode". This is in addition to that, "Ultra Power Saving Mode". So still giving control, but this mode gives you a few more days instead of a few more hours.

I am wondering why Samsung went with the monochrome display for this mode. Being AMOLED, to make white you use all of the available RGB LED’s thus max screen power. With blue being the most inefficient, making the screen use only red or green would be a better idea from a power savings standpoint. I think green would have been better for power saving, and the color itself infers “eco mode”.

Amoled technically black uses the least amount of power.. And white is easier to read on a white background...

I think that's why they went with it

Posted via Android Central App

It's not about the display as much as about the graphics processing. 2 bit graphics requires much less effort from the GPU.

My phone stays in 4G while in ultra power saver mode and it doesn't look like it cuts my data off either. I still get great battery life from it though

Posted via Android Central App

My ultra power save doesn't work at all. If I pull down the notification bar and enable it from there' the bar just scrolls back up. If I try to enable it via settings, it just will not turn on. Doesn't surprise me though. This is hands down the worst phone I've ever used in my life. So many functions don't work or are incredibly unstable. I would seriously take a phone from 10 years ago instead of this. It's almost paid off. Can't wait 'cause then I'm taking a baseball bat to it.

I think this would be better if other apps like messages, memos or the voice recorder, had black backgrounds with white letters instead of just being on grey scale. Coming from someone who uses this mode 24/7.