We’ve all experienced those dreaded moments when the batteries on our Android phones are threatening to give out. We hunt around for an outlet to resurrect our phones. There’s a sense of relief when you plug it in, knowing your phone won’t be out of commission. But then you have to wait. These are the moments when you want to be able to charge your smartphone as fast as possible.
While many Android phones have made improvements in battery life, the way we use them can still drain them down. We stream video, play games, and crank up the brightness on our screens.
There are ways to shave some precious minutes off your Android charging time so you can free yourself from the tether of an outlet. These tips are perfect for those times when you’re about to rush out the door and need to get as much charge into your phone as possible.
Shut it down
While it can be hard to keep your hands off your smartphone, shutting it down will help it charge faster. Turning the phone off entirely will remove the temptation to keep streaming, browsing, checking notifications, or using apps — activities that continue to suck up battery life while you’re trying to juice it back up.
Put it in airplane mode
If you can’t quite bring yourself to turn off your phone, then you can still set it into airplane mode to reduce any ongoing drain on the battery during charging. You can usually access this setting quickly by swiping down from the top of your screen, touching the downward arrow, and tapping the airplane mode icon.
Fast-charge your phone
Some Android phones support fast-charging technologies. This tech appears under several different names. Qualcomm, which provides the chips for many Android phones, calls the tech “Quick Charge” and says it can charge your phone up to four times faster than conventional charging. Motorola calls its version Turbopower. Samsung’s high-end Galaxy phones have what’s called Adaptive Fast Charging.
If your phone is equipped with fast-charging technology, you will need to make sure you’re using the proper power charger to take full advantage of it. For example, the Moto G5 Plus, a popular budget smartphone, comes with Motorola’s Turbopower technology and includes a Turbopower charger. Motorola says it can get you up to six hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging. If you use a different charger, say one you’ve borrowed from an older phone or other device, you won’t get that same fast charge. So use the charger that came with the phone to get the best results.
Update your system
Not all Android phones are eligible for the latest operating system releases, but be sure to upgrade to the most recent version you can and apply any patches Google makes available. A recent issue with certain Google Pixel phones highlights why this can be important.
Some Pixel and Pixel XL users discovered the fast-charging feature wasn’t working properly after the Android Pie update over the summer. Google finally released a fix in early October. Be sure to update if you have one of those phones, but keeping up on updates is smart for any Android owner.
If you often find yourself running low on battery while you’re out and about, then you might want to keep a portable battery pack handy to help you out.
Don’t let the battery blues get you down. While a phone with fast-charging tech is ideal, it also helps to get a phone with long battery life to begin with. Check out our look at the phones with the best batteries.