Even though the HTC Thunderbolt didn't make our longest-lasting smartphones list, that doesn't mean owners have to settle for short battery life. It is possible to squeeze all-day power out of the phone. We've found a slew of simple things you can do to get more hours off the charger without making your phone pointless as a mobile computing device (that don't involve a bulky battery).
Remember, the HTC EVO 4G had some longevity issues, too, and we suggested you check out these tips over at Good and Evo (25+ at last count) to make it last longer. Several of these apply to the Thunderbolt as well. The forum-goers over at Android Central have a monster thread about the topic. And, of course, we have our own (general) battery tips for Android phones. After mining these tips for my own Thunderbolt, I've been able to get 12 - 16 hours on a regular basis.
Here's what I did:
- I lowered my default screen brightness to 25%. Your needs may vary, especially if you spend more time outdoors.
- I leave my WiFi radio on constantly. This doesn't drain much battery when it's not within range of a network it knows and isn't constantly searching for networks to connect to because I disabled WiFi notifications. This keeps the phone from updating me every time a network comes in range, which is every 3 feet in NYC. By leaving the WiFi on, I don't have to remember to connect to a network when I'm at home or work or other places I frequent. This saves a lot of battery.
- I also changed the WiFi sleep policy to Never so that the phone uses WiFi (when connected) even if the screen is off.
- I disabled Always On mobile data. All of my services still sync just fine. Background Data is still on.
- I disabled data roaming. Most of the time I'm in a normal service area.
- I usually turn off my screen when I don't need it out of habit, so my screen timeout time is long -- 5 minutes. However, if you tend to just leave your phone off to the side when you're done, set this lower.
- I've turned off auto-sync for services I don't use (News, Stocks) and upped the sync interval for apps and services I don't check very often. Be sure to go into individual apps that sync data to do this as well.
- Every now and then I poke my head into Settings > About Phone > Battery > Battery Level to see what's using the most power. Sometimes it's a system setting or component, but sometimes it's an app updating too frequently. Then I can adjust.
- The only home screen widget I use is the HTC clock/weather app. I deleted FriendStream first thing.
- I disabled "Movie Updates" in the BlockBuster app.
I didn't condition or bump charge my battery, though that's a step I might take in the future depending on how badly this battery degrades over time.
Anyway, this is just 10 things out of around 30 tips all told. I'm not sacrificing any functionality I desire, I'm getting all the data I need/want in a timely manner, and I have all-day battery life. Win. Check the sources for more tips to see which ones you can deploy to add some life to your Thunderbolt. And if you have any new tips, let us know in the comments!