This Pixel 5 feature could give your old Pixel phone new life

(Image credit: Google)

Let's face it, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were, in some ways, a step backward for Google's relatively new smartphone line. They're not bad phones (I actually really like my Pixel 4 XL) but Google seemingly ignored something every smartphone owner cares about: battery life. 

If you find yourself chasing down outlets, then we have great news for you: the new Pixel 5's Extreme Battery Saver Mode feature is coming to older Pixel phones. Designed to keep your phone running for multiple days, Extreme Battery Saver Mode limits apps and features beyond what the normal Battery Saver achieves. When enabled, Extreme Battery Saver can extend a phone's battery life to up to 48 hours. 

Of course, there is some fine print. To achieve multi-day runtimes, the battery mode pauses non-essential apps, turns off unnecessary features and slows down the phone's processor. You can choose which apps you want to stay active or temporarily wake paused apps, but the hit to performance might not be worth the extra endurance.

We don't know when the feature will arrive on older Pixel devices, only that it will be part of a feature drop "very soon." As for which Pixel phones will receive the feature, that also remains a mystery. We presume the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, but it's unclear if even older devices will be updated. 

The Pixel 3 will likely get the feature as well but we'd be surprised if Google goes any further back. The company ended support for the original Pixel last year and said Pixel 2 support would end after Android 11 was released (which was last month). 

If you're struggling to get a full day of runtime out of your old Pixel phone, then the Extreme Battery Saver Mode is definitely worth trying out once it arrives. I'll give the battery mode a test drive on my Pixel 4 XL and report back findings for those who remain skeptical. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.