Battery

Tips on saving battery power and any other battery-specific issues.

Anker Astro 2--2nd Generation External Battery

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One of the problems with IOS devices is that they do not have replaceable batteries so you can’t slip in a spare when you run out of hunk. There is an easy solution, however, when you don’t have a handy wall plug. Enter the new Anker Astro2. It is a powerful external battery, and it will solve your power problem.

The Anker unit is sleek and slim. It measures 4 1/8 x 2 ½ x 5/8 inches and weighs 7 ½ ounces.


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Powerocks SuperMagic Stick 2800mAh

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Running out of hunk on your phone or tablet is about as stupid and frustrating and running out of gas in your car. Few of us carry a spare gas can in our car but you can easily carry the new 2800 mAh MagicStick by Powerocks.

The MagicStick is a brush aluminum cylinder that measures 21.7 mm in diameter and 86 mm long. It weighs only 80g so it will fit nicely in your pocket or bag or purse.

To charge the unit fully takes about five hours.


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Turn off the screen during calls

A tip from WMExperts.com describes how to use a freeware program to turn off the LCD screen on your smartphone during calls to save battery power. Click here for the article.

Turn down volume level to save power

When conserving power to extend battery life, every little bit helps. One way to conserve a little more power is to turn the volume down to the lowest setting that is bearable for you.

Using the “USB Charging” option in HP iPAQs

Most HP iPAQs have a built-in feature called “USB Charging,” which enables the ability to charge your device from your PC’s USB port and allows you to set the rate of charge to “Slow” or “Fast.” To activate this feature, go to Start >Settings >System tab, tap on the Power icon, and select the tab labeled “USB Charging.” Check the box labeled “Use USB Charging” if you want your iPAQ to charge while it is connected to a desktop PC via a USB sync cable.

Conserve battery power—turn off backlighting

On some touch screen devices, you can press and hold down the power on/off button to turn off the screen backlighting (hold the button down again to turn it back on). Turning it off will save you power, but it will also make the screen difficult to view in a poorly lit environment.

Save power while playing music: Turn off the screen

If you are listening to music on your device for a long period of time, you can save power by turning the screen off. This can be done by assigning a button to toggle the screen on and off in Windows Media Player. Follow these steps:

Battery life expectancy

The normal life expectancy of a lithium-ion battery in a Windows Mobile device is between two to three years, or 300 to 500 discharge/charge cycles. After that, the battery will start to degrade (regardless of usage intensity) and will hold less power after a charge. Here are a few tips about using lithium-ion batteries:

How to check your device's available battery power

Check your device’s battery power by going to Start >Settings >System tab and tapping the Power icon (non-touch screen smartphones: Start >Settings >Power Management). Many devices also display the remaining power somewhere on the Today or Home screen. Finally, check out pocketpcmag.com/_enc/encyclopedia.asp for third-party “battery status” solutions.

How to get started with a new touch screen or non-touch screen smartphone device

Insert and charge the battery; turn on your device and follow the setup prompts; install ActiveSync (for Windows XP) and Outlook on your desktop PC (the Windows Vista OS has Windows Mobile Device Center built in); connect the USB cable or cradle that came with your device to your PC, and connect your device to the cable or cradle to synchronize. Then follow the on-screen setup instructions.

Cold kills your device's battery and can affect its display

A winter warning: If you're working outside, don't leave your Windows Mobile device sitting on a bench for any length of time. If you drive around a lot, don't store it in your glove compartment. Cold decreases the power output of batteries. If the battery freezes, you can damage it and have to replace it. If the battery voltage goes low enough, pre-WM5 devices may lose data stored in RAM memory.

Get a spare or optional extended battery

If you often find your battery level too low or notice that you're constantly recharging your device, you may want to consider purchasing an extended battery. These batteries are custom made for each Pocket PC or smartphone series and fit onto the back of your device.

GPS receivers and other accessories cause extra drain on your device’s battery: get a car charger and a spare battery

GPS receivers require power to operate. If you have one built into your device, or if you add one using a cabled or CF/SD card interface, the receiver draws the needed power from your device. Bluetooth GPS receivers have their own rechargeable batteries, but to communicate with them your device must also have Bluetooth capability, and it must be turned on.

How to conserve battery power by changing settings

You can extend the life the battery by changing the screen brightness, time to power-down, and processor speed settings. On touch screen devices these settings are accessed in the Start >Settings >Systems screen. On non-touch screen smartphones there are accessed from Start >Settings >Power Management. You cannot adjust brightness and processor speed on non-touch screen smartphones.

When to replace your battery

If you notice that the amount of time you can use your device before having to recharge the battery is decreasing, it’s probably time to replace the battery.

Use caution when changing the battery on a Pre-WM5 device

Removing the battery on a Pre-WM5 device can cause problems. Some data and user-installed programs may be stored in RAM on these devices, and RAM must have a small amount of electrical power running through it to remain active. If RAM loses its power source for more than a short period of time, it shuts down completely. Anything stored there is lost. Swap batteries quickly and plug it into an AC power source when possible.
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