The Gemini PDA comes with a fairly epic 4,220mAh battery, which is extremely high in mobile device states, with current high-end smartphones generally featuring batteries between 3,000mAh and 4,000mAh. Battery life can be quickly drained though with the screen on any device being by a large margin. The longer you have the screen turned on, the quicker your battery will drain.
TIP: Connecting to Wi-Fi uses less power than a 4G mobile connection, and can extend your battery life when you’re out and about.
There are ways to configure your Gemini however so as to help extend the battery life of the device, and in this article I’ll talk you through what’s available, and how you can use them.
Adaptive Brightness and Sleep
The Settings panel in the Gemini (Fn + Del) is where you’ll find everything you need to control Android on the device, and manage the hardware. In the list you will see Display as an option, and here there are a few settings you can use to manage your battery life.
Adaptive Brightness uses the ambient light sensor to the right of the screen to determine how bright your screen needs to be to be legible. Some people like the screen to be set at a pre-determined brightness all the time, as the momentary changing of screen brightness won’t suit everybody’s eyesight. With Adaptive Brightness enabled, the screen will be brighter in direct sunlight, and dimmer when you are in a darker area. In addition to helping with extending battery life, this setting can also help reduce eyestrain.
The Sleep setting controls how long the display remains active before turning off. You can change this to anything from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, and turning off the screen and its backlight during a short period of inactivity will also help extend battery life.
Managing Battery Settings
Below the Display settings can be found specific Battery settings, of which there are a great many. Let’s look at the most important, the first of which is the Performance and Power Saving mode. This gives you two options, sports mode and normal mode. Think of sports mode as being the sports setting in a car. The Gemini might not have its suspension lowered, but the processor will be throttled up to maximum power and, inevitably, minimum battery life.
You might want to use sports mode if you’re playing some pretty demanding games, or perhaps rendering video, but normal more is perfectly suitable for most scenarios.
Next comes Intelligent power saving standby, with this mode enabled the following things happen when the phone is in standby…
- Unimportant notifications are saved for when you’re actively using the Gemini next
- The use of 4G mobile data (not Wi-Fi) is restricted
- Location (GPS) services are turned off
All of the radio functions in the Gemini use a lot of power, and restricting them can help extend the battery life of your device.
Battery Saver helps extend the battery life when the power level drops below a certain point. It does this by shutting off everything that’s a power hog, from location services, and background 4G and Wi-Fi data, to the vibrator in the device. You can set the Battery Saver to activate when your Gemini at 15% power, 5% power, or you can turn the feature off.
In the top right corner of the Settings panel is a search icon, clicking this and typing battery will display a list of additional battery options including Battery Optimisation. Opening this option will display a list of you installed apps with details of whether Android has optimised their battery usage.
NOTE: Optimising battery usage for some apps may cause them to work incorrectly, or fail to function. Should this happen, you can disable battery option for those apps in the same way you enable it.
At first you will see a list of apps that are not optimised. These are generally communications and messaging apps you don’t want hibernated when they’re not in use. Clicking the Not optimised drop-down menu allos you to see all your other apps, and their optimisation status.
You can change the optimisation status of an individual app by clicking it, when options will appear to active or deactivate battery optimisation. Any apps that you use occasionally should be automatically optimised, though as I have already mentioned this can interfere with a few apps you need to use on a very regular basis.
Battery Life Tips
There are also other ways you can extend the battery life of your Gemini, and here I’ve included some quick hints and tips.
- Don’t close apps. It can be tempting to open the Recent applications menu in Android (by pressing the square icon on the screen) and swipe unused apps off the screen. Opening apps from fresh however uses slightly more battery power than waking them.
- Leave Wi-Fi turned on when you’re in a place with a Wi-Fi connection. This uses less power than a 4G mobile signal.
- Uninstalling unwanted apps can help with battery drain, especially if those apps use your Wi-Fi or 4G connection.
- Games can also be a particular power drain, so if you can go without playing them when out playing them when out and about you’ll get better battery life.
- Don’t use Widgets on your home screen. These call in for data to update themselves on a regular basis, which uses more power.
- Activate Airplane mode in low signal areas to reduce power drain when you’re in a place with a poor, or no cellular signal, and no Wi-Fi.
- Activating Do Not Disturb Mode will silence all or unimportant notifications on the Gemini, again saving a small amount of power.
- Turn off GPS on your Gemini is you’re not going to use it. Open Settings > Location and you will see a switch to activate or deactivate the service.
- Turn off Vibrate can also help improve battery life. Head to Settings > Sound and uncheck the Also vibrate for calls option.
- Keep your Gemini cool, some research has shown that hot batteries drain faster than cool ones, so avoiding leaving your Gemini in direct sunlight could have a direct impact on the battery life you get.
- Schedule power on & off is a setting available from the main Settings panel. You can use this to automatically turn your Gemini off at night, and back on again in the morning. The possible downside of this is if you use a MicroSD card for storage, as Android resets the default file storage location to the internal memory when it’s restarted, and restarting the Gemini itself uses quite a bit of power. Sometimes activating Flight Mode at night is a better option.
There is still more you can do to maximise the battery life on your Gemini, and many apps exist in the store that allow you to monitor things such as app power usage in detail. If you want to spend some time looking online too, new hints and tips from Android users are posted to the Internet regularly. The hints and tips in the article though should help you get the most from your Gemini’s battery.