Monday, November 5, 2012

It's all about power

My last post talked about power, which seems to be the theme of late. This time, I'm talking about the single, most important app on my Samsung Galaxy Note - Juice Defender.


After a month of use, there is a fair number of apps on my smartphone. After all, a PDA is all about juggling all the things going on in one's life.

Non-techie Talk's Galaxy Note home screen
But, none of them are viable when I run out of battery power. And, after a month on this new phone, the most overwhelming reaction either way was simply that the battery life was utterly, excruciatingly poor. One morning, I left the house with the battery at 100% and, by the time I'd gotten to work an hour and half later, the battery was down to 30%. Seriously. So, the only way to extend battery life appeared to be not to use the thing...which defeats the purpose of having it in the first place, right?

I bought several car charges, none of which worked sufficiently to actually charge the battery. What I have now is a charger that will prevent the battery from depleting further below wherever it is. Better than nothing, but still left me with serious power anxiety that hung over everything I did on the phone like a dark cloud to the degree that I hadn't been able to use it as I want, for fear of running out of power while I still need the phone.

What about buying a higher capacity battery? Not only did I find them at a cost of upwards of $80 plus shipping, but they're also physically bigger than the standard battery, meaning the already-large phone would only get thicker, AND I'd have to spend money on a new case...if there is such a case out there that fits the larger capacity battery backing...too much extra money and hassle to be a reasonable option...

Then, how about a second standard battery (after all, I carried two extra batteries with my trusty Treo 680). But, again, cost plus inconvenience made it difficult to go in that direction (a new phone should be a little more elegant to use, no?)

Finally, after much frustration looking at hardware solutions, it dawned on me to explore potential software solutions, so I hit the Google Play store and found Juice Defender.

Sure, there are several battery saver-type applications in the marketplace. What I liked about Juice Defender's description is that it did not require a whole lot of technical tweaking configuring - it has a standard setting (called "balanced"), so I figured I'd try that first and get a sense for what it can do on its own. Thus far, it's extending my battery life an average of 1.56x and it's achieving this extended life without any noticeable difference in the phone's performance - that is, when I pick it up to use it, it does what I need it to do just like it did before, it hasn't slowed down any application response or functionality at all.

It has two higher, for-pay versions, and even with its free version it offers all kinds of configuration options for those so inclined to tap around and try out other set-ups beyond the standard "balanced" option.

Bottom line - my Galaxy Note's value has increased significantly now that I can actually use it more freely, and my power anxiety is almost totally gone. Many thanks to the good folks at Juice Defender.