Did You Know the Trick to Charging Your Phone Faster?

Source: Oleksii Spesyvtsev / iStock

Smartphone batteries have one nagging problem. When they run down, it can take three hours to recharge them. The number is better than several years ago. However, there is a way to decrease the time on a charger, even with today’s superior batteries.

Smartphones have come up with several hardware solutions to speed the charging process. One is larger coils. Another is wireless chargers. However, another is very easy. That is to turn the reception of the phone to “airplane” mode.

Shutting off airplane mode eliminates all radio and GPS signals that a smartphone receives. These signals draw down the battery, even as it is being charged. Experts at HowStuffWorks, a website about consumer electronics, add, “And even though your phone most likely has assisted GPS, which calculates your location coordinates using the cellphone network rather than satellites, the function still burns up a lot of juice.”

There is a debate about much time turning on airplane mode really saves. Verizon says the improvement is very modest. Verizon is the second largest provider of wireless subscriptions in the United States with 153 million subscribers. That is just behind AT&T at 157 million. The New York Times writes the process is barely worth the effort.

On the other side of the argument, Lifewire, an electronics review site, puts the charge time savings with airplane mode as much faster. Its experts report that “It has been found that charging your phone on Airplane Mode reduces charging time by up to 25 percent.”

So, much of the debate about the use of airplane mode is not whether it works but how much time it actually cuts from the process.

On most phones, turning off airplane mode involves going to the settings section, which is usually a button on the screen. The section shows Bluetooth, cellular and Wi-Fi connections, each of which can be turned on or off. The airplane mode button shuts off all these.

The sole disadvantage of airplane mode would seem to be that texts and phone calls can’t be received. Most of the other phone functions are disabled because they require a connection. However, none of those drawbacks is important for people who want to get their phones off a charger faster.

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