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Here’s how to maximize battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

samsung galaxy s9 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

After months of anticipation, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are now available. Samsung’s newest flagships boast some of the most powerful specs of any smartphone on the market. But, while the tech giant made plenty of hardware improvements to the Galaxy S9, one thing remained the same: The middling batteries from the previous generation of Galaxy phones.

While the batteries are probably plenty for the average user, not everyone is happy. Since Samsung sells two different versions of the Galaxy S9, one with a Snapdragon 845 processor for Americans and one with its own Exynos 9810 chip for the rest of the world, each variant has its own unique performance issues. This year, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus users with the Exynos 9810 chip are reporting shorter than average battery life.

If you’re noticing a shorter than expected battery life for the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus, no matter the version, we have some tips to help you maximize battery life and eek out a few extra hours. Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your new Samsung Galaxy S9.

How to adjust battery settings

Our first suggestion will likely lead to the most meaningful battery life increase: Adjust your battery settings to use a power-saving mode. Depending on your configuration, differences in performance can range from minimal to drastic.

When you’re ready to adjust your battery settings, go to Settings > Device maintenance. Tap the Battery icon and select from either Off, Mid, or Max. Once you select your desired power saving option, you will see a configuration screen that allows you to toggle different settings. After you have made your selections, tap Apply.

How to disable Live Wallpapers

We know, Live Wallpapers are pretty, but they can quickly drain your battery. Since you are probably the person who actually sees the wallpaper on your screen most often, do you really need to use Live Wallpapers? Here is the quickest way to disable the feature.

Ready to go back to static wallpaper? Long-tap on an empty space on the home screen and select the Wallpapers icon. Tap View All in the My Wallpapers banner and select any option that does not have the Live Wallpapers icon on the top-right side. Select between one of the three options that appear at the bottom of the screen.

How to remove widgets that automatically update

galaxy s9 Plus hands-on review front full
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Widgets allow you to easily customize your phone to see anything you desire at a glance. Although widgets are convenient, some can slurp up a lot of battery. If you’re using widgets that automatically update (think weather, stocks, email), there is a good chance they could be depleting your battery. If you need to eek out a little battery life, you may want to remove these widgets.

Luckily, removing widgets is incredibly easy. Simply long-press on the widget in question and tap the Remove from home screen icon.

How to turn off GPS

While GPS is a very nice feature, it’s not always necessary. If you frequently use GPS, you will notice your battery depletes pretty quickly. Since there are plenty of other ways smartphones can determine your location, it may not be a bad idea to disable this feature if you’re finding yourself low on juice.

Ready to disable GPS? Simply swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to access the settings mode. Select Connections > Location> Locating method. Select the Battery Saving radio button.

How to uninstall or disable unnecessary apps

Unless you’re totally new to smartphones, there is a decent chance you will be importing all of your apps and data to your new Samsung. The option to transfer all of your apps and settings is nice, however, it tends to result in unnecessary apps on our phone. Some of these apps may run background processes that deplete your battery.

Once you’re ready to uninstall your unused apps, there are a few ways to go about it. The first, and most simple, is to long-press on the app and tap the Uninstall icon followed by OK.

For a little more control over your apps, go to Settings > Apps. From here, you can tap the overflow icon on the top right to sort apps by size or required permissions. To uninstall, simply tap on the app name followed by the Uninstall icon.

Unfortunately, some apps, cannot be uninstalled on the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus. However, you can disable the apps to increase battery life. To disable apps, simply follow either of the paths above and select Disable.

How to disable vibrate mode

Since vibrate mode is essential for many people, this suggestion may be a bit controversial, but hear us out: Vibrate mode can actually drain your battery pretty quickly. If you’re willing to forgo the luxury of tactile alerts, disabling vibrate mode can eek out a bit more battery life.

To disable vibrate, go to Settings > Sound mode. Select the radio button next to Sound or Mute.

If you don’t want to totally disable vibrate mode on your Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus, you can customize both vibration intensity and the notifications that use tactile alerts. Go to Settings > Sound mode > Vibrate. Tap the back arrow key on the upper left side. Tap on Vibration intensity and adjust each slider as necessary.

How to change the screen resolution

It’s a bit odd that the default resolution for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus is 2,220 x 1,080 pixels when the phone has a maximum resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels. While we’ve already explained how to max out your screen resolution, if you’re noticing decreased battery life you may want to change the settings back to Full HD+.

To adjust your screen resolution, go to Settings > Display > Screen resolution. Move the slider to FHD+ or HD+. Click Apply.

How to disable Always On Display

Since the Always On Display on the Samsung Galaxy S9 works in low-power mode it’s unlikely turning it off will offer any meaningful improvement to battery life; in fact, it may make it a bit worse if you’re constantly unlocking your phone to check notifications. However, some people have reported improved battery life when disabling the Always On Display so we’ll walk you through the steps to turn it off.

Turning off the Always On Display is pretty simple. Go to Settings > Lock screen and security and toggle off Always On Display.

Now that you’ve mastered your Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus and can eek out every last drop of battery juice, check out our favorite tips and tricks for the Galaxy S9.

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Steven Winkelman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven writes about technology, social practice, and books. At Digital Trends, he focuses primarily on mobile and wearables…
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