The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 released in October of last year, and it remains one of the more critically praised Android smartphones that Samsung has ever released. Critics and consumers alike love the Note 4 for its vibrant display and elegant design. However, it’s possible that you may be disappointed by your Galaxy Note 4. Maybe the battery doesn’t last as long as you expected it to, or maybe your device is heating up to an alarming temperature. In this article, I’ll talk about how you can fix your battery drained, overheated device.
1. Objectively evaluate your device’s performance
This may sound like a redundant step, but it’s actually really important that you make sure that there’s actually something wrong with your device. There’s a difference between a device not meeting your expectations and a device actually malfunctioning. How do you tell the difference? First of all, keep in mind that the Galaxy Note 4 is intended to have a battery life that should last you all day long. That is with moderate usage, however — normal brightness, a couple of hours of gaming and streaming, as well as normal texting and calling. This figure can fluctuate depending on how exactly you use your device, but that is around what you should expect. (Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean a day of non-stop use. It also includes time when your phone is just sitting in your pocket.) In terms of temperature, you really should not be concerned by temperatures any lower than 120° F. It is normal for all electronics to become warm to a certain extent. It should only be worrying when your Galaxy Note 4 becomes physically hot.
So, how can see whether or not your device is meeting these benchmarks? Before you do anything else, you need to completely drain your phone’s battery. It needs to shut off completely from low battery. Then, plug it in and allow it to fully charge. You are going to need to monitor a full charge cycle. You can follow these next few steps with the help of a battery management app, but you shouldn’t have any issue tracking this information without them. Simply keep an eye on how long your battery lasts during normal use. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t normally do. Just note the amount of time between unplugging your phone from its charger and a dead battery. During this time, you should also monitor temperature. Think about how hot the phone is and whether or not that should be normal given the conditions and stress that it is being put under. Is your device burning you when you pull out your phone to check your email in an air conditioned building? That isn’t normal. Is it starting to get warm when you’re in the middle of playing a 3D racing game from the inside of a hot car? That is normal.
Once you have this information, think about whether or not the data that you gathered is abnormal or not. If it matches the information that I told you before, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. The Galaxy Note 4 may not meet your expectations, but it is still delivering on what is supposed to deliver on. If your device isn’t hitting those key benchmarks, then you might need to change a few things about your habits to improve your battery life. Read on!
2. Find and install a battery app (if you haven’t already)
There is only so much that you can fix based on your hunches. You may have already formed an idea as to what is dragging down your phone’s battery life, but you need some kind of confirmation. Luckily, the Google Play Store boasts dozens of different apps that can help you monitor, manage, and improve your battery usage. I have already written an article on some of the best battery saving apps available on the Android platform. I implore you to check it out when you’re making this decision. Although pretty much any of those apps would work, I highly recommend Greenify out of that list. It’s kind of complicated on first use, but it offers a lot of features that will let you nip this issue in the bud.
3. Figure out what’s wrong and fix it
It sounds kind of stupid to say, but that’s the root of fixing this problem. You’re going to need to look at what your battery management app tells you, and use that information to determine the best way to go about improving your battery life and device temperature. Which applications put the most strain on your system? Are they games? Auto-syncing business applications? Hefty apps that you don’t even use anymore? Do you have certain arbitrary settings enabled that are taking up a lot of resources? It’s hard to give specific instructions in this portion of the guide, since your course of action ultimately depends upon your own unique situation. However, here are a few tips that may help you out:
- The Galaxy Note 4 has a standard Samsung AMOLED display. This means that, while your display may be visually stunning, it takes up a lot of additional power in comparison to your standard LED or LCD display. If you’re really hurting to make up battery life, change to a black and white or greyscale background image.
- Use your battery management app to reduce the impact of your heaviest hitting apps. Each app does this differently, but it usually involves just selecting which apps need to be reined in. The battery management app will then make it to where the app is never running in the background, or something to that effect. Basically, it will only affect your system when you’re actually running it.
- Disable any main feature that you aren’t using. Whether it be Bluetooth, location services, or CPU overclocking, if you aren’t directly using it, there’s no reason to have the feature enabled. (Plus, if you’re having issues with temperature, you really shouldn’t be overclocking anything in the first place.)
- In that same vein, disable any minor features that you aren’t using. The Android UI can make it difficult to go through all of its different menus, but there are plenty of features that you can go in there and disable that you may not consider necessary. For instance, haptic feedback (the little buzz that goes off when you tap on the keyboard) is nice and all, but it majorly impacts battery life. If you’re trying to stretch your battery as far as it can go, disable it.
- Try to make it to where your Galaxy Note 4 always has at least 1 GB (give or take) of available storage. Just like it’s harder for a car to drive down the road when it’s weighed down, it’s hard for your phone to properly function when it’s weighed down. Regularly delete media off of your phone, and be sure to delete apps that you don’t use. This will drastically improve not just battery life, but system performance in general.
- Go into your settings and try to put some limitations on any apps that you have that may have auto-sync enabled. Sure, it may be kind of convenient how Google syncs your contacts every 15 minutes, but it’s also usually unnecessary. These Internet-based operations (whether it be widgets or auto-syncing or what have you) are almost constantly running, and so they really do a number on your system.
- This might sound ridiculous, but don’t wear tight pants. If you’re one of those people who struggle to fit their device into tight pants pockets, consider how this tight, warm space may be impacting your device’s temperature. You would be surprised by how your system’s temperature would change if you would just have your device sitting on your desk instead of in your pockets.
None of these changes should negatively impact your overall experience with your device. However, they should majorly improve your Note 4’s battery life and overall performance. Smartphones are pretty great in the day and age, but unfortunately, you sometimes need to make a few tiny compromises to ensure that they last as long as possible. Once you implement a few of these kinds of changes, you should definitely see some kind of improvement.
4. Objectively evaluate your device’s performance (again)
Now that you’ve changed a few things up, you need to repeat step 1 and check for any changes. (Like a true scientist!) Allow your battery to drain completely, and then charge it to full capacity. Monitor your temperature and battery usage just how you were before, with the only change being whatever solutions that you implemented in the previous step. Compare your data to your data from before. Did you notice any difference in terms of battery life and temperature? How about general system speed? Make sure that your device isn’t just improving — it still should be able to hit those same key benchmarks from before. It would be great for your battery life to improve from 6 hours on a full charge to 8 hours, but that still is nowhere near as long as it should last normally.
Still not what you were hoping for?
I really hope that this guide helped you improve your system’s performance, and fix any issues that you may have been having with your Galaxy Note 4’s battery life or temperature. However, if it didn’t, you may want to seriously look into physical repair or replacement. Changing your device habits can only do so much for your battery. Sometimes, it may be the hardware’s fault. Android makes battery pack replacement pretty easy, but to avoid the risk of frying your smartphone, I advise that you seek out help from a professional. It’s also worth noting that sometimes, low battery life and high temperatures can indicate a greater problem. Your issue may be greater than just replacing a battery pack or disabling haptic feedback. Your device may be on its last legs altogether. I hope that it never comes to that for you, though.
Did this help you out at all? Do you have any other battery saving tips to share? Feel free to drop into the comments section below and tell me about it.