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UPDATE, March 5, 2012 - You may want to check out my article about calibrating your battery for extended battery life. - G.T.

If you've read previous posts, you know that I'm currently using the HTC Thunderbolt 4G Android device. You can read some the pros and cons here. One of the main cons of the TBolt was how quickly the battery drains when the phone is set to 4G. I quickly learned some things I could do to preserve battery life, including figuring out how to switch from 4G to 3G because HTC forgot to include a toggle in the Thunderbolt.

So, most of the time I have my phone in 3G mode and for the most part it works amazingly well. I switch on 4G only when I want to watch streaming video or for downloading apps and programs.

But, as with any Smartphone, if you want to stay really connected you have to deal with the issue of much shorter battery life. Sure, you can purchase an extended-life battery, but most of them are manufactured by after-market companies and the bulk of the reviews I've read is that they don't perform much, if any, better than the OEM shorter-life batteries.

Enter the JuiceDefender app. This free Android app (with pay versions if you're so inclined) claims to dramatically extend your smartphone battery life by managing your mobile date, wi-fi and CPU speed.

It's very easy to set up in the default mode. Just follow these simple instructions:

1) Download app
2) Enable

That's it.

Now, the standard settings recommended by JuiceDefender Battery Saver will control your battery life and give you noticably extended periods between charging. Or so they claim.

Does it work? From my experience, absolutely. The biggest thing that I can see that it does (because I already make sure my GPS, Bluetooth, etc. is off unless I need it), is it disconnects you from the 3G or 4G network when you put it in standby mode, periodically connecting to grab anything that may be out there looking for you. When you take your phone out of standby it automatically reconnects you to the network and you move on with your cyber life. From the app's onboard calculation I'm getting almost twice the battery life than before. From my perception, that seems about right.

My only complaint so far, is that when your phone is idle and then you grab it and power it out of standby, it sometimes (usually it's quick and seamless) takes a little while for it to reconnect to the 3G or 4G network. Usually it reconnects in two to five seconds, but I have had a couple of incidents where it took well over a minute to reconnect in an area that has excellent coverage.

That being said, would I recommend this app? Yes. Even if you have to wait a minute or two to connect to the network, it's a much shorter time than if you discover that your battery went dead.

Visit my other sites and blogs:


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