Tech Hog’s Quik Bytes: Dark Wallpapers and Battery Life

Posted on Mar 31 2011 - 11:32am by Mike Wewerka
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quik bytes Tech Hogs Quik Bytes: Dark Wallpapers and Battery Life

We’ve decide to start a new little feature here on Tech Hog, Quik Bytes, which is for those who are relatively new to the smart phone world. Those of you who are “tech savvy” might find this to be old news, but, for those of you who’ve just picked up a new smart phone, especially one of those 4.3” monsters, this may be of some benefit.

While there are tips on saving battery life all over the place with things like: lowering the screens brightness, turning off Wi-Fi when not needed, disabling sync’s and more. But none of them have mentioned wallpapers, no, not live wallpapers. Most people can figure out by using animated wallpapers that they will draw more power than static ones. No, this tip is about using “dark” wallpapers.

Using wallpapers that use fewer bright colors or is darker in overall appearance will save you battery life. Your battery is powering that device to light up that screen and if you are using a picture of a bright sunny beach or a white fluffy dog, than you are using more of the battery. Think of your screen like thousands of little flashlights all pointing up and when they turn on together they make a picture. Well if you can dim some of those flashlights or turn some off completely it’s not using as much battery.

I’ll use the EVO has an example, seeing how I own one and have experienced this first hand. When you see the EVO in ads, like the one on TV from Sprint, you’ll notice they use the bright live wallpaper with the purple, blue, yellow and green circles moving around. Yet, when you open the box after buying one and boot it up you’ll notice that the standard wallpaper is a black carbon fiber looking one. These types of wallpapers are designed, not just to look cool, but to save on battery usage.

I know you’re probably thinking,  “How much does it save?”

I decided to test two wallpapers out to give you an idea of just what to expect.

As I mentioned before, Live Wallpapers are a drain, so I didn’t use one of those, but I did use the static version that comes on the HTC EVO of the colored circles and the other one looks like black carbon fiber. I used each wallpaper for an entire day of work, doing the same things each day with normal web surfing and email and 2 YouTube videos and just everyday stuff. The color wallpaper made it to 50% at around 2:14 p.m. The next day, I used the black carbon fiber wallpaper and didn’t hit 50% till 6:37pm. That is a difference of about 4 hours and 23 minutes. Now keep in mind, your tests could vary depending on your brightness settings, mine is set to just less than half. But either way, four-hours is a very noticeable difference.

So if you’re looking to try and squeeze some extra life out of your battery on a normal day, try mixing up your wallpapers. There are some very cool, dark, wallpapers out there, we even have one here on our site for free! (<–Click)