Samsung’s latest flagship — the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge — are packed to the brim with technological advancements. On paper, the Galaxy S6 is an improvement over the Galaxy S5 in every way except for the battery capacity — which has actually decreased by nearly 9% (2800mAh vs. 2550mAh).
Despite Samsung claiming that the Galaxy S6 offers better battery life than its predecessor, the initial feedback from new S6 owners has been largely negative. I have been personally struggling to eek out more than 3 hours of screen-on time from my S6 over a period of 14-15 hours with moderate usage.
For most, the culprit behind the poor battery life is Google Play Services and other Google Services, which seem to be draining more than usual battery on Samsung’s latest Galaxies. Google has rolled out a new version of Google Play services that seems to reduce the battery drain in other Android devices, but the update is yet to rollout for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.
Until Google and Samsung get around to fixing the issue, below are some tips that will help in greatly improving the battery life of your Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.
Turn off VoLTE
If you are in the United States or any other region of the world where VoLTE is enabled and supported by your Galaxy S6, turn it off. Due to some bug in the firmware, VoLTE has been unnecessarily draining a lot of battery for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge owners.
Additionally, make sure to turn off Smart Switch from Settings -> Wi-Fi -> More -> Smart network switch -> Off.
Update Samsung Push Service
Last week, Samsung rolled out an update for its Samsung Push Service app via the Google Play Store that has reportedly improved the idle battery drain for many. If you have not already, update Samsung Push Service on your Galaxy S6 or S6 edge, and it should hopefully make a positive impact on the battery life your S6 or S6 edge.
Switch off unneeded radios and features
This is one general battery saving tip that is applicable for all devices, including the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Turn off features that you don’t use to preserve battery life. This includes Wi-Fi scanning in the background (Settings -> Wi-Fi -> More -> Always Allow Scanning), Bluetooth, any gestures that you don’t use regularly (Settings -> Motion and gestures) and more.
You can also switch off auto-brightness, and manually control the brightness of the display to eek out a bit more juice from the battery of your Galaxy S6.
Disable all the bloat
Samsung states that it has reduced bloatware and unnecessary features on TouchWiz on its latest flagship by up to 30%. Despite that though, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge come with a substantial amount of bloatware. Disabling all these unneeded apps and services will greatly free up resources, which will help in increasing battery life.
To disable unneeded apps on your Galaxy S6, head over to Settings -> Applications -> Application Manager, then tap on the name of the app you want to disable and select the ‘Disable’ option.
Power saving mode
Galaxy S6 comes with two different power saving modes: Power saving mode and an Ultra power saving mode. The first one only reduces the screen brightness, display frame rate, vibration feedback and CPU speed to increase battery life while having minimal impact on how you use the handset. If you know that you will be having a long day and need your Galaxy S6 to make it through the day, you can enable Power Saving mode on it.
However, if your battery percent is already down to single figure and you are still a few hours away from being anywhere near a charger, you can switch on Ultra Power Saving mode. Under this mode, the phone can last for up to 24 hours with only 10% of battery life, though usability is seriously affected as you cannot run any third-party apps under this mode.
To turn either of the two power saving modes, head over to Settings -> Battery.
Turn off Location services and Google Now
While not really ideal, turning off location services and Google Now will make a significant impact on the battery life of your Galaxy S6. Turning off Google Now alone has drastically reduced the idle battery drain on my S6.
Turning off Google Now will also reduce the abnormal battery drain from ‘Google services’ that many Galaxy S6 and S6 edge users have been experiencing.
To turn off Google Now, long press the Home button on your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge to bring up Now. Then, drag the hamburger menu out by swiping to the right. From there, head over to Settings -> Cards and toggle the ‘Show cards’ option to off.
To turn off Location Services, head over to Settings -> Privacy and Safety -> Location and then toggle the switch to off. Alternatively, you can change the ‘Locating method’ to only use Wi-Fi and mobile networks or GPS as they will also save significant battery life without completely disabling location services.
If none of the tips above work, you can try doing a factory reset on your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge as a last ditch effort. While cumbersome, factory resetting their handset has worked wonders for some Galaxy S6 owners. Do make a backup of all your data though, since factory resetting the device will wipe it completely clean.
Until Google and Samsung get their act together and release an update to fix the battery life issues currently plaguing the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, the tips above should help you in getting through the day on a single charge without scurrying for a charger in the middle of the day.
How has the battery life on the Galaxy S6 been for you? Are you satisfied with it? Do you think Fast charging and wireless charging make up for the relatively poor battery life of the handset?