App Review: Sip smarter last longer
These days the smarter our phones become the more power they consume. Gone are those days when all our phones were capable of were phone calls and smses, and the battery would last for days. Now with phones packing as much as 1 or 2GB RAM and processors clocked at high gigahertz equivalent to some low specification PCs. The toll on battery life is more than evident.
Here is where apps like Battery Doctor come into action. Although realistically speaking a battery saving app cannot extend your failing battery when the device itself is a power hungry monster. It can at best inform you as to how much you can get out of the remaining charge and perhaps guide you on how to extend the life through a few simple measures that are often overlooked.
Battery Doctor is a fairly simple and straightforward app as far as usage is concerned. Among its many features are an 1-Touch task killer that optimizes battery life by closing background apps and clearing the cache, a real time monitor that estimates amount of usage time possible from the remaining charge (based on the nature of task), a scientific charging monitor and Battery usage profiles among other features.
User Experience :
Note: We are going to restrict the discussion to the Android version of this app
On first installing the app, we find 2 new icons on the homescreen. Firstly, the app itself and a widget that Kills tasks with 1-Touch. The app when first starts, displays the battery charge remaining in percentage. Followed by estimated usage time. It also monitors battery health depending on the amount of background tasks running. Below the same are other vital stats like, Battery Temperature, Voltage and Technology. Scrolling below further we see charging history (charging and discharging since installed), and also power usage time estimates depending on common tasks like : Wifi, Video playback, Gaming etc.
The 2nd tab is dedicated for charging. The app uses a scientific charging algorithm that manages the flow of charge into the battery to effectively charge the battery faster and also help in extending its life. The process is broken down into 3 steps : Speed, Continuous, and Trickle. This mode is activated as soon as the phone is connected to the charger.
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Next tab is dedicated to the Battery Profiles and modes of usage. Depending on the amount of usage you envisage, you can customize a profile to effectively manage resources thereby giving you the maximum battery life. The various modes can be activated depending on situations or scheduled to automate the process. A battery saver mode can be activated when remaining charge drops below a certain level (user defined), to reduce battery drain and extend life. However, in practice we found this to be hardly of any use as the app itself occupies a significant amount of RAM and monitors tasks thus using memory and drains battery faster while it was supposed to conserve it.
The final tab shows battery usage by various applications and ranks them according to this statistic. The user can identify the application consuming the battery and thus disabling them or uninstalling them when not in use. Overall it’s pretty useful feature to have if saving battery life is of paramount importance.
After using this app for several days we concluded that the app although cannot Extend your failing battery life it can very well tell you how soon. Expecting an app to increase battery life is like expecting RAM boosters to improve performance that’s restricted by hardware limitations. We do regard this app to be a useful one to have if and only if you consider knowing your battery stats as important. Since, at the end of the day, all this app is capable of is to tell you how soon your battery is going to fail, and how much you can perform one of several tasks depending on the remaining juice. The scientific charging procedure however, is an honourable mention as it truly overcomes the inherent shortcoming of the operating system to charge the device effectively and also accurately tells the duration for which charging must be done.