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Palm Pre Battery Life Tips

Battery for Palm Pre – Optimization Tips & Accessories To Keep Your Palm Pre Battery At Maximum Power


Now that over 100,000 Preonauts already have a Palm Pre in their hands it’s clear that one of the first things on their minds is ensuring not only that they learn as much as possible about their new smartphone but also that they get as much as they can out of it.  One particular area – maximizing Palm Pre battery life and performance – appears to have grown to be that of most concern. 

Although the Palm Pre delivers a healthy 5 hours of Talk Time under normal conditions, it appears that in some circumstances – particularly for 1) Power Users who want all functionality and features to be ON all the time and 2) people who are within an area that has poor Sprint wireless coverage (one or two bars) – the Palm Pre battery can drain more quickly (within half a day). 

There are undoubtedly things that Palm can and will do to further enhance the Pre battery performance but the fact is nonetheless that, as with many other devices, overall battery life ultimately depends on how you use your phone.  In this respect, you can maximize the life of your battery by following a few easy guidelines and/or buy a variety of power accessories such as the great Touchstone charger or simply a spare battery outlined below.

Maximize Your Palm Pre Battery Life – Software Settings Tips

  • Screen Auto-Off & Screen Brightness [Screen & Lock App]
    1. Set your screen to turn off automatically after a shorter period of inactivity (ideally 30 seconds)
    2. Lower the screen brightness (set it at around 40%)
  • Email Fetch Interval [Email App > Preferences > Accounts]
    If you set up an email account in the Email application, set the interval to automatically download email to every two hours or less frequently.
  • IM [Messaging App > Buddies]
    Avoid excessive use of instant messaging (IM). Frequent use of IM can significantly reduce battery life.

Maximize Your Palm Pre Battery Life – General Tips

  • WiFi, Bluetooth & GPS (Location Services)
    Turn off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS features when you are not using them.
  • Wireless Coverage
    As with any mobile phone, if you are in an area with no wireless coverage, your phone continues to search for a signal, which consumes power. Turn off your phone if you are outside a coverage area.
  • Heat & Sunlight
    Keep your battery away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat. Temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) can permanently reduce the capacity and life span of any lithium-ion battery.

Please Note:
Overall I have found that one of the single greatest drains on battery life on the Pre is poor wireless coverage (one or two bars).  As outlined above, the issue is that the lower the wireless coverage the greater the power requirements on your Pre is and therefore the faster the battery will get drained.

WiFi Tip
If you are in an area with poor wireless coverage but within reach of a WiFi network then turn on the WiFi on your Palm Pre as this greatly reduces the overall power drain.  This happens because once connected to WiFi your smartphone will stop using Sprint’s wireless data network and instead use your local WiFi – something which proves to be much more efficient from a power usage perspective in poor wireless coverage areas.

Some Battery Life Improvement Ideas For Palm

To be honest with you, I find most of the manual battery optimization tips above to be extremely tedious and overall one of the things that keeps annoying me with increasing frequency about our “Digital Lifestyle” is that so few companies actually enable proactive “smart” software solutions for their customers – solutions that could automatically help aleviate the burden of having to do something manually and/or repetitively.

In the case of the Palm Pre battery optimization, I would envisage that it would be fairly easy to create an application that automatically adjusts all the necessary settings on your smartphone to provide you with maximum battery life.  For example, you could have a setting that automatically sets your phone to Airplane Mode if no wireless coverage is detected within a specific time frame (eg. 10 minutes) – something that would be ideal if you forget to turn off your phone on a plane, have long underground train journeys or happen to be in an area of no coverage for long periods.

Additionally, one of the most frustrating things for me is to suddenly find that my phone is _completely_ dead.  Here Palm could implement an automated setting that again turns off your phone when battery levels reach a certain percentage (eg. 10%) so that you could always have just enough power left should you for example need to make an emergency call – having even 5% of battery power left is a hell of a lot better than 0% and makes a huge difference.

I’m sure that with a little imagination the engineers at Palm could expand on these ideas and deliver even more options to ensure that 1) battery life optimization burdens are kept to a minimum and 2) that you always have just enough power left to make a couple of urgent calls.

Maximize Your Palm Pre Battery Life – Accessories Solutions

Leaving aside any software settings the fact is that, for me at least, the best option to improve, enhance and maximize battery power while on the go is simply to have the right accessories kit.  Thankfully there are more than a few available solutions here:

Charge your phone whenever & wherever you can

  • HOME: Charge your Pre overnight using either a wall charger or the great and currently unique Touchstone charging base so that you can have 100% power first thing in the morning.
  • HOME & OFFICE: Keep your Pre resting on the Touchstone or plugged into a wall charger when not in use throughout the day (sadly the Touchstone cannot charge from a USB port on your PC).
  • CAR: Keep your Pre plugged into its car charger whenever you are driving.

 Palm-Touchstone-For-Pre Palm-Pre-Charger

Power Accessories Solutions:

  1. Palm Touchstone $49.95 (inc. Dock + Back Cover)
  2. Palm Touchstone $39.95 (Dock Only): If you already have a Touchstone at home for example then you can simply get a second for the office.
  3. Palm Pre Battery $39.95
  4. Palm Travel Charger $29.95
  5. Palm Car Charger $19.95
  6. Palm USB Travel Cable $14.95 – use it to charge your Pre from your PC
  7. Palm Pre Wall Chargers
  8. Palm Pre Car Chargers
  9. Palm Pre Cables

Spare Battery & Battery Charger

 Palm-Pre-Battery Palm-Pre-Battery-Charger

One of the great advantages of the Pre is that it has a removable battery.  By buying an extra spare battery you’ll be able to quickly and simply double your power while on the go – for example for long plane trips or periods of heavy use.

Additionally, Palm has also just made available a Spare Battery Charger (pictured above right) to make it that much easier to keep your extra battery charging (works with both wall and car chargers) either overnight or while you’re using your primary one.

Note: Your Palm Pre battery has a much longer useful life when it is topped off frequently than when it is charged after it is fully drained.  The Palm Touchstone is therefore a great accessory to have at your desk for example so that you can always keep you Pre docked and charging within reach when not in use.

Preonauts are always full of power

Posted by Andrew on June 15, 2009 at 03:10 PM

Palm Pre

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by nano | Oct 31, 2009 3:10:17 AM

I am using Palm Pre Battery since two weeks but not following any conditions even like fully discharge and then fully charge. Thank you for giving me instructions for using batteries. I will definitely note your tips and follow to increase life of the battery.

by Jason | Dec 5, 2009 7:05:25 PM

Or you can just purchase an exdended battery from stores like prethinkingstore.com , I got the 1400mAh and it's great.

by Paul Wessel | Mar 20, 2010 1:17:11 PM

I've been a long time Palm user and eagerly upgraded to the Palm Pre.

The battery life was miserable, I worried all the time about overusing my phone, and would need to make sure I had my charger cable with me from mid-afternoon on. I even called Sprint about changing to a Blackberry.

With the Seidio Innocell Battery for Palm Pre, I have no more worries. It's amazing how much it has freed me to use everything the Pre has to offer.

It's a bummer that the phone is now thicker, but the advantage of not having to worry about battery life far outweighs that.

Someone commented that this should be original equipment. They're right. I should not have to spend an extra $50 to make my smart phone perform as it should.

by Scott | Jul 18, 2010 5:55:12 PM

I used to have problems with the power on my Pre, but not anymore. Here is how I have handled it. I have the original charger in my bedroom, a car charger for my car, and a USB cable hanging from my Media Center computer in the living room. I charge whenever possible, but try not to over charge it. I close all apps whenever possible. I have a bluetooth headset that I use while the Pre is plugged in. I always plug into the charger while on the wifi. Also, some apps like email or weather.com will use more power if they are open. Besides, the email and sms will notify you if you get a message. Set the GPS to prompt you because it uses a lot of power just like the wifi. I use it with the car charger and Google maps or Sprint Navigation. Hence, the car charger really seems to help. I got the one from Best Buy that is USB to a car outlet. I have no battery issues after this. I even check my Yahoo mail every 15 minutes and Gmail every 30 minutes!

by skeptical | Sep 2, 2010 2:40:02 PM

I am on my fifth Pre in a years time. Battery is the original. I get 1% Per minute in *non* standby mode. Charges 1% Per minute with wall outlet. .
then with USB or car charges @ .5% Per minute or 1% every two minutes.

by sean bean | Nov 24, 2010 5:45:45 PM

just received the palm pre-plus... and am hunting for how long i should charge the battery for the very first time?

i've been a palm user since Treo 650... hoping to love this sleek gorgeous phone...

by r4 dsi | Apr 20, 2011 8:10:44 AM

Wonderful tips and I will follow this. I have samsung palm. Battery problems always it has.

by anthony morrison | Apr 27, 2011 11:32:34 PM

I agree with the posters who find less signal with their Pre than prior phones. This phone is more for show and tell and not for use and produce.

by VPN | Jan 23, 2012 5:51:55 AM

These tips worked great for me.

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