Tips and Tricks Specific to WP7
WP7 has an actual option that you can enable in order to conserve power called Battery Saver. It is found under Settings>Battery Saver and can be set to turn on automatically when juice runs low (though it doesn’t tell you, “low” means 20% or less). You can also turn it on manually at any time and it will stay on until the next time the phone is plugged in.
Now before you go running Battery Saver mode 24/7, be aware that it is not some magical switch that reduces battery draw without limiting functionality. For starters, it disables all automatic updates for things like email and calendars. It also prevents any most tiles from being updated. Lastly, it disables background processes, so apps will no longer run in the background.
It doesn’t completely cripple your smartphone, though. You can still make and receive texts and phone calls, check your email, and even browse the internet.
Turning off Xbox Live
Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make sure WP7 integrates perfectly with just about every service they offer. This includes Xbox Live. If you’re an Xbox gamer, this is great news! If you don’t use Xbox Live to communicate with the outside world, it’s nothing more than a leech on your battery.
Xbox Live is on by default, but it can be disabled by opening the Games app and going to Settings where you’ll find a Connect with Xbox Live toggle. Even if you do use Xbox Live to chat, there are a few additional settings there which can reduce battery drain.
Exit Apps using the Back Button
Ever since WP7.5 Mango, Windows Phone has had multitasking capabilities. Full versions of applications don’t actually run in the background, but they will stay there, in a sort of hibernation mode, for you to switch back to later. In general, these background apps don’t use much battery at all, but as they add up throughout the day (or days), the sheer numbers can have quite the impact on battery life.
For users coming from Android or iOS and even those unfamiliar with the inner workings of WP7, the home button has always been the de facto method for leaving an app. In WP7, the home button (aka the Windows Logo button) simply leaves the app open in the background and returns you to the home screen. Sometimes this is useful, but there are also times when you might not want to leave an app open. In order to close an app, you have to use the Back button.