In this guide we’ll help you fix bad Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL battery life. While these are Google’s best phones yet with tons of awesome features, they’re not perfect. If your new Pixel 3 isn’t lasting as long as expected, below we’ll go over more than 10 tips to fix Pixel 3 battery life problems.
This year both phones have a bigger battery and wireless charging, but that’s still not enough for some. Keep in mind that everyone uses their phone differently, so your issues or results may vary from ours.
Read: 15 Best Pixel 3 XL Cases
Even with all the new battery saver modes in Android Pie, some users are dealing with bad Pixel 3 battery life. Don’t worry though, we’ll help you by going over key settings to change, steps to take, and options to consider that will make your phone last as long as possible each day.
Each category below will explain what’s going on, what settings you can change, or what to expect to improve the situation and battery life on your phone. We’ll start with the easiest “quick fix” then dive deeper into more solutions.
Reboot Your Pixel 3 to Fix Battery Drain
First things first, almost any small (or big) problem can easily be fixed by rebooting your phone. There are many things that can cause your battery to drain faster than expected. The easiest and fastest way to fix that is to long-press the power button and restart the phone. In fact, I do this once a week on mine.
Whether you want to give your phone a fresh start for the day or notice the battery draining too fast, give it a quick reboot. Additionally, if the phone is frozen or acting up you can manually reboot the Pixel. Try that first, then continue on for more info.
Disable the Always-On Display
If you’re just looking for more juice so your phone makes it through an entire day and into the evening, here’s an option. You can try disabling the always-on display as every little bit helps. When you turn off the screen you still see a clock, the date, notifications, and battery/charge info on the screen. This is the always-on display, giving you helpful information at a glance. It’s also using up the battery more than if it was completely turned off.
- Open Settings and go to Display > Advanced > and scroll down to Ambient Display
- From here, swipe the toggle to Turn Off the Always-On Display
Now the screen will go 100% dark and completely turn off when you’re done using it. You won’t get that helpful information, but it might give you just enough to last until you get home and find a charger.
Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery
The next step and potentially the most useful one is to find apps misbehaving or eating too much battery. Basically, rule out a rogue app that’s causing problems. You’ll want to find these before it’s too late and before your battery is dead. If you want to fix your bad Pixel 3 battery life, keep an eye on how much juice apps use.
It doesn’t matter if these apps come pre-installed or it’s something you downloaded from the Google Play Store. Occasionally apps just don’t work right. On Android Pie your Pixel 3 will send you a notification if an app is using an abnormal amount of battery, so watch out for those alerts and take action if you get one.
If you use an app a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. At the same time, some situations occur where an app uses more than it should, and that’s what we want to avoid.
Head to Settings > Battery > and tap the battery icon. This shows you a full breakdown of apps and their battery consumption. You should see the Android System, Screen (Display), or Pixel Launcher near the top of your usage chart. If some random app or process is using the most battery, that’s a problem. Click the app and select “Force Stop” or uninstall it to prevent further issues.
Pixel 3 Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
Did you know most people check their phone over 140 times a day? And usually, it’s just out of habit or to see the time and notifications. Using Google’s Always-On display cuts down on those 140 power-ups, so it might actually improve battery life.
The screen brightness and sleep timer are two things you’ll want to pay close attention to. For one, don’t use Ambient Brightness and don’t use your phone at 100% brightness, that’s just unnecessary. Additionally, changing the “Sleep Timer” will actually make a huge difference.
Most people just set the phone down when they’re done using it, and the screen stays on for a few minutes wasting battery. You check a notification and then set your phone down — 140 times a day. That’s at least one minute with the biggest battery drain, the screen, being on for absolutely no reason. Tap the power button to sleep the screen every time you use the phone, or turn down the sleep timer.
Head to Settings > Display > Sleep > and set this to 30 seconds or one minute. That way when the phone isn’t in use, it dims and will go to sleep after that amount of time. So next time you set your phone down when you’re done using it, the screen isn’t just on for no reason.
Manage WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS
Again, every little bit helps when we use our phones for 8-10 hours a day, or more. So, turn off WiFi or Bluetooth when they aren’t in use. At home, using WiFi improves battery life, but when you aren’t connected the Pixel will endlessly look for a WiFi network, try to connect, and slowly drain the battery.
Additionally, Bluetooth does the same, although it uses “Low Energy” technology so it’s not much of a concern. What is a huge concern, however, is the GPS chip inside the Pixel 3. Whether that’s Google Maps or Facebook Messenger trying to find your location. Disable or limit what apps use GPS to improve battery life. Depending on the situation this can give you 30-40 minutes, or 2-3 hours of extra usage.
In settings, tap the magnifying glass and type location. Next, enter location settings and change the mode to battery saver. Your GPS isn’t as accurate, but you’ll notice an increase in battery life. The Pixel still uses WiFi and your cell service for location information.
Use a Black Wallpaper
Did you know that using a black wallpaper will give you better battery life on the Pixel 3? Both of Google’s phone have OLED screens and that means pixels don’t need to turn on individually — or as high — to display a black image. As a result, a black image saves battery life.
After you’ve downloaded a beautiful wallpaper long-press a blank area of the screen and go into Wallpapers to apply it. Once you use a black or dark wallpaper the phone will match that darker image in settings and other elements of the software. As a result, you’ll have less white throughout the system draining the battery.
Turn Off Features You Don’t Need
A lot of what makes the Pixel 3 great has to do with features always running and ready to help you. The Google Assistant, squeeze detection, voice-detection for “Ok, Google” commands, or even the Now Playing music recognition on the lockscreen. These are great, but they consume battery.
Scroll through Settings and turn off things you’ll never use. Like the squeezable sides of the phone, or Now Playing. If you don’t listen to a lot of music or use the Ok, Google hotword for voice commands, turn them all off.
Use Adaptive Battery Mode
In Android 9 Pie Google added a new feature known as Adaptive Battery mode. This intelligent software actually learns from you and your device, then starts to limit apps that drain too much battery (or apps you never use) and over time will increase battery life.
Keep in mind that this is usually on by default, so just make sure you don’t turn it off. Some apps will send delayed notifications as the software essentially puts them to sleep. If you rarely use that app, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Battery Saver Mode
Another option is the battery saver mode. And while Google doesn’t offer the type of customization other manufacturers do, it works great on its own. Head to Settings > Battery > and turn on Battery Saver mode when you’re low on power. This limits most of the advanced features to extend the life of your device.
Google has other options like turning off the Ambient Display or using adaptive brightness to consume less power. Plus, you can set a schedule or limits for when battery saver mode does or doesn’t come on. If you just need a phone for communication and don’t need all the smart controls, turn on battery saver mode and the Pixel can last for days.
Other Quick Battery Tips & Tricks
At the end of the day, battery life always comes down to how you use your phone. Everyone uses their phone differently. Try downloading the app BetteryBatteryStats, or even Greenify. The first app shows you what apps use the most battery, and will highlight potential problems for you. It’s a pretty powerful app that will give you more insight into your usage habits. Then Greenify will let you control it all or limit usage.
Our last quick tip is to use Airplane mode. When you don’t need the “smart” aspects of your phone, or even need to make phone calls, turn on Airplane mode. This setting turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days with it enabled. I use it whenever I travel or go on vacation and just need my phone for photos.
What’s Next, Android Q & More
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are brand new and we’re expecting other bugs or problems to emerge as more users get one. As they do, Google will issue software updates with fixes. Which means you’ll want to bookmark this page and come back after monthly releases to see what changed.
Then, sometime before the end of 2018, we’ll probably see Android 9.0.1 or 9.1 Pie with more improvements and the first big maintenance update. Followed by the first Android Q beta in March of 2019.