Pre Tip: Turn Off Location Services

We all know that we should do it, but we don’t – turning off unused services on our smartphones. On the upside, we gain quick access to all the nifty features of our phones like location services, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.

But there is a price to be paid for having every last feature turned on and that is greatly diminished battery life!

This morning before leaving the house, I did a simple little test to see the impact on battery life turning off Location Services, the GPS feature on the Pre, would have. The results where shocking! Usually by this time of day, my battery is running in the mid-20’s after starting the day at 6am on a full 100% charge. As I compose this post, my stock Palm Pre battery is at 45%; for me, that is a savings of at least 20%!

Let’s put this battery savings into dollars and cents. There have been more than a few times where I have been out with my Pre where I have gotten the 10% battery life warning. If I’m working late at the office it isn’t the end of the world; I can easily begin charging my phone. But it is more of an inconvenience when I’m traveling. Over this past weekend, I was contemplating purchasing either a second stock Palm Pre battery ($49.99) or a Seidio Innocell 1350mAh extended life battery ($45.95). After today’s test, I have learned that cost savings in battery life of turning off the Pre’s location services is between $40-50. Not too bad considering today’s economy.

I also keep the Pre’s Wi-Fi radio turned off unless I need it and I keep the Bluetooth radio on all the time. Individual mileage will vary, no doubt, however I encourage you to do some experimentation of your own before you go and race out to purchase a second battery for your Pre.


  • UnwiredBen

    The one benefit to leaving location services on is with picture taking. If you have Auto Locate turned on, pictures you take will be geotagged; if you then upload them to Flickr or other services that support this, you can see on a map where you were when the picture was taken.

  • Alan Grassia, Staff Writer


    I agree that the Geotag feature on the Pre is pretty cool. I used it over the summer for our family vacation at Lake George. iPhoto '09 reads the info and links it with Google Maps to show you where the photo was taken.

    That said, for the day's that I am going to be away from my Touchstone for 18+ hours, turning off Location Services is a great way to conserve battery power without having to shell out the cash for a second battery.

    Alan G