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Tech Watch: Keeping Your Phone Charged When Power Is Out

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A Duracell Instant USB charger. (Duracell)

A Duracell Instant USB charger. (Duracell)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – You never know when its going to come: storm, wind, earthquake or fire can all knock out power for an extended period. But since we rely on our cell phones these days, it helps to know battery saving tips all the time.

Texting instead of calling is key. Texting requires far less time transmitting on the network and will often work when calls can’t go through due to jammed networks.

The screen on your phone is about 70% of battery use in the average day. So don’t turn the screen on unnecessarily and turn the brightness way down when you do.

4G networks are all the rage right now but connecting to them tends to use a lot more battery power. Even 3G networks use a lot more than you need. If you just want your phone to be a phone, step it down to a 2G network only for calls and text. You can download free apps that will make it easy to switch.

Make sure you have a car charger, as vehicles carry stored energy in their batteries that can charge up a cell phone many times. And backup batteries from Duracell or Mophie can give you hours more run time, but you do have to remember to keep the backups charged as well.

Finally, there are solar charger/battery pack combos you can consider for almost any type of phone.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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