Only a couple days until San Diego Comic-Con 2016! With so much to see and do at SDCC, we know you’re going to want to take tons of pictures and Periscope and tweet all about it, and while you’re waiting in the long lines, you’re going to want to use your electronic devices to keep you entertained. The problem with that is your phone, camera, tablet, and laptop batteries will likely run out of juice at some point throughout each long day! Read on as we offer some tips to help with that problem.
1. Turn Down Brightness and (Possibly) Turn Off Wi-Fi
Turning down your screen’s brightness will help conserve your device’s battery. I usually have mine set to Automatic Brightness, but you might want to manually adjust your settings to a lower brightness level instead. However, the #1 way to help conserve power on your smartphone is to turn off wi-fi. Even when you’re not using wi-fi, if it’s turned on, your phone will constantly be searching for a network to connect to, an action which uses up battery power. In the past, it was a no-brainer to turn off wi-fi at SDCC, because even though some entity usually provided free wi-fi, it was virtually useless, with so many people trying to use it at once. This year, the City of San Diego announced that it would be partnering with Cox Communications to provide free wi-fi in downtown San Diego between July 8 and July 24 for the MLB All-Star Game and for SDCC. Whether it will be any better than the free wi-fi provided in the past is yet to be determined, though there have been reports that it’s not working. So try it out, see how it works, and if it doesn’t work very well, turn your wi-fi off. “CoxWiFiFree” is the name of the network you should be able to connect to. [7/19/16 UPDATE] Entertainment Weekly has confirmed with convention organizers that the free wi-fi will not work inside the convention center.
2. Bring Power Strips
Your hotel room is most likely only going to have about two available outlets, and chances are that there are going to be more than two things that need to be charged, especially if you have four (or more) people staying in your room. The best solution to this problem is to bring a power strip or two with you to provide additional outlets so that everything that needs to get charged can get charged overnight (or in the few hours you’re at your hotel room before heading out to line camp).
3. Use a Battery Case for Your Phone
Alright, let’s talk about battery life now. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S7 (like Violet), the battery capacity is 3000 mAh, whereas if you have an iPhone 6 Plus (like Josh), the battery capacity is 2915 mAh. However, if you have a non-plus iPhone 6, the battery capacity is only 1810 mAh. That means the iPhone 6 will die much quicker, because it doesn’t have as much battery life as the iPhone 6 Plus or the Galaxy S7 to begin with. No matter what phone you use, if you’re using only your phone’s built in battery, it will most likely drain by the end of the day during SDCC. This is where a battery case comes in handy. A good option for the Galaxy S7 is the Bastex power case, which adds 4200 mAH, for a total of 7200 mAH. You can get it on Amazon for $29.99. As for iPhone 6 Plus, Josh uses the iBeek External Battery Charger, which adds 4800 mAh, for a total of 7715 mAh. You can get the iBeek on Amazon for $21.99. The only drawbacks for using a battery case are that it makes the phone much bulkier and heavier. Regardless of what type of phone you have, when looking for a battery case, be mindful of the mAh battery capacity in addition to the price.
4. Bring Extra Batteries and Battery Chargers
If you would rather not have your phone be weighed down by a battery case, you could bring backup batteries – that is, if your phone has a removable battery, which the iPhone does not have, nor does any Samsung Galaxy model later than the S6, unfortunately. However, if your phone does have a removable battery, you can easily find extra batteries for pretty cheap on Amazon. You’ll also want to have a wall charger so that an extra battery can be charging while you have a battery still in your phone. for This Galaxy S5 battery and wall charger combo comes with 2 batteries and costs $20.99 on Amazon. The same thing goes for your camera. You’ll be taking tons of pictures and possibly video with your camera all day long, so the battery will drain quickly. You should easily be able to find extra batteries and chargers on Amazon for your particular camera. We suggest buying 2 extra batteries each for your phone and camera, that way you can always have a spare battery on hand, and can leave one behind charging at the hotel while you go out for the day. This is especially helpful if you’re like us and only spend a few hours at the hotel each evening because you’re camping out in line all night.
5. Invest in a Portable Charger
Speaking of lines, you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time in them at SDCC. That means you’ll most likely be using a tablet and/or laptop in addition to your smartphone to entertain you (or to make blog updates!) while you’re waiting in line. Those take up a lot more battery power than a phone or camera, and once they die, they’ll need a lot of power to get them working again. To alleviate that problem, you’ll want to get a high capacity portable charger. In 2013, we invested in the Introcircuit Power Castle PC26000 for SDCC, which is about the size of a Kindle, and weighs a little over 3 pounds. It’s a bit pricey at $59.99 (or $99.99, depending on the seller, which was the only available price back when we bought it) on Amazon, but it’s well worth the money, considering that it has a battery capacity of 26,000 mAh. With that much power, it could provide one full charge to a laptop, or over 2 full charges for an iPad. Of course, this could also provide backup power for your camera or smartphone. The Introcircuit comes with connectors so that you can charge your laptop, but if you don’t need to charge a laptop, this EC Technology External Battery is a great value at $32.99 for 22,400 mAh, and has 3 USB ports so that you can charge 3 devices at once. Depending on what your power needs are, when shopping for a portable charger, don’t just go for the cheapest. You have to be aware of how much mAh battery capacity it provides. If you don’t need a lot of power, and want something that’s much more compact, the RAVPower Luster Mini Portable Charger might be better for you. It’s about the size of a lipstick tube, and provides 3,200 mAh battery power, so it could provide over a full charge for a Galaxy S7 or iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also a much cheaper option at $9.99.