The Color of Your Wallpaper May Affect Your Battery Life
Published April 3, 2023
Inside This Article
Sometimes the little things make a huge difference in smartphones and battery life. Like how colorful screens drain phone batteries quickly. While darker wallpapers help limit power consumption. But do you know what color of wallpaper uses the least amount of energy? If not, don't worry; we've got all the details you need to keep your device running longer on a single charge! Keep reading to learn if the color of your wallpaper can affect your battery life.
Bright and often colorful wallpapers are one of the few causes of battery drain. Take a glance at our article, Do Bright Wallpapers Drain Your Battery Faster, to briefly learn the effects of bright wallpapers on your phone screens!
- LCD displays emit light regardless of your background color. OLED and AMOLED displays can turn off light for black pixels but also consume more power to light brighter images.
- Black or darker wallpaper is better for conserving energy on OLED or AMOLED devices.
- It's recommended to use colored wallpapers with darker colors to preserve battery life.
Colored Wallpapers Drains Batteries Explained
There are plenty of colored wallpapers you can find online from various websites like Unsplash or Wallpapers.com. However, while you may be tempted to get a highly detailed or colorful live wallpaper for your Android phone, it isn't always wise.
That's because colored wallpapers on your home screen do affect your phone's battery life. Bright images and colorful wallpapers can significantly drain battery power depending on your display panel. But what color wallpaper uses the least battery? Moreover, what drains the battery the most? It'll all come down to your screen displays.
Let's touch on that last bit for a moment, "depending on your display panel." Does your screen truly matter when it comes to the theoretical battery life of your phone?
For the most part, yes it does. That's because the three main screen technologies, LCD, OLED, and AMOLED, work differently.
While an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is a staple part of modern life, they have their flaws. Even if an image contains elements that should be black, the backlighting means these pixels still glow dimly - leading to the common issue where dark scenes come across as slightly gray. This is why you might remember noticing this effect when using your older iPhones and iPads.
Meanwhile, OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) and AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display technologies work similarly with a slight difference. OLED displays simply light individual pixels. Therefore, if a pixel is completely black, it can turn off the light for that pixel to save battery life.
Additionally, an AMOLED display will similarly save battery power due to using OLED technology as well. However, it's more power efficient and is higher in overall quality.
With that in mind, perhaps you might be thinking that a simple white wallpaper will fix the issue. The fewer colors used, the better, right? Unfortunately, a pure white wallpaper doesn't consume less battery power than colorful ones on an LCD display. Both take the same amount of energy consumption to produce. Therefore, your phone's screen will drain battery regardless of whether it uses white or colored displays.
Additionally, white wallpapers will drain your battery significantly on an OLED screen or AMOLED display. That’s because white takes a lot of energy to produce, especially when the screen is bright. So, what color of wallpaper should you use?
Can Black Wallpaper Conserve Battery on AMOLED Screens?
If not a white wallpaper, then perhaps you now might be thinking that a black wallpaper can do wonders for your phone screens. Generally, black images consume just a little lesser than colored wallpapers. But there's a lot more to it than just that. There's some science behind it, particularly where your phone screen displays are concerned.
OLED Battery Power Impact
Some users from XDA report that pure black wallpapers consume only 3% battery on an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display. Meanwhile, default (or colored) wallpapers consume 5%. This was roughly measured based on a 15-minute observation.
Other Reddit users also claim to save battery by 7% when comparing the battery drain between white and black wallpapers. Of course, the black background produced better results in OLED and AMOLED displays.
With that in mind, it can be safe to assume that colorful wallpapers will consume more battery life if they're displayed on an OLED screen. Hence, if you want to save more battery on your OLED and AMOLED screens, you should use a black background.
LCD Battery Power Impact
If you have a liquid crystal display or LCD, the color of your wallpaper won't matter as much. That's because regardless if you're using a dark or colorful wallpaper, both will still consume battery life on LCDs.
This happens because an IPS LCD display lights up the whole screen by displaying a wider spectrum of colors. Therefore, LCDs cannot conserve battery life even if you use a pure black background. The LCD technology will have to light it up regardless, unlike an OLED or AMOLED display.
As a result, changing your background to a black wallpaper on liquid crystal displays will not exactly save power. Instead, what may preserve battery life more is adjusting the home screen brightness or switching to dark mode while you have this type of screen.
Is OLED Better Than LCD?
With all that said, just because your new Samsung Galaxy phone comes with a crisp OLED or AMOLED display and can handle those pretty hues, it doesn't necessarily mean you should go wild with your wallpaper. It's still recommended that you go for a black wallpaper to save a little more power.
An OLED or AMOLED screen requires more power to lighten up colorful images. Hence, those colorful wallpapers can consume battery life more than LCD displays. Moreover, the battery drain is much larger if you use maximum screen brightness — even with system-wide dark mode.
Of course, OLED Android phones are still the better choice if you want clearer colors overall. After all, even if brighter images consume more battery than dark wallpapers, it still produces higher-quality images.
At the end of the day, it's up to the user's personal preferences on how they wish to save power on their current displays. Though colorful wallpapers will consume more battery—and more often than not, darker wallpapers less of it—there are still some downsides.
Dark Wallpapers: A Word Of Caution
A dark wallpaper is best on OLED devices. However, even if they conserve energy, they also have their cons. The most obvious of them is that they can be a little dull. Thus, they're not ideal if you want to freely express yourself with your phone.
In addition, while a plain black wallpaper may benefit your phone's battery, it's not exactly ideal for your vision. That's because they can decrease visibility in bright environments.
Moreover, LCD panels don't benefit from using black or darker wallpaper. Hence, it won't save as much power compared to using a black background on OLED or AMOLED.
What Kind of Wallpaper is Optimal for Conserving Battery?
Yes, using a black wallpaper is great for battery conservation. Therefore, we highly recommend using it on an OLED or AMOLED device. However, not everyone wants to have such limited choices. Surely there must be some kind of colored wallpaper that doesn't consume that much battery?
Why, yes there is. OLED and AMOLED screens are at their best when adorned with darker colors such as gray, blue, green, or orange. A darker tint like red is an especially great choice for those wanting to reduce power usage without compromising vibrancy. The deeper nature of its pigment helps maintain a beautiful appearance while using less energy!
On the other hand, there isn't much of a restriction if you're using an LCD screen. LCD panels light up your display regardless of what color your wallpaper is. And as mentioned before, won't make much of a difference compared to OLED and AMOLED screens.
By now, you understand the importance of customizing your screen display with a brilliant, battery-saving wallpaper. However, there are even more tricks to help make sure your device keeps that lasting power! Let us guide you through some additional methods for conserving energy and keeping charge times at bay.
Tips To Save Battery Life
Don't just worry about the color of your wallpaper to optimize battery life - there are other factors at play too! From deactivating unnecessary applications and notifications to adjusting screen brightness and timeout settings, there are many ways you can conserve energy for longer-lasting power.
1. Switch To Black Colored Wallpapers
As you might expect, we highly recommend using a dark wallpaper on your home and lock screen. This should significantly reduce battery consumption on an OLED or AMOLED screen.
2. Use Dark Mode
The dark mode feature is useful if you want to limit battery drain. It converts your entire UI into a darker theme, allowing your screen to limit light production. This saves power and can help lengthen battery life.
In addition, if you enable power saving mode on top of using dark mode, you can save even more power. This will help you in a tight situation when you're running out of juice in an emergency.
3. Stay Away From Live Wallpapers
Live wallpapers are also a big red flag when it comes to battery drain. Sure, they may be colorful and interesting. However, live wallpaper designs will tax your phone's processor much more than still images. Hence, we generally recommend staying away from live wallpapers if you're conserving energy.
4. Use Airplane Mode When Not In Use
If you're not using your phone or want no interruptions, we recommend enabling Airplane Mode. This should help you conserve energy as it turns off most power-hungry features and processes.
5. Turn Off Always-On Display
If your phone has an always-on display, we recommend disabling it. Always-on displays are cool, but they can reduce battery life by a lot. It's best to simply wake up the phone if you want to check the time.
With just the right wallpaper, you can have your phone's battery last longer. OLED and AMOLED displays require black backgrounds to save on energy but this is not enough for LCDs - they need more specialized attention to be configured correctly and conserve power! So it's important to remember that each display needs its unique approach when selecting a background image.
But you don't need to limit yourselves to plain black wallpapers. You can still personalize your phone with color! Choose a wallpaper to reflect your interests and sense of style, but consider using darker colors for maximum power efficiency. Or try out dark mode – it's both stylish and energy-saving.
We hope our tips have helped you out. A phone's battery life depends on taking proper care of it and trying out different features. From dark wallpapers to special modes, experimenting with these options can add extra hours for your device - no matter the make or model!