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How to make any budget smartphone run like a flagship



5 minute read

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We have reached a stage where budget phones can do everything flagships can do. However, in most cases, they won’t be able to do it as well. That got me thinking “Can a budget phone be made to run as well as a flagship using some quick tweaks?”

Before we delve into that, it is worth taking a look at why budget phones don’t perform as well as flagships.

1) They are cheaper; therefore, tech brands build them with lower quality components.

2) Good budget phones are used to market pricier options. Brands hope that if you like their cheaper option, you will buy their more expensive smartphones in the future.

3) They are designed to handle the basics well. Nothing more, nothing less.

Saying the above, I am going to show you how to squeeze out more performance and battery life from your budget smartphone.


Flagships can handle multiple apps without breaking a sweat. Animations are fluid, and they run so quickly that it can seem as if they predict what you want to open next.

On the other hand, budget smartphones struggle when running multiple apps, due to weaker processors, and performance optimisation settings. So how does one make them run faster?

1) Download lite versions of apps

The Facebook and Messenger apps have huge battery, processor and data hogs. Their lite versions can be found in the Android app store, and have exactly the same functionality. The only difference is that they are designed for budget phones.

You can find other lite apps just by adding “lite” to the end of your favourite app and searching in the app store.

The difference in performance and battery life is mesmerising.

2) Download Opera Mini

Opera Mini is a free, must have browser which ‘crunches’ websites before they hit your phone. This means pages load more quickly, your phone uses less battery, and less data is used. Plus, Opera Mini is simply a joy to use.

3) Free up space

As an Android fan, it pains me to say that iPhones handle performance management much better than Android. I will cry myself to sleep tonight.

Ideally, you should aim for at least 500 MB of free space on your budget Android smartphone. This is because some apps use a lot of cache, and will freeze if there isn’t enough.

Go ahead and delete all those selfies, WhatsApp videos you saw once, and apps you never use.

4) Speed up Android transitions (Advanced)

Please be very careful when using this method.

You can speed up your Android transitions in order to have the buttery smooth experience iPhones are famous for. Here is how to do it:

- Open “Settings”

- Tap on “About phone”

- Tap “Build number 7 times”

- Return to the previous screen and open developer options

- Tap on each of these items and change the “1x” next to each one to “.5x”

This means animations will load up twice as fast. The first time I used this technique, it felt like I had just bought a new phone.

Battery life

Battery life is the most requested feature from smartphone users. Unfortunately, budget smartphones always get the wrong end of the stick. Low-quality batteries mixed with poor optimisation

1) Clean your phone (Takes 2-3 mins)

I recently discovered that one of the reasons why some smartphones charge slowly is due to dust. You touch your smartphone more than any other object in your life. Over time, dead skin cells and oil can build up in the charging port.

I took a small cotton swab dipped in a little bit of water to clean out the charging port and headphone jack. Voila, my phone charged a bit faster. Prior to doing this, I found that my earphones just didn’t seem to connect properly. It was a bit hit and miss. After cleaning out an embarrassing amount of dust, it works like the day I bought it.

Aim to clean your smartphone once a week. Simply mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar and dampen a lint-free-cloth.

2) Use Auto Tools Secure Settings

An ingenious way I found to boost battery life is to use an Android app called Auto Tools Secure Settings. It enables you to deeply customise your smartphone without rooting.

Here is how I use it to extend battery life:

GPS and mobile data are some of the biggest battery drainers. I set Auto Tools Secure Settings to only turn on the GPS when I am in the maps app, and also turn off mobile data between certain hours on specific days. What is the point of having mobile data on while I am at work?

This is the best app I have ever come across because it puts you in full control of your smartphone.

3) Weekly antivirus scans

When people think about viruses, they imagine all of them steal financial information. Although some smartphone viruses do that, most are interested in disrupting your web browsing experience. They do this by inserting irrelevant ads into each web page and displaying pop-ups. This uses up a lot of battery life.

I use AVG Antivirus to perform a weekly virus scan. It is a free virus scanner which is highly effective. This will help to boost battery life, and also keep you safe from cyber threats.


A big difference between budget smartphones and flagships is how their displays look outside. Most budget smartphone displays can be difficult to view in direct sunlight. As a result, you need to crank the brightness up.

Anti-glare screen protectors do an awesome job of reducing reflection drastically. As a result, you don’t need to crank up the brightness, and you save battery life. Simply search for your smartphone brand and model followed by “anti-glare screen protector” on Google or Amazon.

Final thoughts

I hope this post helps your budget smartphone run like a flagship. If you found this post useful, your friends might feel the same way, so feel free to share on social media.

Written by abdulf

Abdul is a huge tech fanatic. Check out his personal finance website at