Tech Fix: Meet the $800 Smartphone That You Probably Won’t Buy

Here’s what you need to know about the device.

The Highlights

The signature feature of the Mate 10 Pro is the processor, which has a dedicated part of its silicon specifically designed for artificial intelligence.

This allows the phone to crunch algorithms and do things like automatically recognize an object so that the camera can be adjusted to focus quickly and let in the right amount of light. Huawei also says A.I. allows the phone to maximize its performance: Periodically, it will automatically do maintenance, like clearing out old system files that might otherwise slow down the phone.

The camera is notable as well. Huawei teamed up with Leica, a popular camera maker, to develop the phone’s dual-lens setup. Like phones from Apple and Samsung, the Mate 10 Pro’s camera can create a so-called bokeh effect, where the two cameras work together to show the picture’s main subject in sharp focus while gently blurring the background.

Like other modern smartphones, the Mate 10 Pro is water and dust resistant. But it also has an extra-large battery that Huawei says will last longer than that in many other phones. That’s partly because of its A.I. processor, which examines how the battery is being used and changes resource allocation to prolong its life.

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A photo taken with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, left, compared with one taken with Apple’s iPhone X.

The Mate 10 Pro also ships with a screen protector applied to its display, and inside the box there is a plastic protective case. These are thoughtful additions. The case absorbs the impact of drops, and the screen protector helps prevent scratches, which weaken the structural integrity of a display.

Pros and Cons

In my tests, the two best features of the Mate 10 Pro were the camera and battery. The least impressive was the display.

But let’s start with the good stuff. In side-by-side comparisons with an iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S8+, the Mate 10 Pro came in second to Apple’s offering in photo quality. All took nice photos, but the colors in the Galaxy S8+’s pictures looked oversaturated, and while the Mate 10 Pro’s photos appeared rich and clear, the shadow details looked better on the iPhone X.

As for the bokeh effect, also known as portrait mode, the Mate 10 Pro excelled at separating the subject from the background compared with the Galaxy S8+, but I still preferred the iPhone X because it did a better job at lighting up a person’s face.

There was one area where the Mate 10 Pro was the clear winner: the battery. In my tests browsing the web over a cellular connection, Huawei’s phone had roughly two hours more juice than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X.

The display — the biggest downside of the Mate 10 Pro — had a lower resolution than the Note 8, the Galaxy S8+ and the iPhone X, meaning some graphics and text looked more pixelated. Over all, text appeared crisper and websites more vibrant on the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy screens than they did on the Mate 10 Pro’s display.

Bottom Line

The Mate 10 Pro is an impressive smartphone, but you probably aren’t going to buy it even if you get your hands on it. The lower-resolution display is a major negative, as is the lack of carrier support.

Huawei said that to get technical support for the Mate 10 Pro, you can call its hotline, and for repairs, you can ship your device to a center in Texas. That’s still not ideal compared with the ease of strolling into an Apple store or your carrier’s nearest location.

Privacy and trust are also important. In 2012, the House Intelligence Committee concluded that Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications company, were a national security threat because of their attempts to extract sensitive data from American companies. And in 2016, security researchers discovered preinstalled software on some Huawei and ZTE phones that included a back door that sent all of a device’s text messages to China every 72 hours. That feature was not intended for American phones, according to the company that made the software. But American lawmakers have been wary of Huawei.

Most important, you will have to decide whether you trust Huawei. The onus is on you to carefully read Huawei’s privacy policy and determine if you feel confident using this phone. In a statement, Huawei said that privacy and security were top priorities and that it complied with stringent privacy frameworks and regulations.

At CES, Huawei’s Mr. Yu described how the company had previously overcome trust hurdles — including at home in China, where Huawei’s smartphones were initially distrusted by Chinese carriers because the company was a newcomer.

“It was very hard,” he said. “But we won the trust of the Chinese carriers, we won the trust of the developing market and we also won the global carriers, all the European and Japanese carriers. Over the last 30 years, we’ve proven our quality.”

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Tech Fix: The Best Ways to Share Your Smartphone Photos This Holiday

“There are a few really clever photo sharing tools, but as smart as they are, you might still need to teach family members how they work,” said R. C. Rivera, a professional photographer in San Francisco.

So here are some tips for the quickest and most efficient ways to share digital photos, based on my tests and interviews with professional photographers.

Sharing With Google Photos

If you have a modestly sized family, chances are some members use iPhones but others use Androids. The quickest method for everyone to share pics is to rely on a photo storage service that supports both devices.

Mr. Rivera said that most of his family in the United States used iPhones, but that his relatives in Asia all used Android devices. So he goaded his family to use Google Photos, which is included on Android devices and works on iPhones.

After you sign up for Google Photos, each photo you take is automatically backed up to Google’s cloud. From there, you can create albums for your trip to Spain or your 2-year-old’s birthday party to share with other members of the family with Google accounts. You can also create public albums that anyone can see with a web link.

To make sharing more effortless, you can also take advantage of some neat artificial intelligence. Google Photos detects the face of a person and automatically groups all the photos of that person into an album. From there, you can set up Google to automatically share photos of that person with others — which is great for baby photos.

To do that, inside the Google Photos app, you add a partner account that you want to share with, like your spouse or relative, and then select the option to share photos of specific people. Then select the subject you want to share. If you want to keep people up to date with photos of your toddler, this is a quick and efficient method. (An added bonus: This trick also works for dogs.)

Google Photos is cheap. Google offers to store an unlimited number of compressed images for free. For full-resolution images, you get 15 gigabytes of free storage and can pay at least $2 a month for 100 gigs.

Moving Photos Between Apple Devices

For families that entirely rely on iPhones, there’s a major benefit: the ability to share photos among devices almost instantly. Apple phones and computers have AirDrop, a tool that transfers pictures directly between devices via a wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.

Unfortunately, this useful feature is difficult to find. In iOS 11, the latest mobile operating system, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hard press in the upper-left corner to open a hidden menu that includes AirDrop. From there, you can set up AirDrop to receive photos from everyone or just people on your contacts list.

To share with AirDrop, make sure your relative nearby has AirDrop receiving turned on. On your iPhone, you can select a photo or a group of photos and tap the Share button (a box with an arrow pointing up). Your relative’s device will show up under the AirDrop menu, and you can select the device. The files will move over instantly — even a batch of 50 photos will take only a few seconds.

Slide Shows on a Big Screen

Your older relatives are probably familiar with the tradition of using a slide projector to show vacation photos or talk about family events. You can do something similar to that with a smartphone, a television set and a media streaming device.

First, pick your streaming device. Google’s $35 Chromecast, a small dongle that can be plugged into the TV, is perfect for families using Google Photos. For those relying on iPhones, a $149 Apple TV is also great.

After you set up your streaming device, beaming your photos to the television set is a breeze. In the Google Photos app, a small broadcasting icon will appear in the upper-right corner. Tap that while you are reviewing photos, and they will beam onto the television screen.

With an Apple TV, the process is just as simple with the tool AirPlay. On your iPhone, open the photo album you want to share and hit the Share button, and then tap AirPlay. The photos you are looking at on your phone will show up on the television screen, and you can narrate your trip to Hong Kong while swiping from photo to photo.

Print Your Albums

There’s always the old-school option of printing out your photos for a physical album. There are several different apps you can use to skip buying a printer.

The easiest option for Google Photos users is to just print directly through Google. A photo books tool lets you compile photos into a book. In my tests, dragging some favorite photos from my trip to Japan into a photo book was a breeze. A 20-page book costs $10; each extra page costs 35 cents.

There are other options if you want to assemble an old-school scrapbook. Online printing services let you upload photos and order prints in different sizes. Wirecutter, a New York Times company that tests products, highlighted Nations Photo Lab as its top printing service that offers high-quality prints for a good price.

Mr. Rivera, the professional photographer, takes the route that requires minimal effort: He regularly prints Google photo books for his relatives. The color accuracy in the photos is not perfect, but the outcome is good enough.

“As a photographer I would scrutinize the color,” he said. “But for 90 percent of the population, it’s perfect. My parents wouldn’t notice.”

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Tech Fix: With C.I.A. Hacking Revelations, How to Protect Your Devices

The fallout may also end up being broader. WikiLeaks, which released documents covering 2013 to 2016, has said its initial publication was just the first installment in a bigger cache of secret C.I.A. material.

So even if you aren’t worried about what WikiLeaks revealed about the C.I.A. right now for yourself, here are some tips for protecting your cellphones, televisions and internet routers.

What you can do if you’re on Android

Hundreds of millions of Android users still use devices based on older versions of the Google-made mobile operating system. The WikiLeaks document collection, which includes 7,818 web pages and 943 attachments, showed that the Android devices targeted by the hacking programs were mostly running a version of Android 4.0.

Runa Sandvik, The New York Times’s director of information security in the newsroom, and Nicole Perlroth, who writes about cybersecurity and privacy, answered reader questions about cybersecurity.

Today, about 30 percent of Android users, or at least 420 million people, are on a variant of Android 4.0, according to Google. The company said it was investigating reports of the security issues described in the WikiLeaks documents.

With the limited information we have now, the best thing people can do is to stop procrastinating on updating their software.

“The one thing that people can and should be doing is keeping their apps and phones as up-to-date as possible,” said Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights nonprofit.

For owners of older devices, getting the latest software updates may not be easy. Many older Android handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S3, are unable to download the latest version of the Android software. If you are in that boat, it’s a good time to purchase a new smartphone — such as the Google Pixel — which is running the latest Android software.

Other than ensuring that you have the latest operating system, Google recommends that Android users protect their devices with lock screens and PIN codes, and to enable a setting called Verify Apps, which scans apps downloaded from outside of Google’s app store for malware.

What you can do on an iPhone

Many iPhone owners are far more up-to-date with their mobile software than Android device owners. So only a minority of iPhone users have devices with the versions of the Apple iOS operating system that the WikiLeaks documents mention.

Specifically, the WikiLeaks documents referred to exploits working on versions of iOS up to 8.2. About 79 percent of Apple users are running iOS 10, the latest version of the system, and only 5 percent are running a version older than iOS 9, according to Apple.

In raw numbers, with more than one billion iOS devices sold worldwide, that amounts to at least 50 million people running the outdated software.

For those worried about their iPhone security, the advice is generally the same here as for Android owners: iPhone and iPad users should make sure to be running the latest operating system, iOS 10. Apple said on Tuesday that many of the security issues described in the WikiLeaks documents had already been patched in the latest version of its software and that it was working to address remaining vulnerabilities.

Not all Apple devices can get the latest operating system. Apple’s iOS 10 is compatible with iPhones as far back as the iPhone 5 released in 2012, and with iPads as old as the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 released in 2013. If you are using anything older than those, it’s a good time to buy a new device for the stronger security.

What you can do with your Samsung TV

With Samsung televisions, the situation is less clear. The documents mentioned programs attacking smart TVs in Samsung’s F8000 series, which include microphones for voice controls. Samsung said it was looking into the WikiLeaks reports, and noted that software updates with the latest security enhancements are automatically downloaded on its televisions. The company did not immediately comment on whether any vulnerabilities had been patched.

The documents published by WikiLeaks disclosed that a tool called Weeping Angel puts the target TV in a “fake off” mode. Then, with the owner believing the TV is turned off, the set secretly records conversations in the room and sends them over the internet to a C.I.A. server computer.

Smart TVs are part of a proliferating category of “internet of things” devices that have raised security concerns because many of the companies that make them do not have strong backgrounds in information security. In a recent column I wrote about defending a smart home from cyberattacks, experts recommended strengthening Wi-Fi settings and regularly auditing smart home devices for software updates, among other tips.

That advice might not be sufficient for addressing privacy concerns around Samsung’s smart TVs, because the Weeping Angel hack continues to control the television even when it appears to be turned off.

Craig Spiezle, executive director of the Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit privacy group, said the WikiLeaks revelations could spur action that he sees as lacking from makers of connected devices.

“I see this as a wake-up call for the industry to build better security and for consumers of these devices to rethink what they have and, in some cases, disconnect their connectivity,” Mr. Spiezle said.

What to do with your router

The WikiLeaks documents also described methods of injecting malware into routers offered by Asian manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE and Mercury.

In general, it is wise for everyone to regularly check routers for so-called firmware updates to make sure they get the latest security enhancements.

Depending on which router you own, downloading the latest firmware update isn’t very intuitive because it usually requires logging into the router. More modern routers like Eero and Google Wifi include mobile apps that help you download the latest updates automatically, so consider one of those if you are worried.

What to do with your computer

The WikiLeaks documents mentioned attacks on Linux, Windows and Apple computers. Personal computers have always been the most vulnerable devices we own, so this tip is fairly obvious: Make sure to install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software. And as always, stay on guard for suspicious websites that may be serving malware.

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Tech Fix: Tips and Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life

The results showed that some conventional beliefs about extending battery life — like turning off Wi-Fi or shutting down all your phone’s apps — produced negligible or even harmful results. The Wirecutter also found plenty of helpful practices to get more use out of your battery, like playing music stored directly on the device (instead of streaming it) or tweaking email configurations.

The Wirecutter tested a range of recent Apple and Android smartphones with the latest operating systems in tightly controlled environments. Your phone’s results will vary depending on the phone model, cellular carrier, location and other factors, but the general results should hold. Here are eight tips and seven myths busted by our findings:

1. Use auto-brightness for the screen.

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A smartphone’s screen consumes more energy than any other component, so the easiest way to cut down battery drain is to reduce your screen brightness. In an hourlong test, an iPhone 6s used 54 percent less battery power with the screen brightness at minimum as compared with maximum brightness. An Android test phone used 30 percent less.

But it’s tough to use a dim screen in bright environments, so most phones offer an auto-brightness mode that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness based on ambient light. The Wirecutter found that enabling auto-brightness saved a good amount of battery life.

2. Block power-sucking ads.

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When browsing the web, your smartphone also burns through power when it downloads mobile ads on websites. Installing an ad blocker will greatly extend battery life.

The Wirecutter ran a test that cycled through a list of websites for two hours over a Wi-Fi connection. Safari on an iPhone 6s used 18 percent of a full battery; Chrome on a Moto X Pure Android phone used 22 percent. Installing the 1Blocker ad blocker on the iPhone reduced battery usage for the same test to only 9 percent of a full battery; on an Android phone, using the Ghostery Privacy Browser, which blocks ads, used only 8 percent of the battery.

3. Tweak your email settings.

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Email can have a major impact on battery life if you have multiple email accounts and receive lots of email. Your smartphone can update your email automatically using a technology called push, which brings new messages to your phone the instant they are transmitted. Push can be a power hog because it requires your phone to constantly listen for new messages, so if you get a lot of email, there’s a good chance your phone is using lots of energy.

The Wirecutter tested an iPhone 6s Plus configured with three email accounts, receiving a total of 20 to 30 messages an hour. In these tests, having push active over the course of a day caused Mail to account for 5 to 10 percent of the phone’s overall battery use.

To save energy, most phones can be configured to instead check for (or “fetch”) emails on a schedule — say, every 30 minutes — or only when you manually tell your email app to refresh.

4. Play downloaded music instead of streaming.

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The next tip may come as unwelcome news. Nowadays, online streaming is the most popular way to listen to music, with services like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music — but this method guzzles lots of battery power. In the Wirecutter’s tests, streaming music over a Wi-Fi connection for two hours used 10 percent of an iPhone’s battery reserves; streaming the same music stored directly on a device over two hours consumed only 5 percent.

Fortunately, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music still let you listen to songs the old-school way: by storing the music right on your device.

5. Turn off wireless when reception is poor.

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You may have noticed that when you’re in a place without good Wi-Fi or cellular coverage, your phone’s battery seems to drain much more quickly. That’s because the phone uses energy searching for a good signal and, if the signal is very weak, trying to get a better connection.

To conserve battery life, disable the phone’s wireless circuitry. Airplane Mode, an option that will turn off all wireless features, is a quick and easy solution in areas with poor reception.

Alternatively, you can disable (in your phone’s settings) a single wireless feature. For example, if you have terrible wireless carrier coverage in your office, but Wi-Fi is great, disabling cellular connectivity while there will keep the phone from wasting energy trying to get a cellular connection while still letting you connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi.

6. Check the battery usage lists.

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Consumers can get even better results with a bit of sleuthing. Both the iPhone and Android systems provide a simple way to see which apps are using a lot of battery power. For iPhones and Android phones, open the Settings app and in the Battery menu, there are sorted lists of apps that are using the most energy.

On the iPhone’s battery usage screen, tap the clock button to reveal information about how much of your battery life each app is consuming when you’re actively using the app (“screen”) compared with when you’re not (“backgd”). On Android, the most useful information are the timers for “CPU total” and “CPU foreground.” Foreground is how much time you had the app open; subtract “foreground” from “total,” and you’ll know how much time the app has been busy in the background.

Be on the lookout for apps that are active for extended periods in the background and are using a lot of battery power. Examples include an email app that spends lots of time checking for new messages even when your phone is asleep, a news reader that updates articles in the background or a fitness app that constantly monitors your location.

If you find apps using up lots of energy in the background, disable their background activities. On an iPhone, go to the Settings app, tap General and then Background App Refresh and disable the background activities for any apps. On Android, go inside the Settings app, tap Data Usage, choose an app, then select “Restrict Background Data” for background data usage.

7. Disable unnecessary location tracking.

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Watch out for apps that track your location. Your phone’s GPS circuitry, which determines your geographic location for mapping and fitness features, consumes a lot of battery power. A run-tracking program that monitors your precise location for the duration of an hourlong run will lower your battery level.

If a location-based app is using a lot of power, especially in the background, there’s a good chance the app is using GPS, Wi-Fi and the phone’s sensors frequently. You can decide whether to disable location features for it (either via your phone’s Location Services settings, or by changing settings in the app itself). On an iPhone, you can disable the app’s ability to track your location by going to Privacy menu and Location Services.

To disable location tracking on Android, go inside the Settings app, tap Apps, choose an app and select “Permissions,” then tap to disable Location permission.

8. Shut off unnecessary push notifications.

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Both Apple and Google recommend disabling push notifications, which are essentially app alerts, to conserve battery life. Notifications require regular communication with notification servers, and each notification causes your phone to wake up for a few seconds, including turning on the screen, to show you a message and give you a chance to act on it.

In the Wirecutter’s testing, receiving a few dozen notifications over the course of an hour didn’t noticeably affect battery usage. But if you get a lot of notifications each day, that energy use can add up. If a particular app or service (say, Twitter or your email client) is constantly producing notifications, consider disabling notifications for that app.

On an iPhone, open the Settings app, tap Notifications, tap the app name and disable Allow Notifications. On Android, disable notification in an app’s settings menu, or long-press the notification itself and select the “i” icon. This will send you to that app’s App Notifications settings, where you can block all notifications.

Beware battery-saving myths.

1. Closing unused apps.

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There is plenty of inaccurate conventional wisdom about methods to prolong battery life. Let’s start with one of the worst “tips”: Closing (or force-quitting, as it’s commonly called) apps you are not currently using. The theory is that apps running in the background are using your phone’s components, so quitting them will save energy.

While that may be true on a computer, smartphones are designed differently: Once an app is no longer in the foreground — meaning you are not actively using it — most or all of its processes are frozen. In other words, while an app may still be loaded in a phone’s memory, it probably is not doing much in the background to drain your battery.

Finally, quitting apps actually has drawbacks: When you force-quit an app, all of its code can be purged from your phone’s RAM, which means that the next time you open the app, the phone has to reload all of that code. That, of course, requires energy.

2. Don’t assume turning off Wi-Fi will always help.

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A common suggestion for extending battery life is to disable Wi-Fi. However, if you’re in range of a strong Wi-Fi signal, your phone uses less energy to connect to the Internet with a Wi-Fi connection than a cellular one. If you regularly use apps that rely on your location, having Wi-Fi enabled helps your phone determine its location without having to rely solely on power-hungry GPS features, so it actually helps a battery last longer.

An exception is when you’re at the edges of a Wi-Fi network, where your phone is struggling to get a good connection, and you have a good cellular data connection. But in most cases, you’re usually better off keeping Wi-Fi enabled.

3. Avoid disabling all location services.

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Many apps that use your location do so only intermittently. Even using the Maps app for short navigation sessions doesn’t use more than a few percent of your battery’s capacity — and having the phone’s screen continually on is a big part of why navigation uses a lot of power.

In other words, don’t disable all of your phone’s location-based features just to extend your battery life. You won’t see a big jump in use time, but you may end up disabling — and subsequently missing — useful features. Instead, check (using the tips above) to see if any of apps consuming the most battery life also track your location. If so, and if you don’t need that location tracking, consider disabling it for those apps.

4. Don’t always choose Wi-Fi over cellular.

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Many people, and even smartphone vendors such as Apple, claim that using Wi-Fi for wireless data consumes less power than using a cellular signal, so you should use Wi-Fi whenever you can. However, the Wirecutter’s testing found this isn’t always the case.

In testing in a location where both Wi-Fi and cellular LTE signals were strong, an hour of browsing over Wi-Fi used roughly the same amount of battery power as an hour using LTE on an iPhone. On a Motorola Android phone, LTE used only 2 to 3 percent more power than Wi-Fi.

In other words, as long as you have a good signal, you probably won’t see a huge difference between Wi-Fi and cellular data, and it’s probably not worth the hassle of switching between the two.

5. Let Siri and Google listen for your commands.

Both iPhones and Android phones include a hands-free feature for summoning their virtual assistants by speaking voice commands. You can just say “Hey Siri” to the iPhone or “O.K. Google” and then speak your request or command. While convenient, this feature requires your phone to constantly listen for that special phrase, which uses some power.

Yet if you have one of the phones that supports this feature, disabling it won’t conserve much battery life. In the Wirecutter’s testing with an iPhone 6s Plus and a Nexus 6P, there was a negligible difference in battery usage between having the always-on virtual assistant enabled or disabled over a two-hour period.

Using Siri or O.K. Google uses some energy, so if your phone’s battery is getting low, you should probably stop asking the phone question after question during your commute. But just having the feature enabled isn’t worth worrying about — and it can be quite convenient.

6. Don’t forgo third-party chargers made by reputable vendors.

A common warning around the Internet is that you should use only the charger that came with your phone, otherwise you could damage your phone’s battery. In reality, the phone itself contains all the circuitry responsible for charging its battery. The AC adapter (as it’s more accurately known) simply converts the AC current from a wall outlet into low-voltage, low-amperage DC current that it provides via a USB port. This is why you can also charge your phone using the USB port on a computer, a USB battery pack or a charger in your car — the phone is designed to allow it to charge from a variety of power sources that can produce a wide range of current.

Finally, you may see warnings that a cheap third-party charger could damage your phone. There’s some truth here: Many chargers — especially budget models sold online, or even at your local shopping mall kiosk — are poorly made, or use low-quality components. A poorly made charger can not only damage your phone, but could also hurt you by exposing you to dangerous currents. So if you’re replacing your phone’s AC adapter, or buying an extra, stick with a reputable vendor.

7. Calibrate only occasionally.

For many years, devices that used rechargeable batteries required “conditioning” or “calibrating,” a procedure that prevented the battery from forgetting how much capacity it actually had. Today’s smartphone batteries no longer suffer from this issue.

What can happen, however, is that the phone itself loses track of how much capacity its battery has: Every battery gradually loses capacity over time as you use and recharge it, and the phone’s software isn’t always good at accounting for this capacity change. By periodically (once every couple of months) fully charging the phone and then using it until it dies, your phone’s software will determine the battery’s current capacity and thus let the phone better estimate how long it will last on a charge. In other words, the battery won’t last any longer, but the phone’s battery meter will be more accurate. If you find that your phone claims you have 80 percent of a charge left, but it dies a few hours later, you should try this procedure.

If all else fails …

If you have tried all the above and still struggle to get through the day with your battery, consider buying an external battery. These accessories — which can take the form of a bulky case with a built-in battery that you wear on the phone, or a separate battery pack that connects to your phone with a cable — can provide power to last an additional few hours at the end of the day, or even to fully charge your phone’s battery.

The Wirecutter tested more than 100 external batteries for dozens of hours to pick a few favorites. Its favorite battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s is Anker’s Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case, which has enough power to fully charge a dead iPhone and then some, more than doubling the phone’s battery life. For larger iPhones — the 6 Plus and 6s Plus — the Wirecutter prefers Tylt’s Energi Sliding Power Case because the case’s two-piece design makes it appealing.

For Android phones, an external battery pack is a good option. The AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank with Micro USB Cable 2,000 mAh is the best pack the Wirecutter tested that will fit in your pocket with your phone, and it’s less than $10. A great battery pack for the iPhone is the $29 TravelCard, which is almost thin enough to fit in a wallet — with a built-in Lightning-connector cable to charge your phone.

For days of smartphone power, the Anker PowerCore 15600 is the Wirecutter’s pick if you need to charge a phone repeatedly or keep a full-size tablet and phone topped up through a busy week. It has enough available power to charge a typical smartphone five times or to fill a large tablet such as an iPad Air almost twice — for under $40.

After her stressful day at Disneyland, Ms. Temeña bought an external Amazon battery pack. She said the pack could fully charge her phone six times, but it wasn’t ideal because of its bulk. Ultimately, she wishes her iPhone had a better battery.

“I don’t understand why a battery wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the other advances they’re putting into phones now,” she said.

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