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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — These days, we count on our phones to do way more than just make calls. We use them to get directions, shop online and even to play games, and that’s just to name a few things. So having a dead cell phone battery can really stop us in our tracks. What can you do to keep the battery from dying? 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan got some advice.

Whether you prefer the Blackberry, the iPhone or the Droid, if your battery dies, your smart phone isn’t so smart. Chargers and accessories can run from $30 to $60 dollars apiece, and that can add up. But there are ways to stretch your cell phone battery that don’t cost a fortune.

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First, look at what you’ve downloaded on your phone. Verizon’s Brian McGough says, “Any application that is constantly reaching out of the network seeking information and exchanging it back and forth, those are the apps that you are historically going to see an issue with battery drainage.”

For instance, phones that continually look for incoming email are big culprits. While every phone is different, certain phone functions are battery killers. According to McGough, “If your phone has Bluetooth and you don’t use Bluetooth, you should probably turn it off, because if you are not connected to Bluetooth, the phone will continually look for a Bluetooth signal, and in return, your battery will drain faster. The same goes for Wi-Fi connection. Most of these phones have Wi-Fi capabilities.”

In other words, if you don’t use it, turn it off. That will guarantee that you have power when you need it most.

One other suggestion: Before you download an app, check the comments from users. Often, they’ll tell you whether that application is a battery buster.

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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