Black Dog

How Black Wallpaper Will Save Your Android Battery

The options for extending battery life far too often involve trade-offs. What are you willing to sacrifice to give your phone better battery life? Neat tricks that you can easily live without probably seem doable, but Internet access? GPS? Tons of apps? CPU speed? Why even have a smartphone if you have to dumb it down for the battery?

What if we told you that something so small as a change in wallpaper could make a significant difference? How could that possibly be effective? We’ll explain.

Related: 8 Best Battery Saver Apps for Android: Give Your Phone a Boost

Maybe you are experiencing an aesthetic crisis about now. You happen to like your colorful wallpaper, and black is so boring…But it doesn’t have to be. We’ll give some suggestions and show you how to implement them.

Finally, keep in mind that this is not going to make a difference on all phones; only those with certain types of displays. To determine whether black wallpaper would help you save battery, read below about the differences between screens.


The majority of smartphone displays are either LCD or OLED; with some other variations, such as TFT, IPS, Retina, or HD. For our purposes, we are going to stick to the big two. You will soon have an answer to the question—Can black wallpaper save battery?

LCD Screen


LCD stands for liquid crystal display. It is quite well-established and can be found in TV screens, computer monitors, etc. LCD screens utilize an LED (light-emitting diode) backlight and the screen either allows light to pass through or blocks it.

The reason this matters is because even if you use a black wallpaper with an LCD screen, the backlight will still be turned on—it doesn’t matter how many pixels are being used. As you can imagine, this isn’t the most energy-efficient type of screen, but black wallpaper will do nothing to solve that problem—it only blocks light that is still being emitted.

In fact, it has been shown that the complete opposite is true—white uses the least amount of energy on an LCD display. The reason behind this is due to the liquid crystals needing to be zapped by a large amount of current so that they untwist to block the backlight. If you use white, the crystals get to take a break and avoid electrocution.

Must Read: How to Save Battery Life on Android to Move Like the Duracell Bunny


AMOLED is short for Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. The manner in which it displays color is quite different than that of an LCD. Close relations of AMOLED—Super AMOLED and OLED are going to handle color in a similar way to AMOLED. AMOLED is a newer technology than LCD, but is still used in many other types of displays as well, such as television.

Owners of AMOLED display screens can benefit from using darker colors. These screens don’t rely on a solid backlight. Instead, electrical current is converted to light, which is called electroluminescence. This is done at the level of each individual pixel. Therefore, using a true inky black pixel is not using any energy from the battery.

Although the popularity of LCD remains strong, there are many devices that utilize AMOLED screens instead. The Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy A9, Galaxy J3, LG G Flex 2, and Nexus 6 all use some variation of the OLED screen. As you can tell, Samsung is a big fan, but Nokia actually released a phone with this type of screen prior to Samsung doing so. And yes, black wallpaper will save battery on Android.

OLED Screen

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each

Essentially, LCDs act like valves to vary the flow of light that reaches our eyes. It would be somewhat similar to throwing a light-blocking material over your light fixture instead of turning it off. Seems wasteful, doesn’t it? So why do so many manufacturers still use LCDs?

LCD screens are capable of displaying sharp images when used at their native resolution, but they aren’t really superior to OLED in that regard. It’s more of a tie. LCDs do tend to age better though. OLED lifetimes are shorter and color can begin to degrade over time.

LCD screens can seem brighter overall, and that’s because they are, due to the backlight. Certain hues do tend to pack more punch on the OLED though. And as you might have guessed, OLEDs can be more expensive to manufacture. LCDs have many advantages. The newest LCD screens can be very slender. But black wallpaper won’t do anything for phone batter on LCD.

Must Read: World’s Slimmest HD LCD Smartphone Coming to Life, LG Display


How Much Will This Help?

According to XDA Developers, you can save about 8 percent per hour of battery life by switching to a black wallpaper if you use an AMOLED display. Another test by Greenbot cited as much as 41 percent savings in power consumption whilst using AMOLED-friendly apps such as Sync for Reddit.

Of course other factors can contribute, and it’s sometimes hard to separate independent aspects. But overall, the consensus of users seems to agree that using a black wallpaper in conjunction with an AMOLED screen can make a discernible dent in battery consumption. Black wallpaper can be a battery saver.

Download: Reddit Sync

How to Set Black Wallpaper

So now that we know it’s not a myth, how do you go about obtaining black wallpaper? Plenty of sites offer wallpapers, and we give you an example in the form of a link below. Open that link or one with the wallpaper of your choice in your Android browser. Save it to your device. Long-press an empty area of your home screen and go into your Gallery. Tap Downloads in your Gallery and your wallpaper should be there waiting for you to choose it.

Download: No Wallpaper

For that matter, if there is a dark portion of an image you would like to use, you could crop everything else out and apply that section as your wallpaper. You could also take a photo of something dark as well. I happen to have a black cat who works well and who knows nothing about this.

Black Cat

Does Black Wallpaper Have to Be Boring?

Believe me, I prefer for things to be pretty whenever possible, so if you are feeling a little distressed at the prospect of stripping your wallpaper of all of its color and personality, I understand and empathize. In response to this question–Are the energy-saving wallpapers all boring?–the answer is no, but it helps. Remember that true black is due to the absence of all light, and our eyes rely heavily on light to make features visible to us. On the other hand, black absorbs all colors, so you really have a rainbow going on in your wallpaper—it’s just that no one can see it.

Despite black’s limitations, there are some wallpapers out there that could represent compromise. You give up a little battery to have a cool wallpaper. It might not be your first choice, but maybe it’s not your last either. Also, black makes text and icons pop and stand out for better reading and can be less harsh on the eyes. If you are the adventurous sort, you could also root your phone to expand your dark theme options.


Darken Your Apps

Remember that Reddit Sync app from earlier? There are more like it. They offer dark themes. You can also set many of your existing apps to have darker themes by giving them a black background with white text. If you are looking for an overall dark theme via custom ROM, read the link at the end.

  • Texts
    • Textra

Download: Textra

  • News and Weather
    • Google News and Weather

Download: Google News and Weather

  • NY Times

Downloads: NY Times

  • Twitter
    • Fenix for Twitter

Download: Fenix

  • Calculator
    • Calculator Plus

Download: Calculator Plus

  • Genius Calculator & Widgets

Download: Genius Calculator

  • Calendar
    • DigiCal Calendar

Download: DigiCal Calendar

  • RSS Feed Readers
    • gReader

Download: gReader

  • Easy RSS

Download: Easy RSS

  • Games
    • Dots

Download: Dots

  • Ready Steady Bang

Download: Ready Steady

  • WordBase—Word Search Battle
  • Download: WordBase
  • File Managers
    • X-plore File Manager

Download: X-plore

  • File Commander

Download: File Commander

  • Tomi File Manager

Download: Tomi File

  • Package Tracker
    • Aftership Package Tracker

Download: Aftership Tracker

  • Caller ID
    • True Contact

Download: True Contact

True Contact
  • Notifications
    • DynamicNotifications

Download: DynamicNotifications

  • Alarm
    • Gentle Alarm

Download: Gentle Alarm

  • Heart Rate Monitor
    • Runtastic Heart Rate PRO

Download: Runtastic Heart Rate PRO

  • Music Players
    • YouTube Music Player

Download: YouTube Music Player

  • Shuttle +


  • Dialers
    • exDialer Darkest Theme

Download: exDialer Darkest

  • Swipe Dialer GS4 Dark Theme

Download: Swipe Dialer

  • Web Browser
    • Atlas Web Browser

Download: Atlas Web

  • Javelin Browser

Download: Convert Everything

Convert Everything
  • Task Organizer


  • Password Managers
    • eWallet Password Manager

Download: eWallet Password

  • EnPass Password Manager

Download: EnPass Password

  • CPU, RAM Monitor
    • Tinycore

Download: Tinycore

  • Email
    • IQTELL Email App

Download: IQTELL Email

  • Kaiten Mail

Download: Kaiten Mail


When your battery is almost dead, how much of that is the display responsible for? You can find out by visiting Settings>Device Settings for Battery. What percentage does that change to when you use a black wallpaper? When you use dark themed apps? When you use overall dark themes, such as in the case of a custom ROM? Tell us about it or ask us any questions you may have below.

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