Which factors impact GPS battery life?
Tracking Interval: How often the device is tracking itself directly impacts battery life. The more frequently it tracks, the more battery power it uses. Contact customer support if you wish to reduce your tracking interval. This is an effective way to increase battery life.
Low-Quality Cellular Coverage: If a GPS tracker is in an area where the provider’s network signal is weak or there is a network problem, the GPS tracker’s battery will deplete more quickly. This is because the unit will continuously look for a network, and this action consumes power more aggressively. Maintaining a connection under a strong cellular network will consume less power, even when actively tracking.
GPS Availability: GPS signal interference may lead to a decreased battery life. GPS interference can come from different sources: radio emissions, intentional or unintentional jamming, inclement weather, or building obstructions. The tracker performs best where GPS signals are readily available, which are out of doors and under a clear sky. For example: if the vehicle you're tracking is in an underground parking garage, the building’s structure blocks GPS signals and the tracker uses power more rapidly to continuously query its GPS position.
Temperature: Extreme temperatures (below -20°C and above +55°C) may impact battery life and tracking effectiveness. We recommend avoiding sudden temperature changes and not exposing the device to these conditions at length, if possible.
Hardware: If your device is damaged, it may result in shorter battery life
How long does a GPS tracker battery last?
GPS trackers do not have fixed battery life, and calculating how long the battery could go in between charges cannot be obtained with one hundred percent accuracy.
Portable, battery-powered trackers like our Spark Nano 7 GPS Tracker can last for as long as two weeks if they are in use for an hour a day. These trackers have a built-in motion sensor, so they use only minimal power when not moving. It is ideal for people who have no problem integrating recharging into their routine.
For extended battery-powered tracking, consider adding a 140-Day battery and case kit for the Spark Nano. The extended battery increases tracking time by up to four months, suitable for long-term asset and vehicle tracking. With built-in magnetic mounts, it is perfect for large assets, such as construction equipment and other machinery, or indeed everyday monitoring of any vehicle.
Check our battery life estimator tool here to see how our battery-operated devices fit into your planned usage and lifestyle.
If you know you only need to monitor one car, then you can leave aside the concern over batteries altogether and choose a wired vehicle tracking system instead. A wired GPS tracker like our Livewire Dash Vehicle Tracker gets its power from your car's electrical system, so there are no batteries to charge. They require a quick, relatively simple installation, and are invisible inside your car. The driver will only know it's there if you tell them.
Our latest tracking GPS device is a do-it-yourself solution to hardwired tracking. The Livewire Volt provides reliable 4G GPS tracking as other modern hardwired trackers, except there is no need to pay a mechanic for installation. After a two-wire connection to your vehicle’s battery, the device is ready to use. Under the hood, in the trunk, wherever your vehicle’s battery is, the Livewire Volt will transmit reliable GPS data without recharging or maintenance.
The Livewire Volt even tracks when the vehicle is not running. That makes it handy for fleet relocations and shipment and can also alert you if the vehicle is getting towed. This technology presents no risk to your vehicle’s electrical system – the Livewire Volt contains its 200mAh battery backup and is configured to draw power only when the vehicle is in motion.
What are GPS tracking intervals?
‘Intervals’ refer to the time that passes between each attempt a device makes to capture its GPS location. Intervals range from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and devices with longer intervals offer more battery life savings.
How long will my battery last if I choose more frequent tracking intervals?
Devices with frequent tracking intervals inherently demonstrate a shorter battery life. A Spark Nano using 5-minute tracking intervals, for example, will have approximately 21-day battery life. Conversely, when the Spark Nano is set to use 30-second tracking intervals, it will last for far less time - approximately 8 days.
What is more important: tracking intervals or battery life?
Both tracking intervals and battery life are key features of any GPS tracker. GPS tracking devices need long-lasting batteries to function consistently. On the other hand, they won’t serve the user’s needs without frequent enough tracking intervals. The more often a device tracks, the more precise your tracking path will be when displayed on the map.
So, what factor is more important—tracking intervals or battery life?
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. If you have infrequent access to the tracker for recharging and need to remain tracking for as long as possible, then battery life is the priority. In cases where the location of the device is more important than the length of time tracking continues, choose shorter tracking intervals to ensure you capture the location precision you need.
How do I check my tracker's battery life?
Follow the steps below to check the battery status of your GPS device.
For customers using locate.brickhousesecurity.com:
- Sign in to the web app.
- Click on the Monitoring tab.
- Select the desired tracker and click on the dropdown arrow.
- Hover your mouse over the battery icon.
- The tracker’s current battery level percentage will appear.
For customers using the BrickHouse Locate GPS mobile app:
- Sign in to the app
- Tap on Monitoring and select the desired tracker.
- Tap Sensors.
- That tracker’s battery level percentage will be displayed.