We've all given Android's auto-brightness feature a shot, with varying degrees of success. I myself tend to turn it off and go for a manual approach, with the help of custom ROM functions or something like Brightness Rocker. But a new app might change that: Lux Auto Brightness allows you to change the brightness of your screen based on more than just the ambient light around you.
First of all, Lux uses a time function, so you can schedule which parts of the day your phone will operate at what brightness. This is great if you spend a lot of time out of doors and know when you'll do it: if you know you'll be driving in the early morning with the sun at your back, you can automatically boost the brightness to make sure your GPS navigation isn't washed out. It also has a "sub-zero" brightness setting that sets the screen's backlight even lower than the "0%" of the standard settings menu.
The basic version of Lux Auto Brightness is free, but the very reasonable $1.55 paid version adds a few extra settings that really take things up a notch. Night mode will adjust the color temperature of the entire phone for more comfortable viewing, and the awesomely specific Astronomer Mode will shift the phone's screen into the red spectrum to avoid expanding your irises and getting extra light into a telescope lens. Lux Auto Brightness works on Android phones and tablets running 2.1 or later.