One of the most frustrating things about current mobile phones is their battery life. As our devices have become more powerful and technologically advanced, battery manufacturers have struggled to keep pace. All those incredible apps and smart features that come with mobiles in 2018 drain your battery much quicker than they used to.
Because of this, it’s sometimes necessary to charge your battery twice, or even three times per day – particularly if you’re someone that uses it a lot – and that’s just not viable. So what’s the solution?
Well, it might seem obvious, but a surprising number of people don’t know how to charge their phone correctly. By ‘correctly’, I mean in a way that maximizes the battery life both in the short-term and in the long-term, and charges it quickly enough that you can go from 0% to 100% in no time at all, allowing you to fit in multiple recharges per day.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 10 tips that will help you to charge your phone faster and more safely. Let’s get into it!
1. Don’t charge it to 100%
You might have thought that the best way to make sure your phone has enough juice to keep it going through the day is to charge it fully, right the way to 100%. Well, you’d be wrong. Why? Two words: battery life.
Most modern smartphones have lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries don’t respond well to being charged to maximum capacity. I won’t bore you with why that is – it’s far too complex and technical to get into here – but you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you charge them to 100%, you’ll cause a tiny bit of damage to the battery which will, over time, reduce its lifespan. If you do this regularly, after a few hundred charges your battery life will be dramatically reduced.
The good news is partial charges cause no harm whatsoever to lithium-ion batteries so aim to do frequent, short charges of between 10%-20% at a time if you can. If that’s not possible, just unplug your charger before it gets to 100%.
The exception to all of this is if your mobile has a nickel-based battery. Nickel batteries actually benefit from the total opposite due to something called the ‘memory effect’. This refers to when a battery ‘forgets’ its full capacity if its never being charged to it. For example, if you only ever charge it up to 80%, it might forget about the other 20% over time. Sounds weird, I know. Fortunately, you probably don’t have to worry about this too much anyway as very few modern phones still have nickel-based batteries.
2. Don’t let it run too low
In the same way that you shouldn’t ever let your phone charge all the way up to 100%, you shouldn’t let it deplete to 0% either. This actually damages the battery a little bit each time, which will cause the battery life to drop over the long-term. Try not to let it drop below 25% if you can help it.
If you want to be really safe about it, aim to keep your battery charged at between 65%-75% at all times as research shows this is the optimal amount to maintain battery life.
3. Don’t leave it at 0% for too long
If you do fail to keep your phone battery from running out, try to get it charged up again as soon as possible. If you leave it at 0% for too long, it can completely die. By that, I mean totally lose its capacity to hold a charge and refuse to turn on again even when plugged in.
Of course, this won’t happen over a few hours or even a few days. We’re talking about a phone that’s left for months with 0% charge. It does happen sometimes, though, when people store old mobiles in drawers. If you do, just remember to charge it back up to around 50% every now and then to prevent the battery from dying.
4. Use a fast charger
All chargers are not made equal. It’s possible to get ‘lightning chargers’ which are able to charge up your phone faster than regular ones – but only if your phone supports fast charging. Many new Android models do, so if you have one of these phones, pair it up with a fast charger and you’ll be able to charge much more quickly.
5. Turn it off whilst charging
It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning as most people still use their phone whilst it’s charging. If you can, go without it for a few minutes and turn it off. It will charge much quicker as there will be fewer things draining the battery whilst it’s charging up.
6. Stop touching it
If you really can’t turn it off – perhaps you’re waiting for an important call – then at least stop touching it. The screen is usually the biggest battery drain at all, so even just touching your phone to check the time uses up some charge. Try to leave it alone and the battery will charge quicker.
7. Use airplane mode
If you can’t turn it off and you can’t stop touching it, then at the very least switch on airplane mode. This will stop things like WiFi, GPS, and 4G from draining your battery so that it can recharge more quickly. You should also close any apps you’re not using.
8. Use a wall socket
If you just rely on the USB lead to charge your phone, it’s not going to charge as quickly. Instead of plugging it into your laptop, plug it into a wall for maximum speed. If you don’t have a plug and have to rely on the USB, at least aim for a USB 3.0 port as this will charge it quicker than a USB 2.0.
9. Keep it cool
Batteries charge slower the hotter they are. Therefore, you can reduce the time it takes to charge up your battery by keeping it cool whilst charging. This means taking off any accessories like mobile phone cases that might be trapping in the heat. It also means charging it in a cool room, out of the way of direct sunlight.
10. Get a portable charger
Ok, so the final tip is a bit of a cheat. It’s not exactly a way to charge your phone more quickly per se, but it is a way that you can avoid letting your battery deplete entirely and charge it up on-the-go. Buy yourself a portable charger and take it with you to work or wherever you’re spending your day. That way, if your battery starts getting low, you can top it up before it gets to 0% even if there isn’t a wall socket nearby.
That’s it for our 10 tips on charging your phone correctly. Have fun and remember – don’t let your battery ruin your day!