Posts Tagged battery

10 Tips for Charging Your Phone Correctly

10 Tips for Charging Your Phone Correctly

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!

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Smartphone Batteries Don’t Last Forever, So You Need To Maintain Yours Properly

Smartphone Batteries Don’t Last Forever, So You Need To Maintain Yours Properly

Lithium batteries generally power today’s smartphones and tablets. In your lifetime, you’ve probably owned a half-dozen or more smartphones. Every device features a battery with a specific rated capacity. Did you know the actual capacity can vary from battery to battery? Typically, the average smartphone owner doesn’t understand how their smartphone’s battery works or what care should be taken. There’s a lot to learn about these batteries, and you can take various steps to maximize a battery’s lifespan.

A Quick Bit Of History On Batteries In Smartphones

Early smartphones utilized nickel-cadmium batteries to keep devices running. Nickel-cadmium batteries suffered from a memory effect as well as other shortcomings. Awhile back, smartphone manufacturers started to use lithium-ion batteries instead. Lithium-ion batteries are smaller, more efficient, and they last quite some time before needing to be replaced. Arguments could be made for either type of battery, but lithium-based batteries long ago established themselves as the battery of choice for smartphones.

Manufacturers Build Smartphone’s With A Specific Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity

When a manufacturer builds a smartphone, the device features a lithium-ion battery with a rated capacity. This is the official rating for the battery in milliampere hours (mAh). As previously mentioned, this number is the official rating rather than the exact rating. Small differences in manufactured batteries means your smartphone’s battery capacity could come slightly above or slightly below that mark. You don’t have to worry about getting a battery that’s more than a few mAh off the official rating, though.

Manufacturers Also Like To Seal Batteries With No Option For Removal

In years past, smartphone makers created devices with removable batteries. You’d pop off the back cover of the phone, and you’d have immediate access to the battery. This was necessary to hard reset some devices, and the situation made it possible to replace a dying smartphone battery. Lithium-ion batteries don’t last forever, and they often don’t last more than a few years. As smartphones became thinner and lighter, manufacturers moved toward making batteries non-removable.

Most of today’s smartphones hide the battery behind proprietary screws and plenty of other obstacles. Some manufacturers might cite safety as a reason for embedding batteries with no option for removal. However, others will tell you that doing so prevents you from replacing a battery yourself. You’ll instead have to send the device to the manufacturer and pay a hefty fee for a replacement battery. Millions of consumers lament past days where accessing the battery took less than five seconds.

How To Properly Care For Your Smartphone’s Battery

Proper battery care and maintenance is surrounding by dozens of myths. You’ll find a lot of misinformation related to smartphone batteries for one reason or another. For instance, many people take battery maintenance tips for nickel-cadmium batteries and apply them to lithium-ion batteries. All of the same rules don’t apply to both types of batteries, though. Therefore, you’ll want to follow this guide on how to properly maintain your smartphone’s battery throughout the course of ownership.

The average lithium-ion battery holds up over 1,000 full charge and discharge cycles. Whether you charge your battery 1% or 100%, every charge counts toward a partial cycle. You’ll start to notice that battery life begins to suffer after 500 or so full cycles. A smartphone might only last an hour or two per charge by the time 1,000 cycles come and go. For heavy smartphone users, a battery might be done for after a year. Lighter users might get ample use out of the battery for three or more years instead.

What To Do WIth A Brand New Smartphone

When you get a new smartphone, you’ll want to charge the device to 100% before doing anything else. This particular tidbit is a recommendation rather than a mandatory action. Long-term harm from turning on the phone without charging it is highly unlikely, Still, it’s nice to start ownership of a new phone with a fully charged battery. You don’t have to charge the device for 12 to 24 hours, like some manufacturers recommend. That guideline pertains to nickel-cadmium batteries rather than lithium-ion.

What Are Your Charging Habits Like With Your Smartphone?

Charging habits have a lasting impact on the health of your phone’s battery. Some people believe you should keep devices charged to 100% as often as possible. On the other hand, some think you need to let the phone discharge to 0% on a regular basis. Both of these steps will leave you with a dead battery sooner rather than later. Lithium-ion batteries are healthy and happy while in a charged range from 20% to 80%. Of course, your battery won’t become unusable or die for good outside of this range.

Most of us like to plug in our smartphones while going to bed and then taking it off the charger in the morning. Unfortunately, this leads to dozens of “micro-charges” throughout the night, and your battery receives unnecessary wear and tear from so much charging. You’ll want to keep your phone charged between 20% and 80% to avoid putting too many unnecessary charging cycles on the device. Your phone doesn’t need to be fully charged every day, and better charging habits keep the battery healthy.

Temperature Can Kill A Battery In Multiple Ways

While using a smartphone, you should avoid extremely cold or extremely hot temperatures. A smartphone heats up during use, but it’s designed to withstand normal operating temperatures. Leaving your phone out in the sun, however, could heat up the battery and damage it. Extreme heat could cause the battery to swell up and catch fire, or even explode. Similarly, extreme cold puts unnecessary wear on the battery. Don’t expose your device to temperature extremes, or the battery could meet a premature end.

What Is The Future Of Smartphone Batteries?

Scientists across the globe continue to develop new battery technologies. None of them have proven viable for the consumer market (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) yet. At this point, developments in lithium-ion batteries have reached somewhat of a climax. Scientists can only stuff so much energy into each battery, and nobody wants to walk around with a brick of a smartphone in their pocket. Promising batteries involving graphene and other materials may materialize in the next decade.

Until that happens, we’re stuck with the tried and true lithium-ion battery. You should take the time to properly care for and maintain your smartphone’s battery. Chances are you can’t replace the battery by popping out the old one and putting in a new one. Plenty of consumers simply replace their smartphone as the battery starts to hold less and less of a charge. With that in mind, proper care can prolong the life of a given lithium-ion battery by a noticeable amount of time.

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