Here’s How Your Phone Battery Works
First thing’s first, you need to have a general idea of how lithium ion batteries work before we dig into our 5 tips. Don’t worry, we won’t get too technical here. You don’t need to know exactly how to ionize lithium to create energy, but here is a simple run down on some of the basics.
The large majority of phones today use lithium-ion batteries. They hold a large amount of energy for their size, have the ability to recharge quickly, and can be packed into the pocket-sized computers we call phones. They are able to do this through a chemical reaction involving the movement of positively charged ions moving between an anode and cathode. In layman’s terms: your battery stores an energy that eventually depletes, and each time you recharge your battery, you are making positive ions again to provide energy for the duration of its cycle.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go through a few tips on how to properly use your phone battery.
Phone Batteries Have a “Sweet Spot”
Most people don’t know about this sweet spot, so here’s the scoop. Your battery will work best and have a much longer lifespan when you keep it between a 20% and 80% charge. Never letting it die, and never keeping it too topped up. That means charging it before it dies, and unplugging it once it’s fully charged. The balance of the chemical reaction in your battery is most effective between a 20% and 80% charge.
Maintaining this sweet spot as best you can will be crucial in getting the most out of your phone’s battery life. Batteries will not last forever and eventually they will lose their effectiveness. So using this tip, along with the next ones, you can see a much longer lifespan for your phone battery and avoid replacing it before it’s time.
Your Phone Battery Can’t Handle Extreme Temperatures
As we mentioned before, your phone battery works through a chemical reaction. Though it’s a refined process, it’s still susceptible to extreme temperatures. When exposed to excessive heat or cold, this can cause a multitude of issues to occur, including rapid depletion which can result in a rupture. Ruptures in lithium-ion batteries release flames and massive amounts of heat.
Avoid exposing your phone to such temperatures and you should be safe. Additionally, be sure to charge your phone in a safe location. Sometimes people charge their phones and leave them in their bed. This can easily build up a massive amount of heat and cause the phone to rupture in the worst-case scenario. Having a fire-proof surface or container to charge your phone in is ideal, but just make sure you don’t let it heat up too much in any given location while it’s charging.
Don’t Leave Your Phone on the Charger Longer Than Necessary
This goes for phones, laptops, and anything with a lithium-ion battery essentially. You should refrain from leaving your device plugged in for longer than it needs, or else it will cause a “trickle effect”. This is detrimental to the overall lifespan of the battery, as well as power consumption.
This may not be easy for everyone. Generally speaking, night time charging is very common. It’s the only time we aren’t using our phones, so it seems like the best time to charge it, but leaving your device plugged in overnight can cause some serious issues over a long enough timeline.
The problem with excessive charging is that once your phone goes to 100%, it will drop to 99% while being idle, then charge back up to 100%. Your phone will repeatedly recharge the 1% it loses over and over. This has been resolved by some newer devices which cut off the charging connection automatically once it hits 100%. However, not all devices have this safety feature in place.
Your phone’s battery has a certain amount of “cycles”, each cycle can be quantified by one full charge. So even though your phone is recharging 1%, it does so repeatedly throughout the night, accumulating to well over 100% charge. This eats into the total number of cycles your battery is capable of providing.
Your Phone is Smarter Than You Think
Cell phones have made phenomenal advancements over the last 10 years. No longer limited to the functions of simply texting and calling, they can now perform a multitude of other tasks as well. This can be a detriment at times though if you are unfamiliar with the capabilities of your smartphone. Applications and processes are constantly running on your device. These can also be running in the background without you noticing.
These background processes can eat away at your battery life and deplete your battery quickly throughout the day. Be sure to maintain these background apps by forcing them to stop or uninstalling apps you don’t use. You can also check your battery health in most smartphones by checking your settings. This will give you a good analysis of battery health, usage, and ways to improve it. Maintaining this properly can help save your phone battery from depleting too quickly, and additionally increase it’s overall lifespan.
Don’t Cheap Out On Accessories
You wouldn’t fuel your car with spaghettios would you? It’s equally ridiculous to use a really cheap charging block, cable, and/or docking station. Your phone is a valuable and complex device, it needs the right accessories to maintain properly.
Having cheap charging accessories for example can cause serious issues for your battery. A frayed cable, malfunctioning charging block, or faulty charging station can cause an array of issues. This could include short circuiting, battery ruptures, and even the charring of your charging port. All of which can damage your device significantly and possibly cause damage or harm to those around it upon failures.
Long story short, buy the good stuff and avoid these problems easily. Moreover, keep an eye on the condition of your cables, blocks, etc. Any breaks, tears, or frays can be a future headache waiting to happen.
Nothing Lasts Forever
That about sums up our primary 5 tips when it comes to phone batteries. There is a lot we left out that may be revisited in future articles. Lithium-ion batteries are a fairly complex topic, but these tips are a great place to start.
Keep in mind, no phone battery will last forever. These practices will help you get the most out of your battery and avoid any premature failure. If your phone battery completely fails or simply gives you too much trouble, come talk to us aout replacing it with a fresh one. Battery repairs are quick, easy, and affordable.
If you have any further questions, feel free to call or stop in and say hi.
P.S. If your phone battery is getting really hot or if you notice any swelling, place your phone in a fireproof location and call us immediately for replacement. This can result in a rupture, so avoid flaming bursts from your phone by bringing it to the experts ASAP.