These days, almost all cell phones are equipped with a Lithium Ion battery. These batteries can last a long time if you treat them right. However, most of us including myself are guilty of “batricide”, causing the untimely death of our batteries. I recently purchased a new cell phone. I proceeded to use the phone until the battery was completely depleted, and then proceeded to fully charge the battery. Each and every day I would completely deplete my battery, then charge it to full overnight. If this sounds familiar, then both you are I are doing a disservice to our batteries. We are shorting the battery’s life, and doing it quickly!
I started to notice something interesting. That after my phone was fully charged, it would drop from 100% to 99% in a minute. So I did a little research and found out some very interesting and useful information.
First off, lithium ion batteries are not like those old nickel cadmium (Ni Cd) batteries. Those older batteries had a “memory” which worked in this manner. You would have to deplete the entire battery and charge it fully after depletion. Doing a partial charge would lower the memory capacity ceiling of the battery, and thus give it a shorter battery life. Lithium ion batteries don’t have that type of “memory”, so there is no fear of a partial charge ruining the battery.
The best thing you can do to your battery is to partially charge it before it runs out of juice! Now, there is an exception about depleting a lithium ion battery. You should perform a full discharge and full recharge approximately once a month. The reason for this, is that the battery forgets how much of a charge it can handle (it’s not a memory thing). What I’m saying is, that after you fully charge the phone, the battery indicator may say that it has a 100% charge, but within minutes it drops to 85%. This happens when you do partial charges. This has nothing to do with the battery’s charge capacity. By doing a complete depletion and recharge, it helps the battery remember how much capacity it has and recalibrates the battery indicator. This will allow it to more accurately display the correct remaining charge.
Here are some tips for charging your battery.
Your battery has two stages when it’s charging. The first stage takes approximately 1 hour and will charge the battery to about 70% of its capacity. The second stage takes twice as long as the first stage and will charge your batter to 100%. Most lithium ion batteries will fully charge in 4 hours. If you are using an under-powered charger or USB computer adapter, you will notice that it takes longer than 4 hours. Longer, lower-voltage chargers WILL shorten the life of the battery!
See the list below for figures according to http://batteryuniversity.com
The follow list below shows how many hours you will get out of a battery if you use your phone during a 16 hour active usage period.
DoD = Depth of Depletion
|DoD||# of Recharges||Life Expectancy||+ / – Life|
|100%||300 to 500||4,800-8,000 hrs||Baseline|
|50%||1,200-1,500||9,600-12,000 hrs||+33% to +50%|
|25%||2,000-2,500||8,000-10,000 hrs||+20% to +40%|
|10%||3,750-4,700||6,000-7,520 hrs||-6% to +40%|
Based on the chart above, it’s best to charge your phone after it has been depleted to about 50%. Avoid going lower than 25% or 1 bar on your battery indicator. Try to enable the battery % indicator feature on your phones toolbar in order to help you determine when it’s best to charge the battery. Your battery charger has enough power to charge your phone and let you use the phone while it’s charging.
So, what are some things you can do to help out your battery?
If you infrequently use your battery, it’s best to partially charge the battery to about 60% and store it in your fridge. Then, when you are ready to use it, charge it all the way up. These batteries loose their capacity faster if you store them at a full charge instead of a partial depletion.
Never fully deplete a lithium ion battery and then not charge it right away. Once these batteries completely lose there charge you won’t be able to charge it again (unless you have a special battery booster).
Never store these batteries in a warm or hot environment. Heat is this battery’s worst enemy. The warmer the environment, the faster its capacity will be depleted.
Try to avoid charging your battery for longer than it takes to fully charge it (3-4 hours). It’s not that the battery will over-charge, because it can’t. It has circuitry that prevents this from happening. But what can happen, is that the battery will stop charging, drop down to 99% and then the charger will kick in and start to trickle charge back up to 100%. This little blip can, over a period of time, decrease the battery’s capacity.
For laptops, remove the battery from the laptop if you are using your computer plugged into an electrical outlet. The heat coming from the computer over a prolonged period of time will deplete the battery life.
Wireless charging pads are handy devices that let you charge you battery/phone without having to plug the device into a charger. However, these mats generate a lot of heat…need I say more!
Treating your battery right by charging it at the right time for the correct length of time can double its life.
To quote Wilma Flintstone & Betty Rubble, “CHARGE!!!”