Everything we think we know about making our smartphone batteries last longer could be wrong, according to technology website Gizmodo.
The site has debunked some of the myths around battery life, including never charging it to 100 per cent, not letting the battery charge drop below 50 per cent, avoiding wireless charging and staying away from hot countries.
Journalist Eric Limer also claims that an average battery lasts between 300 and 500 times it takes to run down the battery.
Battery life’ means the time your phone will run before it must be recharged, while ‘battery lifespan’ means the total amount of time your battery will last before it must be replaced.
A common myth is that the first time a phone or tablet is plugged into charge, the owner must charge it for at least 72 hours to improve its battery life.
This was thought to be necessary to teach rechargeable batteries their full potential, by fully charging them and then letting them run down completely each time – a system called the ‘memory effect’.
The theory was that if batteries aren’t taught this then they will ‘forget part of their capacity’, yet Limer claims this is wrong.
He said: ‘Battery memory is a real thing, but it applies to nickel-based batteries.
‘Your trusty sidekick doubtlessly has a lithium-ion battery and it needs to be treated a little differently.
‘Specifically, it should be topped off whenever you get the chance.’
Limer adds that users should try and keep batteries charged more than 50 per cent where possible: ‘For the most part, going from all the way full to all the way empty won’t help; in fact, it’ll do a little damage if you do it too often.
‘That said, it’s smart to do one full discharge about once a month for ‘calibration,’ but don’t do it all the time.
‘Running the whole gamunt on a regular basis won’t make your battery explode or anything, but it will shorten its lifespan.’
Apple claims phones and tablets should be recalibrated every few months to keep the onscreen battery time and percent display as accurate as possible, and keep the battery operating at ‘maximum efficiency’.
Limer adds that phones also don’t like being all the way full either and advises that a device is taken off charge before it reaches 100 per cent.
He also claims leaving it plugged in when its fully charged causes degradation, so the optimum charge levels are between 40 per cent and 80 per cent.
Apple adds that most lithium-ion polymer batteries use what’s called a fast charge to charge your device to this 80 per cent battery capacity before switching to trickle charging.
‘That’s about two hours of charge time to power to 80 per cent capacity, then another two hours to fully charge it, if you are not using the device while charging.’
This gives iPhone and iPads user an idea of how long it will take to get to the optimum 80 per cent.
The figures come from site Battery University (BU). It claims that: ‘This level minimises age-related capacity loss while keeping the battery in operating condition and allowing self-discharge.’
According to BU phones must also be kept cool to protect the batteries. It claims the recommended storage temperature for most batteries is 15 degrees celcius (59 degrees fahrenheit); the extreme allowable temperature is –40 degrees celcius to 50 degrees celcius.
Limer adds that at an average temperature of 32 degrees fahrenheit, a lithium-ion battery will lose six percent of its maximum capacity per year.
‘At 77 degrees that number jumps to 20 percent, and at 104 degrees it’s a whopping 35.’
According to semiconductor company Qualcomm, mobile phones can be put in a freezer to cool them down.
It has also created a free Android app called Snapdragon BatteryGuru that uses software and hardware to improve battery life.
The app works by learning users’ behavior and intelligently adjusting smartphone settings to minimise background activities without disabling smartphone features.
Limer also warns against using wireless charging to boost battery life adding: ‘The inductive, wireless chargers out there today have this nasty habit of generating a fair bit of waste heat.
‘And that heat will also toast your battery in the process.
Standard plug-in charging is going to keep your battery in better shape, especially if you’re some place warm to begin with.’
source: dailymail UK