Charging your gadgets properly: how to protect the battery from wear and tear
From the very first charge, the batteries of mobile gadgets begin to slowly and surely degrade. It is possible to slow down the process, the main thing is to know the rules of working with batteries and chargers. How to save the maximum capacity of the battery? Read about it in our article – link.
A little bit of theory
Many people are convinced that smartphones and gadgets need to be fully charged – and discharged to zero. This made sense when nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) and nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries were used in mobile devices. They are no longer used in today’s gadgets. Today’s standards are lithium-ion (Li-ion) and lithium-polymer (Li-Poly) batteries. For them, the “zero or full charge” approach is not very desirable.
If there is no energy in the battery, the battery can go into “deep discharge”. This locks the electrical circuit when the charge level is critically low. With each such discharge, the phone’s battery reduces its original capacity. And when the battery is 100% charged, it becomes less stable.
It is worth noting that 0% on the device screen and 0% on the battery are two different things. Yes, the device will no longer turn on when fully discharged, but there is still a small amount of charge left in the battery to preserve the maximum battery capacity. Do not leave the phone in this state for a long time, otherwise the battery will start to degrade due to self-discharge.
How to charge your smartphones properly
You should use a partial charge – from 20-30% to 70-80% – to keep your batteries as efficient as possible.
The optimum looks like this:
- Phone signals a low charge – charge;
- Phone is charged to 80-90% – take it off the charger.
However, it is not always convenient to follow such a schedule. In general, the phone is designed for man, not vice versa! Many people leave their smartphones to charge overnight. That’s why manufacturers create overcharging protection systems in gadgets.
- In night mode, the phone analyzes the time of its use, and then distributes the rate of charging. For example, you go to bed at 23:00 and wake up at 7:00. The smartphone will charge smoothly for those eight hours.
- The smartphone uses a built-in controller to keep track of your battery level. When it reaches 100%, the current supply stops.
However, you should not leave your smartphone plugged in for a long time. First, for safety reasons. Secondly, due to the presence of micro-cycles that affect the battery wear and tear (when the charge is constantly jumping from 99% to 100%).
How to charge a new gadget
For the smartphone to correctly determine the battery capacity limit, it is enough to charge the device to 100% once. Then you can use the gadget as usual.
What affects the battery wear and tear
There are several other factors that affect accelerated battery wear and tear.
When your battery overheats, it wears out faster and loses capacity. Battery University’s tests illustrate this. Charging the phone 100% at 25°C for a year will drop battery capacity by up to 80%. At 40 °C, up to 65%. At 60 °C, up to 60% for three months.
For the same reason, do not leave the phone in direct sunlight or in extreme cold. Also, do not use power-intensive applications while charging is in progress. Especially if there is a case that interferes with the heat sink. The battery should stay cool. For example, Apple recommends a temperature of 0 to 35 °C for its devices.
Samsung also encourages not exposing its devices to extreme temperatures.
However, it is forbidden to charge smartphones at sub-zero temperatures. Such charging will significantly reduce battery capacity. So in winter, after you get home, give your smartphone some time to warm up. And only then charge it.
When you use fast charging regularly, the battery capacity drops faster. The faster the phone is charged, the faster the battery degrades and the temperature of the battery rises. So it is better to use classic power adapters on a regular basis. Fast charging is needed, first of all, in emergency cases.
A poor-quality charger can also damage the battery. Therefore, if the original adapter breaks, it is recommended to buy a similar or as similar as possible. It is important that the output current and voltage parameters are close in value to the “native” device.
Storing the gadget discharged
In a fully discharged device, the battery capacity will rapidly decrease. This is the reason why many gadgets and smartphones are charged by the manufacturer before being shipped to stores. So, if you decide to put away an unwanted gadget on a distant shelf, charge it at 50%. Apple additionally recommends recharging your devices every six months.
How do I increase the charge savings?
If you lose battery power quickly, it’s a good idea to reduce the brightness of the display. You can turn on Auto Brightness and reduce the resolution and refresh rate of the screen.
See how much battery you use and how much power you conserve.
With smartphones, you can control the battery level. To do this, go to “Settings”, then select the section “Battery”. Keep in mind that all manufacturers have different names.
Do not forget about the power saving mode. It works differently for all manufacturers, but the principle is the same: closing unnecessary applications and reducing the frequency of access to them. It is turned on in the same section where the battery consumption level is monitored.
Optimizing applications and operating mode
You can limit the work of applications in the background and optimize them without the power saving mode. Also, don’t forget about the different operating modes of your device.
Check the condition of the battery on a regular basis. For example, starting with iPhone 6 and iOS 11.3, it is possible to check the maximum remaining battery capacity via Settings > Battery > Battery Status. Android smartphones also have this feature.
Dark themes in phones with an AMOLED screen reduce power consumption. At screen brightness of 30-50%, power consumption is reduced by 3-9%. At 100% brightness, 39-47% less power is consumed compared to operating in a light theme.
Messengers, social networks, and email services regularly check for updates and new emails. If you use them infrequently, it’s worth going into your smartphone settings. There you can limit them or turn them off altogether. The path is usually as follows: “Settings” > “Users and accounts”. It may vary from model to model.
If you have a poor connection, your phone wastes extra energy searching for and connecting to cellular stations all the time. If you need to conserve battery power, and you don’t want to call anyone, turn off cellular data.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS
These services also regularly check for signal availability. If you don’t need them, it’s best to turn them off. Keep in mind that Wi-Fi consumes less battery power than connecting to the Internet over a conventional network.
Turn Always-on Display off. Recent DxOMark tests have shown that this mode drains your devices up to four times faster.