Smartphones are becoming more and more common in recent years. With all the applications and functionality loaded into the phone, it is hard to get the phone to last for a decent amount of time (1 day or so). Normally, the capacities that the batteries can hold drops over time. This can be due to aging, wear and tear or user-negligence. It is frustrating when you charge your batteries and they are dead within an hour or 2.
Note: If you are looking for rechargeable AA/AAA batteries (E.g. Energizer Recharge), please visit https://www.miniphysics.com/7-tips-to-take-better-care-of-your.html.
– Your smartphones/tablets/laptops uses lithium ion batteries.
– Your lithium ion batteries discharges by itself when left alone. (just like any other batteries)
Here are some tips to take better care of your batteries (SPECIFICALLY: Lithium ion batteries – Li ion)
1. Do NOT do deep-cycle discharges
Deep cycle discharges are only for calibration purposes. (More about this later) For the technically disabled, deep-cycle discharges means running the battery down to the red (5% to 20%) and charging it back up. Your lithium ion battery is not designed for such purposes. The battery lifespan will be shortened dramatically if you keep this practice up.
Studies have shown that the higher the charge level is at before you charge again, the longer the lifespan of your battery will be. (Meaning: The less you use before you charge again, the longer your battery will serve you)
What should you do: Do NOT do deep-cycle discharges. You will kill your battery faster than you think.
2. Do NOT overcharge/use unauthorised chargers
Lithium ion batteries are extremely sensitive to overcharging. They WILL explode if you try to stuff more charge than it can handle.
All lithium ion chargers have a built-in overcharge protection circuit. They will automatically cut off the current when the capacity limit of the battery is reached. However, some “cheap” chargers do not have that protection circuit and will just stuff electrons into the poor battery. Result: A blown battery and $100 down the drain.
What should you do: Only use a proper, reputable charger.
Note: This is mainly applicable to the lithium ion batteries found in those hobby helicopters/cars.
For normal consumer smartphones, the charging chip is in the smartphone itself. All it needs is the DC from the adaptor.
3. Charge your electronics while they are powered off.
When you keep your electronics on while charging, you might not get a satisfactory charge. This is because your charger is confused by the additional load contributed by your electronics. This is called parasitic load. This will cause undue stresses to the battery and will impact your battery lifespan.
What should you do: Power off your electronics before/while charging.
Note: Personally, I do not practice this because I need my electronics to be on. (And because I’m quite lazy) But if you’re looking to prolong your battery lifespan, do it.