Yes, we know. Our smartphone batteries are bad because they barely last a day.
But it’s partially our fault because we’ve been charging them wrong this whole time.
Many of us have an deep-rooted concept that charging our smartphones in small ruptures will cause long-term damage to their batteries, and that it’s better to charge them when they’re close to dead.
But we couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, a site from battery firm Cadex, called Battery University, details how the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones are sensitive to their own versions of “stress.” And, like for humans, extended stress could be damaging your smartphone battery’s long-term lifespan.
If you want to keep your smartphone battery in highest condition and go about your day without worrying about battery life, you need to change a few things.
Unplug if fully charged
According to Battery University, leaving your phone plugged in when it’s fully charged, is bad for the battery in the long run.
Battery University goes into a bunch of scientific detail explaining why, but it also sums it up nicely: “When fully charged, remove the battery” from its charging device. “This is like relaxing the muscles after strenuous exercise.” You too would be pretty miserable if you worked out nonstop for hours and hours.
Once your smartphone has reached 100% charge, it gets “trickle charges” to keep it at 100% while plugged in. It keeps the battery in a high-stress, high-tension state, which wears down the chemistry within.
Try not to charge it to 100%
According to Battery University, “Li-ion does not need to be fully charged, nor is it desirable to do so. In fact, it is better not to fully charge, because a high voltage stresses the battery” and wears it away in the long run.
That might seem counter-intuitive if you’re trying to keep your smartphone charged all day, but just plug it in whenever you can during the day, and you’ll be fine.
Plug in your phone whenever you can
It turns out that the batteries in our smartphones are much better-off if you charge them occasionally throughout the day instead of plugging them in for a big charging session when they’re empty.
Charging your phone when it drops 10% of its charge would be the best-case scenario, according to Battery University. Obviously, that’s not practical for most people, so just plug in your smartphone whenever you can. It’s fine to plug and unplug it several times a day.
Keep it cool
Smartphone batteries are so delicate to heat that Apple itself recommends you get rid of certain cases that insulate heat from your iPhone when you charge it. “If you notice that your device gets hot when you charge it, take it out of its case first.” If you’re out in the hot sun, keep your phone covered. It’ll protect your battery’s health.