There are a lot of urban myths and legends about smartphone batteries. Yet just how can we get the most out of our batteries and preserve their livelihoods to the max? For starters, smartphones use lithium-ion batteries, which are flexible and hold a great volume of charge–but slowly decay and shorten in lifespan from use. Kind of like humans, they get old and lose a lot of their cheerfulness and strength.
Many people believe that leaving a phone on for extended periods of time and charging it overnight instead of turning it off will burn out your battery. This is true to some extent; believe it or not, modern technology is smart enough to realize when batteries are fully charged and are designed to stop charging after they hit the 100% mark. However, charging your phone overnight does have some minor long-term detriments to the battery’s lifespan because it expends a small bit of energy to keep the phone on, which in turn forces the battery to fill the tiny gap with charge every now and then throughout the night.
This is rather negligent in the grand scheme of things and will likely take a few years to do any significant drainage to your battery. Moral of the story? Replace your phone every few years. But for real, it’s good to keep up with the trends.
Another big phone killer is temperature and risk of overheating. You should never stack heavy or isolative objects like books, blankets, pillows or heaven forbid, sit on your phone. Heat might warp your battery and will cause it to drain far quicker, or even cause it to overheat and snap, crackle, pop. Cold is the antithesis of hot when it comes to smartphones. Ever take your phone up the mountain while skiing? You probably remember it suddenly turning off when you were lost from your friends or needed to call somebody frantically for help, but it decided to turn off just as you dialed in the number. iPhones are notorious for this.
A method to ensure the accuracy and prolonged lifespan of your battery is to drain it to around ten percent before charging it up to max volume every month or so. This allows the battery to recalibrate its current volume and maintain a precise read on its capacity, which is especially useful if your battery is old and has a knack for turning off close to ten or twenty percent randomly.
For the record, you can of course, get a new battery for your phone. Batteries can range from $50 to $100 depending on the phone model, with older phone batteries selling for much cheaper. Or you could be thrifty and bring around a charger everywhere. Maybe it’ll be a good excuse for you to get a new phone, after all.