Battery Life

Whether you own a cell phone or are looking to get a new one, the amount of time your battery keeps your phone powered and running is crucial. This data has become so important that cell phone carriers advertise, and continuously try to improve, how long cell phones can run without needing to be charged. Regardless of how well the phone is protected or monitoring for how long it charges at a time, it seems like your phone eventually always loses the ability to hold a charge like it did the first day you got the phone.

Ultimately, a few different issues can cause your cell phone to not holding a battery charge for an optimum length of time. Though many may not know how to monitor their phones, or may not have the time, there are a few practices that can be made into habits to help your cell phone’s battery last longer.

Charging a mobile phone with a powerbankCharging

When a new phone is purchased, it’s more than likely that the user doesn’t charge the battery completely before turning it on for the first time. Though because of today’s smartphone models, features and apps, why would a user WANT to wait until then, especially if it will be on the charger all night when you’re asleep?

Consider any time you have read or heard that rechargeable batteries need to “be trained” or “get used to” what their full potential is by fully charging, or topping off, and by letting the battery and phone die when the battery reaches 0. This is known as the “memory effect” and it is a real thing. However, this applies only to nickel based batteries and today, since the Sidekick, cell phones are made with lithium-ion batteries instead. That being stated, lithium-ion batteries function at the optimum intended level when they are kept charged above 50%.

Be sure to avoid “wireless charging”! Though it may be very convenient if your phone has the ability to do so, wireless chargers are said to produce a small amount of waste heat. Though waste energy, or heat, wont cause your cell phone to explode, it will cause your battery to overheat and get damaged.

It is also recommended that you should increase the time between charging your cell phone by turning it off when you wont be using it (times you wont have a network signal, wont be making/taking phone calls, etc.). Though some phones have a “Power Save” feature, it takes close to 30 minutes to actually activate and start working. By that time, if your phone were still on, too much battery power would have been depleted for your phone’s battery to actually conserve power. Likewise, if you are in an area where you wont have a signal, your phone will continuously search for a signal in range which will also drain your phone’s battery.

Low Batt CallOverheating

As lithium-ion batteries function best at 50% or more of their maximum charge capacity, it is just as important not to constantly charge the battery in order to avoid overheating. Overheating will result in damaging the overall lifespan of the battery, the stability of the battery and even the device it powers. Luckily, there are many chargers available that are intelligent enough to cut the charge to your phone’s battery when it reaches 100%.

To keep battery levels accurate and to optimize the lifespan of your cell phone’s battery, it is also possible to “calibrate” your cell phone’s battery by letting it reach a full charge and then a full discharge once a month. Doing so will help your cell phone calibrate the battery levels while keeping your battery at a healthy and optimal functioning state without straining your battery’s ability to hold a charge.

Another cause for overheating, that may be overlooked quite easily, is simple heat. Aside from an electrical charge, an even bigger cause for overheating in lithium-ion batteries is the temperature in the air or from the sun that causes your phone to become to hot regardless of whether the phone is being used or is sitting idle.

At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your cell phone’s battery will lose 6 percent of its maximum capacity per year. At 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the battery will lose up to 20% per year. At 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the battery will lose closer to 35% per year. Though it wouldn’t really be practical to keep your phone stored in the refrigerator or freezer, it’s still best to avoid leaving your phone in hot cars and other places with higher temperatures for long periods of time.

Overusing

Similar to charging your phone’s battery too long, it’s also possible to use your smartphone too much. This may seem like common sense, however, continuously using your phone for long periods of time, in different ways, will drain the battery much faster than if the phone was left in idle mode.

The first way this can occur is if your phone vibrates during an incoming call, text message or notification. The vibrating function on your phone uses extra battery power and keeping it turned off, along with keeping your ringtone on a lower volume, will keep your battery running longer.

The second way your battery can be drained from overuse is if your backlight is kept on for too long. The backlight on your phone is what makes your display easier to read in direct light or outside. A backlight on your phone isn’t ultimately what uses up the most power but because the backlight tends to stay on even after the user sets their phone down, over time it can drain the battery.

The third way you can overuse your cell phone is by using unnecessary features. This can include keeping certain programs or applications running for too long when you aren’t using them, having multiple programs or applications running at a time and the like. Similarly to having a computer that seems to run slow when more than one program is running at one time, multiple applications can put a strain on your smartphone’s processing power and cause excessive energy from your battery to be used.

Similarly, having things like WiFi, cellular data, GPS, Bluetooth and other options turned on when you aren’t using any of them will cause your phone to expend more than needed battery power in order to keep all of the options running. Not just these extensive options, but also things such as using live wallpapers with animated graphics, keeping your display brightness on the highest setting and any other option, feature or extension of your phone that isn’t necessary for your phone to operate at it’s minimal capabilities (unless using said features) will certainly cause your battery to discharge at a faster rate.