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Offline Vikram Singh

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Smartphone Battery Myths
« on: October 09, 2015, 02:04:18 AM »


Over just a few years, the batteries in our smartphones have changed a lot. That means those old tips to stretch out your battery life just aren’t as true as they once were, yet we still share them like they’re gospel. Before telling someone to disable Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, let’s shed some light on those old myths.

Batteries used to be stupid. Older batteries would “forget” their full capacity, so they wouldn’t be able to fully charge again. So, you’d have to let a battery discharge all the way to 0% before charging it again. That’s not the case anymore, and it hasn’t been for a long time.

Smartphones today have lithium-ion batteries, which don’t suffer from the memory problems of older nickel cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries. Similarly, lithium-ion batteries count charges differently than older batteries, so you don’t need to worry about discharging it completely. Here’s how Apple explains it http://www.apple.com/batteries/why-lithium-ion/, and while they reference their batteries, the rules apply to any lithium-ion battery:

Charge your Apple lithium-ion battery whenever you want. There’s no need to let it discharge 100% before recharging. Apple lithium-ion batteries work in charge cycles. You complete one charge cycle when you’ve used (discharged) an amount that equals 100% of your battery’s capacity — but not necessarily all from one charge. For instance, you might use 75% of your battery’s capacity one day, then recharge it fully overnight. If you use 25% the next day, you will have discharged a total of 100%, and the two days will add up to one charge cycle. It could take several days to complete a cycle. The capacity of any type of battery will diminish after a certain amount of recharging. With lithium-ion batteries, the capacity diminishes slightly with each complete charge cycle. Apple lithium-ion batteries are designed to hold at least 80% of their original capacity for a high number of charge cycles, which varies depending on the product.

Most manufacturers still suggest you “calibrate” your battery by discharging and recharging it once every one to three months. Since your battery’s overall life diminishes over time, the time you have left on each full charge decreases a little with every full discharge. Essentially, every discharge shortens the battery life just a little bit. Discharging to 0% once a month helps the operating system calibrate the full life cycle of the battery so it knows exactly how much it has diminished over time.

However, more and more batteries have a digital calibration tool built into them. These “smart batteries” supposedly reduce the need to calibrate, though it’s still recommended when your battery behaves oddly. If you see the battery percentage on your phone jump around a lot (like you could have sworn it was fully charged, and now it’s at 20%,) it’s time to calibrate it. You don’t want to do this too often though. It’s actually bad for lithium-ion batteries to be regularly drained all the way to 0%. That counts as a full charge cycle, which in turn decreases the battery’s total life.


...
http://www.apple.com/batteries/why-lithium-ion/

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Smartphone Battery Myths
« on: October 09, 2015, 02:04:18 AM »

 

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