Battery life is a perennial problem for smartphone users. While our handsets have become faster and more powerful over the years, smartphone batteries often last less than a day under heavy use, or even moderate use after a few months.
Battery problems on your smartphone? Here’s what you need to know about battery’s myth busters.
1.Does battery life get worse over time?
Yes, you’re not making it up, your battery deteriorates over time. Modern lithium-ion batteries are designed to withstand a certain number of “cycles” – a full drain of the battery. A cycle is equivalent to a battery fully draining, but this doesn’t all have to be from one charge.
2.Do I need to charge my phone when I first get it?
No. Earlier battery types like nickel cadmium had a “memory effect” that meant batteries would maintain a certain capacity based on how they had been charged and discharged. This meant that electronics products often came with advice to charge them fully and keep them plugged in for hours before using them.
However, with modern lithium-ion batteries most people agree that there is no such effect and the batteries are more reliable. A smartphone is fine to run out of the box without “priming” it beforehand.
For the same reason, you don’t need to calibrate your smartphone by running the battery all the way down.
3.Should I wait until my phone battery has gone well down before recharging it, or can I charge it often?
No – in fact, you should do the opposite. Modern lithium-ion batteries gain nothing from being powered down, and long charging cycles are actually worse than short ones.
4.Does leaving my smartphone charging damage the battery?
Not usually. There have been suggestions that keeping your phone charging overnight or constantly can force the battery to deteriorate, due to it receiving more power than it needs. Modern battery systems, however, know to reduce this to a trickle, so it only tops up a battery with the power you need.
The exception is in very hot conditions. Heat causes lithium-ion batteries to decay slightly, reducing performance. Since charging a phone does heat it up slightly, combining this with hot temperatures can damage it. Try to keep your phone relatively cool when charging it, by placing it out of the sun.
5.Does turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth improve battery life? How about airplane mode?
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not nearly as power hungry as they used to be. Keeping them on is not likely to drain a huge amount of battery, although if you really want to completely maximise efficiency, it helps slightly.
Having your cellular radio look for signal in areas where there isn’t any, however, is very draining. You can activate airplane mode if you don’t need a mobile signal. And if you can connect to Wi-Fi, do it: Using 4G or 3G drains the battery far quicker than Wi-Fi does.
6.How else can I save battery?
There are several things that can be done to just reduce how much power the phone is using, which will both keep your battery going for longer and mean it deteriorating more slowly.
(a)Turning down the screen brightness
(b)Disabling location and background app refresh for apps that don’t need it
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