I’ll admit it. I’ve struggled with treating my phone battery with the love and care it deserves. So much that I’ve done every one of the don’ts on this list… multiple times. Let my phone battery drain down to zero? Yup. At least a few times per week. Left my phone on the charger all night? Sure do. Every night. And yet, I still get frustrated when my iPhone 8 Plus that’s less than two years old won’t hold a charge all day.
If you’re like me, your mom warned you not to charge your 2006 Motorola RAZR in small bursts because it would cause long-term damage to the battery. While that may be true for nickel batteries that are used in older phones, it’s certainly not true for lithium-ion batteries that are used in smartphones today.
Unfortunately for me, I continued my old charging habits when I bought my first smartphone: the iPhone 4. My poor charging habits deteriorated the battery so quickly that I was on to my next smartphone a year later.
The bad news is that battery capacity inevitably declines with age. But, there is good news. There are ways to charge your cell phone that will keep your phone battery in top condition. So, ditch your old charging habits and follow these do’s and don’ts to keep your battery healthy.
Do Plug Your Phone in Whenever You Can
Charging your phone occasionally throughout the day keeps your battery performing optimally for longer. It’s best to charge your phone when it loses 10% of its charge. However, that’s not practical for most people. So, just plug in your smartphone whenever you can. It’s fine to plug and unplug it multiple times a day.
Don’t Let Your Phone Battery Drain Down to Zero
Your smartphone has a lithium-ion battery. These types of batteries don’t have the “memory effect” that older nickel batteries typically have. That means if you drain your lithium-ion battery down to zero, you’ll diminish your phone battery capacity. If your phone is nearing 0%, it’s recommended to manually turn your phone off before the battery is depleted.
Do Maintain a Battery Charge Level Between 40% and 80%
Constantly doing a full recharge will shorten the battery’s lifespan. A good range to aim for when charging a lithium-ion battery is between 40% to 80% charge. You should really only do a full 0% to 100% battery recharge once a month. This recalibrates your battery, similar to restarting your computer.
Don’t Charge Your Phone Overnight
Most modern smartphones are clever enough to stop charging when they’re full. That means it won’t be fatal to your battery if you do a full recharge. However, lithium-ion batteries gradually lose their capacity with each charging cycle – charging to 100%. That’s why people typically start noticing a significant degradation in their smartphone’s battery capacity after two years of constant discharging and recharging.
Do Unplug Your Phone Once It’s Fully Charged
While keeping your battery at 100% isn’t fatal, it does place more stress on the battery overall. This may impact its overall lifespan. Once your phone hits 100%, it gets “trickle” charge to keep it at 100% while plugged-in. This keeps the battery in a high-stress, high-tension state, which wears down the chemistry.
It’s not too late to start using these ways to charge your cell phone. Changing your phone charging habits will help keep your battery healthy and delay having to replace your battery or worse, having to buy a new phone.