Everyone wants their smartphone battery to last. One of life’s most unpleasant surprises is finding out that your phone battery is dying just as you’re about to get on social media, take a picture, or step out with friends. But you shouldn’t just focus on extending your battery life. Learning how to properly care for a smartphone battery is also important so that it lasts when you need it.
When it’s brand-new, your smartphone battery could last up to two days on a full charge. But after a year or so, you’ll notice that your phone has started running out of charge fast. Your battery may not last even a day anymore. That’s when you might start thinking about replacing your phone.
We all face a lot of peer pressure to upgrade our phones every three years or so. With battery power getting worse and worse over time, you might feel even more pressured to replace your phone. But, as we all know, smartphones aren’t getting any cheaper. So, if you know how to care for your smartphone battery, that understanding will translate into direct savings.
How to Extend Your Smartphone Battery Life
Other than the financial savings, you should learn how to care for your smartphone battery for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this knowledge could be a life-saver when you’re out camping or in the wild. And let’s face it: most of us have plans—however uncertain—to head back out there once this pandemic is over.
Secondly, extreme weather isn’t a rare event anymore. If you’ve been following the news, you know that blizzards are becoming more and more common. Extreme weather can easily disrupt the power supply to your home, leaving you with no option to charge your phone.
So, learning these essential battery-saving tips can help make sure your phone doesn’t die on you when you need it most. With that in mind, here are some proven tips to make sure your smartphone battery lasts.
Don’t Let Your Battery Die
Alright, this tip may sound obvious, but some people wait until the last possible moment to charge their phone battery. This delay leads to the battery completely draining often, which isn’t good for a long battery life.
Some people delay charging because of a common misconception that batteries need to fully drain in order to function optimally. But modern lithium-ion batteries don’t need to drain like that. So, don’t wait until your battery is about to die before plugging in your phone.
Keep Your Phone Battery Around A 50% Charge
Another misconception, even among digitally savvy smartphone users, is that phones must be kept at 90% charge or more. Sometimes, this belief can even turn into an obsessive urge to charge your phone the moment it drops below 70% charge. But that approach isn’t good news for your smartphone battery, either.
Lithium-ion batteries don’t work well if you wait for them to fully charge. Once the charge hits 70% or so, the current intake decreases until the battery has fully charged. That shift in current impacts your battery’s longevity.
The best technique is to keep your phone around a 50 percent charge. Importantly, you should charge for shorter periods at regular intervals instead of waiting for your battery to fully drain. Regular, shorter charges are better than longer, full charges.
Avoid Extreme Heat Or Cold
Extreme temperatures can shorten your smartphone battery’s life. High or low temperatures pressure your battery, making it consume more power and then die sooner. They also reduce your phone’s shelf-life. The ideal temperature for your smartphone is between 25º and 30º Celsius.
Don’t leave your phone on your car dashboard if it’s sunny and you don’t have your air-conditioning on. Similarly, don’t leave your phone out on the balcony if it’s freezing outside or keep it too close to the fireplace on a winter night.
Don’t Leave Your Phone Charging Overnight
Leaving your phone to charge overnight—called “idle charging”—is one of the most common charging mistakes. It’s a bad idea for several reasons. Firstly, it can make your phone unstable, which could lead to serious malfunctions. Secondly, it puts undue pressure on your phone battery. And finally, it overheats your phone—which, as we’ve seen, is also bad news. Even if you switch your phone off and leave it charging overnight, these problems can still harm your battery or your phone.
Avoid Using Your Phone For Long Periods While Charging
Using your phone a lot while it’s charging leads to what’s called “a parasitic load.” People often make this mistake when they’re watching a movie, streaming a series, or playing video games while charging their phone.
You might think that because your phone works while charging, parasitic load isn’t a problem. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. This type of phone use disturbs your battery’s usual charging cycles. It can drain your phone’s power faster than usual, and it can also overheat your device. You may even have noticed your phone heating up if you use it while charging.
Avoid Using Fast-charging For Long Periods
You should look at fast-charging as a short-term solution in emergencies. If you have to use your phone and its battery is dying, use fast-charging. But make that you only use this option for a short period because of the heat it generates. Fast-charging is energy intensive and can cause your battery to warm. While there is generally no harm in leaving (almost) any modern smartphone on a charger (either normal or fast) overnight. The charging circuits in the phone prevent it from overcharging the battery.
Take Care Of Your Battery
Now that you know what to avoid to maintain your phone battery, what are the best practices for taking care of your battery? Once these tips become a habit, your smartphone will be in much better shape.
Use Your Phone’s Battery Saving Mode
One of the best things you can do to care for your smartphone battery is avoid putting undue pressure on it. You have to switch on battery saving mode—and not just when your battery draining under the 20% mark. Even during normal phone use, you should try to use the battery-saving option to conserve power.
Avoid Power-draining Apps And Services
Don’t turn on apps or services that constantly consume power in the background. Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services when you don’t need them. You should regularly check to make sure these settings are switched off.
Use Airplane Mode
If you’re busy working, reading, or watching TV, it makes sense to put your phone on airplane mode. You can use this feature at night, too. Using airplane mode when you can will also help you sleep better.
Avoid Features Like Vibrate And Live Wallpapers
Live wallpapers and widgets consume extra power, and they don’t necessarily add to your user experience. Consider turning them off. Also, unless you need it, avoid putting your phone on vibrate to save your battery.
Check Your Phone Settings To Preserve Your Battery
Check your settings to make sure apps don’t continue working or refreshing in the background. Turn off push notifications for as many apps as possible. Just because those apps aren’t open, doesn’t mean they’re not working and draining your battery.
You should also periodically check your settings to figure out which apps consume the most battery power. If possible, delete power-heavy apps that you don’t need.
Use Dark Mode
It’s also a good idea to turn on dark mode for the apps you use often. You can also use dark mode for your home screen and phone settings. Make sure your screen brightness is as low as possible. Phone displays are a leading cause of battery depletion.
Keep Your Phone Updated
Finally, make sure your apps and operating system are up to date. With each update, developers don’t just fix bugs and improve performance. They also often prolong your battery life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the average lifespan of a phone battery?
Battery lifespans depend on the number of charging cycles a battery has been through. Batteries are built to function optimally until they reach a particular number of charges. Their performance will start deteriorating once they pass that number. Usually, this threshold is around 500 charging cycles.
Will fast-charging damage my phone?
You should only use fast-charging when you really need it—and only for short periods. It can indeed damage your phone by putting extra strain on your device, so use this option with caution.
Especially avoid fast-charging in your car on a warm day. Any extra heat will further strain your phone. Remember not to fast-charge your phone overnight either.
How much does it cost to replace your phone battery?
If your phone battery is underperforming, you should check whether it’s still covered by a warranty. Most manufacturers provide a warranty for a year. If it’s still covered, you can get the manufacturer to replace the battery.
Otherwise, new batteries can cost you between $10 and $100, depending on your phone model. The more high-end your phone, the more expensive it will be to replace your battery.
When should I charge my phone?
Don’t wait until your phone battery hits the 20% mark. You can go ahead and plug your phone in if you see the charge drop to around 40%. Remember that the ideal approach is to charge your phone until it gets to around 70%. Short charging cycles are good for your battery life.