STOP doing this immediately when you charge your phone!
If you charge your phone overnight while you sleep, stop that immediately. You are severely damaging your phone’s battery life!
We all do this. It makes sense. We want to wake up to a fully charged phone so that have a full day’s usage out of our device. Unfortunately, this is bad news for your phone’s battery life span!
While you might not notice it at first, and in fact, you might not notice it at all in the first year of owning your phone. However, as time goes on you start to realize that your phone is just not making it through the day anymore like it used to.
This is because the phone’s battery has a limited charge cycle life span which is the number of times that the phone is discharged and recharged again.
Your phone and tablet use either a Lithium-Ion battery or the newer Lithium-Ion Polymer battery. Depending on the size of the battery, these batteries typically can take around 500 full charge cycles before they reduce to 75% capacity.
Therefore, the more you charge your phone, the more of these cycles you are using up and therefore the shorter the phone’s battery lifespan is.
What happens to the phone when we sleep?
We leave our phones charging at night while we sleep, the phone reaches 100% and then the charger uses trickle charging to keep the phone at that 100% mark. This puts a lot of strain and tension on the battery which wears down the chemistry inside.
While we sleep the phone continues doing what a phone does – it communicated with the local cell tower, it communicates with the local WiFi. It sends and receives data as it synchronized apps and emails.
This draws on the power from the battery but since it is still connected to the charger, the charger just keeps bringing the phone up to 100% and keeps wearing down those charge cycles.
Can you overcharge your phone?
You can’t overcharge your phone as long as you are using legit phones and legit chargers that have loads of safety mechanisms built-in. However, it is important to note that phones and tablets don’t do well with heat. So don’t keep your phone under your pillow, don’t smother your phone with any item of clothing. Just let the phone be in a location that is well ventilated.
What’s the BEST phone battery level?
If keeping the phone at 100% is a bad idea, then what should we do?
From a chemical point of view, the ideal place that the battery should be is at 50%. This is where half of its lithium ions are in the graphite layer while the other half is in the lithium cobalt oxide layer.
But 50% is way too scary so keep your phone between 20% and 80% is ideal. That could get double the number of cycles and extend the phone’s battery much longer!
If you plan on changing your phone every two years, then this is less of an issue for you. However, if you typically keep your phone for longer than that or if you are buying a used phone, this is definitely something to be aware of.
How should you store your old phone?
If you aren’t selling your “old phone” after your upgrade to the new shiny one, don’t charge it to 100% and then store it in a drawer.
Rather use the phone until the battery is at 50% and then switch it off. Store it in a cool place or at room temperature and don’t bury it deep within your cupboard. Even though the phone is off, this is the best way to keep that battery in good condition.
What about battery memory?
You might have heard that when you charge a phone it has a “battery memory” which means that it will only charge to that point. Therefore if you didn’t charge the phone fully, the only way to get complete usage out of your battery was to discharge your phone completely and then recharge it to get back to 100%.
This is something we used to do in the “olden days” when batteries were made out of different materials but this doesn’t exist with today’s batteries so that is not a thing today.
Extend your phone’s battery tips
Want to get more juice out of your phone’s battery? check out these 15 phone battery saving tips!