One of the most dreadful feelings is getting the "Low Battery" life warning on your phone, knowing you're going to be hours away from a nearby outlet. After owning a phone after a year, you might find that your phone battery is not what it used to be. However, with preventative practice and careful usage of your phone, you can save yourself from the stress of watching your phone die when you're far from an outlet.
Before reaching for your power bank, read these best practices to keep your phone's battery in optimal condition. Of course, these practices are not the ultimate word, and the battery life also varies based on your usage.
1. Maintain Optimal Battery Percentage
One of the best habits for keeping your battery in great shape is maintaining your battery percentage between 20% - 80%. That means, don't wait for your phone to die or run out of battery juice completely. Instead keep alerts for charging when it reaches 20%-30% levels.
Letting your phone's battery drain to 0% stresses the battery and shortens its lifespan. On the opposite side of the spectrum, charging your phone to the maximum capacity constantly will stress your battery out. Allowing your battery to discharge is healthy while keeping it in the optimal range will ensure its longevity.
2. Avoid Overcharging Your Phone
Unplug your phone once it hits 100% battery charge. Newer phones have features to prevent overcharging. However these features can only work for a while. Once your phone reaches 100% capacity it will stop charging and naturally lose its charge. Once your phone is below 100%, it will start charging again. This is a "trickle charge" where your phone bounces between 98% to 100%, which happens most commonly overnight.
Most phones only need a couple hours to reach a full charge, and battery life deteriorates the longer it spends charging. Ideally, you should have your phone plugged in only when it needs to be charged and not a minute past that to maximize your battery life.
Leaving your phone to charge overnight while you sleep isn't the best practice. That will constantly keep charging and losing charge phone your phone. It may be better to charge it some or maximum capacity before you go to sleep, and then top it off in the morning when you're able to monitor it.
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3. Use the Correct Charger
You may have a collection of electronic devices, ranging from your phone to tablets to laptops, and each comes with a USB charging block. You may be tempted to charge your phone on your tablet's charging block - after all, it charges way faster. Be careful with your phone when you do this.
Your phone's battery is much smaller than one you would find in a tablet, and it can't handle a higher voltage for an extended time. As a result, you will overheat your battery, causing more stress and decreasing its lifespan.
A standard mobile charger has an output of 5V. If you must charge your phone with a charging block designed for bigger electronics (10V output and higher), do not let it charge past 100%. So even if you have a third-party multiport charger, make sure you check the power output capacity of the port before plugging your phone's charging cable there.
4. Avoid Overheating
When your phone is charging, it's natural for it to feel warm. You should avoid using your phone while charging. And later, let it cool down before you use it again.
Keeping your phone cool by taking the case off while charging, setting it in the shade, and avoiding using it at maximum brightness for extended periods are beneficial to maintaining a healthy battery. However, leaving your phone out in direct sunlight can cause it to overheat as well. And if you find your phone.
5. Decrease Battery Drain on the Go
In a perfect world, you could leave your phone on airplane mode everywhere you went and turned it off only when you needed to. That's not possible today. Turning your phone's "Battery Power Saving Mode" will naturally save your phone's battery life. However, if you don't want to use this feature and manually turn on and off features this program does for you, you can follow these steps:
Turn off Background Services
Many apps like to run in the background, using your Location Services, WiFi, and Cellular Data. These apps will slowly drain your battery, even when you're not using your phone. Head to your phone's Settings and switch the option for services to "When in Use" to maintain functionality of the apps while you're using them. Essentially, if you bar unwanted apps from running in the background and also disable data services for them, that might help to an extent.
Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
If you've forgotten to switch off the Wi-Fi services after stepping out, then your phone keeps searching for a reliable access point. This constant search uses precious battery power. So you can turn off Wi-Fi whenever you step away from your home or office. In addition, if you happen to be somewhere with poor cellular reception, switching your data to a lower generation network (3G or 2G) might offer you basic connectivity.
Decrease Phone Brightness
One of the biggest power drainers for your phone is its screen! Turn down the brightness while you're using your phone. It'll keep it cooler and give you more battery time to work with. If you have a phone with an OLED screen, setting your apps to "Dark Mode" will save that much more power.
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Nothing Lasts Forever
Unfortunately, batteries are not meant to last forever. With due diligence and good practice, you can extend the lifetime of your phone's battery. Most lithium-ion batteries deteriorate after two years, when the diminished capacity is most noticeable. If you plan on keeping your phone for longer than two years, follow these tips to keep your battery as new as possible.
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