How to Charge Your Smartphone Correctly

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Antonio Villas-Boas says there is a right way and a wrong way to charge our smartphones.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you might be reducing your phone battery’s lifespan with certain charging behaviors.

Specifically, if you often charge your phone overnight or keep it plugged in for hours after it’s reached 100%, you’re accelerating the aging process of lithium-ion smartphone batteries.

I don’t think this is entirely correct though. Most smartphones have something called trickle charge, which helps extend the battery life by slowing the charge rate and pulsing the electric current on and off to reduce battery load once it reaches 80%. Apple explains here.

Check It Out: How to Charge Your Smartphone Correctly

How to Charge Your Smartphone Correctly

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  1. John Q

    It’s a basic given that a device’s battery controller, or that in a charger (for loose cells), should not charge a battery beyond maximum safe voltage (around 4.2-4.3v for lithium). A CC/CV strategy is also the basic method, where current is tapered off as the state of charge nears full.

    The issue isn’t that the phone’s battery reaches 100%, and then trickle charges to top it off.

    The issue, as alluded to in the story, is the battery is better off if it spends less time in that fully-charged state. Conversely, it should not be drained and left depleted either, which can be even more damaging and render it potentially dangerous.

    The growing popularity of wireless charging has the potential to exacerbate the issue because it removes obstacles and makes it easier and more tempting just to keep a phone on the charger and topped up all the time. As well as other negatives, but that’s another topic.

    Lithium batteries are best when kept within the middle range of their state of charge, but in practical usage, most users aren’t going to sacrifice 40% of a phone’s capacity and use it only within the 80-20% range to squeeze out longer life from their device.

    Nor will manufacturers like Apple, etc. make a big deal of these factors, or tell the complete story because the devices can still meet their expected life expectancy specs without any such special care.

    These things are really only of importance for users who want to baby their devices, but the story is still technically correct, and mildly alarmist tone aside, surprisingly good for a BI piece.

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