Life

Apparently We’ve Been Charging Our Phones All Wrong

The more you know...

It can be frustrating when your phone dies halfway through the day, but it turns out we may be thinking about charging all wrong.

Most of us think we should just charge our phone when it is close to dead, but the opposite is actually true. Turns out, charging your battery in short spurts isn’t actually bad for your phone, so you might want to make a number of changes to how you typically charge your device.

One battery company called Cadex has created the website Battery University, which helps explain how charging lithium-ion batteries works. The site details how batteries go through their own forms of “stress,” which can damage your battery’s longterm lifespan.

smartphone charge photo
Getty Images | Sean Gallup

Here are a few tips for salvaging the length of your battery life:

1. Charge Frequently

Charge your phone throughout the day whenever you can, instead of once at night.

Adobe

2. Don’t Keep It Too Low Or Too High

Don’t charge your phone to 100 percent, as a high voltage can stress the battery. According to Gizmodo, “Your battery will behave the best if you take it off the charge before it hits 100 percent.”

Gizmodo also recommends you should never let your phone get to 0 percent (e.g. fully drain), though some experts say you should do this occasionally. Gizmodo says the sweet spot is to keep your phone at about 50 percent charge as much as you can.

phone battery photo
Flickr | William Hook

3. Unplug It When It Hits 100 Percent

Don’t keep your phone plugged in when it’s fully charged. This keeps the battery in a high-stress, high-tension state, which can wear it down.

Adobe

4. Keep It Cool (But Not Too Cool)

Charge at a moderate temperature. Don’t let your battery get too hot or too cold.

Disconnect your charger if it or your phone gets excessively warm. It can be damaging if a lithium-ion battery gets too warm. Luckily, your charger is designed to manage this for the most part, so you don’t have to worry too much about it.

Adobe

Bonus Tip:  This charging advice applies to more than just your cell phone, too. Lithium-ion batteries are used in an array of products, including laptops, tablets, cordless power tools and even electric/hybrid vehicles (even the Mars Curiosity rover runs on lithium-ion batteries!), so be sure to take note and get a proper charge for all your “Li-ion” toys.

Wondering how to supercharge your phone when you’ve only got five minutes to charge it? We’ve got that answered for you, too. (At least if you have an iPhone, that is.)