The inner workings of phone batteries have remained a mystery to casual users for many years and there’s no surprise as to why. With so many debates and conflicting opinions online about the best practices for a phone’s battery life, learning how to care for your battery can feel like you’re simply riding fads until a new piece of information changes the way you charge.
Fortunately, however, a bit of a basic understanding on how phone batteries age and degrade can help you sift through the popular misunderstandings that have you scratching your head. In an effort to help you enjoy years of reliable smartphone usage, we present to you the 3 most popular phone battery myths we hear on a regular basis.
Myth #1: Battery Life is Measured in Years
One of the most fundamental misunderstandings when it come to a phone’s charge is this idea that a battery’s lifespan can be most accurately measured in years. And while time surely plays a part in how a battery performs, it plays less of a factor than the available charge cycles that battery holds.
What is a Charge Cycle?
A charge cycle refers to a complete charge and discharge on a rechargeable battery and any given battery has a predisposed number of charge cycles it can go through before it “dies”. In more concrete terms, that means that every time you burn up 100% of your phone’s battery, you’ve used up a charge cycle.
This doesn’t only apply to instances in which you went from 100% all the way down to 0%. Rather, even in cases in which you use 50% of your battery, charge it back up to 100%, and then burn another 50%, you’ll have gone through a charge cycle.
Myth #2: You Should Always Drop Your Battery to 0%
Now that we’ve clarified charge cycles and how they dictate your battery life, we can move on to another widely held belief when it comes to healthy charging practices. For many years, it was common practice to completely drain your battery to 0% before charging back up to 100%.
The idea being that calibrating your battery by doing this will help restore its original capacity. This “truth” is only partially founded however. Draining your battery in this way does in fact recalibrate the internal sensor that shows you its remaining capacity, but that does nothing to affect how many charge cycles it can maintain.
In fact, going off of what we just explained about charge cycles, completely juicing your charge like this only eats away unnecessarily at your battery life! It also reduces the life of the phone.
The rule of thumb now is to simply keep your phone’s battery charged with a healthy amount of power throughout the day. Simply keeping an eye on your smartphone usage can surely help in this regard as can investing in some portable power products so you have energy on hand in case of emergencies.
Myth #3: Charging Over Night is a Bad Idea
For a while now, many phone users believed that keeping your phone charging overnight was one of the biggest faux pas in proper charging etiquette. Not too long ago, this made sense when you considered that overcharging and degradation were more than possible with older battery models. Cut to the present, however, and now we see smartphones with built in circuitry in them designed to protect them from overcharging.
What this means for smartphone users now is that charging overnight keeps your phone from burning battery and in turn, burning charge cycles.
Understanding how your battery works and degrades over time is key in determining how to get the most use out of it. Remember how essential charge cycles are to your battery life and stay educated when powering your most cherished devices!