Smartphones and other useful gadgets like camera, tablets, and even power banks are slowly gaining their pace as a set of items for an avid traveler. These gadgets help us communicate, entertain and store awesome memories. Within these gadgets, lie a power-source– a battery. I remember one time when I was in a middle of nowhere and I needed to take a good photo, one snap of my camera and my cellphone died. I could not use it the entire, day. I thought that it was damaged, because it was fully charged, but what really happened in my beloved smartphone?
In this post, we will be talking about our top 5 smartphone charging tips that will show you the do’s and dont’s in charging your phone’s battery.
- Research and Know Your Device
- Do Not Drain or Overcharge. Follow the 40-80 Rule
- Use the Approved Accessories
- Don’t Use While Charging
- Charge in a Cool, Safe and Dry Place
1. KNOW YOUR DEVICE
There are so many types of people who buy gadgets on the market. Some people purchased smartphones because they are very popular in the social media, or dubbed as ‘the best smartphone in year 201X”. Some will buy phones a minute that they have been released in the market, others will even try to pre-order the items a week before. But some people tend to pause first, take a few minutes of research and think if those smartphones will meet their expectations.
So, what kind of phone geek are you? If you believe that you are included in the last group, then I think that you know well your phone’s specifications.
There are a lot of reviews and technical data that can be found on the web, especially the internationally recognized brands like iPhone, ASUS, LG, Xiaomi and much more. Just a few Google search, and you’ll eventually learn if the unit that you have is what it is. By researching your device’s technical data, you are saving yourself a lot of trouble, because those data will help you preserve your device and its battery as well.
For example, a Xiaomi RedMi Note 4 has a non-removable Li-Po 4100 mAh that comes with a 5V/2A-rated charger and cable.
With these data, it can help you preserve the phone’s battery life to triple or even quadruple!
So , what does the data above say?
Know The perks of a Non-Removable Battery – These kinds of batteries cannot be removed from the device itself which makes it prone in extreme heat if the device overheats every time it is used, since the space between the device and the battery is so thin.
Understand the Truth and Misconceptions about Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Battery Type
– These batteries are readily formed in shapes which makes them widely used in fixed smartphones. Li-Po’s are also one step ahead of the Science in the Li-ion batteries, which are relatively common in rectangular batteries that can be easily removed. But have you ask some tips on how to preserve your battery from your ‘techy’
friends? Or from his friends of friends?
In some cases, you might have heard things that the battery must always be drained down to 0% to re-calibrate the battery itself. If you have heard the term “battery’s memory effect,”
and “zapping to revive them,”
then these are all misconceptions nowadays
– but they were partially true before.
Those tips were right a few years back, because of the use of Nickel-Cadmium type of batteries. They have roughly 500 recharging cycles before they lose their efficiency, and if not properly re-calibrated, the unused substances inside the battery form into crystals which make them less usable. But nowadays, they are already gone in the smartphone industry.
Know How long Does 4100mAh Battery Lasts
– According to an XDA Developer’s review, the RedMi Note 4’s battery can last up to 19 hours at lowest brightness
, and around 8 hours at maximum performance. Beyond that, and your battery might be screaming in pain! Remember these data because it is your first clue that your battery needs a bit of love.
Know How to Distinguish Your 5V/2A Adapter Rating – Since you are dealing with electronics and batteries, you need to know the accepted charger settings for your cell phone. If the RedMi 4’s rated power adapter has a maximum of 5 Volts and 2 Amps, then you must not use a different chargers with a higher or lower voltage rating than it. This will be discussed below.
2. NEVER DRAIN OR OVERCHARGE. FOLLOW THE 20-40-80 RULE
Just like humans, a battery also has an average lifespan
, and it is called a “cycle.”
One cycle of a charger is equal to when it is charged from 0% to 100%. Normally, a Li-Po smartphone battery has 300-500 cycles, depending on the quality of it, after that the efficiency of the battery drastically loses.
If you will not allow your device to fall down to 0% or reach it to 100%, will it have a positive effect?
When you first receive your device, you must charge it until it reaches 100%. After that, you need to always recharge your device when it falls down to 20% and let it reach the range of 40-80% again, hence the 20-40-80 rule or simply 40-80 rule.
By doing so, you are increasing the lifespan of your battery itself for 3 to 4 times by not letting it reach a single cycle in one go. Just remember that you must keep your battery charged in the acceptable range, and do not let it reach 0 or 100 to prevent triggering a cycle in one fell swoop.
But we are not always by the side of our phone every time we charge them, right?
The Android app “FULL BATTERY AND THEFT ALARM”
has an alarm that lets you know that your battery is already at full charge or according to your settings. If your settings allow the app to alarm at 80%, then I will call your attention when it reaches that number.
Now you don’t need to always check your phone.
On the other hand, in order to prevent your device to fall below 20%, you must know your battery’s operating range. Knowing our example above, according to an XDA Developer’s review, the RedMi Note 4’s battery can last up to 19 hours at lowest brightness
, and around 8 hours at maximum performance. Beyond that, your battery might be screaming in pain!
Of course, you may just drain to 0% or let the charge reach to 100% if necessary or in emergency.
It was also discussed that from 20%-0% the battery might last for more than one hour. All you need to do is to subtract at least 1.5 hours to 2 hours from the maximum operating limit, which will give you up to 17 hours of play before you charge.
3. USE THE APPROVED CABLES AND POWER ADAPTERS
A few years back, I lost my HTV Vivid’s screen because of a busted capacitor, and the sole reason was not using a rated power adapter. With the growing amount of cheap chargers and cables that can easily be bought in the sidewalk, sometimes we are prompted to purchase those kind of things, and I have been there– it was disastrous and cost me one good smartphone.
Since we have already discussed to research about the charger’s rating, you must adhere to those standards. Use the approved power adapter for your device and do not let yourself give in to cheap chargers –always check the input, output, brand
of the adapter itself.
With the difference of power voltages from every country, ranging from 110Volts, 220Volts or 240 Volts, you must always check your adapter’s input rating or the adapter itself might be damaged. One good example if using a 110Volts charger to a 220Volts current. The 220 Volts current will quickly fry your device’s power adapter, worst your smartphone will also be damaged.
But nowadays, chargers are typically rated from 110V-240V. But to be sure, always check the Input Rating.
Output rating is the power that the charger releases going to the smartphone. If the approved charger has an output rating of 5V and 2A, then you must follow that rule. You must not use a charger with much lower or higher amount of voltage output, or the device will easily be fried.
On the other hand, the 2 Ampere rating may be changed because of the smart Integrated Circuitry within the phone; it controls the power going inside the phone. But remember that lower Amperage will let you charge your phone longer.
By using trusted brands in the market, you are minimizing the probability of a big disaster in the future. Some unbranded adapters are very dangerous that might cause a fire if unattended. To prevent these kinds of events, get the trusted ones even if they cost higher than the adapters found on the sidewalk.
Charger cables may also affect the charging quality of your device. Most of the times, cheap cables use cheap materials to minimize the cost of manufacture, but they also fall below the standard safety limit. Just like cheap adapters, cheap cables may also cause a fire even if they are properly handled.
In order to lessen accidents, purchase cables in trusted sellers and or trusted brands. I came across to a promising magnetic charger in Widget City called Magneto Cable
or simply Magneto Magnetic Charging Cable
. It has 10 times the durability of standard cables with more than 3 feet long. Using an Apple certified strengthened cable, you are also securing the future of your device and yourself.
4. LET IT COOL AND DON’T USE WHILE CHARGING
Some of us try to use the smartphones even while charging, and I am very much guilty of this act. My 1 ½-year-old Cherry Mobile Flare has a very small battery capacity of 1800 mAh. It can only last for 1 ½ to 2 hours of heavy gaming and around five to six hours of standby.
For me to enjoy more while using it, I used to play it while doing my deeds. I know that it was bad, but I could not help myself because of its very low battery performance.
After 10 months of use, its battery has shown symptoms that has drastically reduced its performance, it has bloated and mysteriously shutdowns even at 80% mark, and it won’t reboot properly if not plugged in until 100%.
I brought it into a technician and diagnosed that the main problem was the battery. But after a long exposure of my misconduct, a small capacitor in the charging system of the smartphone is almost at its limit, which made him bypass a couple of lines in the system.
So, why does using the phone while charging heavily affect the performance of the battery?
The battery cannot handle the stress of refueling while being used.
Imagine your car being refueled while driving it on an expressway at 100mph? Or simply imagine yourself eating loads of food while doing an extreme exercise, it would be too hard, right?
Just like those events, the battery, with a life cycle can’t handle being charged while being discharged at the same time—not to mention that you are using a heavy app.
The Phone is Prone to Overheating if Used Improperly
Li-Po and other batteries don’t like being heated. They don’t want extreme heat or extreme coldness. But when you try to play your game while charging, have you noticed that the phone is somewhat heating more than normal? If the outside of the phone it too hot, then how hot can it be while inside that tiny device with a non-removable battery and lesser ventilation system?
What to Do?
Alternatively, you can just turn off all other radio communication systems of the smartphone. You may switch the GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth or Infrared to OFF and let your phone charge. This way, you will lessen the burden your cell phone carries while charging, making it cooler. Alternatively, you can just turn the Airplane Mode ON to automatically turn OFF other radio communication system, but the drawback is you can not receive or send calls and messages.
5. CHARGE IN A COOL, SAFE AND DRY PLACE
Put in a Cool Environment
There are times that we want our smartphones to look fresh and classy. Sometimes, we also put an armor to protect it from scratches and fall, but these armors might also contribute to increasing the chance of overheating while charging. And just like what we have discussed above, it is not good for the battery when it is hot as it reduces the lifespan of the battery itself.
It is also bad to charge your phone near high temperature environment like under the sun, above the fridge or near a working oven. Alternatively, you may want to put your phones near a well ventilated area.
Keep it Safe from Foreign Object Damage
On the other hand, sometimes we are very busy to carefully check the environment where we will charge our cell phones. Some electrical outlets are defective or simply unsafe are just waiting for you, you would not want to put your adapter in there, right?
Defective outlets may cause short circuits that may damage your power adapter or the smartphone itself, so before leaving your phone at least visually check the surroundings of the outlet.
Also remember to put your phone in a stable place where it will not fall off, or be damaged by falling objects.
Stay Away from Liquids
Lastly, do not let your phone charge in an environment that is prone to being wet like near the faucet, near the window when it is raining or just beside a cold glass of water. These liquids might get a chance to go on your phone and damage it badly.
Final Notes: Research and Always Remember the Do’s and Dont’s
Smartphones nowadays are very intelligent devices that help us make our lives easier. There are numerous cellphones and accessories in the market, just like the new Magneto Cable that can easily adapt from iOS and Android devices (more here: http://www.widgetcity.com.ph/product/magneto-cable/). It has an adapter for Android and iOS devices that can easily help users change from unit to unit using the magnet technology. Just plug the adapters in the respective units, and the magnet connectivity between the cable and mini USB will do the job. With this technology, you area already minimizing the bad deeds, since removing and plugging in again the mini-USB to your device partially damages the charging port, which eventually shows in a longer run.
Even though the gadgets nowadays are so smart, they are still machines that must be taken cared off. Numerous misconceptions and facts have been circulating in the entire world about “how to properly charge a smartphone,” but with proper knowledge, you will eventually emit those unnecessary hearsay. With correct knowledge and execution, you’ll make your travel more memorable and I am telling you that your phone won’t leave you hanging if you just take care of it including its peripherals.