Is there anything quite as anxiety-inducing as seeing the little “1% icon on the battery bar of your cell phone? Every time I see my battery icon going red, I go racing for the charger because yes, I am addicted to my phone and it needs to never die, thankyouverymuch.
Some people are not like me, apparently, and believe that you shouldn’t charge your battery before using up a full 100% of the previous charge. But according to science and Apple and, well, just about everyone, that’s not necessary.
What people are concerned about is helping their device’s lithium ion battery last as long as possible, but the battery itself doesn’t care whether your status bar says 10% or 80% – plugging it in at any point in the charge isn’t going to degrade it faster.
From Apple’s website:
“Charge your Apple lithium-ion battery whenever you want. There’s no need to let it discharge 100% before recharging. Apple lithium-ion batteries work in charge cycles. You complete one charge cycle when you’ve used (discharged) an amount that equals 100% of your battery’s capacity — but not necessarily all from one charge. For instance, you might use 75% of your battery’s capacity one day, then recharge it fully overnight. If you use 25% the next day, you will have discharged a total of 100%, and the two days will add up to one charge cycle.”
Another battery-protecting practice is to not leave your phone plugged in overnight because constantly charging a full battery – aka trickle charging – is hard on it in the long run.
Is this one true? Maybe more than the first.
From Samsung’s website:
“Technically you should not be charging your phone for extended spans of time so overnight phone-charging is a big no. Though most chargers are designed to curb charging once your phone is full, you should avoid charging it to 100 percent and then leaving it connected to a charger. Overall, and for optimal long-term results, you should keep your phone charged between 40 and 80 percent at all times.”
And here’s what USAToday has to say about it:
“Chronically letting a battery go all the way down to zero puts unneeded stress on the materials inside. Believe it or not, the same goes for letting it sit on your charger overnight, because being continually juiced up quickly — and to the max also leads lithium-ion batteries to corrode faster than they otherwise would.”
“Plug the phone in when you go to sleep; if you wake up sometime in the night, unplug it to prevent constant trickle-charging. If you don’t wake much, plug your phone into a outlet that you put on a schedule so it turns off.”
Apple admits that the capacity of your lithium-ion battery “diminishes slightly with each complete charge cycle,” so letting the battery run all the way down probably does more harm than good. So, stop doing that. And if you think about it, stop letting it charge all night, too.
But you know. Prepare yourself for still having to buy a new phone (or battery) every couple of years. It’s inevitable no matter what.