It would be great if with every smartphone update came the ability to leave the battery alone all day without needing to charge it even once. Right now, though, that’s simply not possible. As a result, smartphone owners have to figure out clever ways to keep their phone’s battery life as healthy as possible. In order to do this, it’s necessary to know how your phone uses power and the best way to make your phone battery last longer.
Understanding How the Battery Works
Both iPhones and Android phones use lithium-ion batteries. These are among the lightest, longest-lasting rechargeable batteries you can find. Still, over time, their lifespans will decline, meaning you’ll find yourself needing to recharge your phone more and more frequently. As the battery nears the end of its life, the degradation will become even more noticeable.
Most smartphone batteries have approximately 500 charge cycles in them before they die. When you completely use up your phone’s battery, letting it go from 100% to 0%, that’s considered one charge cycle. The more you let your phone go through full charge cycles, the less efficient your battery will become. On the same note, if you have to charge your phone every single day you’ll notice that the battery performance quickly worsens. You may find yourself needing to get a new phone every two years, if not sooner.
Best Practices for Charging Your Phone Battery
You’ve probably been told to let your battery get all the way down to 0% before recharging it. You may have also heard that you should let your battery charge overnight. There’s a lot of battery charging advice out there and it’s difficult to separate myths from facts. One of these tips is correct while the other is misinformed. While you don’t want to let your battery dip down to zero, you don’t want to leave it plugged in overnight, either.
According to tech expert Frances Cancino, you should keep your phone between 40% and 80% battery power at all times. Charging your phone frequently and for less time will maximize the charge cycles the battery has. It also causes less strain on your battery than charging it from 0% to 100% does.
7 More Battery Tips
- In order to keep your battery in that sought-after green zone between 40 and 80 percent, carry a portable charger with you.
- When the weather is hot, don’t let your phone sit in temps that reach over 95 degrees (like at the beach or in your car). Extreme heat can cause long-term damage to the battery.
- When you’re out and about sans charger and your battery is hanging on by a thread, use the Low Power Mode on the iPhone. Introduced in iOS 9, Low Power Mode reduces the power used by things like Mail fetch, Siri, downloads, apps that run in the background and visual effects. By turning on Low Power Mode when your battery is at 20%, you can squeeze three more hours of power out of it. Android has a similar power saving mode that you can either manually or automatically activate.
- Change the Auto-Lock on your iPhone to 30 seconds. This will cause the screen to turn off after a short period of time when it’s not in use. On Android, you can set the sleep time to as short as 15 seconds. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of hitting the sleep button every time you put down your phone to immediately shut off the screen.
- When you’re not using Bluetooth, disable it. Otherwise, your phone will constantly search for a Bluetooth device to connect to, which will zap the battery life.
- Audio can suck the life out of a battery. Avoid listening to music or videos when you’re trying to stretch out your battery life for the day. Or use headphones, which use less energy than the phone’s speakers.
- On both iPhone and Android, you can figure out which apps are demanding the most energy from the battery. Turn off the apps, delete them from your phone or disable background refresh.