13 January 2016

Top 3 Smartphone Battery Myths You Need to Disregard


It is 2016 and almost everyone around the world has a phone. Phones have metamorphosed from being simply an object of social class to an object of daily necessity. The thing about these phones are that, like most other gadgets, they use batteries that tend to run out quite speedily as smartphones evolve.

Though these batteries are often cheap to replace, users have over time come up with certain rules to preserve battery lifespan. Although some of these rules are real, there are several others that are just myths that need to be ignored.

This article clears the air about some of these commonly-held mobile battery myths.

Top 3 Smartphone Battery Myths You Need to Disregard
Image credit: Getty Images

Myths about smartphone batteries you need to disregard

1). Don’t charge your battery until it is completely dead and ensure you charge them to full before using them

If you live in my part of the world i.e. Nigeria in West Africa, chances are that you would have encountered a smartphone vendor advising you to refrain from using the device before it is fully charged and that you should only charge again when the battery is flat, as that is the best way to preserve the quality of the battery. Fortunately, this rule is a complete myth. Modern batteries are Li-ion, and they actually perform better when they are not fully discharged. Letting them drain completely has no significant effect on lifespan nor capacity.

The actual threat to the battery is in the number of charge cycles- the number of times the battery goes from dead or nearly dead to full. Each battery has a limited number of charge cycles before performance begins to degrade. To control this, it is best to keep the battery in the 50 to 80% range, that way you avoid a high number of charge cycles, thus extending the lifespan of your battery.

2). Turning off the Wi-Fi, hotspot and Bluetooth helps save Battery life while phone calls, data use and downloads deplete battery fastest

It might come as a shock to most people reading this, but Wi-Fi actually uses less battery than most other cellular functions. Also, smartphones with Bluetooth 4.0 and its Low Energy protocol means that you can leave Bluetooth enabled and your battery life remains unaffected, so, turning them off does not actually help you save battery life in anyway.

Phone calls, data use, downloads and other processes running on your phone, including background apps and tasks actually use some battery energy, but none of them cause severe battery drains. If you want to conserve your battery, you may want to start with reducing the gaming and graphics-intensive processes. Also, cut out streaming video or online games on your smartphone as they are the culprits that drain on your device.

3). Using your phone while it is charging is a bad idea, so is overnight charging.

Most smartphone users generally believe that it is wrong to use your phone while it is plugged and charging. Many smartphone owners are guilty of this, and chances are you have seen pictures circulating on Facebook or WhatsApp forums showing individuals with electric burns or fatal electrocutions ostensibly from using phones while they are charging. Aside from the fact that these people believe that the user could wind up electrocuted, they think that it takes a toll on the phone battery. But truth is, as long as you are not using a sketchy third-party charger, there are no risks really.

Also, regarding overnight charging, you may need to know that phone batteries have evolved so much over the years, becoming smarter and easier to manage, and these batteries actually know when to stop charging, whether they are plugged in or not. Leaving it plugged overnight does not necessarily affect the battery life, except in cases of erratic power supply.

Also read: 4 Helpful Ways to Travel With a Wi-Fi Only iPad

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