Power Up Wisely: Charging Strategies for Maximizing Smartphone Battery Life

Gone are the days of Nokia 3310 when your battery would last a week with only one charge. Today, if you make it through the day with a single charging, consider yourself lucky. Hence, no wonder why every now and then, smartphone users are complaining about a short battery life.

And yes, there’s hardly a more frustrating scenario than leaving home only to realize your phone's battery is on its last legs. Surely, portable battery banks are here to save your day and phone from dying. Still, smartphone manufacturers are constantly striving to address these concerns by crafting efficient phones with extended battery life and fast charging functionalities.

Nevertheless, you can proactively enhance your smartphone's battery life by adopting specific charging habits.

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improve smartphone battery

Illustration: Lenka T.

Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. These compact devices serve as our communication hub, entertainment source, and productivity companion. However, amidst the brilliance of modern technology, there is one common challenge that vexes users worldwide: battery life.  

In a world where we rely on smartphones to navigate through our busy schedules and stay connected with loved ones, a longer-lasting battery is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Our dependence on these devices is undeniable.  

Thus, it’s crucial to understand how our charging habits may impact the longevity of our batteries. We present to you eleven proven charging practices that not only optimize your device’s battery life but also save you from the inconvenience of sudden power drainage. 

Stick to recommended chargers 

To achieve the best results, steer clear of third-party chargers or inexpensive alternatives. Chances are that they aren’t endorsed or compatible with your original smartphone adapter’s specifications. Always use a charger that’s recommended and provided by your smartphone’s manufacturer.  

This becomes even more critical if your phone supports fast charging. Authentic, high-quality chargers designed for your device ensure prolonged and superior battery life. These chargers are engineered and tested in conjunction with your smartphone, so they’re primed to deliver optimal performance.  

Prevent battery from draining 

We all have that habit – overusing the phone with low battery until it dies completely. This nasty habit, however, should be ditched asap.  

Try not to let your phone’s battery reach critically low levels. Complete battery drain triggers a chemical imbalance within the battery that’s challenging to rectify. This imbalance leads to reducing its longevity and forces you to recharge frequently until the battery’s capacity becomes useless. 

Be cautious with fast charging 

Fast charging can lead to increased battery heat compared to standard charging. In the long run, it may potentially affect the battery’s overall lifespan due to accelerated oxidation.  

fast charging

Source: Google

While this issue plagues many batteries, it’s essential to use fast charging only when necessary and if your phone supports it. Alternatively, speed up charging by activating Power Saving and Airplane modes while leaving your phone idle during the charging process. 

Don’t overcharge 

Charging your phone overnight seems quite handy, right? You won’t be using your phone to scroll, play games, or text, so it can charge in peace. This is yet another habit that you should ditch.  

Resist the urge to charge your phone overnight while you sleep. Excessive charging generates heat within the battery, potentially altering the electrolyte composition. In some instances, this can lead to outgassing and battery swelling, both of which negatively impact its life. The generated heat doesn’t only harm the battery but also endangers neighboring electronic components within your device. 

Gaming and charging don’t go hand in hand 

Refrain from engaging in gaming or power-intensive app usage while your smartphone is connected to a charger. Games and resource-demanding apps place a strain on processing power, thus consuming battery life and generating heat.  

This added heat compounds with the heat generated during charging, potentially harming the battery and the internal electronics of your device. 

Close apps you don’t need 

If you are an Android user, keeping apps running in the background may be wise for a few reasons. The primary one is that they will load faster, so you won’t waste 0.02 seconds longer for them to start.    

smartphone apps

Source: Google

Yet, multiple applications that remain open simultaneously may consume processing power and memory resources. This places a burden on the phone’s processor, as it draws power from the battery. To mitigate this drain, make a habit of closing unused apps. 

Optimize charge and discharge cycles 

The lithium-ion batteries found in smartphones deliver peak performance and can maintain maximum charge capacity for around 400-500 charge/discharge cycles on average. Each cycle introduces wear to the battery. If you’ve used your smartphone for an extended period, you’ve likely noticed reduced battery capacity compared to when it was brand new. 

To make the most of your smartphone’s battery life, complete charge/discharge cycles. Partial discharges are gentler on battery health. Thus, try not to let your battery drop under 20% and charge it to 80%-85%. 

Maintain ideal temperature conditions 

Shield your phone from extreme temperatures. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, heaters, or ovens. The excessive heat can hasten battery drain. This adverse impact mirrors the effects of overcharging or using incompatible fast chargers.  

Likewise, don’t subject your phone to prolonged cold, as this can lead to the solidification of the electrolyte within the battery. 

Manage location and wireless settings 

Numerous apps rely on location services. However, constant access isn’t always necessary. When you’re not using your phone for a few hours, i.e., when you’re sleeping, these apps can be deactivated. This way you’ll conserve battery life.  

Similarly, features such as Wi-Fi, mobile data, and Bluetooth may not require continuous activation. Toggling them off when unused contributes to battery savings. Your strategic management of these features ensures a longer-lasting battery throughout the day. 

Activate dark mode and screen brightness control 

Screen brightness setting significantly influences power consumption. In other words, it can devour your battery if it’s too high. Adjust the brightness to the optimal level required for comfortable smartphone usage.  

dark mode vs light mode

Source: Google

Additionally, use dark mode if available to curtail battery usage even further. 

Strategic charging for battery longevity 

Observe the charging pattern of your smartphone. You will likely notice rapid charging from 20% to 50%, while the pace slows considerably from 70% to 100%. This disparity reduces charging efficiency and increases battery wear as it approaches full capacity.  

To counter this, consider charging your phone up to 85%. This approach minimizes battery wear, optimizing long-term performance. 

"Ever tried. Ever failed. Never mind. Try again. Fail better."

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