If you’re a user of Android or Apple devices you probably know that they come equipped with lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are pretty reliable, but one important thing to note is that if you allow the batteries to fully discharge too often they become unstable, and they can explode like this one did.
Ok, maybe your cell phone won’t explode like that, but it pays to be cautious when it comes to your battery health. Learning how to take care of your battery can prevent explosions, but it’s good practice to take care of them for the long term health of your devices. This is especially important as manufacturers are sealing batteries inside of the devices, like Samsung did with the Galaxy Note 5 and S6.
First of all, what is Lithium-ion?
A lithium–ion battery (sometimes Li–ion battery or LIB) is a member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery. – Wikipedia
Advantages of Lithium-ion batteries:
High capacity: these batteries hold higher charges than traditional nickel-cadmium batteries.
Low-maintenance: lithium-ion batteries don’t have any special charging requirements, although it is recommended that you allow your lithium-ion battery to go to 0 and back to 100% once a month. Li-ion batteries do not have “memory” like its Ni-Cad counterpart.
Low Discharge rate: lithium-ion batteries don’t die as quickly as other batteries. Even when left in storage for a long period of time, the battery can hold a charge much longer than other battery types. If you must store your phone for a long period of time, let it drain to 40%, turn it off and store it in a cool place. This will cut the discharge rate in half.
Disadvantages of Lithium-ion batteries:
The batteries require circuit protection to keep them functioning properly. In a few as 2-3 years, the battery can die if you don’t take proper care of it. This is because Lithium-ion is an unstable mixture of chemicals and metals and it wears down over time.
Heat sensitive: Lithium-ion batteries are not designed to be exposed to heat. Heat can actually cause the battery to age much sooner than it would have under normal conditions.
So, how can I keep my battery healthy?
1. Avoid Over Heating
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you keep your battery healthy is to avoid leaving your iPhone or Android in the sun or in excessively hot places. That would cause harmful over heating.
2. Be careful about using any sort of Quick-Charging (QC) feature.
Yes, quick-charging technology is great for your compatible devices, but the problem is that it cause your battery to heat up. Quick charging jams packs in twice the energy that standard charging does in the same time. All of that energy transfer produces high heat as a byproduct. So go always only for the best brands.
3. Don’t let your phone die too often.
We know, this one was a shocker to us too. This comes from the fact that older batteries were made from Nickel Metal Hydride. NiMH batteries have a special memory effect that can shorten the battery lifespan if you don’t let the battery die before fully recharging it. On the other hand, if lithium-ion batteries discharge too often, then the batteries become unstable. Now, don’t panic, your battery won’t explode after going to zero once, but you should do your best to avoid letting it reach zero too often.
4. Keep your battery above 50%.
This doesn’t mean you need to leave your phone charged 24/7, but you should do your best to keep your phone above 50% at all times. If you leave it plugged in 24/7 it could overheat, but if you don’t charge it enough, the battery could become unstable. The best practice is to just keep your battery above 50%.
5. Use your phone less… or smarter!
Close all the application you are not using actively. Each running app even on the background is using a certain percentage of your phone resources and it affects your battery. Don’t keep screen too bright and don’t keep the Wifi on when you are not using it. Finally, using your phone in flight mode will let it charge faster and let the battery last way longer.
At the end of the day, your phone is just a tool. Don’t let tools control you and make you miserable. Sometimes it’s more important to leave the house now than it is to hook up the phone to your quick charger. Just keep these facts in mind and put them into practice when you can to get the most from your devices.