Smartphones are magical, loyal little companions, there to give you your bank account balance, directions to the movies, and a recommendation for a killer Chinese restaurant all in a few swipes.
But, with a little neglect, they can die on you in the worst moments. Avoid this nightmare scenario and treat your little friend right, with these quick tips to maintaining your battery's health.
Less is More
Back when nickel-based batteries were a thing, people were encouraged to “train” their batteries by completely draining them and then completely recharging them. (The Yoda-esque idea being that they wouldn’t properly function without knowing their full potential.) Forget what you’ve heard.
Pretty much every modern smartphone contains a lithium-ion battery, which are entirely different beasts.
In general, you should keep your smartphone’s battery charged above 50 percent. If you want to take it one step further, you should try to do one full drain a month, for calibration purposes. But any more of this and you’ll be shortening your battery’s lifespan.
Overnight phone-chargers take note! Technically you should not be charging your phone for extended spans of time. Though most chargers are designed to curb charging once your phone is all full, you should avoid juicing it to 100 percent and then leaving it connected to a charger. Overall, short starts and fits of juice are much better than constant zero to 100 charging. If you’re totally neurotic, the real sweet spot oscillates between 80 and 40 percent at all times.
Zero Is Bad
Lithium-ion batteries sometimes get volatile at zero percent. Like good little robots, however, they are usually equipped with self-destruct circuits that will kill your battery in order to prevent an explosion or something. This obviously doesn’t happen every day, but better to be safe than sorry.
Your smartphone is not invincible. Do not leave it on your car’s dashboard in 90 degree weather. Do not set it next to your bronzed body as you sunbathe. Do not bring it to your Bikram yoga class. It doesn’t matter if your phone is off, the heat will fry your battery.
That’s because—good news for readers who live in miserably cold climates—your phone is most comfortable at about 32-degrees fahrenheit (and even then, it will lose a small percentage of its maximum capacity per year). Once you get to up to more tropical temperatures, you risk losing anything from 20 to 35 percent per year. Not like you should forgo a trip to Hawaii just to preserve precious battery life, but just be mindful about where you leave it.
Plug ‘Er In
Though wireless charging devices are convenient and chic, most inductive wireless chargers tend to waste energy by generating heat. Remember what we said about heat? (HEAT = BAD) The best method to charge a smartphone is by directly hooking it into a wall (as opposed to connecting it to your computer). It charges faster and safer that way.