How to Charge Your Phone Battery the Right Way

by Alexa Lemzy | Last updated 12th April 2019

a man charging his phone and waiting for his flight at the international airport

Battery health is a very important part of your overall mobile phone experience.

Nobody wants to run out of juice in the middle of a conversation. That’s why we do all we can to keep our phones charged up every chance we get. However, these and some other bad charging habits can kill our phone batteries over time. If you’re curious about how to charge your phone to save the battery, jump right in!

In our last article, we discussed how to make your phone last longer. This article will explain how to extend the life of your phone battery.

The article will cover:

  • The science behind charging a phone battery
  • Some factors that affect the durability of mobile phone batteries
  • All the wrong ways you’ve been charging your phone
  • What you can do to increase the life of your phone battery.

With that in mind, let’s get started!

How Does Your Phone Battery Store Its Charge?

Mobile phone batteries belong to a class of batteries known as “Li-ion batteries.” Phone batteries are rechargeable batteries that use a chemical element called Lithium.

Each battery has a number of cells with positive and negative terminals and a chemical solution. Plugging your phone in causes a chemical reaction inside the battery that stores charges in the form of chemical energy.

Factors That Affect the Durability of Mobile Phone Batteries

The life of your phone battery is already determined before you buy your phone. However, your phone habits can lengthen or shorten the life of your phone battery.

Here are some important factors that affect battery life:

Charge/discharge cycles

Phone batteries usually have a specific number of charge/discharge cycles intended so you won’t need to replace them often. When you use your phone, the battery releases the stored charge in the form of electricity to power various components, e.g., the screen and speaker.

Usually, a phone’s battery life doesn’t stay the same throughout the life of the phone; it declines slowly. Chemical reactions cause the lithium inside it the battery to decline with the natural charge/discharge cycles.

Temperature

The number one enemy of your phone battery is extremes in temperatures. Charging your phone in a very hot place is just as harmful as charging it in biting cold. If you regularly use a mobile phone, you’ll probably have observed that the battery runs down much faster when it’s hot.

When phone batteries get too hot, they tend to swell and could even explode! Also, charging your phone in a very cold environment can cause it to charge very slowly. Cold charging also makes batteries lose capacity over time.

Charger

Another thing to consider is the type of charger you use. Today, there are a lot of chargers available on the market that promise to charge your phone faster. Don’t fall for it! Using the wrong charger will deliver lower or excess voltage to your phone that can damage your battery.

Phone batteries are meant to charge at a specific rate to preserve the battery and prevent excessive heat. Use only chargers recommended by your phone maker to extend the life of your phone battery. Alternatively, you can use third-party chargers that are certified by your phone manufacturer.

All the Wrong Ways You’ve Been Charging Your Phone

To learn how to charge your phone to save the battery, you should also know how NOT to charge your phone. The following are some common charging habits that kill phone batteries over time.

1. Using your phone while charging it

By using your phone while charging, power is drawn to operate the screen and other components and can also lead to overheating. This reduces the life of the battery over time. The competition between phone usage and battery charger supplying charges causes your battery to overheat which will damage it.

2. Allowing your phone to drop to zero before charging

Unless you plan to replace your phone battery every six months, never allow your phone to die before charging it. According to Battery University, letting your phone battery drain before charging it will shorten its life. Your phone battery lasts longer when it is maintained in the 30% to 80% capacity.

3. Overcharging your phone

Overcharging is one of the most common causes of shortening the life of batteries. Simply put, overcharging your phone means keeping it plugged in more time than necessary. If you’re the type that loves to have your phone plugged in at all times, you should know that it damages your battery.

Keeping your phone plugged for long periods causes the temperature of the battery to rise, which causes internal stresses that affect its durability.

Some Tips for Increasing Your Smartphone Battery’s Useful Life

Mobile phone in the charger
Tip #1: Avoid temperature extremes while charging

As we’ve said earlier, extreme temperatures are the biggest enemies of mobile phone batteries. To keep your battery in tip-top shape for longer, you should avoid having a hot (or cold) battery as much as possible.

Note: Sometimes while charging your phone, you might notice that it is warmer than usual. This is normal. If you think your phone is heating up, remove it from the pouch, or take it to a cooler place to charge.

Some ways to keep your battery cool while charging your phone:

  • Remove your phone from the pouch, if you use one. Pouches not only add to the weight of your phone, but they can also cause heating problems. Overheating reduces the life of phone batteries. If you must use a phone pouch, buy one that comes in a bright color. (Darker colors like black and deep blue absorb more heat and could make your phone overheat.)
  • Avoid charging your phone in an environment with poor ventilation. Be sure to charge your phone in a place that is cool and dry to avoid overheating. A well-ventilated room will keep the charging temperature low.
  • Don’t use your phone while charging it. Using your phone while charging draws power from the battery to power the screen and other components. The competition between the usage and battery charger supplying charges causes your battery to overheat which will damage it in the long run.
  • Turn on Airplane mode. A great way to extend the life of your phone battery as well as to load it faster is to leave your phone on airplane mode while charging. Airplane mode automatically turns off your cellular data which is one of the biggest causes of battery overheating.
Tip #2: Charge your phone partially and often

Many phone users love to charge their phones to the max (100%) every chance they get. While it’s natural to want to keep your phone battery level high throughout the day, it’s not good for the battery. Draining your phone battery to 0% before charging will reduce its life as well.

The best way to charge your phone to save the battery is to charge it partially and more frequently. For example, you can charge your phone to 80%, let it discharge to 40% and charge it again. Charging your phone this way creates a “healthy” charge/discharge cycle that increases its life.

Tip #3: Charge your phone battery halfway before storage

Wondering how to charge your phone to save the battery when you’re not going to be using the phone for a while? The right way is to charge it halfway. Apple recommends turning on your phone every six months and charging it to 50% to preserve the battery.

Leaving your battery low before storage will cause the level to drop significantly making it difficult to charge afterward. Lithium-ion batteries (the type used in mobile phones) have chemical processes that stall when the battery has not been used for a long time. Also, be sure to store your mobile phone batteries in a cool, dry place to prevent damage.

Tip #4: Dump your fast-charging devices

Contrary to what many tech enthusiasts believe, fast charging isn’t how to charge your phone to save the battery. Some fast-charging products even promise to speed the charging rate of your phone by as much as 70% e.g. USB-PD (Power Delivery) chargers. Unless your phone was designed specifically for fast-charging you should not use fast-charging products. This is because ultra-fast charging can rapidly increase the temperature of the battery causing its capacity to decline.

Tip #5: Unplug your phone after charging (Trickle charging is a myth!)

Thanks to battery saver apps, a lot of people believe that trickle charging makes batteries last longer. However, trickle charging has no effect on battery life. Experts advise that you unplug your phone after it’s partially charged and charge it more often, instead. (See tip #4 above). So, avoid charging your phone overnight if you want to increase its life.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to charge your phone to save the battery. Applying the knowledge that you’ve learned here will help you maximize your battery’s life and allow you to enjoy using your phone longer!

Alexa
Alexa Lemzytwitter
Author

Customer support person. Interested in customer success, growth, marketing and technology. Passionate about content, reading and travel.