Dos and don’ts for better battery life
Battery life is a tricky beast to tame for anyone, whether that’s on your laptop, your tablet or, most importantly, your phone. It can be particularly annoying when you realise that you’re having to charge your phone three or four times a day. That sinking feeling as you watch the juice in your battery indicator trickle down minute by minute is familiar to many, but help is at hand.
Unfortunately for humanity, batteries aren’t (currently) everlasting beings, in fact their lifespan is typically just 300-500 cycles. After that final cycle, your device won’t die, but it will hold less and less electricity, being able to power your device for shorter and shorter amounts of time.
There are ways of prolonging life though. These are the dos and don’ts of managing your battery life and making sure you get the most juice out of a single charge.
Dos and don’ts for battery life: Charging
- Keep your device charged between 40%-80%. 40% and 80% is the happy medium which will ensure that your battery life continues to remain healthy and reliable.
- You can charge your phone from 0% to 100% once a month as this will recalibrate your battery but not more than that if you can avoid it.
- Use the charger that came with your device. Some cables and plugs from other devices may appear to work, but could be damaging your device in the long term.
- Avoid letting the device drop below 20%. Lithium-ion batteries need some carefully looking after, they’re not keen on reaching this danger zone of 20%.
- Charge to full capacity. In fact, charging Lithium-ion batteries to 100% constantly will ultimately shorten the battery’s lifespan, so it’s best avoided.
- Leave your phone in particularly hot or cold environments. A hot battery that lives its life basking on the beach or sat next to the oven will suffer a long-term impact on its lifespan. The same is true for a cold battery – so no freezers or using your phone as a prop for a snowman.
- Use cheap knock-off chargers bought online. Some cheap chargers won’t charge your phone effectively and can damage the battery because they don’t have the correct rating. Chargers off eBay and Amazon marketplace have also been known to cause fires, so double the reason to avoid them.
Boosting battery life
Not all of this is within your control, of course – and charging our phones to 100% is part of an overnight ritual for some of us. All is not lost, however. The way you use your phone could also be having an impact upon your battery life and there are some good habits you can get into to improve things.
- Use auto-brightness or dim the screen. The screen’s brightness uses up a lot of that precious battery life, so don’t have it set brighter than you need.
- Turn off notifications for apps you don’t use. Notifications consume battery whenever the app looks for something and lights up your display. Better still, delete the apps entirely if you don’t need them.
- Enable battery or power saving mode when you want to extend your battery will certainly help.
- Reduce the resolution if your phone allows it. The Samsung Galaxy S7, for example lets you reduce the 2K screen to a 1080p or 720p one if you choose.
- Restart your phone from time to time.
- Have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi turned on constantly. Having both switched off can add at least an hour to your battery life. If you’re not using it, turn it off.
- Leave apps running in the background. We all know that Facebook’s app is a battery hog, but there are definitely other apps out there which suck down battery life too.
- Push email. Set your emails to fetch at a specific time interval and not check constantly for emails as it wastes a huge amount of battery.
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