Top 8 tips for maximising your smartphone's battery life
These handy tips can give your battery a boost
Smartphones can feel like a true gift to mankind - at least until the battery dies and the phone is reduced to a useless block of metal with chips.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are rechargeable, are currently used in smartphones, and have been in use for decades. In a report by CNET, John Goodenough, a key scientist in the development of modern batteries, says research is now focused on improving lithium batteries.
"The periodic table is limited," he is quoted as saying, and so, the advancements are becoming increasingly tough.
Here are some helpful tips to maximise your phone's battery life:
1. When not in use, close applications that drain battery. Apps that are open, even if they are running in the background, require RAM space, and thus, unnecessary battery usage.
2. Partially charging a phone, up to the 30-80 per cent range, "keeps the voltage lower and might slightly prolong the battery’s lifespan… Smaller, regular top-ups are better for Li-ion batteries than long full charge cycles", according to a study by Battery University.
3. Avoid idle charging, as it stresses the batteries, often beyond repair. Some phones disable or slow down charging when nearing full capacity. Use these options. Those who keep phones for charging overnight often think that the phones stop charging when the battery level is full, but that is not always the case, as studies show that phones can draw up to 500mA (about half an ampere) of extra current. This impedes the phone’s cool-down processes.
4. Parasitic load refers to the load on a battery, occurring when the phone is utilised for various purposes during charging. Parasitic loads stress the battery, increase internal heat, and distort the phone's charging cycle by inducing mini-cycles, where a part of the battery continually cycles, and then depletes at a faster rate than the rest of the cell. The best remedy to combat is to switch off the phone, or at least to use battery-friendly applications only, while charging it.
5. Push notifications can take a toll on battery life. They can easily be switched off in settings or from the notifications bar.
6. Use fast-chargers sparingly. They can cause overheating since they charge phones substantially faster than the average charger.
7. Every phone has a power saving mechanism, which, when enabled with a single tap, can further increase a phone's sustaining power before it can be recharged. However, this may delay messages sent to the phone, and regular use of this feature can cause problems for the battery, in the long run.
8. Whenever the phone is charging, it must always be kept in a cool place. According to Android Authority, heat is "arguably the biggest killer of long-term battery health", because an increase in temperature of the phone, while charging, stresses the battery, which carries a possible risk of battery explosion.
If all else fails, it may be time to save up for a battery change or a new smartphone.