With all of the recent news around Apple iPhone batteries, we got to wondering, what other myths and misunderstandings are floating around about smartphone batteries? Here are some of our favourites;
Gary: “I’ve heard phone batteries have to be drained all the way before they’re recharged, it’s better for the battery”
Gary unless you’re talking about your favourite remote control car or cordless drill, you would be gravely mistaken. While these devices and those of old often use nickel-cadmium batteries, almost all rechargeable batteries you’ll find in tech these days are lithium-ion. Lithium-ion batteries have been around since the late 70’s and have been used in mobile phones as early as the Nokia 3310.
Unlike nickel-based batteries, lithium-ion don’t suffer from the “memory effect”, meaning that there is absolutely no harm in charging your phone battery before it’s run out, whether that’s at 30% or 80%.*
James: “You have to stop charging them after they reach 100%, I’d never charge mine overnight”
James, that’s a MYTH! Well… mostly…
First and foremost, almost all smartphones on the market these days will STOP THEMSELVES from overcharging! Once your battery is full, the phone will simply use the electricity input of the charger to power the phone, as opposed to charging the battery. Isn’t technology the best….
The misconception/fearmongering behind this myth is the rather real threat of “trickle charging”. This is the effect that occurs in SOME mobile devices, where as opposed to the aforementioned electricity input charging the phone, it simply continues to top up the battery. We heard about charging cycles in regards to Apple batteries – similarly, trickle charging your phone uses parts of charge cycles and subsequently will reduce the life of your battery.
I refer to this as fearmongering because of the practicality factor most seem to disregard. How many of us have the ability to charge our phones up properly, if not overnight? The convenience factor for the vast majority of the population significantly outweighs the MINIMAL loss of battery life.
Rachel: “Bluetooth and WiFi kill your battery life, you should turn them off whenever you can”
Well this sure is TRUE – BUT let’s be reasonable for a moment…
Bluetooth and WiFi aren’t avante garde luxury features of smartphones, these days they’re fundamental. Manufacturers and designers aren’t ignorant, our phones are built with the active use of Bluetooth and WiFi in mind.
While it’s true that both functions will consume more battery life while in use, we shouldn’t be going out of way to avoid using them. Similarly to overnight charging, the comfort and application these features provide far outrank the battery life.
The smartphones of today are incredible feats of modern technology, it’s about time we start giving them some credit for it.