The Truth About Cellphone Batteries

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As mobile device repair experts, we want to make sure you’re not being bamboozled by fake news. We’re talking about your cellphone battery. There are many misconceptions about modern rechargeable batteries that need to be straightened out. From that weird charging hack your brother’s friend swears by, to the one your mom forwarded you from her morning walking group, we dispel the top five most common myths surrounding cellphone batteries.

1. Only use the charger that came with your device.

Manufacturers will advise you only use the charger that came with your phone. Modern chargers that are from reputable companies are fine to use. It’s knock-off and black or gray market chargers you need to avoid. Smartphone batteries are just as smart as the devices they power, only using the maximum amount of power the device can handle, no matter what’s being supplied. This helps regulate the charge going into the battery, essentially eliminating the danger of overheating. Knockoff chargers barely get the job done and can trick your phone into thinking it’s using a safe charging current when it isn’t.

In conclusion: Only use quality chargers from legit companies.

2. You shouldn’t use your phone while it’s charging.

This one stems from the fear of a device catching fire or exploding while being charged. Chat, play, and stream away — as long as you are using a legitimate charger (see above). This urban legend is still around not because of evidence, but user error.

In conclusion: You’re fine, so long as you didn’t buy one of those nasty knockoffs.

3. Turning off Bluetooth, location services, and Wi-Fi saves battery life.

While these used to be battery-sucking services, those days are in the past. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi use so little energy that there is no need to constantly turn them on and off. However, with location services, take the time to make sure only the apps that need them have access. Running your location in the background for apps that don’t need it can drain your battery, so change the setting to run only when particular apps are in use.

In conclusion: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are OK, but location services should be monitored.  

4. Always wait until your battery is almost dead, and then charge to full.

This is also an old tactic that shouldn’t be resurrected. In the past, batteries needed to drain and be refilled to reach maximum charging capacity. Today, we use lithium-ion batteries that can be charged and used as needed. If they are regularly drained they can actually become unstable. However, batteries do have a certain number of times they can be charged from zero percent, so charging your battery when it’s between 30 to 50 percent is a good practice to follow.

In conclusion: Charge your phone often to keep it from zeroing out.

5. Putting your battery in the freezer or refrigerator makes it last longer.

No! This didn’t work in 1982 when your folks stored batteries in the fridge, and it doesn’t work now. Lithium-ion batteries react to extreme heat and cold, and keeping them at room temperature is best for your battery.

In conclusion: Freeze popsicles, not batteries.

Does your phone need some love in the battery department? Do you have a question about charging? Come see us in person, or connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.