6 myths about phone charging

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The Truth Behind Phone Charging Myths

Let your battery go dead before you charge it. Never use your phone while it’s charging or it’ll blow up. These are just two examples of some of the advice people receive from fellow smartphone owners. We’re here to debunk many of the myths and see what ones are true. A Lithium Ion battery, used by Samsung and Apple, should last up to five years if you take proper care of it.

1.Charging your phone overnight is bad for the battery

Simply put, it doesn’t. Why? Because your smartphone battery is as smart as the phone itself. Once it’s fully charged it knows to stop charging.

According to tech writer Jesse Hollington: “Charging your iPhone from 90 per cent will not harm your battery. You simply can’t overcharge an iPhone, or any other modern electronic device, for that matter. Any device that uses a Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer battery must incorporate a charging circuit that cuts off charging power when the battery reaches 100 per cent.”

2.Using non-branded chargers is bad for batteries

True. Why go cheap on a counterfeit charger to charge the smartphone you’ve possibly spent a couple of hundred dollars on? (You could always get one for free from us!)

Non-brand chargers such as Belkin are fine, although not as effective as the official ones. Don’t believe us? Lifehacker carried out a detailed experiment on official versus non-brand chargers.

3.Don’t use your phone while it’s charging

Not true. You can use it all you want. But don’t use a cheap knock-off charger. See the previous point.

4.Heat ruins a battery

Yep, this one is true. Lithium-ion batteries get hot while they’re being charged. Cold weather can also have a negative impact and a cold battery will die faster than usual in low temperatures. No fear of that here!

Always keep your phone within its recommended temperatures. For an iPhone the lowest recommended temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For a Samsung, it’s between -4 and 122 degrees. So plenty of scope!

5.You don’t need to ever turn your phone off

You do, so give it a break from time-to-time. Apple say that in order to maximise battery life you should turn off your phone every so often. At the very least, they recommend turning your phone off once a week in order to preserve battery life. Turning off your phone is important for Android devices as well. A simple reboot can help restore battery life.

6.Don’t charge your phone until it’s completely dead

Back to Jesse Hollington: “Lithium Ion batteries are rated for a limited number of “charge cycles’ (about 500 in the case of the iPhone), the term “charge cycle” refers to complete recharges, and partial recharges simply use up partial charge cycles. In other words, every time you charge your phone up from 90 per cent, you’re using 1/10th, or 10 per cent, of a complete charge cycle.”

“If you deliberately drain your battery to zero and then recharge it, instead of simply plugging it in when it needs to be charged, you’re needlessly using up a complete charge cycle. Obviously if you’re using your phone until the battery goes dead, that’s fair, but there’s no need to deliberately drain it before recharging it, and you’ll actually shorten your battery life if you do so.”

Your battery has a finite number of charge cycles, and every time it fully dies, that’s another cycle used up.

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The Truth Behind Phone Charging Myths