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Common battery myths

Common battery mythsDid you know that there are almost three billion smartphones in the world? Surprisingly, many of their users believe all sorts of weird battery-related myths. Read this article to discover the most popular ones.

1. Batteries should always be charged to 100%.

Many phone manufacturers include advanced controllers in their batteries. However, any battery has a set number of charging cycles, and by charging it to 100% you are reducing its life significantly. Let's consider a real-life example: most lithium-ion batteries that can be found in low-end phones are built to last for 400-500 charging cycles. By charging them to 80-90%, you could double their life. So, do your best to ensure that your phone's battery level is always kept in the 20%... 80% range.

2. Leaving the charger plugged in overnight is okay.

That's another destructive myth. Think about it for a second: most phone batteries can be charged to their full capacity within 2-3 hours, and sometimes even faster. By keeping the charger on for 8-10 hours, you'll pump much more current into your battery; yes, this will make it store a bit more energy, but it will dramatically reduce its lifespan.

Fortunately, it's easy to fix this problem either by charging your phone during the day, when you can keep an eye on battery charging levels, or by using a wireless charging stand that's coupled with a low-intensity power adapter. If you choose the charger intensity wisely, you should be able to charge your phone overnight without affecting its battery. And if you don't have an extra charger, consider the idea of charging the phone by making use of a laptop's USB2 port, which will limit the charging current to 0.5 Amps. Be sure to avoid using those blue USB3 ports, though, because they can deliver almost 1 Amp.

3. Your battery should be fully discharged before recharging it.

This is another widespread myth. Actually, I can understand why people think this way. Older nickel-cadmium batteries have a so-called "memory effect", which prevents them from reaching their full capacity if they are recharged before being fully discharged. However, lithium-ion batteries don't have any memory effect issues, so you can recharge them anytime you need to pump more energy into your phone.

4. Your smartphone's radio modules don't use a lot of energy.

That's not true! Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can drain your battery fast, because they need a lot of power to operate properly. So, if don't plan to use a wireless network, be sure to disable the Wi-Fi radio. The same thing goes for Bluetooth, of course.

5. Unofficial chargers will damage your phone.

Look, a phone charger is nothing more than a power adapter whose goal is to deliver a certain voltage and intensity. So, if you've lost the original charger and you can purchase an unofficial replacement which costs a quarter of the original price, then more power to you!

This doesn't mean that you should purchase a cheap adapter that was manufactured in your aunt's garage, of course; however, if you find a compatible charger that was built by a legit company, you should go ahead and purchase it.

6. App killers save battery life.

That is a big lie. Android phones had some power management problems a while ago, but the new versions of the operating system have fixed them for good. So, app killers will often get in the way, rather than reducing energy consumption.

As you can imagine, my list is far from being comprehensive. So, if you have something to add to this article, drop me a message and I'll incorporate your ideas into it.