Battery life: to charge or not to charge?

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IOL pic aug9 samsung galaxy s3 smartphone Reuters He also debunked the myth that you should charge a new phone for 72 hours before use.

London - Some swear by charging their phones daily. Others insist on letting the power completely drain away.

But one way or another, mobile phone owners will do anything to prevent their battery from giving up the ghost.

Now, experts have given their verdict: if you want your battery to last, don’t charge it all the way.

Technology enthusiast Eric Limer claims a full charge is not good for phones. In fact, he argues they should be unplugged before they reach 100 percent.

“For the most part, going from all the way full to all the way empty won’t help; in fact, it’ll do a little damage if you do it too often,” he explained.

“That said, it’s smart to do one full discharge about once a month.” Running down the battery in this way apparently helps to reset the phone.

Mr Limer said users should try to keep batteries charged up to 50 percent if possible – but warned that leaving phones plugged in after charging causes the battery to wear out.

In general, the optimum charge level is between 40 percent and 80 percent, he said.

He also debunked the myth that you should charge a new phone for 72 hours before use so that it “remembers” what it is like to be fully charged. This apparently works for nickel batteries, but not the lithium-ion type in new phones.

Mr Limer said: “Battery memory is a real thing, but it applies to nickel-based batteries. Your trusty sidekick doubtlessly has a lithium-ion battery and it needs to be treated a little differently.

“It should be topped up whenever you get the chance.”

You can also protect your battery by keeping your phone cool, he said. The recommended storage temperature for most batteries is 15C (59F), while the maximum safe temperature is typically between 40C and 50C.

Mr Limer said that at an average temperature of 25C, a lithium-ion battery will lose 20 percent of its maximum capacity every year. At 40C, it jumps to 35 percent.

As a result, it is best to avoid wireless chargers: “The inductive, wireless chargers out there have this nasty habit of generating a fair bit of waste heat. That heat will toast your battery,” he said.

Day to day, you can extend battery life by turning down the brightness of your phone’s screen and turning off applications that use GPS, such as maps.

In areas with poor signal, turn on airplane mode to stop your phone from wasting charge searching for a connection. It can also help to lock your phone when not in use and use a quiet ring signal. - Daily Mail

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