The battery is one of the most important parts of the cell phone. It appears to be one of the parts which are most often replaced. There are several reasons for this, but sometimes it is just due to the normal wear and tear. To use your cell phone for a long time, you should try to keep your cell phone battery in good shape.
How to initialize a new battery and make it last longer? (Charging time)
There is a reason that you should charge your battery to its full capacity before using your device. Nickel-based batteries are usually not fully charged when they leave the factory. There is just enough charge to light up the phone and use it for a few hours.
You have to initialize the battery by charging it. Nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries should be charged for around 16 to 24 hours before you start using your cell phone. You should also run your NiCad/NiMH battery through two to four cycles of full charge/full discharge before you use them on your cell phone.
On the other hand, lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries need to be charged for about 7 to 8 hours before use. It may indicate that the charge is full, but a first-time use battery will indicate that early.
Differences in the way Li-Ion & NiCd charge
Older nickel-based batteries have a memory effect. This is when it starts to lose the ability to charge to its full capacity. This happens when you charge it often without being fully discharged first. The battery remembers the lowest level before it was recharged, and this is now the battery level where it displays a low-level power. When this happens often enough, the Nickel-based battery can no longer be recharged.
Lithium-based batteries are almost the exact opposite of Nickel-based batteries. Lithium-based batteries are designed to be often charged. It is also not necessary to fully discharge a Li-Ion battery before recharging it. In fact, if you fully discharge a Li-ion battery, this might damage the battery and render it useless. It will no longer be able to recharge.
If you are going to store Li-ion batteries, you should recharge it at least once every few months.
Should you increase the time between charges?.
As mentioned above, Li-ion batteries need to be often recharged. These batteries also have indicators to show if these are already fully charged. Also, when fully charged, it stops any more charging, and this helps ensure that it does not overheat.
For nickel-based batteries, it would not have any difference if you are taken sometime between charging. Do remember to fully discharge them first. There are some devices which automatically discharge Nickel-based batteries before charging them.
Is it OK to charge overnight?
For nickel-based batteries, you should ensure that you do not overdo the charging. This means that if the indicator says it is already full, you should unplug it. That being said, there are cases when the battery would be recharging overnight because of the length of time required to recharge it. A case in point is when you initialize the battery. You can plug it in during the evening, and it should be good to go by the afternoon of the following day.
There is no danger of over-charging Li-ion batteries. You can charge them overnight, and these should still be okay. They stop charging once these are fully charged. What you should avoid is fully discharging a li-ion battery.
Increase the Useable Time Between Charging
To prolong the battery life, as well as the length of time between charging, you should try to conserve the amount of energy being used by the cell phone.
The following are settings which help lengthen the cell phone’s standby time:
- Screen brightness. You can set the screen brightness lower. This uses up power even when not in use. The brighter the screen, the more energy it uses.
- Network settings. Another way to conserve power is by using 2G or 3G, instead of 4G (LTE). LTE uses more power when you are online. One reason that 4G is using more power is that 3G is also on when LTE is in use. 3G is used as a backup to LTE, just in case the signal degrades. If your cell phone is continuously polling for signal, it would also be using up more energy.When you are not using any app or the internet, you should turn off the data.
- Lower the ringtone volume. Or you can also use shorter ringtones. A high-volume ringtone uses a lot of power whenever you have a call.
- No, vibrate or haptic feedback. The cell phone uses energy whenever you press a button and the phone responds. You can also turn off the vibrate mode if you already have the ring tone on.
- Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth. With the WiFi and Bluetooth turned on, these services continuously poll for devices. Bluetooth continuously searches for other Bluetooth devices, while WiFi also continuously searches for a WiFi signal.
- Turn off Geolocation. There are a couple of GPS services on your phone. These are needed by some apps to provide your location on a map or send this location to a server. If you do not need a navigation system, or a map, or for social media to find you, you can turn off the geolocation services. These are composed of GPS, and other GPS assisted services, which can run and use power without you knowing it.
- Avoid long phone calls. Keeping your phone calls short help you to save your battery life. Admittedly, a cell phone is designed to receive calls, but if you don’t need to communicate instantly, then you can just send an SMS.
- Limit your camera use. The camera is now the second most used feature of the cell phone. It is second only to the clock. The camera uses a lot of power when you use it. Unless you need to take that picture or another selfie, try not to use the camera.
Turn off the phone. Most people do not need to have the phone turned on at all times. Unfortunately, that is what they do. They are always waiting for the phone call which may not come. Give your phone a rest, and turn it on only when you can give it the attention it requires.
How to avoid battery overheating, failure, and hazards
In 2016, there were several spectacular videos about exploding cell phones which went viral. Besides the manufacturer’s fault, there are some things that you can do to avoid this from happening. For one, make sure that you do not bend the cell phone. If the battery breaks, it can be dangerous and lead to fire or an explosion in a Li-ion battery.
Keep the phone away from heat. This includes keeping the phone away from the dashboard. You should also try not to keep the cell phone inside the glove compartment, while the car is parked in an open air parking lot.
There will be indicators to know that something is wrong with the battery. This includes shortened recharging time, overheating while recharging, it heats up while on a call, or a swollen case. When any of these things happens, you should check with a repair shop to see if there is anything wrong with the cell phone. When you need to parts for your phone, like battery replacements, unlimitedcellular.com carries parts for the major brands, including Sony, Blackberry, HTC, Motorola, and HTC.