You may have heard about the recent Apple fiasco in which Apple admitted to slowing down older iPhones to prevent sudden shutdowns of those devices. While that is a seemingly legitimate excuse, we all know it has more to do with planned obsolescence. Of course, Apple wants you to buy a new iPhone. If you’re one of those people who want to keep their phone until “the wheels fall off”, here are some tricks to keeping your iPhone’s battery in good shape for a longer period.
Don’t charge your Phone when you first get it
Earlier battery types like nickel cadmium had a “memory effect” that meant batteries would maintain a certain capacity based on how they had been charged and discharged. This meant that electronics products often came with advice to charge them fully and keep them plugged in for hours before using them.
However, with modern lithium-ion batteries most people agree that there is no such effect and the batteries are more reliable. A smartphone is fine to run out of the box without “priming” it beforehand.
For the same reason, you don’t need to calibrate your smartphone by running the battery all the way down. While this used to be the case, Apple and others no longer recommend it.
Don’t wait until your phone gets close to a 0% battery charge until you recharge it
Once your phone gets down to around 50%, maybe even 35% or 40%, plug it into a charger since full charges wear out your battery faster. Modern lithium-ion batteries gain nothing from being powered down, and long charging cycles are worse than short ones.
Partial discharges and charges tend to prolong battery life. 50% discharges can happen between 1,200 and 1,500 times (so 600-750 full cycles) before capacity drops to 70% of its original span, compared to 300 to 500 for 0-100% charges. This effectively means running your phone down to around 50%, charging it up again and running it down to 50% again is better than a full discharge.
Keep your phone cool while it charges
Heat causes lithium-ion batteries to decay slightly, reducing performance. Since charging a phone does heat it up slightly, combining this with hot temperatures can damage it. Try to keep your phone relatively cool when charging it, take it out of the case while it charges and don’t put it under your pillow or blankets.
Don’t charge your phone overnight
This one might be harder to do ad it may even be a bit controversial. After all, we need our phones fully charged when we wake up to take on the day, right? Well, the convenience of charging overnight may be killing your phone’s battery.
“If you think about it, charging your phone while you’re sleeping results in the phone being on the charger for 3-4 months a year,” says Hatem Zeine, founder of Ossia, a developer of wireless charging technology told Time. “So even though the manufacturers try their best to cover this scenario, this process inevitably lowers the capacity of your phone’s battery.”
Tech experts also agree that you can’t really overcharge your phone nowadays. Once your battery is charged to 100%, the hardware inside shuts off the charging. “Modern smart phones are smart, meaning that they have built in protection chips that will safeguard the phone from taking in more charge than what it should,” says Edo Campos, spokesperson for battery-maker Anker. “Good quality chargers also have protection chips that prevent the charger from releasing more power than what’s needed.”
The problem, however, is the “trickle charge.” What happens during an overnight charge is your charger turns off when your phone reaches 100%, but the charger keeps topping off the charge during the night. This is called the “trickle charge.” So, overnight, your phone is constantly switching between 100 percent, a little less, and the “trickle charge” that keeps topping off to 100%.
Now, this is not completely devastating to your phone’s battery, but it is reducing its performance at a higher rate than normal. If you upgrade your iPhone every time a new one comes out, then this is not much of a problem. But if not, it can lead to a frustrating experience.
For my purposes, I carry around a portable power bank and I charge my phone whenever it gets to 40% or so. Then, overnight, I put it on low power mode and I leave it off the charger. So far, I’ve never ran out of juice and my phone is always ready when I need it.
My portable power bank: http://bit.ly/2DZvq1Z
My iPhone X Case: http://amzn.to/2CAT9cw
*These are not affiliate links. They are just products that I personally use and recommend.