4 Ways to Protect Your Smartphone Battery Life

Published on December 28, 2014

Smartphones, in their expansive glory, are unfortunately notorious for battery life that just doesn't quite last long enough. Lets face it, the little red battery line is just no fun.

What is even worse, however, is a battery that just isn't doing its job anymore. A plethora of users saw battery problems with events like the iOS7 update, but battery life depletion is something we all face on a day to day basis.

How can you improve your battery life to the thing of legends? (Well, maybe not legends, but close.) Here are 4 great battery-saving tips Gizmodo recently featured.

1. Charging more is better.

There is an old rumor floating around that it is a bad idea to charge your battery until it is nearly dead, as "topping off" will reduce a battery's energy capacity over time.

False. So false.

For lithium-ion batteries which your smartphone undoubtedly uses, it is actually best to keep your battery life north of 50% as much as possible. In fact, going from all the way full to all the way empty can do a little damage to your battery life if you do it too often.

However, you'll want to do one full discharge about once a month (for "calibration" purposes) but you really shouldn't do it much more than that to keep your lithium ion battery lifespan long and prosperous.

Special note: You don't want to have your battery constantly charging either! These batteries can get overheated.

2. Keep your phone cool

Speaking of getting overheated, lithium-ion batteries don't get along well with heat. When it is too warm, regardless of use, your battery will degrade much more quickly than when it is cooler.

Here's what Gizmodo says:

At an average temperature of 32 degrees fahrenheit, a lithium-ion battery will lose six percent of its maximum capacity per year. At 77 degrees, that number jumps to 20 percent, and at 104 degrees it's a whopping 35.

In other words, whenever possible, protect your phone from a steamy environment - like sitting in your car or next to the oven or something.

3. Just say no to wireless charging

Wireless charging is a new trend which seems practical, but can actually cause some detrimental effects to your phone's charging abilities. The biggest problem? Wireless charging often generates a fair bit of heat.

Heat which can toast your battery. Which we don't want.

Standard plug-in charging is the way to go if you want to keep your battery life optimal, especially if you already live in a warmer climate.

4. Zero to Hero? Not quite.

Going to zero percent battery life is actually quite bad for a lithium-ion battery, especially when not in use for some time. For every month lithium-ion batteries aren't in use, they will lose 5-10% of their charging ability per month. This is not to mention the fact that when these batteries get truly, zero, zilch, nada low, they can be unstable and dangerous to charge.

Yes, explosions are possible for lithium-ion batteries that have been sitting at zero percent for a few months. These explosions are avoided by built-in self-destruct circuits that will destroy the battery permanently if it reaches bottom.

How do you prevent against this disaster? Make sure that if your phone is going to sit on the shelf for a month or more, that it has at least 40% battery life still available in the reserves to protect your battery.