Taking care of your phone battery is an easier and more affordable task than replacing a phone's lithium ion battery. In addition, taking care of your battery and expanding the lifespan of your phone battery is fantastic for our global environment. Afterall, lithium batteries cause a significant amount of e-waste.
When depleted batteries are thrown into trash, they end up in landfills where the batteries decay and leak. When batteries corrode, chemicals in the batteries soak into soil and contaminate groundwater and surface water. Our ecosystems, which contain thousands of aquatic plants and animals, are damaged when filled with battery chemicals.
Exposing the environment to lead and strong corrosive acids found in batteries can cause burns and dangers to our eyes and skin. According to the Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry, toxic metals like nickel and cadmium found in batteries are known human carcinogens. Carcinogens are any substance, radiation, or radionuclide that acts as an agent that causes cancer. When these agents interact with our air and water, we risk developing cancerous disabilities.
To prevent adding more battery waste to landfills and damaging our beloved environment, we can take approaches to expand our batteries’ lifespans.
1. Avoid extreme cold or heat
Avoid placing your phone in an extremely hot or extremely cold place. If your phone is in an extremely hot or cold environment, the environment can strain the battery and shortens its battery's lifespan. You should avoid placing your phone in places such as your car because your car can become incredibly hot during summer or sunny outside and unbearably freezing cold when it’s snowing or during winter.
2. Avoid fast charging
Charging your phone rapidly puts stress on the phone battery which reduces your phone battery’s lifespan. It’s recommended to charge slowly to expand your phone battery’s lifespan. For example, you can charge your phone from your computer or through certain smart plugs. Charging your phone through these outlets limits the current going into your phone, which slows the charge rate. This applies mostly to older phone models, whereas newer phone models are better at handling fast charging.
3. Avoid Draining Your Phone Battery to 0% or Charging Completely to 100%
Older types of rechargeable batteries had ‘battery memory’. This means that if you don’t charge these batteries to full and discharge them to zero battery, these batteries ‘remember’ and reduce their useful range. This rechargeable battery type is better for their lifespan if you always drain the battery and charge the battery to completely full.
Newer phone batteries work in a different way. Batteries stress when the batteries are used up or charged completely. Phone batteries are best if you keep them above 20% capacity and below 90% full. To achieve optimal performance, the battery capacity should be around 50%.
To maximize your phone battery’s life expectancy, you can charge your phone around 50% to 90% and you can stop charging. At the minimum, you can charge when the battery capacity reaches 20%. In addition, as mentioned above, you can use slow charging to further extend your phone battery’s lifespan.
4. Charge your phone to 50% for long-term storage
As mentioned above, the healthiest charge for a lithium ion battery is approximately 50%. If you are going to store your phone for an extended period, charge it to 50% before turning it off and storing it. This approach is healthier for the battery compared to charging the battery to 100% or draining the battery to 0% before storage.
5. Reduce the phone screen brightness
A phone screen is the main component that uses the most battery. Reducing the screen brightness is a simple and effective approach to preserve your phone battery’s energy. While you can use Auto Brightness to save your battery energy, the amount of energy your phone battery saves using Auto Brightness isn’t consistent because Auto Brightness adjusts your phone screen brightness accordingly to the amount of brightness in the external environment. The phone screen brightness will go up when you’re in a darker environment and the brightness will go down when you’re in a brighter environment so the amount of energy your battery saves fluctuates. Adjusting your phone screen brightness manually and setting the brightness to a low level assures that your phone screen is consistently using minimal phone battery.
6. Reduce the screen timeout (auto-lock)
By default, your phone screen turns off and your phone auto locks after a minute or two of phone inactivity. You can reduce the time to a minute, if the default auto-lock time is two minutes. You can reduce the auto-lock time to 30 seconds, if the default auto-lock time is one minute. When your phone is on auto-lock mode, your phone uses less energy compared to when the phone is fully on. By minimizing the period of time required for auto-lock to take place, you can reduce the amount of wasted phone energy.
7. Delete Mobile Apps that drain your battery
There are a variety of apps that absolutely drain the living energy out of your battery! According to an article by Techengage, top apps that drain phone batteries include:
- Google News
- BBC News
- Tik Tok
Apps such as Facebook and Netflix are particularly important to avoid because they run in the background, syncs updates, contacts, runs a notification service, and many background processes. More, Netflix sends notifications which also drains your battery. You may want to avoid updating your apps and software on older phones as well, as newer versions tend to drain battery faster.
8. Plug in your phone if you are playing a game
Newer phone models have a feature where they will take power directly from the charging cable instead of your battery if your phone is plugged in. If you are playing games, your phone will use much more power than standard apps. Make sure you are plugged in when playing games, and you can preserve your battery life by using power from the cable instead of your battery.
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