5 Ways to Extend Battery Life of Your Gadgets

Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used to power most tablets, smartphones, and portable PCs of today. These batteries are usually pretty expensive, and if not handled with care, are prone to early failures. Listed below are 5 basic and easy to follow tips that can prove beneficial in keeping your portable device’s battery up and running and able to function as it should for years to come.

Don’t let your Lithium batteries overheat

Heat is the primary reason behind Lithium battery issues, as it loses its ability to hold a charge by about 20 percent once it reaches temperatures in the ballpark of 30C. Even worse, if its temperature rises all the way up to 45C while in use, the battery’s capacity gets reduced by up to 50 percent.

Ideally, Li-ion batteries should operate at around 20C, as this is where they deliver optimum performance. That’s not doable in a country like Pakistan though so just do your best to keep it as low as possible. Simple things like keeping your phone on the dashboard while driving can have a severe detrimental effect.

If your portable device or battery gets significantly warm while in use, take it to a cooler location. If that’s not an option, try turning off unnecessary features and apps running in the background in order to reduce the amount of power that the device draws from its battery. Alternatively, you can also try reducing the display’s brightness, or put your device in power-saving mode for as long as it remains warmer than usual.

Don’t let your battery charge for too long

Leaving your battery to charge for excessive periods, particularly to a high voltage source, can drop a Lithium-ion battery’s ability to hold a charge, and in turn, shorten its life or even bring it to a state that battery engineers refer to as “catastrophic failure”. Consumer-grade Lithum-ion batteries are usually designed to function at around 3.6 volts per cell, though they are temporarily capable of accepting an overvoltage of around 4.2 volts while charging. If charged via a higher voltage for longer periods, the internal battery can get severely damaged.

The easiest and simplest solution to this problem is to not leave your Lithium-ion powered tablet or smartphone on charge for too long. Ideally, you should unplug the charger once the lithium-powered device indicates a full charge. In addition, using a high-quality charger can also go a long way towards reducing the danger associated with overcharging. Overcharging usually occurs with chargers that are cheap, off-brand models. The more recent wireless (inductive) chargers don’t do your device’s battery any favors either, as the special charging mat used to restore a battery’s power leads to the generation of excessive heat.

Avoid deep-discharging your battery

Just as you shouldn’t let your device’s battery charge for longer periods, you should also avoid letting it hit zero charge. Doing so results in the generation of heat, which, as already discussed, is harmful for Lithium-ion batteries. The heavier the discharge, the more stressful the battery gets. On the other hand, smaller and more frequent discharges help to extend their overall lifespan.

In order to keep deep-discharge events to a minimum, avoid making it a routine to let your device completely drain its battery. Consider the bottom 15-20 percent of battery capacity as a reserve, and use it sparingly in order to conserve your device’s power until you can recharge it.

Let your battery cool down before charging

If you’ve been using your tablet or smartphone for a while, chances are that it’s running hot. Consequently, it’s likely that its battery is also running hot, in which case it won’t accept a full charge. In order to avoid this scenario, you should let the battery cool down to room temperature before recharging it. Similarly, when recharging, keep a check on your device’s battery to make sure that it isn’t running hot. If this is the case, your primary suspect should be its charger, as it’s likely to be pumping an excessive amount of current rapidly through the battery.

Keep a fully-charged spare battery with you

Keeping a spare battery is probably the most effective way to ensure a healthy life for your in-use battery, provided that your device allows for easy battery replacement. Not only does it give you two times the run time, but it also provides you with the flexibility to tackle most of the problems discussed above. For example, with a spare battery in hand, you can easily prevent your in-use battery from hitting zero charge, and you won’t need to perform a quick recharge either. As mentioned before, the ideal time to swap in a fresh battery is when the in-use battery approaches 15-20 percent charge. The end result is that you get instant full power without any concerns regarding heat issues.

    • There seems to be confusion regarding mentioning of ideal temperatures so it’s been clarified. Point was to make all efforts to keep it as close to them as possible. Of course it’s not doable when you’re out of your house in Pakistan. But you should be aware that if it goes to 45C, you’re effectively going to lose half your battery capacity.

      • I live in Rahim Yar Khan and temp. goes up to 50 degree.
        Simple thing is you disable some apps.
        Ye baqi baat be tuki hai

  • Please write or at least amend or customize the article for Pakistani users. We face different room temperature, electrical shots and voltage variations while charging.

    • We mentioned ideal operating temperature of batteries for general information. Still, amended the article since it was causing confusion.

  • This point “Don’t let your battery charge for too long” is totally wrong, smart phones are now smart enough to cut off charger power as soon as the batter is fully charged. You need to research more before posting. I can provide enough information in this regards.

        • Not going to mention names but the cheaper the phone is, the higher the chance that you are going to screw battery life by leaving it on charge overnight. Just don’t take any risks is the point.

          The charger also plays a huge part and so does the charging cable btw. They simply aren’t good enough here. The difference between an imported one and the one that even arrives in box has been 2x for me on Samsung S4, LG G3 and Nexus 4.

          • Use HTC app power to give.you should mention this for people who usually over charge their phones which is the case with 50 % users I think.
            Sonay sy pehle charge py lagatay

    • I bought Sony Xperia U some three years ago, even they mentioned it on there manual that it is not harmful for mobile or battery to keep it charging all night.

      • i also have Xperia u in past it has worst battery life i think 1350mh which is very very small even the phone is 3.5inc but yes remove the charger as it say battery is full to extended the battery life

      • did they mention charging all night or party all night is not harmful

    • I did a bit of a research on charging the phone overnight and yes you are right, phones are smart enough to cut the power once they get fully charged and reduce the charging speed after 90% or something. BUT, the battery life is all about the charge cycles it offers. If your phone is on at night while charging and some background apps/services are running (specially if your wifi/data is on) then after reaching 100%, phone stops charging but due to those running apps/services, battery will reduce by 2-3% in few/several minutes and that’s when your phone will start charging again and bring it back to 100% and there goes your one charge cycle… It happens multiple times during night and ultimately affects your battery life.
      So, the right way to charge your phone for long is to either turn it off or put it in Airplane mode, that way the drainage will be minimum to 0 and your charge cycles will remain preserved.

  • “Keep a fully-charged spare battery with you”

    iPhone users must carry a screw driver with them so whenever they run short of battery, unscrew the phone. Disconnect the primary battery and put this “spare battery” inside and then tighten the screws!

    Lol such a pointless article with no research!

    • Good point! Not only iPhone but most of the latest android phones these days are coming with non removable batteries. Instead of fully charged battery, they could have said, keep a power bank with you, that would have made more sense.

      • I said iPhone considering iPhone was the flagship model which introduced this concept. And if a user has to keep a power bank or an extra battery, then it has nothing to do with “extending” the battery life which is the actual title of this article.

  • you are an idiot admin. Lithium ion batteries have automatic cut off feature. So, it is irrelevant you put it on charge all night long. It will never overcharge. If it does, it will simply explode.

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