You've been charging your smartphone all wrong
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
- All smartphone batteries have a limited lifespan, but the common habit of charging phones overnight could actually be shortening your battery's lifespan, according to a battery technology expert.
- Smartphone companies like Apple, Samsung, and LG aren't too bothered about whether you charge your phone overnight, and Google says most phones have systems in place to protect your phone's battery from overcharging.
- But at the end of the day, smartphone batteries still don't like being at 100% for too long.
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you might be reducing your phone battery's long-term lifespan with certain charging behaviors.
Specifically, if you often charge your phone overnight or keep it plugged in for hours after it's reached 100%, you're accelerating the aging process in lithium-ion smartphone batteries.
"If you're going to charge your phone to 100% and keep it at 100% - just keep on charging and charging overnight - this will have negative influence on aging," said Dominik Schulte, managing director of Germany-based battery technology consultancy firm BatterieIngenieure, who spoke with Business Insider.
Indeed, as a lithium-ion battery ages, the chemistry within changes and becomes less efficient at storing and delivering power to your device.
To be sure, all lithium-ion batteries age and have a limited lifespan. No matter what you do, your phone's battery capacity - which translates to a battery's lifespan - will degrade over time as you use it. But you can have a say in how quickly your smartphone battery ages.
At the same time, the companies behind the smartphones in your hands and pockets don't seem overly concerned about letting your phone charge for too long.
Check out what you need to know about charging your smartphone's battery:
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The companies that make your phones don't seem too bothered.
Google said that worrying about overcharging your phone is an "outdated" concern.
But Schulte and most smartphone makers agree on one thing: When you store a smartphone that you don't plan to use, you should keep the battery charge within a certain range — and that hints that smartphone batteries don't like being at 100%.
No one is suggesting that you only ever keep your smartphone between 30% and 50% at all times, however.
It could all come down to how often you buy new smartphones.
There are a couple other things that almost everyone agrees on about smartphone batteries. For one, avoid fully discharging your smartphone before you charge it again. And avoid extreme temperatures whenever possible.
But in the end, smartphone batteries are meant to be used, so don't worry too much about it.
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