How to Extend Your Cell Phone Battery's Life

Almost all of us have cell phones. We use them every day, all day long and wonder how we ever got along without them. They are an invaluable part of modern life. A big leap forward for human connection and communication. But you know what? They are high maintenance! It looks like no matter what we do, we're always having to charge our cell phone. The battery life stinks!

If you are using your phone a lot, it looks like you have to charge it at least three to five times a week. Of course, other things besides capacity and performance are equally important when it comes to cell phone battery design. You want a battery that is small and light. You also want a cell phone that is environmentally friendly and does not cause a health hazard. So, it's a balance between those features. But battery life is the thing that looks to bug us the most! So what's it all about and what can be done to improve cell phone battery life?

A long time ago, cell phones were powered by Nickel Cadmium batteries which were large and heavy. They also were susceptible to something called the "memory effect," a condition which reduced performance of the cell phone battery life. Later, higher performance Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries were introduced, which then led to the Lithium-ion battery, the most used cell phone battery today. Lithium batteries are up to 35% lighter, offer superior performance compared to the older generation batteries, and do not suffer from the memory effect.

But they still do not seem to hold a charge! And if you have a Motorola, Nokia, LG, Samsung or other type of cell phone, it does not seem to matter. Switching service providers does not help either – Verizon, Sprint and Nextel all are affected. So what can we do?

The first thing to know is that simple battery care can enhance the performance and useful life of your cell phone battery. Did you know that a cell phone battery should last for up to 400 charge / discharge cycles? That's quite a bit. How does that break down? If you charge your phone each night, your battery will last 12-15 months. If you are only charging twice a week, your battery should last 2-3 years. So, if you can get away with charging less, then that's a sure fire way to getting longer life.

In addition, many people miss something else when it comes to extending the overall life and effectiveness of their cell phone battery: the manufacturer's charging instructions. In most cases, you should fully charge the battery overnight for the first three charge cycles. Also, allow it to fully discharge before recharging it again. Plus, you do not want to damage your lithium-ion cell phone battery by overcharging it; never leave it on a charger for more than 24 hours.

Additional recommendations:

  • No extreme weather! Keep the cell phone battery out of heat and cold.
  • Try to avoid having your battery sit dormant; using the phone will help the battery.
  • Charge the battery after an extended idle period.
  • Keep the battery and contact terminals away from dirt and dust.
  • Use only the options and accessories on the phone that you really need.
  • Take care of your mobile phone; try not to drop it or get it wet.
  • Do not modify the battery casing or housing and try not to expose the cell contents.
  • Do not use a non-OEM replacement battery.

So, there you have it; some simple suggestions on how to extend the life of your cell phone battery. Although it's not a going to double or triple the life of your battery, following these guidelines will make it much easier on you and cause less aggravation in the long run.


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