How to Improve Battery Life of a Smartphone?

Do you know why your smartphone’s battery performance degrades over a long period of time? Ever wondered whenever you buy a new smartphone, and when you switch it on for the first time, the battery capacity is closer to 50%? Why battery health is important? Will fast charging kill your smartphone’s battery life? These are some of the questions that you probably had in your mind and answers to these questions are really awesome. Here we go.

How Do Smartphone Batteries Work?

Typically, a smartphone battery comprises of a negatively charged electrode known as anode, a positively charged electrode known as cathode, an electrolyte and a separator between the two electrodes.

Cathode is made up of Lithium-cobalt oxide whereas anode is made up of carbon/graphite. It’s important to remember that there are two states of a battery: a recharging state and a discharging state.

When the battery is being charged, Lithium ions(Li+) leave the positively charged electrode(cathode) and move towards negatively charged electrode(anode). In this process, Lithium ions leave behind electrons which accumulate at cathode. Thus, negative charge accumulates at cathode. Meanwhile, Lithium ions accumulate at anode and because they are positively charged, positive charge accumulates at anode. This state is unstable for the battery as it is exactly opposite to it’s normal state.

When the battery is fully charged, and when you use your smartphone, Lithium ions start moving back to the cathode through the electrolyte and the electrons start moving back to the anode via the external circuit, ultimately powering your smartphone. Remember that electrons don’t pass through the electrolyte, instead they pass through the external circuit which includes different components of a smartphone.

This cycle gets repeated whenever you charge your smartphone and then use it.

Okay, but why does the performance of a battery starts to degrade as time passes? That’s because whenever you charge or discharge your battery, it swells and shrinks respectively by a small amount. This swelling and shrinking decreases the life span of the battery, which eventually leads to the ‘death’ of the battery.

Whenever you charge your smartphone from 0% to 100%, it corresponds to 1 charge cycle of the battery. A typical smartphone battery can work normally upto 500-600 charge cycles. That’s about 1.5 to 2 years of smartphone usage, if your recharge your smartphone battery each and every day from 0% to 100%. After that, your smartphone’s battery performance will decrease drastically.

When a battery is at 0% charge or at 100%, these both are extreme cases and they stress upon the battery. That’s why it’s advisable that you charge your smartphone’s battery around 80 to 90% and never let your smartphone’s battery drain upto 0%.

Can fast-charging affect the battery life of a smartphone?

Fast-charging works by increasing the voltage or electric current given to the smartphone battery. More electric current means increased flow of ions, which leads to faster charging. But, modern fast chargers charge the battery with the peak value of specified electric current at the initial stage. When the battery capacity reaches to 50 or 60%, fast charging is automatically slowed down to protect battery health. So, the reality is that your smartphone battery doesn’t undergo ‘fast-charging’ all the way upto 100%. In fact, traditional chargers also slow down charging when the battery capacity reaches 80% to maintain battery health.

So, what’s the conclusion regarding fast charging? It may not degrade battery health over a long period of time, but, it can generate more heat as compared to traditional charging.

Conclusion

To summarize, here are some tips by which you can improve the battery life of your smartphone:

  • It is recommended to not charge your phone all the way upto 100%.
  • Don’t let the battery drain all the way down to 0%.
  • Reduce the amount of time you use your phone while it’s charging.
  • Keep the battery power between 20% to 80%.
  • Don’t use faulty chargers.
  • Keep an eye on battery temperature.

That’s all for now. Signing Off.

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