Are all "habits" about mobile batteries myths?

brannsiu

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Apr 20, 2013
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For example,
always drain to 20% and charge it to 80%
do not drain to 0% before recharging it
are all these myths ?

In other words, is there any "habit" I should pay attention to when charging and discharging a mobile phone so
as to keep the battery possibly work as long as possible?

I had a few mobile phones in which its battery failed in a year or two, but I was never careful about charging and discharging
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
The 20-80% has some solid logic behind it, so not much of a myth. IIRC, batteries take a bigger "hit" at 100% and 0%, so you ideally want to keep it in an optimal range >0% and <100%

Do not drain to 0%.... Well, pretty much as above ^. For older NiMH batteries, you did want to drain them completely before recharging - they sort of 'forgot' their capacity. Modern lithium batteries don't have this issue.

Specifically how you charge/drain your battery won;t have too much impact for the majority of people who will upgrade their phone every couple of years.
 
Another thing worth noting, warm temperatures can reduce lithium battery life. So you should avoid leaving your phone in a hot car, for example. Lithium cells naturally degrade over time, but the higher the temperatures they are exposed to, the faster they degrade.
 

brannsiu

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Another thing worth noting, warm temperatures can reduce lithium battery life. So you should avoid leaving your phone in a hot car, for example. Lithium cells naturally degrade over time, but the higher the temperatures they are exposed to, the faster they degrade.
Putting the phone into a silicone or leather or commonly available phone case, would it cool down the overall temperature of the phone a little bit? or would it even heat up?
I like to put my phone into my trousers' pocket and it's zipped closed
 
Sep 26, 2019
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It all depends on the chemistry of the given battery. All the "Rules" you mentioned do have their applications but only for certain types of batteries. Most modern phones use Lithium batteries which are relatively insensitive to different amounts of charging and discharging.
 
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In any rechargeable battery chemistry, not discharging to 0% improves lifespan. For example the typical lithium-iron-phosphate goes from 600 cycles at 0% to 900 cycles if only discharged to 20% in table 2. Nickel-Metal Hydride Prius batteries are famously very long-lived because they are never drained below 20% or charged above 80%--many packs have been in service since 1997. My Li-Ion plug-in hybrid car charges to 100% but doesn't allow draining below 20% either.

The situation for charging is more complicated, as for Li-ion the maximum cycle life is already achieved by dropping to 3.92v which is ~93% charged. Table 4 shows the cycle life impact from different charge endpoints.

However you can see in table 3 that the typical storage life is severely impacted by charge level. At 25C /77F temperature, keeping a new battery stored at 100% charge permanently destroys 20% of its capacity after 1 year. If you store it at only 40% charged, the loss is only 4%, and just 2% if you also keep it in the freezer.

For most people, the best strategy is to keep the phone charged at 100% but to plan on replacing the battery every couple years. After all, every lowering of the charge voltage by 0.10V/cell may double the cycle life but also reduces usable capacity by 14%.
 
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brannsiu

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In any rechargeable battery chemistry, not discharging to 0% improves lifespan. For example the typical lithium-iron-phosphate goes from 600 cycles at 0% to 900 cycles if only discharged to 20% in table 2. Nickel-Metal Hydride Prius batteries are famously very long-lived because they are never drained below 20% or charged above 80%--many packs have been in service since 1997. My Li-Ion plug-in hybrid car charges to 100% but doesn't allow draining below 20% either.

The situation for charging is more complicated, as for Li-ion the maximum cycle life is already achieved by dropping to 3.92v which is ~93% charged. Table 4 shows the cycle life impact from different charge endpoints.

However you can see in table 3 that the typical storage life is severely impacted by charge level. At 25C /77F temperature, keeping a new battery stored at 100% charge permanently destroys 20% of its capacity after 1 year. If you store it at only 40% charged, the loss is only 4%, and just 2% if you also keep it in the freezer.

For most people, the best strategy is to keep the phone charged at 100% but to plan on replacing the battery every couple years. After all, every lowering of the charge voltage by 0.10V/cell may double the cycle life but also reduces usable capacity by 14%.
I don't have enough chemitrsy or physcis knwoeldege to understand what you said, but thanks any any way
 

Sagar_20

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Jun 29, 2016
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It's no myth. It's a fact, but you don't need to go into detail.

Just follow some tips and you'll be good
  • Don't charge beyond 80%
  • Don't let the battery drain completely
  • Don't use the phone while charging
  • Turn off extra features when not in use
  • Use the original adapter and cable to charge the phone
  • Don't use the phone in direct sunlight
I personally been using an app called Accubattery and it has changed my life.

It shows you exactly how much wear and tear each charged caused, actual battery capacity left and lets you set a % reaching which the phone will beep to remind it's time to disconnect.

I charge 70% max and the result is:

It's been almost 5 months and out of 3000 mAh, i have only lost 27 mAh and according to this, even after 3 years of use, i will have more than 90% capacity with negligible loss in endurance.
 
Last edited:

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
  • Don't use the phone while charging
  • Use the original adapter and cable to charge the phone
  • Don't use the phone in direct sunlight
Using the phone whilst charging isn't going to degrade the battery in any noticeable way - provided you're not heavily gaming on it every second that the phone is charging, every time.

The original adapter & cable....That';s really buying into the hype. The days are long gone of proprietary connections etc, so the original cable/charger isn't going to do anything different vs a reputable aftermarket. Some of the $1-$2 options from the dollar store or wherever can be problematic, or may not fast charge... but even then, there are plenty $1-$2 options that operate exactly as an OEM option does.

The issue is more heat than "sunlight". Direct sunlight isn't going to impact anything if it's a moderate day.

I personally been using an app called Accubattery and it has changed my life.
You're advocating for an App who's underlying premise is to drain your battery?
 

Sagar_20

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It's basically the heat you have to avoid to keep the battery healthy.

As far as accessories are concerned, basically any generic accessory would work with any android phone today, but i believe it's the best case scenario to use original accessories over after market accessories, specially data cable.

Many smartphones actually use proprietary accessories, for example apple, oneplus, etc.

Even my Moto G4 smartphone fails to detect any wired earphone that is not from motorola.

The same issue is present on the Moto G7 Power, as all.

and no i just checked my phone battery stats; it's no where in the top 10 battery draining apps, and the last 2 app i see are 1%, so at best the drain is negligible, if not zero.

I have used tons of apps in past to improve the battery life but ended up at the conclusion that none of them really work, though Accubattery is an exception.

It has higher rating than basically any android game present on playstore.
 
Sep 26, 2019
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The only drain to "twenty percent rule" is not applicable to all batteries, some batteries need to be fully drained before they are charged.
 

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