Cell phone battery myths

There have been a lot of rumors flying around recently about charging your phone. Some people seem to think that using your phone while it’s charging can damage the battery, or some people think that your phone must be fully charged before you can use it again. It’s also rumored that you can overcharge your battery and damage it. We’re going to debunk some of these myths and give you the truth about cell phone charging.

Firstly, there are a few things that drain your battery very quickly. Turn the brightness down on your phone to conserve battery, and make sure that your 3G/LTE data isn’t running in the background. These two things by themselves will eat up your battery’s charge.

Do you know the truth about charging? Graphic by Haylie Wise.
Do you know the truth about charging? Graphic by Haylie Wise.

It’s also rumored that you should let your battery drain until your phone dies before you charge it again, because it’s better for the battery itself. This is a myth. Battery memory doesn’t exist, and charging your phone when it’s at 33 percent isn’t going to hurt it any more than charging it at 0 percent.

Most cellphones today use┬álithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries shouldn’t be left charging for more than 24 hours because they will overheat, but it’s not damaging to the battery to leave it plugged in even after it reaches 100 percent. Most┬álithium-ion batteries contain internal circuitry that stops the charging once the battery reaches it’s maximum energy capacity.

Can you use your cell phone while it’s charging without damaging the battery? The easy answer to this question is yes. There have been, however, documented cases where a cell phone was used while it was charging and it exploded or caught fire. It’s possible that the fire or explosion could have been caused by static electricity or some other factor, but if you really like to err on the side of caution, unplug your phone before using it.

Cell phone batteries do eventually wear out over time, but it’s more than likely that you’ll upgrade or replace your phone before that happens. Lithium batteries have a set number of charging cycles, which, according to the National Institute of Science and Technology, can vary from 500 to over 1,000 cycles.

It’s recommended that you let your phone battery go to zero once a month for calibration, even though you don’t have to let it drain all the way before charging. In fact, if you want to get the most out of a lithium-ion battery, you should try to keep it charged to at least 50 percent most of the time.

Have you noticed that your phone gets hot while charging? It turns out that heat is actually your phone battery’s worst enemy. Having your phone in the heart depletes the battery life much faster than if it’s in a cool environment.

Now that you know the truth about cell phone charging, you can make the most out of your battery life in order to avoid running for the charger in the middle of an Angry Birds game.