10 November 2019

Apparently I've been charging my phone wrong

Searching the topic yesterday, I found information at two sites.  First, from Science Alert:
Many of us have an ingrained notion that charging our smartphones in small bursts will cause long-term damage to their batteries and that it's better to charge them when they're close to dead. But we couldn't be more wrong.

In fact, a site from battery company Cadex called Battery University details how the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones are sensitive to their own versions of 'stress'...

Don't keep it plugged in when it's fully charged
According to Battery University, leaving your phone plugged in when it's fully charged, like you might overnight, is bad for the battery in the long run...

In fact, try not to charge it to 100 percent
At least when you don't have to.  According to Battery University, "Li-ion does not need to be fully charged, nor is it desirable to do so. In fact, it is better not to fully charge, because a high voltage stresses the battery" and wears it away in the long run. ..

Plug in your phone whenever you can
It turns out that the batteries in our smartphones are much happier if you charge them occasionally throughout the day instead of plugging them in for a big charging session when they're empty.
Charging your phone when it loses 10 percent of its charge would be the best-case scenario, according to Battery University. Obviously, that's not practical for most people, so just plug in your smartphone whenever you can. It's fine to plug and unplug it multiple times a day.
And then from Digital Trends:
Your smartphone is capable of recognizing when it’s fully charged and stopping the incoming current, just as it turns itself off when the lower limit is reached.

“You won’t be able to overcharge or over-discharge a cell,” Daniel Abraham, senior scientist at the Argonne Laboratory, told Digital Trends for a previous article about the impact of wireless charging on battery health...

While leaving your phone plugged in overnight is unlikely to do any major harm to your battery, because it will stop charging at a certain level; the battery will start to discharge again and when it drops below a specific threshold set by the manufacturer it will charge back up. You are also prolonging the time that the battery is fully charged, which is potentially speeding up its degradation...

Charging your phone as little as possible is going to result in the longest battery lifespan, so learning how to squeeze the most from your smartphone battery is important. The general consensus is that you should aim to keep your smartphone battery between 20% and 80%, so a couple of tops up throughout the day are likely better for battery longevity than overnight charging...

You should try to keep your smartphone cool whenever possible, so never leave it on the dashboard in a hot car. Apple suggests removing your iPhone case during charging to lessen the risk of overheating. Samsung says it’s best not to ever let your battery go under 20%, warning that “completely discharging the battery on your device may reduce its life.”

It’s also a bad idea to use your phone while it’s charging because it will increase the heat generated. If you are going to charge overnight, then consider switching your phone off before plugging it in to reduce the stress on the battery.
More at the various links.


  1. I have enough to worry about without this.

  2. If all this were really true wouldn't it be in the favor of the manufacturers to program it into the charging circuitry?

    1. My Samsung does have a mode available where it won't fully charge. However most people care more about how long they can go between charges.

  3. After a few years of being a phone snob, I changed my mind and sold my iPhone for $750 and used the money to buy an Oppo A57 for $300. Then, as time moved on, I found myself leaving my cell phone home more and more often, to a point where now I am nearly at the pre-cell phone stage and I wander about unconnected, then upon coming home, check if anybody has called and if so, ring them back.
    Not having to protect from rain, heat, theft and dropping, something that was supposed to make my life easier, and not having to worry about the Tesla effect of having maybe to charge up every 234kms (some miles) or few hours has freed my mind up for other things, like the enjoyment of life.
    Oh, I have also reduced my internet usage to the time it takes to consume two cups of coffee in the mornings, as I'm doing now.
    It's a bold step, to travel back to pre 1990 and wander about unconnected, but really, being a throughly modern miss is not all it's cracked up to be, even if I am a man.

  4. Wait, I need to charge my phone? I have not need to charge my land line phone in 40 years! What happened to progress?


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