One of the most frustrating things is to see that blinking red light on your phone or tablet and hear that pitiful ‘bleep-bleep’ as it cries out for you to juice it back up again. Then there’s the time when you’re almost at the end of making a 25-slide PowerPoint presentation on your laptop and it runs out of juice just before you’ve had to chance to back it up to your portable drive.
If you are having incessant problems with the battery on your tablet, smartphone, or laptop, and your device is older than a year, it might mean that your battery is starting to age. You have two choices once this happens – you can either invest in a new battery or you could check out a few hacks to make your battery life last longer.
Like the say with everything, when it comes to the battery of your device too, prevention is better than cure. If you implement the following practices right from day one, and not wait until you start to experience trouble, you might be able to maximize your battery life quite extensively.
How to prolong your battery life
While you cannot change the laws of physics, with a few useful hacks you can reduce the amount of wear and tear your battery goes through on a daily basis. Keep a few things in mind like the level of charge on your phone and the temperature in mind, and you should be good to go. Here are a few things to bear in mind to keep your device’s batteries going for longer.
1. Keep an eye out for the temperature
The battery of your device depends largely on the temperature of your surroundings. For instance, if you live in temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius or below 0 degrees Celsius, the capacity of your battery will reduce faster. Avoid leaving your phone or tablet in contact with direct sunlight or expose it to temperatures below freezing point. While extreme heat can affect a battery more than extreme cold can, both are equally harmful.
2. Full discharge vs. Partial discharge
Many experts have professed the benefits of allowing your device to get fully discharged before plugging in the charger, but it has been found that a partial discharge is actually better than a full discharge cycle. It is usually helpful to keep the charge within the 40 to 80% range. This refers to charging your phone once it reaches 40% and then removing the charge once it reaches 80%. Of course, you will have to balance this out with the way and amount you use your device. For instance, if you are heading out and don’t have any means to charge your phone for a while, do charge it to 100%.
3. Avoid leaving it plugged in for extended periods of time
Allowing your devices to be plugged into the charger after it has reached a 100% charge can be detrimental to your battery life. Overcharging your battery isn’t wise because many phone manufacturers set the charge threshold lower on purpose so as to prolong battery life. Since lithium-ion batteries cannot absorb overcharge, the charge current needs to be cut off when it is fully charged. Overcharge would cause plating of metallic lithium, which could compromise the safety of your device.
This piece of advice is rather difficult to follow where laptops are concerned, though. Leaving your laptop plugged in all the time could harm your laptop’s battery in the long run. It is better to discharge it down to 40% every now and then. On the flipside, if you discharge your laptop once the battery hits 100%, you will end up using your charge cycles sooner, which doesn’t make long term sense. Like the previous point, be practical about the discharge factor and mindful about your usage. You don’t want to be stuck with no charge on your laptop battery and no power source either, especially if you have a work commitment.
4. Stay away from ultra-fast chargers
Ultra-fast chargers can juice your phone up faster than regular chargers, but affect the longevity of your battery in the long run. Stay away from them and use only the chargers you are meant to.
5. Avoid using fake chargers
You see those guys selling ‘branded’ phone chargers at the traffic signals? Don’t ever use them because they are cheap knock-offs that will damage your battery or might even cause physical injury to you (remember the story about the exploding charger?)
6. Medium- to-long-term storage
You should keep your battery at around 50% before turning it off if you aren’t using your device. Say you are going somewhere for a while and want to keep your device in storage, do so in a cool place, with a temperature under 32 degrees Celsius), with the battery at the halfway mark. Apple has even stated that a device going into storage for longer than 6 months should be charged to 50% every 6 months, regardless of the brand of device being used.
At the end of the day, the battery of your device, like every other technological innovation, comes with a shelf-life, and a ‘use-by’ date. But with these few useful hacks, you could prolong that shelf-life significantly.