Most people in this day and age have a smartphone. This means that the majority of us have access to our social media accounts, mobile games, news, e-mail, and more pretty much anywhere or anytime we need it.
The problem with smartphones is that, because we use them so much, they usually run out of battery fairly rapidly. This means we all carry around extra chargers to bring to work, plug into our cars, and so on and so forth. All of this charging has, quite unexpectedly, led to the emergence of several charging-related myths. I am sure you are already familiar with a couple of them.
All that said, what is the truth about the Lithium-ion batteries powering our pocket computers? What battery-related advice should you believe, and which should you forget about? Find out below.
1. Never Charge Your Phone Overnight
We have all likely heard this one before, and it probably emerged at a time when battery technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. The truth, according to experts like Shane Broesky, is that “leaving your phone plugged in overnight is okay to do.”
Apparently,the technology regulating smartphone batteries has advanced to the point where it knows exactly when to stop feeding a charge into your device. In other words, there is no risk of you “overcharging” your phone and causing damage to the battery, as there are safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.
What you do need to worry about, according to Broesky, is overheating. So, if you are going to leave your phone charging overnight, make sure you place it in a relatively cool area. Also, remove any case you may have put on it so that heat from the battery can escape in a timely fashion.
2. Let Your Phone Go To 0% Before Charging
I don’t know where this myth came from, but I’ve seen this repeated constantly. What makes this particularly egregious is that completely draining your battery before a charge actually causes it to become more unstable.
Shane Broesky suggests instead that we keep our devices charged “between 50 and 80 percent.” In other words, you should charge your phone intermittently throughout the day instead of waiting to perform a “deep charge” from 0 to 100 percent.
3. Any Charger, Even An Off-Brand Model, Will Work
While it may be tempting to try and save money by purchasing an off-brand charger for your phone, the damage it can do over time might make you think twice. The fact of the matter is that it is always best to use the charger that came with your device, even if you can find another cheaper model that still technically works.
Experts caution against off-brand chargers for one simple reason: they are “not built with safety in mind.” This means there is a far greater chance of these chargers causing a fire, or harming your battery, than there is with your phone’s proper charger.
4. Turning Off Your Phone Is Useless
While it might seem like an inconvenience to physically turn off our phones from time to time, experts suggest that we do exactly that. Indeed, one Apple Genius employee stated that “in order to maximize battery life, you should [definitely] turn off your phone from time to time.”
This does not mean that you have to always shut down your phone before bed, or do it on a daily basis. That would defeat the purpose of having an always-ready-to-use smartphone. You should, however, try and shut down or properly restart your device at least one a week, as this has been proven to conserve your device’s battery life over time.
5. Don’t Use Your Phone While It’s Plugged In
As long as you are using the charger that came with your phone, or a certified replacement made by the same company, it is perfectly fine to use your phone while it is charging.
This myth does have a bit of a chilling origin, however. While it is safe to use your smartphone whilst charging it with its proper charger, it is not recommended to do so when using a third-party charger, as that may lead to the phone exploding, or worse, electrocuting the user.
While there is only a slim chance of that happening, you still shouldn’t risk it. Off-brand, third-party chargers might be cheap, as mentioned previously, but they don’t work as efficiently with your phone’s battery, meaning there’s a much higher chance of it overheating and possibly injuring you or others during periods of extended use.
Well folks, that is about all I have when it comes to charging myths. Were you familiar with any of these? Were you fooled by a few of them previously, like I was? I’d love to hear your comments below!
Featured photo credit: Gray #3/Phil Roeder via flickr.com