How to maintain your phone battery
One of the biggest things that can affect the value of your phone, besides its cosmetic condition is the battery. Nobody wants to buy a phone that does not last more than a few hours between charges and find themselves frequently tied to a wall socket. As a result, companies that buy phones to refurbish and resell will always test the health of your battery and will likely offer you less if your battery is found to be in poor condition.
It is much more difficult to swap the battery in your phone than it is to handle it properly in the first place. To use an old adage, prevention is better than cure. Most modern devices do not allow users to easily access their batteries as they are sealed units. This also means if you want to replace a battery you would need to use a professional service.
Myths and misconceptions
Before we go into details about how to keep your battery at its best, we will look at a few common myths and misconceptions about batteries. Some of these you may have heard or believe yourself, and it is important to separate fact from fiction.
You should fully charge and discharge your battery
This belief stems from a time when the most common type of rechargeable batteries in mobile devices were Nickel Metal Hydride (NiHM) batteries. Early versions of these batteries had a ?memory effect?. What this meant was that if you did not fully drain the battery before recharging it, and did not then charge it fully, the battery would ?remember? this smaller capacity and not charge properly beyond it. A trick people used to use was to put the battery in the fridge to reset its memory.
These days the battery technology found in mobile phones is Lithium Ion or Li-Ion, and more recently Lithium Polymer. These technologies do not suffer from the memory effect and in fact the opposite advice is best for these batteries. Li-Ion batteries experience the most strain when they are either at 0% or 100%, meaning that it is best to keep the charge as far away from these extremes as possible. While it is not practical to keep your phone at 50% all the time, trying to keep the charge between 20% and 80% is a good way to help maintain your battery?s health.
Leaving your phone charging overnight will overcharge your battery
Modern devices have smart battery management software as standard. When your battery gets to 100% the device will simply stop charging at full power and only trickle charge as and when the phone requires it, keeping the device at 100%. This does not mean however it is a good idea to leave your phone charging overnight as this is indeed bad for your phone, but not for the reasons just stated. We will explain more later.
You must only use an official brand charger
The reason behind this is a simple case of money. Manufacturers want you to buy their official products as the additional sales lead to additional revenue. You should beware of cheap, poorly made chargers on Amazon or Ebay, however any charger made by a reputable company is perfectly fine to use with your device. You may find that it may not charge as fast for devices that use fast charge technologies, but as we will explain that is not necessarily a bad thing.
One important measurement you can use to determine your battery health is to check the cycle count. A ?cycle? is a discharge and charge of the battery from 0-100%. What do we mean by this? It means that any individual or combination of charges that amounts to 100% of your battery capacity counts as a cycle. Fully charged the device from 0 to 100%? That?s one cycle. Charged it from 20% to 70% (a charge increase of 50%) twice? That?s a cycle too.
Every cycle your battery goes through slightly degrades its health due to chemical and physical breakdown. Apple state for example that after 500 cycles on an iPhone that its battery is rated to have lost approximately 20% of its original capacity. This means 20% less lifespan and more frequent trips to the charger, adding more cycles more often and degrading the battery even quicker.
It is very easy to check your cycle count on an Apple device. Simply go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health and you will see the number of cycles as well as the current capacity as a percentage of its original capacity.
Android devices are tricker and generally can only be accomplished by using third party apps to monitor your battery.
It goes without saying then that reducing the number of cycles your battery goes through should be your aim when trying to extend the life of your battery.
How to maintain your phone battery
One method to keep your battery in top condition is to limit the stresses on the battery as much as possible. There are many ways to do this, but we will list what are the most practical and easy to achieve. Incorporating these tips in your daily routine will give your battery the best chance at living a long, healthy life.
Turn off your device when its not in use
This might seem like a silly one but turning off your device when it is not being used is a great way to maintain the health of your battery. These days there seems to be few times when we are not glued to our phones, but one time you can guarantee several hours where your phone is not being used is when you are asleep. Turning your phone off at night will significantly reduce the drain on your battery during these hours and reduce how often you must charge it.
Make use of Airplane mode
If turning off your phone overnight isn?t your cup of tea, consider putting it in to airplane mode instead. Turning off your data connection, Wi-Fi or other connectivity options will save on battery life while your phone is not in use. If you must put your phone away at work this is another good time to put it in airplane mode too. Your phone will simply download any sent messages when you turn airplane mode off and restore your connection, so you don?t have to worry about missing anything.
Watch the temperature
Just like people, your battery doesn?t like it if the temperatures get too low or high. Whilst they have more tolerance for cold temperatures, the heat can be a real killer. Trying to keep your phone as close to room temperature as possible will help keep your battery in peak condition. That means keeping it out of the blazing sun during summer as much as possible.
Remove your case when charging
This piece of advice relates to the last. Your phone case, depending on material, can act like a jacket keeping your phone warmer that it otherwise would be. Removing the phone case whilst charging (when your phone tends to get hottest), is a good way to keep your device cool and healthy.
Keep your software up to date
Manufacturers regularly release software updates for their devices. Sometimes these can be to resolve bugs that have been discovered that could shorten the lifespan of your battery or help manage your apps better so that they draw less power. Keeping your phone up to date ensures you have the latest software and in turn that your device is doing its best to keep battery usage in check.
Avoid fast charging
Whilst it may be very convenient, fast charging is not good for your battery. The extra current means extra stress and higher temperatures, which as we have discussed is not good for keeping your battery working at its best. While it may be quite slow, charging your phone over USB connected to a computer is a great way to ensure a nice slow charge rate which as far as health is concerned, is the best way to charge your battery.
Don?t charge your phone overnight
It might be the most convenient time for most of us but leaving your phone charging overnight can do more harm than good. As previously mentioned, this does not cause your battery to ?overcharge?, but it does maintain your battery charge at 100%. We?ve mentioned before that your battery experiences the most strain when it is at either 0% charge or 100% charge, so holding it at full charge for an extended period of time will cause unnecessary strain that in the long run will affect your battery?s health. We recommend that you charge your phone during the day in smaller and more regular sessions. Consider plugging your phone in when you?re at work, or when you?re at home watching TV. Then when it comes to bedtime, leave your phone unplugged, and if you want to save on drain put it in low power mode.
Extending battery life
Besides maintaining the health of your phone battery, the next thing you can do to reduce how often your charge your device and so add to the cycle count, is to get as much out of your battery as possible. There are numerous ways you can extend the life of your battery between charges.
Auto Screen brightness
If you have ever delved into your battery usage statistics, you will have seen that the biggest source of power drain is often your screen. Modern touchscreens draw a lot of power while in use, and the brighter they are set, the greater the drain. The auto brightness function on your phone uses the light sensor to detect the ambient light levels around the phone and adjust the screen brightness accordingly, brighter in full light and dimmer when you?re somewhere dark.
Turn off unneeded Connectivity
Mobile phones have a multitude of connectivity options, such as Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi etc. Outside of use for Bluetooth headsets however there is probably little reason for you to have your Bluetooth on all the time. While it can be a little tedious to remember to turn your connectivity options on and off, doing so can net you additional lifetime on your battery.
Enable Low power mode
Recent phones all come with either Low Power Mode (iOS) or battery saver (Android) to reduce battery usage. These modes change settings to conserve battery power and will either turn on automatically on Android devices, or prompt you to enable them in iOS. While these modes are intended to keep your low charge device running as long as possible until you can charge it, there?s no reason you can use them at other times when your battery is at optimal levels to extend your battery life.
Use Wi-Fi for data
Wi-Fi uses less power than your data connection, especially for any network speeds above 2G. Using Wi-Fi for your data is a simple way to reduce your power consumption when browsing the internet. Make sure you have it turned on for when you are at home or work if possible.
There are also management applications such as IFTTT that allow you to set rules on your phone to manage how it works. For example, you can create a rule that says when your phone is at home, turn off your network connection and turn on your Wi-Fi connection.
Obviously if your network connection is turned off you will be unable to receive normal telephone calls. Applications such as WhatsApp however that makes calls using data will work fine through your Wi-Fi.
Use Dark Themes
Another thing that you can do to help extend your battery life between charges is to use a dark mode or dark theme on your phone. As mentioned before, your screen is one of the greatest sources of power drain when your phone is in use. With older screens, the whole screen is illuminated with a backlight to allow the screen to be visible. However, with modern OLED screens, only the parts of the screen that are active draw power, and the brightest areas draw the most power. By having a dark theme and a dark wallpaper, you can greatly reduce the power drain as the screen has to light up to full brightness less often.
Many apps also have their own themes to control their appearance, often including a dark theme you can enable specifically for the app. This includes popular apps like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Reddit which all have their own dark themes. You can find a list of apps here that all have a dark theme, with instructions on how to enable it.
Considering selling your phone? Visit our main page here.
How to Reduce E-Waste
Electronic waste (also known as E-waste) is an omnipresent issue in today's society, so much so that we contribute to over 50 million tons of e-waste globally. The incorrect process of discarding electronic equipment causes detrimental effects on humans and the environment; therefore, we must combat it in any way possible.
Why is there so much e-waste?
People want the latest in almost everything, especially phones and other electronics. We want the latest features to make our lives easier or show our financial pride off to our peers. However, when old products get replaced with new ones, there?s a tendency to just discard them, especially when the battery life has come to a halt.
The average lifespan of electronics, especially phones, is becoming even shorter due to the increase in supply and demand. The impact of e-waste on the environment would be a whole other blog post. But essentially, harsh chemicals from broken down elements are harming ecosystems and human populations across the globe. The more we carry on with our current lifestyle, the more dangerous our drinking water, food sources, and the environment will become.
Fortunately, there are easy (and profitable) ways to do good for the planet and reduce e-waste. Find out how you can get involved:
Store your data online
Cloud services are a lifesaver when it comes to backing up your data. Instead of buying a hard drive that could easily be lost or forgotten about, why not back up your files online and access them quickly and safely?
Another benefit is it will reduce the demand for external hard drives, meaning less go in to waste!
Where to store your data online
Sell old electronics
Got lots of tech lying around? Not only could you be sitting on a gold mine, but you might have lots of precious materials that could be repurposed for other tech items! Selling old electronics means you get a bit of cash and do some good for the environment.
If this reason alone isn?t enough to get you helping to reduce e-waste, we don?t know what is! Sell old tech with SellMyiPhone and get a fantastic price for them!
Maintain your electronics
Simply looking after your tech can reduce the likelihood of it needing to be swapped for another device (and saves you money in the long-run). In turn, you reduce the amount of tech that ends up in landfill!
Here?s how you can look after some of your everyday devices:
Maintaining a Laptop or PC:
- Make sure your laptop or PC?s hard drive doesn?t reach capacity. This is so access to your hard drive and other applications runs smoother for longer.
- Keep your keyboard, screen and other peripherals clean
- Watch your battery. Overcharging can cause damage to a laptop?s battery overtime (though most modern-day laptops have built-in technology that can prevent this).
Maintaining a Mobile Phone:
- Use a phone case and screen protector so that your phone doesn?t break when you drop it.
- Similarly to laptops, keep your device clean and don?t always fully charge your battery if you don?t need to (This improves overall battery lifespan).
Simply consuming less items, not just electronics, will positively impact your carbon footprint. Really ask yourself if you need to buy the latest tablet or phone, or if you definitely need that new feature on the latest iPhone.
More often than not ? being conscious and asking yourself these questions will help you make less unnecessary purchases, saving you money and saving the planet!