How to Charge Your Phone: Dos & Don’ts

December 9, 2015

While most of us have experienced low battery anxiety, we’re not often concerned with our battery’s general lifespan. All batteries have an expiration date. Most smartphone manufacturers say their devices have a lifespan of 300-500 charging cycles. After that point, the phone’s battery can’t hold as much electricity and will stay charged for increasingly shorter periods of time. So if you want to ensure your battery lives a long and fruitful life (typically between 3 and 5 years), follow these essential Dos and Donts for charging your phone:

DON’T: Turn your phone off

Your cell phone (or tablet) uses more juice powering back up than it does when it’s quietly napping. As an alternative to turning off your phone, consider putting it in airplane mode or simply silencing it if the sound alerts are your biggest concern.

DO: Keep it cool

Heat is often your phone’s worst enemy. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries – the most commonly used batteries in smartphones – have been known to degrade much faster when they’re hot, regardless of whether the phone is being used or sitting on your nightstand. A Li-ion battery loses 6% of its maximum capacity per year at an average temperature of 32 degrees fahrenheit. At 77 degrees, that number can reach 20%, and at 104 degrees it’s a whopping 35%! The run-time degrades with simple age but each charge and discharge can also further reduce its cycle life, until your phone’s battery simply can’t last long enough between charges. Even worse: the more power your cell phone uses or the faster you charge it, the hotter the battery gets! So while we’re not advocating storing your phone in the fridge, it’s definitely worth avoiding hot environments and battery over-usage.

DONT: Keep your phone plugged in when it’