If You Do This, Experts Say Your Phone Battery Will Last Longer

Design: Austin Watts.
In our wildest dreams, the iPhone 7 is the first phone that stays fully charged and in top shape at all times, no recharging required. But since the latest rumors don't include news of an advancement quite that major, we'll have to settle for knowing how to keep our phone battery as healthy as it can be. To treat your battery properly and know which charging practices are best, it's essential to understand some basics about the power behind your texts, calls, and Snaps.

How Batteries Work

Android phones and iPhones have lithium-ion batteries, which are some of the lightest and longest lasting rechargeable batteries. However, as with all batteries, their lifespans will naturally decline as they age, which means you'll find yourself having to charge your phone more frequently over time. You'll really start to notice that degradation once you get close to the end of a battery's "life." Batteries typically have around 500 charge cycles in their lifetimes. Each time you use up 100% of your phone's battery, that's one charge cycle. So, for example, if you let your phone go from 100% to 0%, that's one charge cycle. The more of those you use up, the worse your battery gets, and thus why it often makes sense to upgrade your phone every two years. If you're charging nearly every day, your battery performance will be noticeably worse around the time you're due for an upgrade.

How Often Should You Charge?

With that in mind, there are many myths about best charging practices. You might have heard someone recommend letting your battery "die" (get to 0%) once a month, or that you should never, ever, leave your phone plugged in overnight. While the advice about charging can fluctuate, the experts we talked to, including Frances Cancio, an expert at tech company, Enjoy, suggest you keep your battery consistently charged between 40 and 80%. Small, more frequent charges will maximize the number of cycles over time and are less stressful on your battery than a full 0 to 100% charge. That means, yes, you probably don't want to leave your phone plugged in every single night. Instead, you can try juicing it up in the hour or two when you're winding down before bed.

Other Battery Tips

Having a portable charger on hand all the time is helpful for keeping your battery in the green zone (that preferred 40 to 80% range) and out of the dreaded red. And with hot weather on the horizon, Apple recommends avoiding leaving your devices in high temperatures (over 95 degrees) since that can damage your battery. You can also follow the tips here to help maximize your phone's battery life each day. These include things such as dimming your screen, switching off location services, and, on iPhones, switching on Low Power Mode.

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