I’m a salty bigot and a lot of small things bother me as a result. If I were to list and explain them all, we’d likely be in imminent danger due to our sun reaching the red giant phase and engulfing our planet. However, there’s one thing I never fail to catch wind of, for one reason or another: people’s misconceptions about how to take care of their phone batteries.
It’s infuriating to hear “oh my god I accidentally left my phone plugged in for five minutes after it reached 100%” and “I’m not going to charge it until it reaches 1%”, and I really don’t have the time of day to point out someone’s retardation each time so I’m just going to whine about it on a blog that no one reads.
Let’s just lay our cards on the table now.
Despite what all your friends have told you, going from zero to a hundred and a hundred to zero on a regular basis is the best way put the most strain on your battery. You’re not doing it any favours. What was that? Battery memory? Sorry, you must be in the wrong year, it’s not the 90’s. Did you miss the invention of the Li-ion battery?
In the first place, unplugging as soon as the charge meter shows 100% is a fool’s errand because calibration is a thing. It’s both amusing and maddening to see how many choose to blindly follow the numbers on the display, though I suppose expecting the general populace to actively think might be somewhat of a tall order. Just know that 100% shown on your phone does not necessarily correspond to a full battery charge.
If you actually wanted to reach 100%, you’d give a few minutes’ tolerance after the display shows it to make sure you’ve maxed it out. You shouldn’t do this anyway, though, because charging to 100% causes swelling, which is just as harmful to your battery as the name would imply.
Of course, this is assuming it’s done on a regular basis. When someone flips their shit about accidentally letting their phone overcharge, I like to mentally murder them seven different ways before I point out that trickle charge is employed by every non-shitty phone manufacturer in the market.
Trickle charge is a function built into power supplies (what you incorrectly call a charger, dingus) that, once the battery reaches maximum charge, will limit the charge rate such that it is equal to the battery’s inherent discharge rate. This means that the battery will stay at 100% without overcharging and you should stop worrying about your phone battery and start looking into your more significant problems, such as possible brain damage.
So, now you know that everything you’ve been doing up ’til now has been killing your phone battery with ruthless deliberation and you’re thoroughly unimpressed with yourself and considering jumping off a roof, what should you be doing?
With current gen Li-ion batteries and their polymer counterparts, you want to minimize the depth of discharge – i.e. discharge as little as possible. This is the single best way to keep your battery healthy. What this entails is simply not using your battery at all.
Of course, this isn’t very practical and rather defeats the purpose of a portable device in the first place, so the next best option would be to plug in when you drop to 90% and unplug when you hit 98%. This still isn’t very practical. A more appropriate course of action would be to charge your phone several times a day in small bursts, but that just further puts your flamboyant autism on display, and we don’t want that.
I still haven’t given you the solution yet, and it’s for a good reason. Despite all of my rambling, this is entire discussion a fallacy, a non-issue. Phone batteries are $10 consumable items so just abuse the fucker until it dies and then replace it. Unless you have an iPhone, in which case you get your obligatory fuck you from Apple. Don’t worry, though, your saving grace is that it became possible for you to marry all across the United States as of June 26, 2015.