All systems, even the most infallible, have a critical point in their structure. The one for smartphones is in your battery. To extend its duration, preserve it and know its limitations, experts list the ten most widespread myths. Since it should be left charging at night, is there a possibility that they explode? to the dangers of fast charging.
The conservation. Each lithium ion battery comes with a fixed number of charge cycles, that is, the number of times it can go from zero to one hundred. On average, a phone has a lifespan of between 500 and 700 charge cycles. But that doesn’t mean it can be plugged in 500 times.
The key is in don’t let it be completely emptied but to distribute it in several short sections. If it is maintained between 40% and 80% throughout the day, the time that those 500 charges will last will be extended.
The key is to prevent the phone from becoming completely empty. Photo: Shutterstock
“Every time the phone is connected, the discharge depth is activated, which represents the amount of energy that can be extracted in each cycle. It is advisable to distribute the load in several deep cycles instead of betting on a single XL cycle ”, warns Miguel Aguirre, director of ITBA’s Department of Electronic Engineering.
Don’t squeeze it. Many wait until the battery bottoms out to wire it up. “Using the battery until it reaches levels substantially below 5% or less and then recharging it can affect its performance. To maximize the useful life, it is convenient to charge it more frequently before it reaches low levels and is too depleted “, says Sergio Jung, product manager of LG Mobile.
Drip effect. Batteries are like a bucket poking, from the moment they are unplugged from the outlet, they progressively begin to drain charge. But there are some components that have a higher energy demand and affect overall performance.
As soon as it is disconnected from the load, the phone begins to lose power. Photo: Shutterstock
“The main consumer factor in a smartphone is the screen, followed by mobile networks. In this sense, it is always recommended to adjust the shutdown time so that they are not turned on when it is not being used and also to disconnect it from the network when Wi-Fi is activated ”, recalls Eliseo Outes, head of product and BI at Samsung.
Full throttle. From the mid-range onwards, the phones include what is known as fast charging. This means that they can go from red to full green in less than an hour. Can this speed damage the cells?
“Fast charging has a whole protection system: there is energy and temperature management to achieve a clean charge. In addition, there are regulators with voltage management so that the phone, as well as the battery, does not suffer any damage, ”says Helio Akira Oyama, director of product management at Qualcomm.
From the mid-range onwards, the phones include what is known as fast charging.
This load is not linear either, but uses its maximum power when the battery is at very low levels to restore autonomy in the shortest possible time, and then gradually reduce that power as it approaches one hundred.
Portable pump. Batteries are made up of packs made up of tiny cells. In each one of them a chemical reaction takes place that generates energy or that stores it during the charging process.
Is there a possibility that one of these cells will overheat and expand and start a chain reaction that produces an explosion?
An iPhone 5c that used a generic charger and ended up exploding.
“In poor quality phones, which do not include internal control measures, the hardware does not know that the battery life is exhausted and when it is plugged in, it continues to demand it as if it were new. If this is repeated, the battery accumulates gas and gradually inflates. This is easy to perceive in modern telephones, since they are so finite that they quickly grow bellies. If this happens, the battery will have to be replaced immediately ”, clarifies Aguirre.
Full tank. Many believe that the phone should always be fully charged, so that it is ready for any marathon.
“The indicated thing is to charge it when it is running out of battery, to achieve a homogeneous consumption. Nor is it necessary to always charge the battery to 100. Furthermore, we recommend unplugging it once it is charged to avoid its consumption from the electrical network ”, says Pablo Bancone, Motorola’s product manager.
All night. Many lengthen the charge during the day and before going to sleep, take the opportunity to leave the phone charging. This can be dangerous or there is nothing to worry about.
Most phones can be left charging overnight. Photo: Martin Bonetto.
“A good system cuts the power when it reaches the full charge and maintains it so that it is always full, in what is known as a floating charge. A good way to check if the mobile is in good condition is, in the morning, to touch it. If it’s cold, it responds perfectly. On the other hand, if it has some temperature, it is a sign that it is not working well or is about to break, ”Aguirre warns.
Which charger to use “We always recommend that the user use the original charger, provided with that equipment. This is because they vary depending on the amount of voltage and amperage it delivers. If one is used that is not indicated for that equipment, it can generate slower loads or even an increase in temperature ”, observes Outes.
Fast. Without being very clear if the fast charging circuit is in the charger with 55W of power or in the 4,000 mAh battery. many try to take advantage of this system in equipment that does not come from the factory. What’s the score?
The recommendation is to always use the original charger that comes with the mobile. AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews)
“Fast charging is a combination of hardware and software. Thus, there is a manager (Power Management) that receives power from the charger and does a quick charge from the battery inserted in the smartphone. The software, on the other hand, analyzes the quantity, the need for energy and the level of charge. It also manages the power and all the protection in terms of current, voltage and temperature, ”says Oyama.
Therefore, if the charger detects that the device you have connected is not compatible, it will use a value of 5V, the minimum to avoid damaging the battery.
Pause. All you have to do is connect the phone to the socket to open the door for messages, calls and other obligations. It is wise to respond in these circumstances or there is nothing to worry about.
“Of course it is possible, but depending on how the phone is being used, the recharging time may be affected. What I am referring to is if the consumption of the application is equal to or greater than the speed of the recharge, a funnel may occur ”, announces Jung.
Tips and recommendations
-Putting the phone in Airplane Mode speeds up charging as it doesn’t use hardware resources to search for networks and notifications.
-The person responsible for taking care of the battery is the cell phone itself, since through proprietary software it takes care of keeping track of the percentage of charge it can support. When it perceives that the battery is draining, before it is empty, it warns that it has run out of power.
-Charge the phone without the case. The more heat that is dissipated within the battery, the more likely it is for long-term damage.
-It is indicated to keep the battery between 40 and 80% most of the time, since it is the optimal point to promote its longevity.
-The consumption is related to the size of the screen and the power of the processor. Thus, an inexpensive device requires a 3,000 milliamp-hour (mAh), a high-mid-range 4,000 mAh and a top-of-the-range 4,500mAh.
-Batteries have a charge capacity determined by the nature of their composition, which is measured in ampere-hours (Ah), which means that the battery can deliver one ampere of current over a continuous hour of time.
-A damaged phone can last between 400 and 500 cycles, which is equivalent to about 2 years. On the other hand, if it is maintained well, it can reach between 750 and 1,000 cycles, which is 3 or 4 years.