One of the joys of lithium batteries – one of the most popular battery types available today – is the fact that the old ''battery memory'' problems do not affect them. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't look after your battery at all. With a simple couple of pointers you can get longer life and better performance out of your battery.
Because there's no battery memory, there's no reason to fully discharge and fully recharge your battery. Li-Po batteries don't respond well to low-voltage and can even cause you issues if they drop too low, so whenever that 30% battery warning pops up you should seek power. Anything around 10-20% battery remaining is the best time to charge though. Try to never let your battery fully die.
I've talked about this before in my general battery saving tips, but it's a really bad idea to overcharge your battery. That means plugging it in overnight for a full 8-hour charge cycle when it only needs two and a half hours. Considering the stories of exploding batteries last year, do you really want a superheated and potentially unstable power source lying next to your head while you sleep? I charge my device over breakfast or at my desk at work and top it up if necessary in the evening. If you want to know what happens with ''thermal runaway'' you can read my tips to stop your battery exploding.
Think about charge cycles
As long as you're not overdoing it with all-night charging you're off to a good start already, but remember that batteries have a lifespan based on charge cycles. This means that you'll get several thousand charges before your battery dies for good. But the amount you charge each time and the amount of battery you've used before you do so (depth of discharge) affect the number of charge cycles you'll get out of your device. Ideally, you'd charge from around 25% to 80% once or twice a day.
Turn your phone off
If you want to maximize the lifespan of your battery you might consider turning it off once in a while. When you charge it, for example. Not only will this make it charge faster, it will also lessen the amount it heats up while charging. Plus, if you're about to go into a couple hours of meetings or the cinema, why not turn your phone off to give it a break? This will also prolong your battery life during the day and it might even get you away from smartphone-dependance a little too.
Keep your cool
Even though smartphones with lithium batteries (lithium-polymer and lithium-ion) come with thermal switches to avoid overheating, there's no need to tempt fate. Avoid overcharging, as mentioned above, but also avoid charging your device in hot areas, like on the car dashboard or on top of a hot object like a computer or the refrigerator. Leaving your phone charging in direct sunlight is also a bad idea, as it basically adds fuel to the fire, so to speak, where overheating is concerned. Try to find a cool place to charge your device and keep an eye on it whenever possible. Avoiding dust is also a good idea.
Do you have any other battery tips? How long until you usually need to replace your battery?