The big question we’ve all asked: When is the best and worst time to charge a smartphone?
Many people do this: plug in the phone or put it on the charger before going to bed. Even though phones have advanced, it can still be bad for your device.
As smartphones have evolved, so has the battery. Here are a few things you should know about how smartphone batteries work:
● They do not develop memory like older batteries.
● Cold and heat affect battery life more than anything else.
● Batteries wear out over time. After a couple of years, the drain is noticeable.
Apple says its batteries will degrade by 20 percent in two years.
Most smartphones use lithium-ion batteries that are much better than the batteries of five years ago. And charging overnight can affect aging quickly.
Here’s why: Most battery life is measured in charges. Apple says its iPhone batteries last about 500 charging cycles. These cycles are not measured by how often you charge it, but how often the battery goes from 0-100%. This confuses some people a bit.
If you let the battery die all the way, which damages the battery, and charge it to 100%, that’s a full charge. If you charge it to 100% every time it drops to 50%, that’s half a charging cycle.
Some of them are equal to one full charging cycle. If you let the batteries drop to different percentages, the math becomes difficult to calculate.
Today’s smartphones have technology that prevents them from being “overcharged” and will stop charging once the phone reaches 100%. Theoretically, once it reaches 100% and stops charging, the percentage will eventually drop to 99% and the charging process will begin.
That battery trickle, over time, reduces the time from that charging cycle limit. iPhones now have a feature that prevents the phone from charging to 100% overnight to prevent battery drain.
iOS 13 and later learns your routine and automatically optimizes your battery. If you usually sleep in the middle of the night and charge the battery. An iPhone will charge about 80% in the first few hours.
The phone eventually gets a good idea of what time you usually wake up and resumes charging a few hours before you wake up so it’s at 100%.
When your day starts. You can see it in the battery settings.
When I checked my phone, I noticed that it was 80% charged in an hour or so after charging it at bedtime. Apple finds that I usually wake up at 6am, so between 4am and 5am, it completes the charging cycle to 100%.
The idea is that it extends battery life by limiting full charges when I’m not using the phone.
Android phones don’t have this feature, but you can turn on “Battery Optimization,” which will close programs you’re not using and reduce app usage that drains battery. Even when you’re not using it. iPads also don’t have this feature.
So, best practice? Charge your phone to 100% before going to bed and don’t leave it on charge. If you have an iPhone, check your battery settings and turn on “Battery Optimization”.
You will find many different theories about how to extend battery life, and it is very difficult if not impossible to arrive at a definitive answer, but this is considered a widely accepted theory and belief.
Of course, if you’re buying a new smartphone every couple of years, you can charge the phone as you like. Chances are, you won’t notice a big difference in battery life before you upgrade to your next phone.