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8 Smartphone Charging Myths Busted

We help you wade through all the crap and get to the truth
by Vince Sales | Apr 25, 2016
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You love your phone, so that means loving your phone's battery. But after a few decades since the rise of the mobile phone, a lot of lies, untruths and general BS have been floating around the internet. We'll help you wade through all the crap, bust the myths, and get to the truth. 

Myth: discharge battery completely before charging

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This myth has been around for a long time, and it looks like it's not going away. It was born in a time when it was true for some rechargeable batteries, but since then, (superior) lithium ion batteries have taken over. Lithium ion batteries suffer no ill effects from partial charging, so forget about completely discharging your phone. Charge all you want. Unli charge, K?

The life of a lithium ion battery is based on how many “cycles” it goes through, with a cycle being roughly the length of a full charge (according to Apple). Once you've burned through your cycles, battery performance drops, and it's time to change your battery.

Discharging to 0 percent is even harmful to your battery's life. Lithium ion batteries don't like being without a charge. However, there is some evidence that discharging once a month may help your phone calibrate the battery.


Myth: always charge battery to 100%

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Rechargeable batteries used to have what they called the “memory effect,” meaning if you charged it to a point below 100 percent, it would tend to charge to the same level, thus shortening battery life significantly. Batteries haven't been like that for aeons, so drop this behavior right now. If you need a quick top up, just plug your phone in the charger.

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Myth: third party chargers make your phone blow up

You've probably read the articles about phones catching fire or exploding due to third party chargers. Though these unfortunate cases are true, it is unlikely to happen to you. Third party chargers from reputable manufacturers like Belkin are made with the same standards as the originals. If it makes you feel better, stick to the original. You can't go wrong there.

Somewhat true: fake chargers make your phone blow up

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There is some cause for worry when it comes to fake chargers. Not only will they charge your phone slowly/poorly, they are also a fire hazard. So ditch those cheap chargers now, buddy!

True but insignificant: overnight charging will shorten your battery life

It is true that if you keep charging a fully-charged lithium ion battery, it will shorten its life. That said, today's batteries and chargers are pretty smart. When your phone senses that the battery is at 100 percent, it stops charging. So don't worry about it.

Even with this feature, overnight charging has been shown to shorten battery life by a small amount. But it's no biggie. Don't expect large drops in battery life even if you do charge overnight.

True: keep your phone cool

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Batteries hate extreme temperatures, so don't leave your phone to bake in your car or keep it chill in the ref. Doing either will harm your battery. Room temperature is okay, which means in the Philippines, we're all f*cked with summer temp soaring far beyond “room temperature.” Aircon, please.

True: keep your phone 40-80% charged

Studies have shown that the best place for your phone to be is somewhere between 40 to 80 percent charged. This is the best place for your battery to be.


Myth: your charging behavior matters

You know what? Forget everything you just read. If you're replacing your phone in one year, your phone's battery has enough cycles to last you until then even if you abuse the charging. If your phone has a replaceable battery, it's cheap to buy a new battery.

BUT if it really matters to you, just remember a few things: Unli charge, kanin all you can, but keep your phone charged between 40 to 80 percent and avoid 0 percent and 100 pecent. Calibrate your battery regularly (discharging once a month helps). Avoid extreme heat and cold. And be a snob when it comes to chargers and power banks.

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GIFs and image via lifehacker, giphy,

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