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    6 Tips For Making Your Phone's Battery Lifespan Last As Long As Possible

    Easy ways to keep your battery happy.

    Ever notice after a year or two of scrolling through your spiffy smartphone that its battery doesn’t seem to last as long? Like, maybe one charge used to get you through the day, but now you’re in the red by noon? Yeah, us too.

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    FYI: It’s not you (K maybe it’s a tiny bit you), it’s your battery.

    More specifically, it’s lithium-ion batteries, or Li-ion batteries. Pretty much every electronic gadget today is powered by them, from wireless headphones and laptops to presumably whatever device you’re reading this on right now. These lil’ power supplies are so essential to how we live that they’re worthy of a Nobel Prize.

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    Unlike disposable batteries — which need to be replaced when they die — rechargeable batteries can reverse the flow of energy. So as the name suggests, you can charge them back up. But Li-ion batteries aren’t just rechargeable, they’re lighter and more powerful than other rechargeable batteries (like alkaline), too. So ideally, you’d be able to recharge these babies forever.

    But IRL, as we all know, ya can’t. Li-ions batteries actually have a lifespans of around 300-500 discharge/charge cycles. There are a number of things that cause them to erode over time and a ton of contradicting myths out there on how to slow that erosion down. So how can you actually maximize your battery lifespan?

    1. Keep Away From Extreme Temperatures

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    While your phone can survive a range of temps, it ~thrives~ between 62 degrees F to 72 degrees F. Extreme cold temporarily decreases your battery lifespan, but anything over 95 degrees F can have permanent effects (like a film that builds up on the electrode) that prematurely age your battery.

    2. Use Standard Charging Instead of Fast Charging

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    Blasphemy you say! But think of your phone battery as a water jug with a hole in the bottom. Water will leak out over time. When refilling the jug, you don’t have to turn the water on full blast and pummel the jug.

    Fast charging also increases the temperature, generating excess heat that stresses the battery. So if you’re charging your phone overnight, stick to standard charging. Pro tip: Fast charging usually stops at and slows down after 80% as a safety precaution, anyway.

    3. Unplug Your Phone When It’s Done Charging

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    Is it possible to overcharge your phone? Not exactly. When your phone hits 100%, it stops charging. As the battery drops to 99% and beyond, sometimes a “trickle charge” kicks in to bring your phone back to 100%. This constant trickle stresses your phone battery, leading to increased heat (ya know how your phone feels hot?) that, as we now know, wears out the battery.

    4. Don’t Let Your Phone Completely Die

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    So is trickle charging why you should never charge your phone to 100%? Still nope. During stress tests, Li-ion batteries show the most capacity loss when dropping from fully-charged to a quarter-charged. This loss would be greater if the phone completely died. On the other hand, the least loss occurs when the battery drops from 75% to 65%. But obviously, that’s ridiculous and impractical.

    5. Partially (Dis)Charge Your Phone

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    Here’s where it gets interesting. One stress test dropped the battery from 100% to 50% and another dropped it from 85% to 25%. Even though the battery discharged 10% more, cycling the battery between 85% and 25% resulted in less overall loss! This is called partial discharge.

    6. Never Charge Your Phone to 100%

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    The thing is, Li-ion batteries don’t really need to be charged to 100% — especially since that stresses the battery. Comparatively, it is actually worse to let your phone die than it is to charge it to 100%. However, it’s better to let the battery partially discharge and charge throughout the day as needed. It reduces stress and alleviates the natural aging of your battery. Of course, the tradeoff is not utilizing the full potential of the battery, which has finite cycles anyhow.

    Don’t stress when your phone’s battery is stressed, it was designed with all these issues in mind. Charge at your convenience. Just be mindful of your charging habits and you can get a bit more out of your battery. You’ll probably be upgrading your phone before your current battery dies anyway!