Cell phones have become something that we all have to use on a daily basis. Not only are they useful for communication purposes, but the latest smartphones are also a great asset for information. With today’s access to the Internet and apps, a cell phone can keep us informed and entertained.
However, the problem with cell phone batteries is that they seem to lose their power fairly quickly. A phone battery that would last up to two days on first use can last less than a day in two years’ time. This will also depend on the battery that you have, and how you take care of it.
So, how do you ensure that your phone is still running by the end of the day? Is there any way for you to slow down its aging process? Is there anything that you can use as plan B until you change your phone? This article will help you understand your cell phone battery on a better level.
Types of Cell Phone Batteries
Cell phone batteries come in different types. Understanding how they work will allow you to determine the course of action that you should take.
So, nowadays, there are two types of cell phone batteries that you may go for: Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and Lithium polymer (Li-Poly). These batteries differ in terms of chemical composition, weight, and size.
Lithium-Ion Batteries (Li-Ion)
Lithium-ion batteries are the most common types of batteries that you can find – and perhaps the oldest form that you can find in most cell phones. They are relatively expensive (and also lightweight), but they have a high energy density.
A lithium-ion battery does not need any prolonged priming when it is new. Typically, one charge should be enough to get your phone started. It is also low-maintenance and has a low self-discharge.
When it comes to chemical composition, Li-Ion and Li-Poly are the same. However, the difference lies in their ability to keep cool. Lithium-ion batteries feature an active protective circuit (the kind that you can also find on an onboard computer) which will protect your phone from overheating. Without it, your phone would be bursting into flames.
Another drawback of this type of battery is that it might last longer on the short run (throughout the day), but it might be faster to age. You’ll need to learn the correct temperature storage in order to make this aging process slower.
Lithium Polymer Batteries (Li-Poly)
Lithium polymer batteries represent the more advanced battery type that people are opting for. These batteries are lightweight, have no memory effect – and will not heat up like a lithium-ion battery.
This is also why a lithium polymer battery does not have a need for a protective circuit. Because of this, manufacturers may create these batteries in smaller, more compact sizes – enabling portability.
Expected Lifespan of a Regular Cell Phone Battery
The average life of a phone is not calculated based on days or years – but based on the number of times that it has been recharged. The time between recharges may vary from phone to phone – and while the average phone will take a full day to discharge, some may take longer or even less.
The more time passes, the less your phone will be able to hold on to its battery power. Nowadays, the typical smartphone that has been equipped with a lithium-ion battery will be able to go through 300-800 full recharging cycles and still retain 80% of its power.
Technically speaking, a charging cycle would be defined as the time your phone went to 100% to 0% – and then back to 100%. However, a charging cycle may also take place when your phone is put to charge when it is under 70%.
Depending on how often you have to charge your phone, as well as your moment of charging, you might be affecting the battery life of your phone. The more you recharge your phone from 0%, the more your phone will see it as a full recharge – and your battery lifespan will shorten.
On average, calculating the average daily charging cycles, a cell phone battery is supposed to last for around a year – at least according to Business Insider. However, this will also depend on the cell phone capacity.
The average phone has a capacity of 2500 mAh battery, which is why they only last for about a day. A larger capacity (4000 mAh, for instance) may need fewer recharges throughout the year – which means that your cell phone battery will have a longer life.
On average, no one actually waits until their phone is completely drained. Because of this, batteries may last up to 2,500 charges on average before they become “permanently damaged and unusable.” Full discharges have a fairly negative effect on your phone, but if you charge it properly, it might last for more than two years.
How to Tell If a Phone Needs Its Battery Replaced
A cell phone battery doesn’t just “die” right away. Most likely, it will be a very slow “death” – one that you will notice ahead of time.
First of all, when your battery starts dying, you will notice that it no longer has the ability to stay charged for as long as it used to. If you’ve had the same phone for more than a year, you probably noticed that its running time was already cut down by a half. This happens because your battery can no longer take in the same amount of power.
Which brings us to the next sign: if your battery is reaching its “death,” you’ll notice that it won’t ever be able to charge completely – regardless of how long you leave it charged.
Sudden bulging of the battery or the fact that your battery is randomly getting hot (even when it is not charging) might also be a sign that it needs replacing. Make sure that you take your phone to a tech specialist right away so that your phone won’t suddenly catch fire.
Servicing and Replacing Cell Phone Batteries
If you feel like your cell phone battery is reaching its limit, there is one option that you can go for: replace the battery altogether. The price of the battery will depend on the cell phone, and whether it has been previously refurbished or not.
For instance, an Apple battery might cost almost $30-$80 to get a new replacement. However, batteries for phones running on Android might be less expensive to purchase. The costs may also be smaller if you go for a refurbished battery (i.e. a recycled one).
It will also depend on whether the battery is in-built or not. If it is, you might have to leave it a few days in service. On the other hand, if the battery can be easily removed, you might not have to part with your phone.
Do Magnets Affect Cell Phone Batteries?
Magnets have always been a source of concern when it comes to cell phone batteries. Plus, the never-ending question on whether magnets can affect your phone or not has never gotten a clear answer. Some say they can’t; others say they can.
However, this will depend on the magnet. Indeed, in theory, magnets do have a certain effect on batteries – and a large magnet may certainly be able to damage your battery in the long run. The truth is that the majority of our household appliances do not have magnets large enough to actually cause any damage.
Our hard drives, for instance, have magnets. Most electronics have magnets, to gain functionality. Even mobile phone speakers have magnets – as well as the average cell phone case. A magnet of such a small capacity is unlikely to cause any damage to your battery – which is why you should not worry.
Still, you should steer clear of large-capacity metals such as an MRI scanner – or anything that has a large magnetic field. In these cases, you don’t even want to have your earrings on, let alone your cell phone. If the magnet is strong, it may interfere with the thermal security mechanism of your phone, causing the battery to overheat.
How to Dispose of Cell Phone Batteries in a Sustainable Way
When you are dealing with an old cell phone battery, you are probably thinking of just one solution to dispose of it – and that is throwing it in the trash bin. However, that is not a very good idea for a simple reason: a lithium-ion battery is like a bomb just waiting to explode.
A rechargeable lithium-ion battery, for instance, should always be recycled. This way, it can be refurbished – and reused once it has been brought back to power. There are countless places where you can drop off your battery – and it’s much better than throwing it in the trash bin. Plus, if it is a good program, you might even get something in return for those batteries.
Some batteries may be refurbished by the recycling companies for reuse – provided they are still in a relatively good state. Other batteries, may be recycled into different other products, such as pots and pans, silverware, steel, or even golf clubs.
Best Practices for Maximizing Battery Life
One can’t simply prevent a battery from dying – it’s the cycle of life, and you will, eventually, have to replace it. However, there are some tricks that you may use to maximize its life.
• Partially charge your phone. Many people fully discharge and recharge a phone, thinking that it will help the battery last longer. However, the lower the battery goes, the more current it draws out – causing the battery life to decrease. This is why you should not be afraid to recharge when it’s at 40%.
• Pull out the charger when it’s full. Many people still leave their phones to charge, even when the battery has already been fully charged. However, this will stress your battery further, causing its lifespan to drop.
• Don’t use the phone when charging. Watching videos or gaming while your phone is charging might distort the cycle. Therefore, to protect your phone’s battery life, you should avoid using your phone while it’s charging.
Your cell phone battery is not immortal – but with these tips, it may just live longer.
Is Using External Batteries a Good Idea?
In the perfect world, we would always have an outlet nearby so that we could charge our phones. However, that is not always the case. In these circumstances, a portable battery should prove to be quite helpful to keep you charged.
Bear in mind that in most circumstances, a portable battery should not be able to damage your cell phone battery. However, you need to ensure that you are charging with a compatible voltage so that your cell phone battery is not overheated. Make sure that when you purchase an external battery, you get one from a reputable producer.
Where to Buy Cell Phone Batteries?
There are several places where you can buy a new cell phone battery. First, you may order it online or buy it from a local mobile store. This is usually a good choice if the battery can easily be taken out of your phone. This is how you know exactly what you have to buy.
However, to be safe, you might want to send your phone into service. They will know exactly what type of battery is suitable for your phone. Plus, if your phone is still under warranty, there is a high chance that you won’t even have to pay for it.
Cell phone batteries were not made to be immortal. After continuous discharges, they will eventually begin to lose their power. Usually, this happens after one or two years of continuous use, depending on the battery.
However, by charging it right, you can help maximize your battery life – and why not, add another year to it. Not only will it save you the stress, but it will also save you a few bucks.